If there is one lesson I have learned over the past year it’s that Sisterhood is a necessary and vital part of healing transformation for women.
Community has always been important to me - I’ve always migrated toward becoming involved in community my whole life. From starting an Eco-Club in high school, joining the Women’s Centre in University, spending much of my early mom life in online mom’s chat groups, joining the Parent Association at my children’s school to the powerful online Sisterhood support of my peers in Layla Martin’s Integrated Sex, Love & Relationship Professional Coaching program.
There has always been a safe haven in the knowledge that others are experiencing the same things as I am, and the permission to share in community is a powerful tool for self exploration and ultimately for healing.
I didn’t realize just how profound this tool is until recently. I believe that creating an intentional space for women to share Sisterhood with other women has the potential to be our most powerful healing modality in terms of cultivating a strong sense of self-love and acceptance.
As part of our training, Layla has made the Sisterhood community a central part of our experience. This is for good reason. The two conditions needed for a THRIVING life are: Unconditional Self Love & Support. The Sisterhood community facilitates both.
One of my first realizations in this community of support is that we are more alike than we think.
Cultural conditioning has taught women to separate themselves from each other. We’ve got our few besties, but we don’t often glean insight into the lives of women we are not close to. Instead, we imagine what their thoughts, feelings, emotions and life experiences are like based upon media representations of women.
We believe that beauty = easy to find a partner.
We believe that material wealth = self confidence.
We believe that thin = happy.
That’s what mass culture tells us, so it must be true. Even if we can logically rationalize that this isn’t the case, we make assumptions on the emotional & life circumstances of other women based upon what we can see of their lives from the outside. Our assumptions are often rooted in cultural bias.
What I’ve discovered in my Sisterhood communities where the sharing is dictated by authenticity, honesty, trust and love the experience of women is very much universal.
Most women experience a lack of self confidence and fear of not fitting in, most women have body image issues, most women have healing to do. Even the most beautiful and successful women experience pain, fear, anger, and feelings of inadequacy.
I’ve also discovered that there is immense VARIETY in the experiences of women as well, which made me realize that there is no such thing as “normal”. All experience is valid and real, including my own.
The impact of this on the psyche of women is huge. The moment when you realize that the woman you have always envied for how she looks, acts, and lives is experiencing the SAME thoughts, feelings and emotions as you is profound. It binds you to her in a new way. It makes you realize that you are not alone.
Additionally, when you hear stories from women that are not the same as yours. When you celebrate their successes, share in their pain and listen to their desires you connect with possibility, truth, love & choice in a new way. You learn the value of sharing, supporting and feeling compassion for ALL of experiences of women. This is a connecting piece, not divisive. Sharing through Sisterhood allows us to begin valuing others which then leads to a stronger sense of self valuation.
The realization that you are not alone, that you are being heard, and that you are part of something is a gift of Sisterhood that is vital to the transformative healing process of ALL women.
When we share in Sisterhood, we realize that we are not only healing ourselves - we are healing the collective community of women. We are healing for past and future generations of women.
Group recognition that culturally imposed limitations on our bodies, thoughts, feelings, and experiences are universally hurting ALL women is a powerful step forward for women to begin RECLAIMING their bodies, their thoughts, feelings & experiences from a supportive place of love. When we work together, love and support one another, we can move mountains.
Don’t believe the crap that people say about women not being able to work well together. Don’t believe for one moment that YOU cannot have amazing relationships with women. These are culturally constructed notions of women’s relationships that only serve to keep women feeling weak, powerless, inadequate and competitive with one another. Trust me , if you truly connected with the the women you feel competitive with and the women with whom you have fought, you may discover that the thoughts, feelings and emotions beneath the hurt are the same.
I believe that the divisive mechanisms of fear, self doubt & insecurity run strong in women because they are unaware of their cultural conditioning and making the shift toward seeing fear, self doubt and insecurity as tools for connection, love and support is the most subversive and powerful act of love and healing that women will make on their path of transformation & growth.
Sharing and CELEBRATING the achievements and successes of other women - and boldly owning our own successes, opening up to and sharing in each other’s CLEARING of pain, frustration and fear and being brave enough to speak and share our DESIRES are powerful tools of a thriving Sisterhood community.
It was my intention to start creating these communities with my own work in the Goddess Within workshops and now with the Empowered Goddess Series. I’m starting to see the impact of my desire to create Sisterhood. Women are sharing their stories, and other women are saying, “I feel that too”. This is why I do what I do.
“I feel that too”, a powerful message of connection. A powerful message of knowing that you are not alone. A powerful message of love.
This is how it goes: You begin to feel love for your Sisters, and they share something deep & real. You realize that you feel that way too. You also realize that even though they feel that way, you still love them. The ultimate realization is that if they are worthy of your love, so are YOU.
Because, THRIVING is the result of unconditional self love & support.
“I feel that too, and I love that part of myself” means that the healing has begun.
How can you start to cultivate powerful Sisterhood connections in your life?
- Start to get real with your besties. Call them up and ask if they would like to share Sisterhood with you. Set up a time to reach out to each other every week.
- Share your Celebrations - things that are going well for you, cheer each other on and make a big deal of how awesome you both are.
- Share your Clearings - this is what isn’t going well, how it feels emotionally and physically for you, keep following the emotions and sensations in your body, keep looking to go deeper and hold space for each other. Don’t fix. Just listen.
- Share your Desires - Dream big together.
Looking for a larger sisterhood community? Join one of my Empowered Goddess Series classes. Better yet, join the series with your BESTIE!!! Sisterhood sharing is a central focus of these classes, and something I feel so grateful to see the women who are participating in the program embracing. You can find more information on when and were our next series is being offered here.