In the years I’ve been teaching, coaching & facilitating groups, I’ve witnessed time and time again the transformational power of a community of women who are in support of each other. I’m constantly in awe of the women’s groups I facilitate. Often, all I need to do is bring a group of women together with a clear context, and their authenticity, generosity & love pours out – and the transformation takes care of itself. I also personally don’t know who I’d be today if I hadn’t had the women’s circles I’ve been part of, especially my first formal women’s circle, when I moved to San Francisco in 1999. We were with each other through marriage, divorce, births & deaths, and being part of those processes together changed my life.
The Women in Your Life are the Bedrock.
Throughout my whole life, I’ve been blessed to have extraordinary women elders, and they have consistently told me: It’s the women in your life who are the bedrock; you may get married and have extraordinary relationships with men, but it’s the deep relationships you have with women that carry you through the ups and downs of romantic relationships and mothering. After going through the process of my own marriage & divorce, and the births of my children, I truly came to realize the deep, deep truth to this.
The Connection Between Women is Powerful.
When women come together in support of each other, it changes the world. This is why I think there’s so much energy out there that encourages women to compete – because when we are unified, and when we are for each other’s greatness, we are unstoppable. At the same time, I think it’s important to acknowledge the places we’re afraid and jealous of each other. Competition and jealousy can actually be a place of connection if we are willing to be honest about it in the first place. When we hide these fears & feelings from each other, we often play into a culture of avoidance & (unconscious) manipulation. Over & over, the women I have either shared these fears with, or the ones who have come to me & shared their jealousy, are the women I have the most solid connections with. Because once it’s out in the open, we can support each other.
You Might Get Hurt by Other Women.
When we get vulnerable with other women, we may get hurt by them. In 4th grade my best friend decided not to be my best friend anymore, and it was heartbreaking. As adults, if we can honestly share our hurts & walk through to the other side of that, a huge amount of power opens up in those relationships. Might somebody snub you or not reciprocate? Maybe. Should we withhold our hearts because we might get hurt? I don’t think so.
We are actually made much stronger from the power that’s released inside of us when we offer that connection and love to another woman in the first place. The chance we might get hurt is not worth what can be gained.
One of my mentors once said that ‘real relationships with (other) women begin at the point of breakdown or betrayal’. While I don’t think all our relationships need to include some kind of breakdown or betrayal, how we meet other women in those moments determines where we go.
About 6 years ago, I had an experience with my dearest friend in the whole world, while my family was visiting her family. I misunderstood an interaction & took it to mean that she didn’t actually want us there. Being somewhat underslept at the time (with a 1 year old & a 5 year old who still didn’t sleep through the night), I didn’t check my experience out right away, and the situation snowballed. Thankfully we did finally share our hurts with each other, and our friendship has deepened exponentially as a result. We not only know how to love each other better now, but there is truly nothing we can’t or don’t share with each other – partly because of how deep our experience of that hurt was.
These Relationships are Available to all of us.
I’ve known my best friend since I was 6 months old, I’ve held both her babies within 5 days of being born, and through the birth of my own child, she stood in front of me the whole time. It was because of her I was able to walk the path I needed to walk to birth my son. We all might not have people we’ve known since being babies, but every single one of us has the capacity right now to identify at least one woman that we would like to know more. It might feel like a risk! But it’s a risk worth taking to reach out & tell her you’d like to know her better! Or be willing to share something that’s really going on in your life, below the surface….in that way you create the invitation for her to meet you in that deeper, more vulnerable place. We truly can all cultivate deeper relationships with other women.
The Collective—a Global Web of Women Dedicated to Embodied Wholeness
If you’re seeking a group of women that doesn’t just want, but demands all of who you are, then check out our monthly membership network, The Collective. It’s a place where you can never be too big, too bold, too messy or too beautiful.
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