One of the greatest blessings in my life – and that of any woman – are my friendships with other women.
If I think about the people who saw my strengths when I couldn’t, who believed in me when I had doubts, who helped me see just how far I had come when all I could see was how far I had to go, it was my precious girlfriends.
These women buoy me, they ground me, and they light me up. They love and accept me for who I am. They are a gift and I would not be who I am without them.
Deep connections with other women nourish my soul.
I got to thinking the other day what it would be like if we opened our hearts in this way to all the women we met?
If we saw each one of them as just like us – trying to make their way in the world but faced with the same struggles, self-doubts and limitations as we are – and brought all the compassion, understanding and acceptance we sometimes reserve for those we care about, to every other women we encountered?
How would you be behaving differently? Who would you be treating differently? But the biggest question to ask is, what would be transformed because of it?
Here’s the kicker…
At a conference in 2009 the Dalai Lama said: “The world will be saved by the Western woman”.
At a conference just last weekend, I was part of something that left me with a knowing that what he said was true.
When strangers become avid supporters
On the first day I found myself in a room with 100 or so other women, all from different backgrounds, all excited but a little nervous about what the weekend would hold.
By the end of day one, I had shared one of my greatest fears with the woman on my left, and the woman on my right knew the one big emotion that had held me back my entire life.
Over the weekend, with these women and others, we shared tears, rage, shame, fears, laughter, joy, connection, hugs and… exhilaration.
All this with people who had been perfect strangers when we walked in.
It was a transformational weekend called The One Woman Conference. It’s a movement that’s been created to bring women together, to celebrate our feminine power, and help to elevate each of us into a space where we can make the Dalai Lama’s words a reality.
But what struck me the most from the weekend was that sense of connection I got from sharing my journey with these other women.
Each and every one of them, most I’d never met, gifted me with their compassion, acceptance and support.
And by the end of the weekend I felt pretty damn amazing. Like I could go out and conquer the world 😉
I felt like there was this huge community of women who were all rooting for my growth and supporting me to become the best version of myself that I can (which is what the One Woman Conference is about). But most important of all, if I fell, I knew they would be there to catch me.
As women we need to feel supported. We need community. We need each other.
So, how can we spread this feeling of sisterhood to every woman we meet? How can we really support each other to become the best versions of ourselves we can be?
Here’s three ideas to get you started.
1. Please tell the women in your life what they mean to you and share what you admire about them. “I think you’re really brave” “Your support keeps me going” “I think you are an amazing mum”. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing something good that you see in another – it really can be the gift that keeps giving.
2. Look for small ways to support other women to achieve their dreams in the world. It can be as simple as buoying someone with some encouraging words when they’re feeling low “I know you can do this”, connecting them with other people that may be able to help them take a step closer to their dream, or simply cooking someone a meal to say “I know you’ve been working hard and I am proud of you”.
3. Even when someone rubs you the wrong way, try to remember that on the inside they are struggling with the same things you are (even if it doesn’t seem like it!. Find kind words that speak to that woman inside them who really wants to feel supported, just like the rest of us. We have to move past competition – that’s a man’s dynamic. We are women, community is our realm, let’s claim that as our dynamic.
When women come together with the intention of truly supporting each other, miracles happen.
You create those miracles with your compassion, acceptance and empathy.
And I thank you for it.
As you may have gathered, this topic means a lot to me and I’d really love to hear how this has landed with you. What is your experience of sisterhood? What will you do differently after reading this post? Love to hear you thoughts in the comments below.
For those of you in London looking for that sense of connection and community with like-minded women, I’ll be hosting the London Joy Club meet-up on Tuesday March 31. We’ll be looking at how we can ramp up the richness of our everyday by reconnecting to simple pleasures and milking them for all they’re worth! Love to have you there. Find out more over here.