It's Women's History Month and I always take this time to appreciate and reflect on my circle and what sisterhood means to me. Trust me, I do this daily because sisterhood is what keeps me afloat. Literally and figuratively.
I've always been a social butterfly. I can easily fit into any situation and have a great time. However, I rarely let people get really close to me and tried to stick with my proverbial day 1s. When I got to college, though, and most of my high school friends were at varying schools; I had to open up more because I KNEW I was going to need some girlfriends locally too.
That was a huge challenge for me. I had spent most of my childhood guarding myself from any real relationships, mainly because I was a military brat and I was always expecting to move again. But college was the perfect place for me because I was introduced to all types of women from different walks of life with varying goals and that fascinated me. There, I met my best friend who is literally one of the closest people to me next to my mama. She's irreplaceable but that didn't mean I didn't need other women around me as well!
Separate but equal
It's a running joke in my circles that I keep them very separate. There are quite a few people that I call sis and that call me sis but many of them will never meet. Crazy huh? I am so fiercely protective of my friends that I would never want to be put in the middle of any drama so I keep people apart that I THINK may not mesh well. Each circle serves its own purpose and provides a unique aspect of sisterhood that the others may not.
So here are my tips to finding good sister-circles:
Stop saying no new friends
Please stop saying "No new friends" for many reasons but mainly because you are putting out what you will receive; no one new of great substance coming into your life. I used to say that phrase all the time. I'm so glad I stopped about 10 years ago because had I not, had I just stuck it out with the people who were in my life those many years ago ONLY; I would have missed out on some great friendships that I value so much today. I have learned more about myself through expanding my circle in the last 10 years than any other time in my adulthood. (yes I'm old, mind your business)
Try a new activity
Many of us are doing the same things we have always been doing, whether it's where we choose to go to eat, how and where we work out or even the activities we do with our children. If we try some new things, we put ourselves in new spaces to meet different people. Nothing creates a better sisterhood than having common interests in your activities. No Susan, I don't want to go to the club this weekend. Yes, Jo I would love to go to a health and wellness seminar. As you begin to age and experience your life, the way you spend your free time begins to truly matter. For me, it's important that I am doing things that are edifying my spirit, growing me into a better person. Not saying I don't enjoy a good night out on occasion but that it definitely not my go to. And if what you used to do means your circle has to expand a little bit to what you currently do, THAT'S OK! Never make apologies for elevating yourself personally.
Reach out on Social Media
I know I know, Someone just clutched their pearls huh? Just give me a sec to prove my point. The people you are following on social media, you are following for a reason. You are either inspired by them, they make you laugh or they challenge your point of view. (Hopefully none of my readers are following someone to hate on them. If so, this is not the page for you) So if you are already following someone, why not reach out and speak to them. Listen my IG circle is the bomb. And a lot of my IG circle didn't just stay on IG, we've met and hung out in person or we video chat until we can meet live and in living color and those relationships I wouldn't change for the world. In an era where when we spend so much of our time on social media consuming mindless content, why not put that energy into truly connecting with some dope women who can help expand your mind; be it with their business savvy, their motherhood methods or their beauty secrets. Heck, a lot of my good fashion ideas are coming straight from my IG sisterhood! My point is, you are following people for a reason, connect with them.
Connect without Expectation
This is my cautionary message because while I would love to be able to say that every new "sistership" you get into will be edifying to your spirit, we simply know that is not true. There are still women out here who secretly try to compete, are envious, jealous and a myriad of other things I won't discuss. I know this. However, even with all the shady antics that are out in the universe, there are still dope women who want sincere connections. Connect with them with an open mind. That definitely doesn't mean sharing your deepest secrets (I'm open to a fault and it has burned me more than once) but people can genuinely connect with you without seeing your rawness. If you do that, not expecting them to be your new Mommy BFF, you will be pleasantly surprised when they are your go to on how to not kill your lying pre-teen. And if the connection turns out to be complete trash, you can move on without any long-lasting effects. Open heart. Open mind. Metered Expectations.
When I say gather, I mean find events that speak to you directly and where you are in your life currently. That may be a mom prom or a self-care retreat. That may be a conference on women entrepreneurship or a cooking with sass class. That could be hip hop yoga or the women's ministry at church. Wherever you think you may find other women who share common interests and goals, be there. Gather there. Take up space in those spaces so that not only you can be filled up but you never know who you may fill up in the process. It's important to commune in safe spaces, away from the men. We love them but our struggles are very uniquely our own.
Sisterhood is acceptance. Sisterhood is understanding. Sisterhood is compassion. Sisterhood is "I got your back" . And sisterhood is also, "Ok, but I'm going to give it to you straight." Women are the foundation of the world, chile. And where the women go the culture goes. - Phylicia Rashad
Sisterhood is not perfect and without disagreements or challenges but it is rooted in uplifting, encouraging and inspiring. Its rooted in love.
Sisterhood is the heartbeat of the female collective. Get your cardio in!
Love & Light,