If you and I chatted for the first time, and I blatantly said, may I join your sisterhood, tribe, group of friends, etc., what would you say? How would you feel? If you considered answering yes, what would be the criteria that I would have to fulfill?
Do you honestly feel like you have a strong sisterhood with at least 2-3 women?
Yes, you are the givers of life, and in so many ways, you handle a lot more life and baggage than most men, but having others to check in with, who authentically care about you or who offer to support you and lighten your load is so important.
Outside of settings like school and possibly work, it is difficult for many adults to develop new friendships, and even when you do, you may have an overly romantic or underwhelming idea of what that looks like.
Yet the reality is, life can be challenging at times. Stress is a real thing, and its not always self care activities like yoga, fitness, writing, fitness, etc. that can bring our stress levels down. Sometimes we need human contact, affection and support to get us thru tough times or even a tough day.
According to the Office of Women's Health, the following are signs of stress:
Some of these can also be signs of greater mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
One of the ways to help manage your stress is having and leaning on a supportive network of family and friends that you can talk to. But dare I say, its not just any type of friends. We all have different types of friends, that may serve different purposes. They may be in our lives now because they entered during very different seasons in our lives, whether as children, adolescents, young adults, or in the present. Nonetheless, for the sake of this post, I want you to think about the kind of friends, or sisters, to include in your sisterhood.
A sisterhood would be comprised of a group of women, that would fulfill the criteria above. Every single one not, but collectively they are whole tribe of support. The truth is, no one person can be everything; not even you. This is why its important to have parts of a whole. The women in your sisterhood don't even all have to know or be friends with each other, but if you had to have sleepover/please come pour into me session-my life is in shambles- would you have a group of women you could depend on?
Remember, stress has effects on your health, so its never something you just want to keep inside. Not only would you have your self love tool kit, but you would human outlets that can help you deplug, process, and restart. The power of a sisterhood is that it creates a safe space for you as a woman. We bear a lot of burdens, have so many insecurities, doubt ourselves, compare ourselves, and often have feelings of lack. All the while, we carry on with idea that we can hold weight on our backs, and just continue doing laugh as if the weight is not affecting us.
With a sisterhood, you are reminded you are not alone and don't need to feel like you have to go thru life alone. You are also reminded that someone else, has or is going thru your same or similar stresses. There is simply power in connection.
If a sisterhood is not something you have, lets be grateful that you're in the age of technology bringing people together. Join Facebook groups with interests you have. Look for meetups where you are. Join local women focused membership based organizations. Step out your comfort zone, be vulnerable, and go on sister dates to build relationships!
To have support is honoring thy spirit; the 4th commandment of self love, so be open.
The older I get, I realize the extreme importance of being my mindful of who I share my emotion, time, energy, laughter, insecurities, fears and visions with. Everyone isn't meant or built to hold you up and hold the space you need. At this point, I can absolutely testify to the statement " your vibe attracts your tribe, " as well as Jim Rohn's words, "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." Thank goodness I love my tribe!
What is a tribe? A tribe is a collection of people who share values, customs, and traditions. Your tribe is your network. The people you give and receive advice to and from. Those you spend time with. Those who you collaborate with to express ideas to the world. Those who you set aside time for, to bond. These can be your close friends or highly cordial associates.
This year, I've received some clear visions of some pretty big changes that might happen, especially around personal goals. With big vision has come big fear and I've been experiencing an unusual amount of it lately. As easy as it would be to get caught up in my fear, for the first time, I decided to really express what I was feeling with some of my friends. I must say, receiving the support love, encouragement and push I needed from my girl friends, is something the word grateful can't even describe.
I've always been grateful for the friends that I have, but in reflection of the support they lent me, made me realize how blessed I am to have such a diverse tribe of women, on so many different journeys that is so parallel with mine. At 28, the people I spend the most time discuss visions, goals, purpose, spiritual development, personal transformation, self care, self love, healthy romance, arts, travel and social justice. If you gather at least 5 of my friends, you will indeed see they reflect me, whole heartedly and that is awesome!
When I was younger, I was obligated to building friendships with people that were near me, whether in school or my neighborhood, but we get more freedom the older we get. The fact that I feel safe with my tribe and I am rather naive to the occurrence of "2-faced hater-type" friends that I often see portrayed in media and especially memes, lets me know I'm pretty blessed. That's not my world and I'm grateful.
We are all on our own journeys, and some journeys may be more complimentary for your life than others. You don't HAVE to be friends or associates with any and everyone. You GET to choose. Make sure you CHOOSE carefully. Every friend you have doesn't have to be the same as you, doesn't have to look like or even speak like you, but is the state of their life aligned with where you are or want to be? That's what matters. Do they strengths you would like to have? Are they positive? Would they promote you if you had something to promote? Do you have a mutually beneficial relationship? Do you empower one another? Do you feel that you could be open to speak about different parts of your being? These are questions to ask when in reflection about your tribe.
For me, I can confidently say yes. This is not to brag, but to share with you the importance of knowing who you are and knowing what you need. Its about honoring your self and honoring your spirit, by acknowledging who you are but also the importance of the energy you surround yourself with.
The 4th Commandment of Self Love is: Honor Thy Spirit . Do you pay attention to what environments or what type of people your spirit needs to thrive? Do you love yourself enough to select your tribe like you select your clothes, hairstyles, jobs, shoes and food?...with effort?
It's a funny thing when you start to really put yourself first...
I mean, when you intentionally set boundaries with people, walk away from relationships, offer up the word NO more often, be comfortable with doing what you want, and actually believing in some dreams you have...
The funny thing is that the people around you will respond: some people will admire you, others will respect you, and others will think you are being rude, selfish, standoffish or "Different".
Well I say,
How dare you tell someone you won't tolerate their disrespect...
How dare you tell someone you don't want to hear about the negativity they want to spew about their own or others' lives...
How dare you set boundaries with energy vampires and people who don't seem to appreciate you...
How dare you spend less time with people who don't add to your life or feel you have a mutually beneficial relationship with
How dare you be honest and say, no, without reason because you're an adult who reserves the right to choose what you do and when you want to do it
How dare you say no because you've learned that you are human and that rest and restoration are important to your physical, mental and emotional health...
I mean...how dare you begin to love yourself as much you do others...
This is the thing, it's ok to change. I want you to give yourself permission to do so. There's some unrealistic expectation that humans have about people never changing, and when they do, others get surprised. No matter what the change seems like, albeit negative or positive. Seasons change, weather change, and people change. Your body changes, your circumstances change, and how you navigate the world change.
The only thing constant is change, so embrace it, and if those around you don't, learn to be ok with it.
A new me on my new journey of self love years ago would have said, oh well who cares, but the reality is, we do care if the ones we love the most will embrace our transformations. We do have a hope that people will be happy and accepting of our new wings, but unfortunately this is not always the case.
As you come into yourself, you must realize that choosing to love on yourself does not make you selfish. It means that you are conscious of the fact that you are the center of your universe and without intentionally taking steps to stay aligned with your center, your world will be chaos.
It does not serve you to let people treat you ways that you don't want to be treated. You must not only learn and reflect upon what you NEED emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally to thrive, but you must hold others accountable to providing that.
It doesn't serve you to overcommit, run yourself into the ground, neglect your health, neglect your me time, and neglect self care. It is your role and responsibility to maintain peace and joy in your life. On this journey, as you come to realize how to do so, you will transform, you will have to choose you over others, and you know what? It's ok. Choose to BE Centered.
BE Unapologetically Centered,
Somehow, somewhere, and in some way we receive messages that relationships are fixed and narrow.
-First off, when you hear the word relationship, you more than likely have a romantic association with the word.
-Secondly, relationship seems like such an intense word when you think about your association with another human being.
In my quest, especially as a hopeful romantic, I’ve learned to really pull the reins in on my traditional relationship to the word relationship and be open to all that it means.
Firstly, relationship merely boils down to a connection; Any type of connection. Whether weak or strong, deep or surface, familial, platonic, work related, or even romantic interests.
Secondly, you can choose what relationships you really want to tend to and nurture, or let just run their course. Thirdly, every relationship serves a purpose. No matter how its defined.
So what am I writing about today?
Choosing relationships that feed your soul, no matter how they look. Based off some recent conversations, observations of relationships in my own and others' lives, and a recent book read (A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson) I am really letting go of traditional ideas of relationships. For one, I think it’s no surprise or new epiphany, but you don’t have to be close to people in your family. You can choose who you want to develop intense if any, soul gratifying relationships with. What I do know is that having people in your life is important, and family could be the most stable people if its possible, therefore being intentional that despite differences or even distance, respect and support should ensue.
Secondly, it’s possible to have intimate relationships not defined by romance. There’s this belief that men and women cannot have platonic relationships. I disagree. Male and female energy are meant to interact. This doesn’t mean one or both would never have thoughts of physical intimacy or of even being a couple, but the greater purpose for the relationship could really just be supportive. For two adults to get this, I do believe they have to be very mentally and spiritually mature. Sometimes people can heal you without you falling in love with them. Sometimes they can open you up or just infuse light in your life, and that’s really just it.
Thirdly, it is sooooooo important to have soul inspiring close friends of the same sex. In general, the company you keep should make you better, but what I often witness is that many people are that “strong or wise” person for others, but they don’t have anyone to be that for them, and in actuality you should have friendships where there can be an equitable exchange of “pouring” (both parties mentally, emotionally, spiritually pouring into and building up one another.)
Growth is essential to living, therefore, establishing, maintaining and nourishing selective relationships that feed this goal are essential to you thriving. Take all relationships for what they are, but believe that there are some special relationships that should exist and will exist.
Comment below and tell me your thoughts on ideas around relationships. I'd love to hear. Have you had similar or more profound understandings?
By: Tiffany W.
Far too often women tear eachother. Whether in silence, in private or to our girlfriends, why must women be so catty??
Why is she wearing that?
What does she have on?
I can't take her man
He'd be happier with me, anyway
Oh she hasn't seen nothing yet
Who does she think she is!
She's too skinny
She's too big
She's to muscular and manly
She's a hoe/slut/thot/whore/Bitch...etc.
She slept her way to success
I can do better than her...
You get the point right?
Truth Moment: Every woman has a story. We all have something (s) that others can point fingers at and judge us about...but that doesn't improve anyone's life in the long run!
The special caveat about self love and love in general is, its incomplete if you can't share it with others. Learn what it means to a reflect a sense of pride, esteem and love upon other people. Learning to accept, support and empower others, but especially women is so important.
Just think how you'd feel with no encouragement?
No one wants to feel alone. No one wants to feel belittled. No one wants to be stabbed in the back or ridiculed.
Its ok to be inspired by other women, but there's never a need to compete. There's enough men, money, other women if thats what you prefer, clothes, style, air and opportunities for us to all share.
In honor of Women's History Month I ask that you go out of your way to empower another woman. Whether by compliment, business support, cross promotion, making amends or even liking/reposting a positive post, support another woman. We can get so much farther when we uplift one another.
If you don't know what to say, then feel free to repost this. Maybe it will inspire some women to be a little more positive and uplifting this month.
By: Tiffany W.
Oh yes to a New Year! Hopefully in your reflections you've let go of limiting beliefs, behaviors, and even people that do not serve you anymore and our entering into a new space in 2015!
Today I want to talk about the power of friendships or mutually beneficial emotional and mentally supportive relationships :)
First off we know that not all of our "friendships" are mutually supportive relationships. Some people just needs us to listen to them go out with them, affirm them or give them something. Likewise, we may have others in our life that we call friends, for the same purpose; but if you don't give and get, is it really consider a friendship?
For some reason the older we get, the more difficult it is for women to create authentic relationships. Let's think about this. A man can meet another guy, start hanging out, and slowly over time become more open and trusting and boom, they have a new friend, bro, or homie... but its not so easy for us. Haha.
Women (on average) tend be a little more emotional, comparative, and complicated.
Which is why when we do have these authentic, genuine, and mutually beneficial relationships, we must pay attention to why they are so valuable. I'm blessed to have had 3 stable sister friends for nearly 15 years (2/3 in the photo above). The nature of my relationship is different with each of them but I know that I genuinely love and care for them and they do the same. We may not even see eye to eye but I can say I've never had a major argument with any of them. Maybe disagreement that caused a little space, but no back stabbing, physical altercation or even words of disrespect. I've had many friends come and go, as any 20 something who's social may have, but these women have been staples in my life. It is one thing I'm extremely grateful for, authentic relationships that can stand the test of time.
Now of course because of timing and life transitions, we experience the pleasure of having different authentic relationships with others at specific stages. We meet great women in so many different places; maybe college, at work, the city we live in, in fitness settings, or places of worship, but once circumstances changed that setting, so did the nature of those relationships.
Relationships expire because of time, location, career and maybe even the change of a mutual friendship. They also expire because of our own personal growth.
Consider the direction you see yourself going in mentally, spiritually, physically or even financially. Do you have friendships or close relationships that will nurture what you need? Are you being the friend, mentor, or support system you want from others?
Having amazing friendships, especially as a woman, is really important. With the stresses and pressures of the world, its always good to have someone in your corner; someone that pushes and reflects you. Likewise, it feels great to be that for someone else. When you fill yourself up with love, its required that you pour that out into others.
Yes affirmation and recognition from a good sister friend can be powerful when we need it most. The times when you don't feel that you look or are being your best; after a breakup or the ending to a potential romantic relationship; when you're too afraid to go after that job, business idea, or opportunity that's been tugging at your heart.
BE A Great Friend! Find a great friend. Hold on to a great friend!
May your relationships and spirits flourish beyond 2015! :)
By: Tiffany W.
One of the most beautiful realizations in life, is that you don't have to live it alone. If you have an open mind and open heart, you GET to willfully allow others in your world and share life with other BEautiful BEings, whether they are family, friends, or lovers. Of course the reality is that humans are imperfect, and we will all experience our share of disappointment and wrongdoings imparted on us by others, but that is a part of life. Sometimes people use this reality as a reason to not be around people or make connections with others. I know holidays can go three ways for most people. There is excitement because you can spend the day(s) with some of your favorite people; there is slight solemn because you feel like you have no one, and will be alone; or there is stillness because you've decided it's a day off, and you choose to be to yourself, relax, catch up on movies, shows or reading.
Well today, I charge you to do something, that connects you with others. Regardless if you want to stay in, or if you feel alone, there are billions of people out here, spreading good love and energy. You yourself can spread good love and energy, and enhance this human experience. No matter what, we are all connected, and when we put ourselves in a position to laugh with, enjoy the company of, or encourage one another,it's a beautiful experience. Healthy human connection and interaction also enhances our lives! We are not meant to be lone creatures, and on holidays, there are people all around you who want to experience that joy, fun and laughter!
Think of at least one time when you were around one person or a group of people, and it just felt so fun! Your spirit was at ease, your energy was high, and your soul felt like it expanded! That is a BEautiful feeling! You may not remember everything about that day, but you definitely remember moments and how you felt because BEautiful experiences (and even not-so-beautiful experiences) leave those types of marks on us! Go ahead! Go out, have fun. Meet someone new. Give someone a compliment. Go laugh and spread your BEautiful spirit. We all need a little sample of it!
Written by: Tiffany W.