If you follow me, you may have noticed I'm posting less on social media over the past weeks. In it's place I'm painting these swirling shapes in bright blue/gold, writing mediocre poetry during odd little pockets of the day, and going to bed early. Also I'm hellbent on observing at least one day of real sabbath each week (I managed two this weekend!). Listen to my podcast with Jessi Marcus on why this is important!
The reason I'm doing all of this is to conserve a bit more energy. As a vata/pitta/sagittarius (add whatever other label you want to this pile), I tend to disperse whatever energy comes my way. I get really excited about things and want to spread that inspiration near and far. My theory is that if it helps me then it will help other people.
And I think that's true! I've learned so much from other people sharing their own authentic experience and my goal is to always repay that out into the world whenever I can.
But I started to notice that I was burning out. I felt overwhelmed by the daily pace of the project and began feeling just a little anxious when I thought about posting.
I may have gone on doing my daily posting for a good bit longer. However I was lucky enough to find myself talking about it in a circle of lady friends. They reflected back to me that my own self care is always the best way to serve other people (lol, just like I teach to everyone else). Their tender listening helped me to take a step into a much-needed pause.
Once again, quality time with my girlfriends helped me to become more of my best me.
Without my sisterfriends--as the incredible Maya Angelou called us supportive lady friends--I would not be who I am today. They have given me the permission to tell the truth about my own experience and my struggles. I need their honest care so freaking much and I'm incredibly grateful to have a few different circles where I find this deep support.
On Saturday night, one of these circles (three of us sisterfriends) performed for an audience of 17 brave ladies who came together to celebrate the very real, very messy, very beautiful experience of being whole women. We called it "Sisterfriends" and had spent months writing, sharing, and generally letting it all spill out.
Sharing about some of the hardest experiences of my life was definitely the most vulnerable I've been. I couldn't even look up while reading the first piece about my parents divorce and had a strong urge to leave the room before I read a piece about sexuality. By the end I had settled a little but was still quite far from flawlessly confident.
I know enough to know that this vulnerability, when shared in a safe space, creates the opening for real healing--my own and others. It's been life-changing to participate in this writing project that asked me to pull out events from deep in my closet--events that a part of me wants to leave there forever.
I also feel so good about supporting the other amazing women in our circle who did the same. There is no escape from the hardness of life but sharing it out helps us all to remember that we aren't alone in our struggles. This makes all the difference.
My hope is that all of us can find a group of sisterfriends (or brotherfriends!) to help sustain our humbling journey of real spiritual growth. Perhaps The Sisterfriends Manifesto below can spark this movement in your own life. Read it within a group of ladies and watch what happens!
It occurs to me now that perhaps I had to take a break from daily posting so I could muster the energy to write something that feels so real and important to me. So as you read it, please know that I'm sharing it it from the realest place in me--one that is filled to the brim with the self care, self worth and self love from all the great ladies that I know.
The Sisterfriends Manifesto
I’ve never had a sister, not one by birth. But I’ve had so many sisters, sisters of my soul, sisters who get me and get it, sisters who will sit in a circle with me and nod along as each one of us shares her heart-load, so heavy sometimes, so much laughing through the tears because your sisters get you. These are my sisterfriends.
Sisterfriends get that you can be so full of self doubt, rocked to your core, thinking you are the worst person that ever walked this green/blue earth and they still see you are a super hero.
A sisterfriend will draw a goddess card with you, no questions asked and they will let you be messy. Actually they love your messiness way more than your game face but they love that you have a fierce game face and they like to watch as you walk into party, like you own the room, because you do, we do, we do it together. You look good and it makes me look good too. We can shine brighter together.
A sisterfriend will get her nails done with you the night after you father dies and you don’t know what else to do and she’ll sneak in a beer and won’t try to say anything clever. She’ll just sit with you, pour your beer while they aren’t watching while you stare straight ahead and realize, oh crap, we are growing up and the world is way too damn big and the only thing that makes it feel cozy at all is that you get me and you let me get you. and we can laugh like no one else.
Sisterfriends I am sorry that I was jealous of you, of all the good shit that happened to you when I felt down. I’m sorry that I forgot how to support you. I’m sorry that we aren’t taught how to support each other so well and that we’ve been pited against each other for survival, that we were fed this lie that both of us can’t be doing well at the same time or even better, that your happiness isn’t directly related to my own happiness.
Actually it’s one big happiness that we are unlatching that wants to rise up like a technicolored hot air balloon and we can LET IT RISE sisterfriends. You sawing away at that rope in that corner and you in that corner and me right here sawing away at my own hardened self doubt and fear and repressed emotions--the stuff that is stuck because it was never mine, I never chose this and I refuse to hand it down to anyone else.
It’s hard work but I look up and I see you doing your own hard work, sawing away and I keep going, because we are ready to let go and burst free and with you by my side, sisterfriends, this dream is ready to RISE UP and it’s one big and luscious and extremely good-looking dream if I do say so myself and I do and you nod and you do and i smile and we do we do we do….