Last year I did a very useful 9-month business training with a wonderful biz coach Britt Bolnick. I learned a lot and am now spending a week in a kind of virtual reunion with her “tribe” of women. We’re asked to post answers to questions, which I’m planning to post here as well— and the first one is, “what did you take from your childhood, and where do you come from, and where are you now, about sisterhood and working in communities of women?”
I grew up with three older sisters, so I got a taste of what a tribe of women could be like. Sometimes when my father was away, my mother would invite a few other women over for “waffle night”; when I was older, it was the “Sisterhood of the Full Moon” with white wine and opera. Looking back, I realize my mother didn’t have many friends of her own–the women she invited tended to be her daughters’ friends, women who idolized her–but still, these gatherings taught me what matriarchal community felt like. They felt different from just being together with my friends; they encompassed women of different ages, and there was a feeling that everyone was on an equal footing—everyone was completely accepted.
In these gatherings, I learned that it’s possible to be in a community of women where everyone has each others’ back and wishes the best for each other. It was a beautiful lesson, and one that I share with the women in my online and live communities today. One of my favorite live communities is a wonderful sacred circle I am part of, a group of women that has been meeting monthly for about five years. The women in this spiritual circle have supported each other through ups and downs of all kinds.
I started my Poetry Witch business under the name American Witch with a very inclusive vision. For the first year it was a group effort involving many wonderful women vendors, crafters, designers. At one point had a couple of dozen women on my team. I was ecstatic working daily with the community, though looking back, I realize things were out of balance. As a writer, I need solitude and independence as well as community, and I had gone too far in the other direction, giving up my responsibility. Now I am working largely alone, but reaching out frequently to other women through online and live events and communities. I am trying to build the kinds of friendships my mother didn’t have, and I feel grateful to feel surrounded by beautiful loving women in my own town, in my online community, and around the world.