I’m going to say it: I sometimes wish I was on the Wonder Woman Island – you know, the one where the Amazon women live? It’s called Paradise Island and these women are strong, fearless and provide a beautiful regard for each other. The women around me are just that and all my life, I’ve been surrounded by women who have faced adversity of all kinds and have come through the fire even more brilliant. I’m not totally delusional. I know that even on this island, there is chaos – particularly when the pilot drops out of the sky. However the idea of a girlfriend gathering excites me more now than ever.
And guess what? I’m not alone.
If you know me well enough, you know I’ve been married for 25 years (this coming year!)– Almost in a row. I celebrate the man I married, truly I do. And that relationship is solid and has come to a point where our love has grown many branches – some stronger than others. And not for one second do I think a life apart from my partner is better. It’s just different than my girlfriend time. <Insert “Isn’t that OK?” here.>
A brilliant quote that I find myself experiencing now:
“Over the years, I’ve come to realize that women-to-woman groups have immeasurable transformative potential.”
When I read this out of Colleen Saidmen Yee’s book “Yoga for Life”, it hit me. It’s when I’m with my girlfriends that I feel incredibly liberated, uninterrupted and real. The journey to get here was not easy. Why-oh-why did I have to wait until now to recognize this? Young ladies, if you are reading this, DROP THE DRAMA! Look past the stuff that really doesn’t matter and find ways to lift each other up.
In my time together with women on retreats, we typically begin with introducing ourselves to each other, what drew us to that point in time and maybe a question like “what is your animal spirit and why?” What was an overwhelming realization as our time passes, is that it was only until the final few hours together that we actually talked about what we “do” for a living. It felt like we get to know who we are without the job, the kids, the partners… We bring our whole selves (the ones we might have forgotten about) to the revelry.
The chronicles of my walk and talks with women have proven that I’m not the only one that lights up untethered to a title: that of wife, mother, sister, taxi, banker, cook, cleaner…. When taking the time to listen to each other, to be curious and share, women open the wounds, move to what might feel uncomfortable and find comfort, laughter, connection and maybe a few tears. We can feel when others are being real and it inspires us to be authentic and live in that spirit beyond our time together. Witness this next time you are at a women focused event – more evidence in the growing attendance at my girl’s “Women of Influence” event. Mo Hagan’s little idea grew exponentially over just 3 years to a main sell out event. How many “need to hear your voice” phone calls have you experienced with other women?
As we grow into different stages in our lives, our body changes provide us a voice. Sometimes it’s that voice that says “Get me a fan NOW!” Sometimes it’s a voice that says “I am worthy.” Whatever the reason, whether it’s the circumstance of childbirth, menopause, or any life event, it’s a time for our voices to be heard, not to shut down. As women together, we have the unique opportunity to combine the knowledge we have gained with the compassion of our hearts and use the wisdom to make choices. Choices that give our internal power volume. (No need to look too closely in the news to see this happening.) And as my good friend Michelle Kerr says, “It’s a time to shake the tree!”
Men, if you are still curious about what happens when the girls get together, it’s really simple: We regain our place in ourselves and we are better for it and better for those we love – partners, parents, kids, our colleague. You are welcomed to this glimpse and know that there is a place for you in our lives and in our hearts – and we share a relationship with its own set of glorious benefits. But sometimes….
Girls just need girls.