I remember the first time I felt it. It pierced my heart as it does the heart of all women. I was 11 and I sent her a note that asked her if she wanted to be best friends. A note came back shortly after that said we just couldn’t be friends because we were both “different”. The note had a star and a heart on it and said “stars don’t hang out with hearts and hearts don’t hang out with stars”. Later I found out she had shown my note to her friends and they had laughed about it and made fun of my genuine eagerness to be friends.
I felt it again when I was 13 and walked into a party that I had been prepping my painfully shy self for, for weeks. Wearing my most fabulous 90’s outfit (a neon pink shirt with the overalls that had black lace straps), I walked in with as much confidence as I could muster. I felt like I was shining and I was looking good! A few minutes later I was openly laughed at for having a “weird” outfit on, by a few of the girls at the party. The country I grew up in was always a few years behind the US in fashion trends and I had been too innovative, it seemed. I spent the rest of the night in a corner, praying that the time for my mother to pick me up would come soon.
It happened again in college, when the man I had been secretly in love with walked out of my roommate’s bedroom the morning after our house party. The same roommate to whom I had vulnerably confessed my feelings for this man for months.
I felt it a few years ago when a woman who I considered a dear friend called me up under the guise of helping each other out with our businesses and appropriated almost all of my ideas without ever giving me credit.
And even recently when a group of women I had shared my deepest heart with organized a get together and “just happened” to leave me and three other women from the original group out. I found out about it on social media, when they posted a photo of their smiling faces on social media to portray the image of ultimate sisterhood. I can still remember the sting in my heart.
As I write these memories to you, sister, I can feel the old pain of the sister-wound rising up in my throat as a cry. I can feel the inner girl in me that is still hurt at being rejected and betrayed by so many women in my life. I feel the wounding of all women in these areas, because if you’re a woman, you’ve experienced it.
I feel the pain of the incredibly smart doctor who tells me she has no female friends because she can’t bring herself to trust them after being betrayed so many times. I feel the pain of the woman who leads women’s circles who is still learning not to be competitive with her fellow sisters and learning to trust there is more than enough for all of us. I feel the pain of the incredibly brilliant millionaire who has cut herself off from close female friendships because she’s afraid she’ll be laughed at like the girls in high school laughed at her. I feel the pain of the successful entrepreneur who does it all herself because deep down she is afraid of letting her true self be seen by the women friends in her life for fear they will be threatened by her power.
Every week for the past 6 years I have had variations of these conversations with women I have worked closely with in my coaching programs, with friends who you would never think have this wound because they seem to be so successful and even in random conversation with women at random places I go to.
I’m writing to you about this because I believe this is one of the greatest and most dangerous things that holds women back from our power and doing our great work in the world, whatever that may look like for you.
For years, women have been taught to not trust each other. Learning to survive in a patriarchal world, we learned to turn against each other, compete with each other and step on each other to get the top, because there were few spots for us up there in a male dominated world. In human history women have only very recently been given the right to vote, the right to do with their bodies as they please and the right to certain jobs and positions. When we have no voice for so long, we have to learn to exert our influence & create our desires in other ways like vying for the attention of those in power (men) by crowding out every other woman in the room.
Or we learned to suppress our voices because it’s too dangerous to speak around the male dominated hierarchies, so we took our rage and frustration out on the only “safe” place to take it out on–other women. The patriarchal structures of our society taught us to turn against each other, betray each other and obsess about things like our appearance, our weight or whether we are being liked.
These were excellent ways to decrease the incredible, primal power that exists in our bodies, pleasure and how it births life (metaphorically and physically). Because “God forbid” that each woman with the power of pleasure and life in her body come together as one force.
As a result most of us grow up with a loneliness in our hearts. We achieve great things, get all the accolades, but something always feels like it’s missing. We long for deep, connected and nourishing friendships, but we push them away because of our past experiences with women. How many generations of our grandmothers and great grandmothers have sat at their kitchen tables after everyone has gone to bed, with an inexplicable longing in their souls?
As a result we learn to fill that longing with things like working extra long hours, food, or overloading our plates with items on our to-do lists. We do anything we can to avoid feeling the sadness of having lost that primal human need for being seen right down to your soul and being loved for it anyway.
Can you imagine what the world would look like if we stopped suspecting each other and started working together?
The great healing of this wounding came for me a few years ago when I joined a small group of women for a mastermind experience. I was extremely guarded at first. I wasn’t sure if I could trust these women. What if they were like every other woman I had experienced before? What if they were catty, competitive, threatened by my power or betrayed me when I opened up my most vulnerable, deep heart to them?
But as time passed by I saw each woman sharing vulnerably at one of our retreats, I saw more and more that we were one in the same. We were all seeking a safe space into which we could unravel, surrender and be held, because we had never, ever had that.
I broke down crying one day as I finally felt safe and shared that I felt I had to carry so many people in my life and that I was tired of feeling like I was “too much” for most people to carry me. We can hold you sister, said the women in my group, you are not too much for us. I cried long and deep, letting all those years of walls and fears of how the women in my life could hurt me, come tumbling down. The women gathered around me holding my hands, my legs, my feet, whispering back to me that they had me and that none of it was “too much”.
Have you ever felt that way? Most women I speak to, do.
I noticed after that moment, so many things shifted for me. I lost 10 pounds. I started to ask for more help. My business actually began to do better because I was getting better at delegating and not feeling ashamed of needing help in the first place. I had more brilliant minds to tap into when it came to life and work decisions, who would bring me back to my truth if I ever got confused or lost motivation. Everything in my life seemed to improve ten times over. And I’ve seen it with my own eyes leading women’s groups within my programs for the last 6 years.
The most powerful moments I have been witness to have been when women gathered either in person at a retreat or over the phone virtually.
I have watched a woman who held in the secret of her eating disorder for 40 years and told no one, finally find the courage to confess her secret to us as the entire group held her while she broke down into sobs. That night, she tells me, was the night she stopped purging for good. It’s been almost 5 years now and she has changed her relationship with her body, she has grown in more intimacy with her husband and her business tripled, all because of the power of sisterhood. Whenever she is down, she calls them up and they bring her back to herself.
I have watched a woman bring her physical health back from the brink of a near-death experience and replace an eternal loneliness in her heart with a radiant, healthy body and a deep sense of belonging and connection to her newfound sisters. That year she also happened to bring her business from $500,000 in revenue to $1,000,000, after being stuck at the 500k mark for years. It was absolutely directly related to the healing that took place in her through the sisterhood.
I have watched women finally get the courage to leave unhealthy relationships, work situations, living quarters and so much more after struggling to do it on their own for years, all through the power of sisterhood. It feels less scary when we aren’t doing it all alone.
The stories could go on an on. I’ve led many groups of women by this point.
But here’s what I want you to walk away with.
I want you to take a moment right now and ask yourself these 2 important questions–because most women “think” they’re cool without this or already have it all figured out, but whenever I probe deeper almost always they don’t. So hear me out here, sister.
1. Do you have, in your life, a group of women who you can completely unravel with? A group of women who you know you can be your truest, deepest most vulnerable self with? A group of women who would drive across a state to be with you if you were depressed? Who you could share your deepest shame with and they’d still love you anyway? Who you don’t have to keep up any pretenses with?
2. And if you do have a group of women you’re close with, do you feel you could really, truly surrender into their arms without ever being “too much” for them? Do you truly feel safe to show them all of you and do you hold nothing back with them?
Most women do not have this level of intimacy with the female friends in their life. What I always find is that we are usually hiding at least one piece of ourselves, afraid that we won’t be loved for it. And what saddens me is that often, what we hide is our greatest gift to the world.
And this can hold you back tremendously if you’re desiring to live a life that is actually aligned with your Soul and with what you were truly called here to do. Because as long as you aren’t showing your true self to people, you’re holding that part of you back in your relationships, your life and your work. And that means that we only get about 80% of your genius, so you only get 80% of life as a result.
Love, I know you, you are NOT an 80% kind of woman. You’re a 150% kind of woman.
In addition, following the path of our Soul is not for the faint of heart. Scientifically and anthropologically, human beings learned to survive by sticking together in groups. Back in our cavewoman days, we depended on each member of the tribe to provide their skills to the group–hunting, sewing, raising children etc.. If we left the tribe, we would die, because we could not do all of those things on our own.
It is deeply programmed in your body at a physical level that it is “unsafe” to leave the tribes you know in search of better horizons. No matter how badly you desire it, you will still on some level feel resistance to leaving even the things that don’t serve you or could be suffocating you.
Often when we depart from what we learned and begin to honor what we desire in our Soul, we will depart from many status quo’s in our communities and our families. We may find ourselves terrified that if we honor what our Soul asks of us, we may no longer believe or behave in the way our normal communities expect us to behave and speak. For the ego, that means you might die, because you might lose the love of those whose love you were getting because you were “fitting in”.
This makes it even more important to have a soul tribe of women who will love you, no matter what and who will support you in making the decisions that are actually aligned with your soul. Women who will lovingly hold you accountable and hold the vision for you, even when you’ve temporarily lost it and are doubting everything.
The most potent cure for self-sabotage is sisterhood.
The most powerful element for success in your work/business or life… is sisterhood.
You may find that, as you grow and evolve, you have less and less people in your usual circles to talk to about our growth in your current circles. Having a sisterhood of women you trust, allows you to have someone to talk to about these things without being judged. As a result, you are much more likely to follow through on your desires and grow from your realizations, because you’re being supported as you do so. Not doing it all by yourself.
Sister, if you’ve achieved a lot on your own by now and you’re wondering what your next “edge” of growth is, this is it. Sisterhood is the place where we get to practice surrendering to deeper levels of support. The kind of support you secretly long for deep down in your heart, but are afraid of because of your past experiences with women.
Take a moment to really think about what your life would look like if you had a group of women like that, supporting you every step of the way. Yes, sister, feel that old longing you buried deep down inside of your chest many years ago and forgot about. Let it bubble up to remind you of what your true desires are.
I know you’ve achieved a lot already. If you’re in my tribe you’re an ambitious, soul-driven woman. But to get to the next level, you need sisterhood.
Those big, great dreams you almost don’t dare to dream?
Those kinds of dreams only happen with a tribe of people cheering you on, brainstorming with you, calling you up when you’re down and no one has seemed to express interested in your work, telling you it’s safe to keep growing and that you are loved no matter what.
I can honestly say, there is no way I would be where I am today without the women who have held me throughout some of the most difficult times of my life. Who to this day, I still talk to almost every day. They have become my soul family.
Think of how powerful we can be when we rise and stand together.
If you’re a woman who is ready to take her life and work to the next level, try sisterhood.
Did this resonate with you? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below!
Ps: If you’re a soul-driven woman who is ready to create the most powerful sisterhood of her life and step into the next level of your leadership, my High Priestess Circle mastermind is now open for applications. If you’re ready to heal this wound and achieve the things you want ten times faster than you would alone, apply here now. Also, check out the praise page and watch how every single woman raves about how the sisterhood in the mastermind changed her life!