Every once in a while, my brain wants to vomit out my thoughts in a messy but heartfelt way. Trigger finger, really. Editing be damned! Re-reading tossed aside! Grammar begone! (Actually, you got me on that one because I can’t have any grammatical mistakes, I just CAN’T!)
So, here goes.
The sisterhood, coffee talk and the depth of the feminine (should we choose to go there).
The deeper I go into my own personal journey of becoming more free, the more I realize how important having a tribe is. And what kind of tribe I need. Sometimes when we talk about getting together with our girlfriends, it means ranting, raging or commiserating. We can spend an hour or two complaining about everything from husbands, boyfriends, bosses, kids, parents and siblings. It can feel good to hear everyone else’s stories. I am not alone. She has it badly too. She doesn’t have it figured out yet either. Everyone else has this problem too.
And then we all walk away from that talk in exactly the same place as we were. The commiserating, ranting, raging and complaining does nothing but cement us in place. We walk away from those conversations (which we seek out because we do need community) feeling trapped in place – with nothing to lift us up, challenge us, show us another way or lead us forward.
I believe that a lot of us can get so stuck in that way of communicating with each other. I know I have been.
I know we can go deeper.
There is so much more to the sisterhood connection than this. When we can meet together as women and yes, freely express our doubts, fears, struggles, challenges, and yes, freely express what is amazing, incredible, what we are proud of, what is working well and what we are learning and then, YES, challenge each other to turn towards our own wisdom, to light ourselves up, to stop making lemonade with all the lemons we are being given and instead, ask for champagne, then YES, this is the tribe that will change our lives.
A good tribe doesn’t keep us where we are. A good tribe doesn’t just feed our unhappiness, agree with our depression and jump into the wallowing with us. A good tribe listens to our stories (the beautiful, the hard and the dark), loves us whether we are shining or crumpled and then, gives us something to climb up on. A lifeline. They throw down a challenge for us to make a move. To become responsible in some way for our lives. They encourage us to rage when we need to – just so we feel better and can move forward. They challenge us to drop the victim persona because they know it keeps us stuck. They honour the gift of our vulnerability and do whatever they can to support the climb we want to do. They remind us of how wonderful, powerful, magnificent and worthy we are. They don’t let us off the hook. They tell us to go dancing when we just want to eat ice-cream. (Ideally, I think we should do both!). They remind us to treat ourselves deliciously when they see we are giving all of ourselves away. They encourage us to book that massage, that yoga class, that art show when we would feel safer just staying inside our anger.
I wrote myself an email a few months ago where I decided on questions I really wanted to ask women (and to be asked myself). They were:
What are you learning right now that I can learn from you?
What is your unsayable right now?
What are you struggling with?
What are you deeply desiring?
In this way, I can connect on a much deeper level with another woman. I want to learn from her journey. I want her to be able to say something unsayable so she can take ownership of it by getting it out of the shadows. An unsayable might be, “I hate my husband”. “I hate my kids”. “I feel totally alone and depressed.” “I don’t know where I’m going.” I want to listen to what she is struggling with, without giving her my story, my advice, my wisdom or fixing it for her. Unless she asks. And then I want to connect her with her lifeline, her joy, her pleasure, her deep deep juiciness by asking her what she desires.
And I want to be able to do the same with her. Hard stuff. Good stuff.
Too much for school drop-off?!
I get it. But, how would it feel to get together a group of your girlfriends for a talk with the intention of going deeper, being more open and more vulnerable and honouring every single woman’s voice – whether she is shining at the moment or down in the dirt?
With so much going on in the world today, so many hard conversations that we need to have and so much strength we are being called to find, having a tribe that not only hears us as we are but also reminds us of who we are is essential.
Life is too hard to do alone. Women need a community that lifts them up. We need to dig deeper, connect more, expect more from ourselves and others, cheerlead our friends, hold them in their struggles and celebrate them in their successes.
The deeper we go, the higher we fly.
So, I challenge you to make a date with some trusted friends and have an intention of really talking to each other, really supporting each other and leaving each other feeling more full, more challenged, more rejuvenated and more alive than before.
You can use the questions above, if they feel good. You can go around in the circle and have everyone say something that is going super amazing for them, something they are struggling with and something they are learning.
You can drink wine, eat chips and watch “Magic Mike”. Mmm….
In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you connect with your tribe, what feels so good about spending time with your female friends and if you yearn to go deeper with them…and yourself.