I had such a fulfilling experience attending the Women’s Circle. Not only did Alyonka create a safe space for people to share but her energy is judgment free and incredibly healing, she has been blessed with a gift to allow people to let their guards down and open themselves up to healing and bettering themselves. Whether you want to attended for personal or professional reasons, that doesn’t matter because regardless you will leave a better person. Alyonka helped me realize that my power resides when I allow myself to be open and vulnerable. As someone who runs a business it’s hard to always find balance between self fulfillment and work fulfillment, the tools I learned at the Women’s Circle will allow me to move forward as the best and truest version of myself.
Thanks for hosting such an interesting evening. I walked in with little to no expectations and walked out feeling full, connected and with a renewed belief that all would be ok, even if it was just for the rest of the evening.Especially in today’s world, we — society at large — need more and more an excuse or permission to do, ask and feel things. Your Unknown sessions give people the “excuse” they need to show up, be vulnerable, and have deep conversations — three things we need more of in this world, but seem to be harder and harder to find and consequently do. If nothing else this is why these meetings should and I hope will continue. What you are doing not only helps individuals but I think is helping society as a whole retain or remember some of its humanity.
Being within Alyonka’s circle feels a bit like I imagine Dante felt when he found the admirable Virgil to help him descend the depths. Trust is implicit; there is a true sense of security, even while the self-deprecating thoughts linger as they are brought into the forefront of conversation. She is not a magician and does not dispel the doubts and fears many of us share. Rather, she provides an actionable kind of hope, resonant meditation, and thoughtful motivation for making more of our time, efforts, and lives. Bring your brave willpower and the fractured parts of you will coalesce or dissolve as they should. She is bold, candid, and perspicacious, and I am grateful to count her among those in my corner.
I was going through a lot of personal and life changes when I attended workshop, I had gotten out of a tough relationship that past fall which also led me to realize how truly unhappy I was living in NYC and with work/life in general. I was still grappling with these realizations and wasn’t sure what to make of it all. I was trying my hardest to stay positive and do more things in order to make a positive changes in my life, which is how I found myself attending the workshop.It was really eye opening and quite frankly nice to sit down with multiple woman with whom I really didn’t know much about and talk through challenges we were all facing in that moment of time. Truly, it was a great break from the daily negative grind I found myself in. (NYC can be pretty angry and tough over winter months). The atmosphere was calm, warm and inviting which definitely helped in keep the conversation flowing - the time went by pretty quick.
I approached The Unknown with a very small idea of what to expect and the thought that I am a very open person who wears my feelings on the outside. Turns out I was wrong! By the end of the workshop, I realized that I am not as open as I thought and still have a bit of trouble communicating more serious topics to others. While I’m completely comfortable discussing sex, it turns out I wasn’t as open to deeper questions such as “What is one compliment you receive that you have a hard time believing?” Looking inward and truly giving thought to my feelings was new and quite tough for me. As I watched someone close to me open up, I realized that I’ve still got a wall up that I’ve got to work on letting down. On another hand, my relationship with the girlfriend who joined with me has gotten deeper as we now have conversations about feelings and thoughts that I previously wouldn’t have let out. Baby steps toward knocking that wall down & I’m so glad we went into The Unknown together (which I know is not typical for the workshops, oops :) ). My only negative is it wasn’t long enough! As the group began sharing their feelings and experiences, it made me want to learn more about them and how I can learn from them. I feel learning more about others in turn helps you digest how your experiences have shaped you and how you can continue to grow.
I have had the pleasure of attending three of Alyonka’s THE UNKNOWN WORKSHOP. I was always the oldest in the room and in many instances by over 2x; however, I never felt like I did not belong in the group. One of Alyonka’s greatest gifts is in assembling a unique cadre of interesting people. She has a calm way of putting the room at ease and encouraging people to open up. I brought a close friend to my second workshop and she was able to help him discover things about himself that truly helped him in launching his new life direction. My perspective in these workshops was generally very different given my life experiences and I found myself wanting to help others which has lead to continued dialogue outside of the workshops.
Attending Alyonka’s workshop is surprising, enlightening, and meaningful. She is naturally curious and immensely intuitive, and her moderating skills lead to a beautifully open and respectful exchange by all in the room. I didn’t know what to expect, but I showed up, and in the showing up, I experienced a profound reminder of things I had forgotten or had shoved aside, and that has helped me through a difficult personal time.
I attended one of Alyonka’s workshops as part of the reporting process for a profile I was doing on her for The Athletic. Before I arrived, she broached the idea of me attending as an active participant, rather than just a passive observer and I have to admit, I was reluctant for a few reasons. I wasn’t sure if this would shroud my objectivity as a journalist; additionally, this was something FAR outside my comfort zone. But what’s great about Alyonka is how adept she is at coaxing others out of that comfort one while simultaneously setting them at ease. What I both witnessed and experienced was that Alyonka has a rare, disarming quality and a keen ability to connect to others with compassion, respect, empathy and kindness. She listens, without judgment, and has a knack for prompting introspection and awareness. I met a bunch of awesome women that night, many of whom I keep in touch with still. I’m so happy that I got to know Alyonka through my work and even more grateful that I can now call her a friend as well.
the ripples of the good that came out of that Gather alone are impossible to quantify. who knows what else those other guys learned and have taken into their lives and relationships. i was just telling my coworker this morning about your group, and how life is so interesting, you never know where it will take you if you just show up, say yes, and take your seat at the circle.
Participating in The Unknown Workshop allowed me to release a fear that I had not even realized fully how much I had been grasping onto. Alyonka creates and holds a space that allows for complete strangers to feel comfortable being vulnerable and sharing openly about deeply personal emotions and wounds. I felt grateful for the experience, to be witnessed and to witness others release these emotional weights in a way that felt supportive and liberating. Thank you Alyonka :).
1. I am not a great listener. At the surface I can listen, however my ego often times prevents me from truly empathizing with an individual because my mind naturally wants to debate and prove my point, that I am right or that a person is being over-sensitive (years of many male influences). A very bad habit that I am continually trying to let go of.2. Considering your story has made me confront the fact that I have got into many bad habits, emotionally and physically, which have stuck with me for so long now. Some are due to environment, others due to poor choices. So not being a hypocrite and actually being completely honest with one’s own issues has been tough, albeit a good thing learned.
Alyonka is one of a kind. Her knowledge and experience gained while working to help herself now transcends to helping others. In real time, she has a wild ability to articulate feelings. This leads to asking the right questions, and often the one most needed question in the moment. Better questions lead to better answers. Whatever stage in life, we all benefit from exploring and understanding ourselves to a higher degree. Highly recommend leaning on Alyonka’s expertise throughout your personal journey. You’ll appreciate the support.
Alyonka is human enough to dare to just accept us. As we come. Where we are. What we do. The identities we own. Our stories. Whether in one-on-one or in workshop with her she doesn’t ask that you mask yourself to appease limitations + barriers. She instead asks that you exist fully. Coexisting with Alyonka is to coexist in a society free of role play, and caricature. She seeks to see you — the real you. Attending a session with her will show you that she approaches this work from a heart-place that is exclusive to her being which is why any endeavor with her has become a memorable piece of my journey and life story that I often think back to for guidance. I recommend anyone working on development in their own life to check her out — she’s that good.