Sisterhood is a gift that we as women have when get we together in a safe and supportive space. Its a phenomenon that happens organically when we share our experiences without judgement. Sisterhood for me includes my fabulous biological sister, women friends who are close to me as sisters, and women in the community who I have yet to know.
I love arriving at my good friend’s house and finding there are are a few women already there or are on their way. We share our ideas and they are listened to, not made to feel any less because of them. We hear a part of ourselves in another’s words and celebrate in each other’s successes. I go home with lots of juicy nourishment that helps me be a better mother and partner.
But there are often so many barriers between women. At women’s gatherings, I’ve heard so many times, “to be honest, I was afraid to be in a group with other women”. Where does this come from, why is is so difficult to be with people who could be our closest allies?
Fear and hatred towards other women I believe comes from historical programming. Many prominent religious beliefs in the last few thousand years have labelled women as the root of all evil, the cause of suffering, poverty and pain. There has also been competition historically between women driven by a fear of not having status and/or a male provider.
I remember in university there was some talk about women’s rights and I thought to myself, “yeah, yeah, I know it already. I was basically born a feminist, you don’t have to preach to the choir.” And then I remember very clearly one day I realized that there is a part of me that actually didn’t like women, a part of me that didn’t fully trust them or want to get close and felt more comfortable with my guy friends. As I admitted this to myself, I began observing my thought patterns and behaviours and made a conscientious effort to clear this self-hatred. For how can I truly love and trust my Self if I’ve got something against women?
It wasn’t long after that I observed myself feeling jealous towards women that were seemingly more beautiful, more confident, or more something than me. Through self-examination I realized the way to clear this toxic energy from myself. Whenever I feel even a tinge of jealousy, I see it as a signal that I want something the other person has that I feel I don’t. Instead of letting jealousy turn into a destructive force, where I could wish negativity upon this person, I turn it into admiration. The energy of admiration is loving and giving that supports myself and others. It also sends signals to the universe that this is something I desire and it starts to grow in myself, either as a natural development or through consciously acquiring that trait.
I also find that this phenomenon works in reverse. When a woman is giving me vibes as if she doesn’t like me, I remind myself that she probably really likes me. So much so that she’s maybe a bit jealous or intimidated. And when I endeavour to break the ice, its usually the case and we end up getting along like sisters.
I believe women supporting women is essential in shifting global culture to healthy reflection of feminine-masculine harmony and balance. We know best how to care for ourselves, as there is a whole other range of needs that accompanies the emotional and physically processes of menstrual and life cycles for women.
When women get together as a group for a duration of time, the pressures of being
around men are allowed to melt away. We are not triggered by the push and pull energies (as my friend Celeste Lemieux puts it) to which we may be accustomed. The history of male-female interaction is full of bliss as well as terror. A woman’s personal internal response in circumstances around men at times may range from feelings of defensiveness, neglect, offensiveness, to feelings of inappropriate physical attraction. When these feelings are just happening without getting a break and integrating, they have a way of creating unnecessary stress and sometimes dysfunction.
When I’m with my trusted women friends, I get to be myself — whether its my girlish, sexy, grouchy, professional, quiet, adventurous self or otherwise. Then I can come back to daily life feeling like I have expressed myself fully, which is so relieving and nurturing for me.
Women hold such a beautiful essence. Its important for us to re-learn how to be
together with each other and to acknowledge every woman as Sister. Let us be free to share appreciation for our own and each other’s unique personal expression without apology – our voice, the way we communicate, our character, our body, hair, style, the things we are strong at, the weaknesses we are willing to expose. Let us acknowledge the parts of ourselves which are wise, nourishing, rounder and fierce. When we give authority to our own intuitive wisdom that authority is acknowledged and reflected back to us in the greater world.
It is an honour and dream come true to offer the Wild Women Empowerment Vacation with my friend and sister Celeste Lemieux, and to work with women in business in the Balance Within Wellness Center. If you are interested in learning how to get involved visit www.balancewithinwellness.com and write to firstname.lastname@example.org.