A friend was having a crisis the likes of a mini tsunami a few weeks ago, and asked me to go to an all-day retreat. I didn’t think much before saying yes. Who can say no to someone having a mini-tsunami?
And that’s why, yesterday, I spent the day at Escape, Nourish, Renew, run by Nina Manolson and Lisa Lewtan. It was an all-day, all-girl, all-vegan/gluten free/no sugar/no dairy, small group exploration into the delicate balance between getting what you want and need, doing what you must, and have to, while spinning 5,483,942 plates in the air, and dancing in heels backwards (you know, being a woman in 2015). Everybody walked away with something different from the day. But my take away was simple.
I love women.
I am a girl’s girl. Maybe it was growing up with three sisters, and a mom I adored, or maybe it’s just because I came tumbling down the birth canal that way. Women are intuitive, and smart. They’re doers, and movers and shake-it-off-ers. They show up. They take over. They make a difference. They have super sonic power, or as Marianne Williamson says, in my most favorite quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” And put women together in a room, loosen their bodies with yoga, their hearts with hours on end that are all about them, and you have enough energy to solve the world’s most pressing problems (ISIS, climate change, cellulite, WHY THERE CAN’T BE A LIPSTICK THAT STAYS ON).
While I’m lucky to have a lot of amazing friends, really lucky, I get bogged down with work, with kids, with grocery shopping and cooking, and I forget that a girl’s night out is like being exported to an exotic island with warm blue green water, miles of sand, umbrella drinks and nothing on your calendar. It’s fortifying, and emotionally nutritional, and one of the better ways to solve a problem, or make yourself feel important, relevant, happy, or all three. I need to do it more. And yesterday was a big, fat yellow sticky note on my forehead, to do just that.
I’ve always found there’s nothing that compares to the energy that comes from being in a group of women, who are going through what you’re going through. We know how to help each other. We know how to break it down, and get to the core of things. We’re our own best problem solvers. And while we’re all sorts of different, we find, when we get down in there, we’re amazingly the same, all facing similar puzzles, and challenges, and searching for answers that will make our lives work better, give us more time to be happy. We know how to make one another feel seen and understood. I experienced it when I was infertile. I saw it when I had toddlers, I see it now, as the mid-life transition from everyday mommy to empty nester comes to roost.
So, thanks to the women I met yesterday. Each doing there own thing, struggling with their own stories, and putting their best stuff forward everyday to figure out that it’s really ok, and actually necessary, to put on their own oxygen masks first.