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ALTON - Two Alton business owners have teamed up to create a space for women that blends physical, mental/emotional and spiritual wellness.
When Stella Webb, owner of Soul Sanctuary, met Spacious Expression owner Jodi Meisenheimer, they immediately wanted to collaborate. Webb and Meisenheimer decided to start the Women’s Circle, a monthly meetup for women to connect through meditation, journaling and conversation.
“I don't see us so much as humans having a spiritual experience, but as spirits having a human experience,” Webb said. “In a circle, everybody’s equal. We all stand and we’re all holding each other, and we’re not there to fix each other. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about allowing a safe space for people to be seen, to be heard, and that’s what’s important.”
Soul Sanctuary offers meditations and spiritual advice, while Spacious Expression provides sobriety coaching and support. Webb explained that she used to work with survivors of domestic violence; Meisenheimer regularly meets one-on-one with women who have lived through a variety of challenges. They have both seen firsthand the changes that can occur when these women are empowered and supported, which is why they started the Women’s Circle.
“Overall wellbeing isn’t just the physical or isn’t just the mental/emotional or isn’t just the spiritual. It’s the three of them coming together,” Webb said. “It’s a beautiful feeling to help people find that balance and find that center.”
Webb has worked as a minister for most of her adult life. When she lost her son in 2017, she found that she could help others through her own spiritual healing, which led her to open Soul Sanctuary. You can learn more about Soul Sanctuary’s services at their official website.
Meisenheimer is open about her past with alcohol and substances, which is why she started Spacious Expression to help other people in their journeys toward sobriety or more mindful use. You can learn about her coaching services and regular sobriety meetups through Spacious Expression’s official website.
“This is more of a heart-centered project for me,” Meisenheimer explained. “The purpose of my coaching business really is in helping women empower themselves to live through their authentic expression by releasing their addiction to substances and alcohol.”
This is similar to the idea behind the Women’s Circle. The Women’s Circle meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at Soul Sanctuary. The cost is $25, but Webb and Meisenheimer noted that they will accept anyone as long as you pay at least $1. They explained that the circle starts with a check-in, and then participants work together to build an art piece, talk about their boundaries and expectations for the session, and then stretch, journal and meditate while having a group discussion.
Webb noted that women have traditionally been kept inside a household or family unit, limiting their access to each other. Together, Webb and Meisenheimer hope the Women’s Circle can provide connection and empowerment as women build their physical, mental/emotional and spiritual wellness.
“It’s something we really don’t have for women. We’ve been so isolated,” Webb said. “But this kind of circle allows us to be outside and to interact with others and get the wisdom of [others]…We’re all here to learn lessons, right? And sometimes those lessons can be difficult, so it’s good to have somebody to help you walk your path.”
To learn more about the Women’s Circle and how to participate, visit the Soul Sanctuary Facebook page or the Spacious Expression Facebook page. The next Women’s Circle is at 6 p.m. on Aug. 22. Check out the event page on Facebook for more information.
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