Gather your women | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Gather your women

Tamsin Edwards

The concept of women gathering is not a new one. Red tents and moon circles have been occurring for hundreds of years.

We've talked before about the importance of female friendships, support and shared conversation, and it's a movement that has been gaining a lot of momentum in recent years.

Women's circles are the new cocktails and gossip. All over the world, they are popping up in wellness centers, coffee shops, community halls, churches and private homes.

Modern day society has drawn a wedge between us; the virtual, social media driven world of ideals, unobtainable, and carefully curated lives, has left us craving a deeper, real world connection in a place where women can talk openly, garner support, inspire, and reflect on their own experiences amongst community.

What to expect:

All circles are different. Some are themed, some incorporate rituals and the setting of intentions, some have speakers, workshops, and practices. Some stand or sit in an actual circle while others are loosely based on the idea. The main focus is that women are sharing space with one another in a safe, supportive setting.

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Inspiration + Connection

When women gather we can provide the empowerment needed to rise up as individuals, and as one. Sharing your story, while listening to others, gives you the chance to reflect on your own truths as you learn to experience a deeper connection, allowing you to shift your view of yourself, and how you relate to others.

"When we share from a place of authenticity, in a non- judgmental space, we uplift and inspire each other as we travel our own unique journeys," said Paula Mallis, founder of WMN Space in Los Angeles.

Learning

In each phase of our life, on each part of the journey, we are faced with lessons to learn that we must push to grow through. When we come together, we can provide the tools for one another needed during these phases. The practices you've learned might be new to another who is struggling, and vice versa. This knowledge can be invaluable in helping you navigate the trials and tribulations of life.

Stress Reduction

A study at UCLA suggested that in women the fight or flight response manifests differently compared to men. Oxytocin, the love chemical, is released to help lower blood pressure, which in turn gives us the desire to seek friendships in order to counteract our stress. There is a biological need within us to soothe ourselves through bonding with others.

Vulnerability

When you enter a space that you feel supported in, without fear of being silenced or judged, we find ourselves able to be truly open and vulnerable. Brene Brown, the American researcher and author, argues that: "showing vulnerability is not a weakness to be hidden but a strength to be celebrated."

As women we can feel pressure to appear perfect, with carefully managed lives, stable families, and a flawless image. Creating a space for women to just "be" is vitally important to our health and mental wellbeing, where we can rest from the busyness of life and be heard, accepted and supported by our peers.

Accountability

Learning to care for yourself is the first step in being able to care for others. Surrounding yourself with a community of women to share your goals, dreams, fears, struggles and more, keeps you accountable to yourself. It's very hard to be truly successful on your own. Searching for external affirmation isn't selfish, it's smart!

We all need a little encouragement to keep going, and confirmation that we're on the right path. Countless studies have been done on the benefits of surrounding yourself with people who are vibrating at the same level as you, who support your objectives and vision in life.

Support

The main intention behind women gathering, building a group of soul sisters, or creating a sacred circle, above all else, is to pull people out of isolation, and teach one another how to hold each other up. Despite what society says about women being in competition, I believe that most of us are yearning for the companionship and support of others.

It is up to us to change the conversation around our choices, bodies, relationships, careers, roles, and by joining with one another and creating healthy friendships and safe places to speak our truths we can learn to do so. It is up to us all to empower each other to play our part in lifting the spirit of humanity in an age of uncertainty and confusion.

We invite you to join us on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6-9 p.m., for the first in a series of women's focused evenings. There will be food, wellness mocktails, and an opportunity to voice your needs and ideas for future gatherings.

Healthy Tahoe is a look at health-related topics that shape our community and is made possible through content provided by our sponsors.

About the author

Tamsin Edwards is the Office Manager at Elevate Wellness Center. Come and see us for all your winter wellness needs at Elevate Wellness Center, 2034 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, http://www.elevate-wellness.com.