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Does your help sometimes hinder?

Does your ‘ help ’ sometimes actually hinder?

Does your help sometimes hinder?I know what it’s like when you have someone reach out to you to share about a problem or challenge that they’re having. You want to be there for them, you want to be the best friend you can, you want to help them.

You know exactly what to do.

You listen to their problems. You know how they feel, you’ve been there yourself.

You want to help, support, nurture.

You want them to feel better.

You want to have helped them in some way.

So you dive in and do everything you can to help them get out of where they’re at and into a better place.

They feel better, you feel better…everyone is happier.

That makes you the best friend in the world, right?

Well, maybe.

The thing is that sometimes we’re so eager to help a friend to move out of her pain…that we don’t allow her to really feel it.

As we know, in order to fully release emotions, and to let them go, we need to fully feel them.

So sometime by trying to help someone ‘feel better’ we actually deny them the very thing they need to be able to process their emotions and move on.

So how can you help?

Well the first thing you can do to help a friend who is going through a tough time is allow them to be where they are.

Rather than trying to pick them up and help them feel better…allow them to be where they’re at, allow them to feel how they feel, and to express it. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to just allow them to fully express how they’re feeling, and ‘get it all out’.

By doing this, we’re not just allowing them to go through their process, but you’re actually helping them to do it by fully feeling their emotions in order to move through them.

If they’re wallowing as opposed to processing (if you’re not sure the difference between wallowing in your emotions and processing them then check out this post here: http://feminine1st.com/emotions/whats-difference-feeling-emotions-wallowing/) then by all means feel free to give them a nudge so that they don’t stay somewhere that isn’t serving them, but if they’re just being in their emotions so that they can process them then sometimes the best thing you can do is just allow them to be there.

Allow them to be in their yucky stuff…allow them to be in their pain….and just be there with them.

When one of my closest female friends was going through a tough time a few months ago the hardest thing was the fact that we don’t live in the same country. We both said the same thing…if we’d been in the same town, we’d have spent a weekend curled up on a sofa under a duvet allowing her to be in her stuff, but having me there to support her while she needed to go through it. Not to do anything, or say anything….just to be there.

When we’re going through a tough time, the hardest thing can be feeling like you’re doing it ‘alone’…so having someone to be there with you when you’re going through the toughest times can make all the difference.

I was visiting another friend about 18 months ago, when she was going through a very difficult time. In spite of the difficult time, she was feeling the need to put a ‘brave face’ on things, and not to give in to how she was feeling. One afternoon while I was sorting out a few things in my room she came to the door and simply asked, “Can I talk to you?”

We sat crossed legged opposite each other on the bed and over the next half an hour I sat and listened and held her hands as she crumbled in front of me. I barely said anything, I just sat and held space for her. I listened. I reached out to her. I let her be exactly where she needed to be…in order to choose to deal with her situation differently.

Rather than running around all evening meeting up with people and doing stuff to keep the people around her happy…she realised that she needed to take care of herself. The two of us went to a restorative yoga class that afternoon followed by a mediation centre in the evening. The difference in her was amazing, and it was all because she’d been allowed to just go through her process.

So when you find yourself in a situation like this I encourage you to ask just one of two simple questions: “How can I best help you right now?” or “What do you need from me right now?”. Maybe even offering “I can just listen, or just be here if that’s what you need”.

…and the key with answering those questions is to not be attached to them answering in any particular way…allow them to tell you what they want and need, and then be there to give it to them.

Sometimes the best help doesn’t look like help at all. It’s just a friend standing by another friend, being there for them.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Thursday thought quote: A friend is the person with whom you can be completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself & know you will always be accepted

This Week’s Thursday Thought: A friend is the person with whom you can be completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself & know you will always be accepted

This week’s Thursday Thought:

A friend is the person with whom you can be completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself & know you will always be accepted

Thursday thought quote: A friend is the person  with whom you can be  completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself &  know you will always be accepted

How can you create sisterhood with the women in your life?

How can you create sisterhood with the women in your life?So last week I began to share the 25 ways I’ve discovered to create sisterhood with the women in your life…and today I finally get to share the rest with you!

25 ways to create sisterhood with the women in your life

14. Reach out, even when you don’t want to – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve learned that a friend was going through a tough time and when I’ve asked why they didn’t call they’ve said “I didn’t want to be a bother” or words to that effect. The most important thing to remember is that your sisters WANT to be there for you…not when you’ve started to get it together, or begun to figure it out. When it’s at it’s worst. When you need the most support. When you can’t make sense of it. When you want to cry / shout / scream. When you feel numb. It’s at those times that it’s hardest to reach out…and it’s at those times that it’s most important to do so. The deepest connections I have with the women in my life are with the ones who are my first call when I’m in a puddle on the floor…and for whom I am the same for them in return.

15. Be there when they reach out – When one of them reaches out a hand to you…be there to take it. Even if you can’t speak at that precise moment, let them know you’re here for them, that you want to speak to them and give them your full attention and arrange a time when you can speak. If you’re there for them when they need you, they want to be there for you when you need them even more.

16. Gently, and with compassion, be prepared to challenge your sisters – Sisters are your mirrors. They are the ones who will show you your reflection, in all it’s full Technicolor glory, and with love they will challenge you to see things that you might not want to, to see things from a different perspective. Be prepared to gently and respectfully challenge their perspectives if it feels right to do so. Not in a “Your wrong!! It’s this way!” kind of approach, but in a “I’m curious, have you considered this point of view?” way. We’re in this to grow together, being able to offer alternative ideas is how we grow.

17. Be open to help in a different way – It’s important to ask for what you want and need…it’s also OK to trust when it shows up in a different form. Sometimes your sisters will do things in a way that in the moment feels uncomfortable, but done with love and compassion can really help. I had a sister who we joked like to go into ‘probe mode’…when I was sharing, sometimes I wasn’t even aware that there was something underneath until she began with the probing questions. At the time, it felt uncomfortable, but I trusted her and knew it was all being done with love….and it always helped me in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.

18. Take down your defences – We’ve got very used to many women in life being our competition, and being ready to defend ourselves should someone say something we feel is an attack. In sisterhood remember that these women are on your side. They are there with you, to support you. There’s no need to have the battlements armed.

19. Trust – Trust. Trust that these women want to be in this with you. Trust that they want the best for you. Trust that they always have your best interests at heart. Trust that they are right there behind you, in your corner. Trust that they are doing the best they can, and that they know that you are too.

20. Say the thing you don’t want to say – I can’t count the number of times I’ve found myself talking to a soul sister, or soul sisters and I’ve heard myself say “I really don’t want to say this…so I know this is what I need to say”. The stuff we try and deny…the stuff we don’t want to share is the stuff that we often NEED to share. Because we have a belief, an idea, a story around it that sharing it can dispel. If you’re open about the fact that it’s difficult for you, it allows your sisters to be even more kind and gentle with you while you’re having the courage to share it.

21. Ask Questions – Be curious about your sisters, ask questions to learn more about them…take an interest. When you want to challenge, do it by asking a question that will get them to consider a different point of view. Ask them what they want. Ask them how you can support them. Ask them questions that will help them go deeper, and understand themselves better.

22. Be prepared to set boundaries if you need them – Sisterhood is about trust…and being able to say “This is my boundary, I’m asking you not to cross it” and trusting that they will respect you for it is incredibly empowering. Now I’m going to put a little caveat in here…be sure when setting boundaries you’re doing it with your best interests in mind and heart…rather than doing it to protect yourself from being ‘too vulnerable’ or going ‘too deep’. You need to feel comfortable in asking for what you need…but also be open to your sisters questioning if it really is what’s best for you, and allow yourself to respond honestly.

23. Be Gentle and compassionate – Be gentle with yourself and with your sisters…sisterhood is a very vulnerable place to be, and being gentle can make it so much easier. Compassion for yourself and your sisters will allow you to open even further, trust even more and deepen the connections between you.

24. Spend time together just being – Spend time with these women just enjoying yourselves and being. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught in a pattern of the ‘deep stuff’ with your sisters…where you’re always dealing with challenges or working through something…and it’s just as important to make regular dates to go out for a meal together, go and pamper yourselves or just have a girly movie night with a bowl of popcorn!

25. Go First – I know I mentioned this in the article about finding the women who will become your soul sisters, but it isn’t something you do once and it’s done…it’s a choice to continue going first. If you go first, and go deep you give them permission to do the same. You create the space, you set the bar, you open up the conversation and therefore allow the connection to go deeper. In doing so you open yourself up to a depth relationship that otherwise wouldn’t have been open to you. You create the depth of relationship you want, by having the courage to share deeply yourself first.

If you really open yourself up to it, sisterhood will change you.

It will connect you to what it means to be a woman in a way you never realised possible.

Your concept of friendship increases in breadth and depth…the possibilities are endless, and you begin to understand that true friendship is limitless.

Your soul sisters will become your cheerleaders, our safety net, your guides, your teachers, your sages, your mirrors, your soul mates, your family and your sanctuary.

My soul sisters are a vital part of my life and I’m grateful for them every single day.

They make life easier, they make life more enjoyable.

They will hold a special place in your heart that cannot be filled by anyone or anything else, and I wish for you to create these amazing, life altering relationships for yourself.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do you know how to create sisterhood with other women?

How do you create sisterhood with other women?The last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about sisterhood and the importance, value and power of really deep, mutually fulfilling relationships with other women.

We began by looking at the difference between acquaintances, friendship and sisterhood and understanding the reasons why sisterhood is so different and so important. Then last week we looked at how you can find the women who could become your soul sisters.

So you know you want to create sisterhood with women in your life, and you’ve found the women with whom you want to develop a deeper connection and relationship…so the next question is, “How do you create sisterhood?”

What does sisterhood look like? How does it grow and develop?

What makes women who are soul sisters different? What to they do differently? What do they say differently? How do they behave differently?

The path to sisterhood is simple…but not always easy.

To create sisterhood with other women means removing any and all masks, letting down your barriers, and opening your heart to another woman with no conditions. Accepting everything you are, being everything you are, showing everything you are and allowing them to be everything they are too.

Oh is that all? No Problem!

The more of the real, whole you that you allow them to see, the deeper the connection will be.

So what does that really mean? What does it look like in your real life, day-to-day interactions?

Well I’ve identified 25 ways to help you to create sisterhood with the women in your life, and today I want to share the first of these with you:

  1. Accept them exactly as they are – Sisterhood is all about finding people who will accept you, love you as you are, and allow you to be everything that you are, and for whom you are prepared to do the same. As I mentioned in last week’s article, the key is being prepared to ‘go first’ – accept them as they are, show them that it’s safe…invite them to do the same for you in return.
  2. Be open and honest – Speak the truth, speak what’s there, share how you’re feeling, be open with what’s going on in your life. Sometimes we can feel a resistance to saying something because we’re worried how someone else might feel, how they might react… Will they not like us? Will they judge us? The thing is that not saying something doesn’t stop it from being there…and it will affect the relationship. Not saying stuff will create blocks and boundaries. Saying it, whatever it is, with kindness and compassion (for yourself and others) and with the intention to deepen your relationship and connection means you can talk it out, hear what each other has to say…and really support each other at a real level.
  3. Allow them to see all of you, even the bits you don’t want to admit to yourself – Have the courage to be vulnerable and allow them to see all of you. As women we have a habit of trying to deny parts of ourselves, making them ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’…without realising that they are all a part of us. When we allow other women to see those parts we get the opportunity for them to say “me too!” or to share the parts that they don’t really want to admit to too.
  4. Really listen – Give your full presence to your sisters…and really listen to what they have to say. Listen to learn more about them, to understand them, to know how to support them…and really hear them. Feeling seen and heard is the basis for creating real connection.
  5. Dive in at the right depth for you…and be prepared to venture into the deep end! – In sisterhood we have the ability to go deep. I mean really deep. In sisterhood there is a safe space that allows us to deal with anything and everything. We have the opportunity to get supported when dealing with the toughest experiences in our lives, we have the opportunity to be really seen and heart…to discover who we really are. That doesn’t mean you have to jump in at the deep end right from the start…but the deeper you’re prepared to go, the deeper the connection you will feel and the more you will all get out of the relationship.
  6. Leave any pretence at the door – We’ve all done the “I’m fine” thing at times, or chosen to ‘focus on the bright side’ rather than face what’s really there. In sisterhood it’s about telling it how it is…as challenging as that can be at times, it means the connection and the conversation is always authentic and real.
  7. Let go of judgements – Of yourself and them. Judgements put barriers between people, and they get in the way of us seeing what is really there. Replace judgement with curiosity and a desire to understand the other person…it will bring you closer and open your mind up to new possibilities and ideas.
  8. Allow them to be where they’re at – Often in our desire to ‘help’ someone out, we seek to move them from where they’re at to a better state. If someone’s upset, we want to cheer them up, make them feel better, when in reality they might need to just feel upset for a bit, so they can process the emotion and then let it go. Just being with them where they are and holding a space for them to be there is incredibly powerful.
  9. Support them in the way they want or need support – When we support others we often do it in ‘our way’ without realising that they might need support in a different way. Learning to support them ‘their’ way will transform your relationship completely.
  10. Ask them what they want and need – How do you support them in the way they want and need? Simple, ask. When someone is in a challenging situation or state, actually just having someone saying “What do you need?”, “What do you want?” or “How can I help?” can be the most comforting thing in the world and gives them permission to ask for what would help them most.
  11. Ask for what you want and need – One of the best ways to ensure that you sisters really do ask for what they want and need, is to show them how by asking for exactly what you want and need yourself. This way you help them to be there for you in the way that will mean the most to you, and you show them that you really want to know what will work for them too.
  12. Allow them to be there for you – As women we tend to go into ‘helper’ mode…we want to be there for everyone else, but we aren’t so good at receiving help ourselves. Sisterhood is a two-way thing…if it isn’t, it doesn’t work. Allow your sisters to help you…allow yourself to receive their support as much as you want them to receive yours.
  13. Celebrate with each other – Sisterhood is as much about celebration as it is about being there when things aren’t going so well. If one of your sisters has reason to celebrate allow yourself to celebrate her successes as much as your own…and she will be only too willing to do the same. Soul sisters are your biggest cheerleaders in life…remember to share your celebrations with them along the way!

Number 13 seems to be the perfect place to pause, being how relevant the number 13 is for us women (if you have any concerns about 13 being unlucky…I know how you feel, I used to be the same….but pop over here to find out how powerful the number 13 is for us ladies!)

So I’ll leave you with a couple of questions to consider…how do you create sisterhood? What are your thoughts on the first 13 ways to create sisterhood? Do you have any questions about sisterhood? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please drop me an email Claire@feminine1st.com and let me know what you think.

I’d like to invite you to have a play with these this week, try some of them on and see how they feel…and be sure to pop back next week to see the rest of the 25 ways you can create sisterhood with other women.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

This Week’s Thursday Thought: The Best Friends in Life Are Like The Best Bras – Uplifting, Supportive and Always Close to Your Heart

This week’s Thursday Thought:

The Best Friends in Life Are Like The Best Bras – Uplifting, Supportive and Always Close to Your Heart

Do You Agree?

Thursday Thought Quote: The Best friends in life are like the best bras, uplifting, supportive and always close to your heart

How do you find the women who will become your soul sisters?

How do you find the women who will become YOUR soul sisters?So last week I shared an article about the importance of sisterhood for women like us, and how to understand the difference between acquaintances, friendship and sisterhood.

Understanding the importance, value and power of these kinds of relationships with other women is something that has dramatically changed my life.

But understanding that you want these kinds of relationships with other women doesn’t mean that they’re magically going to appear.

Or…does it?

Are you looking for women like this?

Well, being honest, knowing that these are the kinds of relationships you want with other women will mean that you become more aware of the people that you’re meeting, more aware of the people around you and more aware of the kind of women you want to spend time with.

This awareness is the first step towards creating these kinds of relationships with other women.

It’s like when you go shopping for something. If you know what you’re looking for (and what you’re not looking for) it’s a little bit easier to find. You head straight to the store or department that has the kind of thing you’re looking for, and when you get there it’s often easy for you to notice the things that fit what you’re looking for, and for you to rule out those that don’t.

Likewise if you’re looking to create deep relationships with other women, there are some places where you’re more likely to connect with women of a similar mind and heart than others.

Where do you find these kinds of women?

For example if you’re wanting to connect with others who understand and embrace what it means to be a woman, are curious about femininity and what it might mean to them and creating connections with like-hearted women, then looking for those kinds of connections with highly driven ‘ball-busting’ corporate women at a high-powered business networking event might not be the ideal starting point.

On the other hand, in online or local communities for women to connect, share and grow together (like the Feminine 1st Facebook Group for example) you may find other women who are looking for the same sorts of connections as you are.

How do you find the women who will become YOUR soul sisters?

When it comes to meeting and connecting with the women who will become your soul sisters, there are a few pieces of advice that I can offer from my own personal experience:

  • Find women who you resonate with – My soul sisters are the women who ‘get me’, the ones who just seem to be on the same wavelength…the ones who I can say the most seemingly nonsensical things, and who still understand me. They are women who are in a similar space in their lives, who can relate to where I’m at, my experiences, my life…the ups and the downs! We take similar approaches to our lives, businesses and relationships and we have similar values.
  • Embrace Diversity – Although it helps to connect with women who are similar to you, there’s already one of you, you don’t need another! Appreciate and value the differences between you and the women in your life…it’s these differences that can allow you to help each other grow, to offer different perspectives, to shed light on areas that to you were covered in shadow and to bring a richness to each of your lives that fills it with vivid colours and textures.
  • Don’t expect them to be perfect – We are all human, and we all come with the full range of qualities, traits, imperfections and idiosyncrasies that that brings. Your soul sisters are no different. Sisterhood is not about perfection…it’s about being real, authentic, all of you. Your soul sisters will trigger you, drive you crazy at times and do things that you’d rather they didn’t….as you will do for them. Sisterhood is about loving and accepting them in everything that they are, no exceptions.
  • Find women with courage – Sisterhood is challenging at times. You want your sisters to have the courage to be vulnerable with you, to trust you, who will choose acceptance over judgement, who will challenge you (even when it’s hard), who will reflect back to you the things you can’t see for yourself and who will help you to grow, learn and understand what it is to be a woman.
  • Go first – One of the hardest and scariest things in sisterhood is going first. We often want to wait for the other person to show that it’s safe by paving the way, opening up first and showing how it’s done. If you really want to create these kinds of relationships, then be prepared to go first…by doing so you will invite women in who otherwise might not have had the courage to take that first step, and in doing so you open yourself up to having an amazing, deep relationship that otherwise wouldn’t have been realised.
  • Follow your intuition – When looking to connect with other like-minded and like-hearted women, your intuition can be a phenomenal guide. Listen to your instincts, what does your gut tell you? If you feel drawn to someone, or you feel like you want to get to know someone better, follow that feeling…in my experience it always guides us in the right direction. One of the women who is closest to me in life is only in my life because I followed my intuition. We were at an event, and I kept noticing her from a distance, but the opportunity never presented itself for us to actually meet. I couldn’t explain it, but I had this really strong feeling that she and I needed to connect, so after a while of us ‘missing’ each other, I made a beeline for her and introduced myself. We chatted for a couple of minutes, swapped details, and went on our way. As we lived over 5,000 miles apart the opportunity for a deep friendship to develop seemed unlikely. We connected via the usual social media means and dipped in and out of each other’s lives from time to time over the coming months. About 6 months after we first met we spoke on Skype for a couple of hourse, and then 18 months later I went and stayed with her for three weeks on a trip to the US. Today she is one of my dearest friends and closest soul sisters…nothing a measly 5,000 can get in the way of…and we would never have connected if I hadn’t followed my intuition.
  • Be the woman you want to find – If you want to create sisterhood, the first and by far the most important step is being the kind of woman yourself who you want to create a sisterhood with. As you know, life is a mirror, it reflects back what you are, or what you need to know…so if you want to create beautiful, deep, mutually supportive and fulfilling relationships with incredible, open, genuine, vulnerable women…you first need to be this yourself. If you want someone who will accept you without judgement, be the woman who does that for others. If you want someone who will be vulnerable and let you in, be the woman who shows her vulnerability to others. If you want someone who shows compassion, be the woman who shows compassion.

So if you want to create these kinds of relationships with other women in your life, these are the ways for you to find the sort of women that you really want to connect with at a deep level.

But when you’ve found these women, then what?

How do you create sisterhood? What does it look like?

Well, that is where the magic happens…so come back next week, when I will be sharing with you how to create these kinds of relationships with the women in your life, and what sisterhood really means, what it really looks like…and how it can change your life.

In the meantime though remember, be the kind of woman who you want to have these kinds of relationship with. Once you begin doing that, you’ll be surprised what shows up…

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Your Unique Femininity Formula – Do you spend enough time with other feminine women?

Your Unique Femininity Formula - Do you spend enough time with other feminine women - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stI don’t know about you…but my journey of experiences with other women has been an interesting ride.

Having been bullied by girls at every school I ever went to, I found it incredibly difficult to trust, rely on, open up to or really connect deeply with other women.

I’d learned through school that the girls (and guys) around me were my competition.  We were always been scored and compared to each other.  Who was the best in the class?  Who came first?  Who was better than me? Which led to us constantly judging ourselves against everyone else.

Were women your competition?

Then came the teenage years…and the onslaught of the media through magazines, TV and film.  Everywhere you looked people were judging others…especially the women.  Who looked better in the same dress?  Who had put on weight?  Who had cellulite?

Magazine articles such as “New Celebrity Bikini Diets” or “Find out how ________ lost her baby weight in two weeks!” had us reaching for impossible (and often unhealthy) standards…and continually measuring ourselves against the women around us to see if we were ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ in the attractive stakes.

Do you allow other women in?

Every step of the way we were learning to judge others and compare ourselves to them.

We had female friends, of course, but the friendships were often tinged with a hint (or more) of competitiveness.

We wanted to support our friends, to be there for them, to enjoy fun times together…but we also compared ourselves to them and felt bad when we didn’t feel that we measured up.

Only recently I learned that a friend who I negatively compared myself too throughout most of my teenage years, was actually doing exactly the same thing but comparing herself to me in return!

These more masculine traits of judgement, competition and comparison have denied us the gift of real friendship with other women. Without us even knowing it they’ve created barriers, distance and blocks to the kind of connections that are available to us when we take a more feminine approach to friendship.

So today I share with you an unusual suggestion…a suggestion that whoever you are, whatever other elements you’ve included in your unique femininity formula that this is one you definitely add in…

If you are already a Feminine 1st Family Member of Bronze Level or above, click here to see the full video

 

So how do you create deep, fulfilling relationships with other women?

I would love to share more with you about this and so many incredible topics, and so I’d like to invite you today to join the Feminine 1st Family as a Bronze Member or to become a Free Member to enjoy over 80 Free Videos.

What does Bronze Membership Give Me? Well in addition to all of the features of our Free Membership (including the “First Steps to Femininity” MP3 and over 80 free videos), you will also get access to all future premium Feminine 1st videos for the duration of your membership. You will also have the opportunity to submit requests for topics to be covered or questions to be answered in these weekly videos.

So click here to find out how to create deep fulfilling relationships with other women

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do you know how important sisterhood is to women like us?

Do you know how important sisterhood is to women like us?When someone sends something onto me, I always take the time to look at it…after all, there’s a reason they’ve sent it my way.

When more than one person sends me the same thing in the space of only a few hours I really sit up and pay attention.

The power of a circle of women sisterhood

A few days ago I received this image via a number of different sources, which told me a few things:

  • It was something that was important
  • It was relevant to me
  • It was something I was supposed to share

I shared the image via the Feminine 1st Facebook group, and this morning I noticed that it was the most popular item I’ve shared recently…this image was resonating with people…and I understood why.

When an image, quote or video like this resonates with people there are normally two reasons:

  • Either they have what is being referred to in the message, realise how important and powerful it is and want to both acknowledge it for themselves, and let other people know how great it is.
  • OR they recognise something in what is being shared that is missing in their life…something they want, something they need…something that on a deep level they crave.
  • Most of the women I know, or meet in life fall into one of these categories when it comes to the relationships they have with other women.

Unfortunately, a lot of the women I meet fall into the second group.

Are you one of the women who is missing this in her life?

So many women recognise and understand that there is something missing in their lives, but they can’t quite put their finger on it.

Something isn’t quite right, something is lacking…but they’re not sure what.

Sometimes it can be hard to know what you need and want, if you’ve never experienced it. It’s like someone asking you to tell them something you’ve forgotten…you know that there’s something, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

…and it is something that is so fundamental to the feminine that I can’t really put into words how important it is.

Deep connection with other women.

In this world of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram we are connected to more people than ever before…but many of these connections are nothing more than words on a screen.

The connections and relationships exist just under the surface…based on status shares, tweets, comments and ‘likes’.

We have more ‘friends’ than ever before…but we are missing the depth of connection that has the power to really support us, change us and help us to grow.

When it comes to connections of this nature between women, we tend to label them all as ‘friends’.

What so many women don’t understand is that there is so much more available to us…if we have the courage to create it.

What types of relationships do you have with the women in your life?

Most connections start as acquaintances, with a sense of familiarity that goes beyond that of strangers, but doesn’t quite put them into the category of friends. They are the people with whom you tend to make polite small talk or a chat when your paths cross through mutual friends or interests, but not people with whom you feel a real trust or friendship with…yet.

Once the connection deepens…we tend to enter the realm of ‘friendship’. A deeper bond has been created, there is a trust, a desire to support each other, to spend time together, to chat, to enjoy fun times with. There’s a reciprocity present in most friendships…we expect to give and receive in roughly equal measure, and if the scales tip in one direction or another for too long we feel uneasy. We are there for them, and in return they are there for us. We laugh together, we cry together, we share in each others lives.

What more could you want?

If you need to ask this question then you’ve not experienced the next level of female connection: Sisterhood.

Sisterhood is where everything opens up (whether you want it to or not!)

When you choose sisterhood, you choose to accept everything that a person is, everything that they’re not, everything they have been and everything they will be, unreservedly, without judgment, exactly as they are.

Sisterhood expands everything you have in friendship, beyond boundaries that you didn’t even know existed.

Does this mean that sisterhood doesn’t have any problems / arguments / challenges / issues?

Not at all!

It means that you don’t give the polite answer, or the one that you think the other person wants. You tell is as it is, gently, and with compassion… you share your truth, openly and honestly….and you work through it together.

Sisterhood is raw. Sisterhood is vulnerable. Sisterhood takes courage to create.

Sisterhood is perfectly imperfect.

At times, it’s messy; it is not always easy to be that open, that vulnerable and that real with another person. They will show up and reflect everything that you love about yourself…as well as all the stuff you’d really rather wasn’t there.

But it is also one of the most fulfilling types of relationship you can ever experience.

Experiencing sisterhood first-hand has changed my life.

Would you like to have this kind of relationship with the women in your life?

I have thousands of friends on Facebook, a huge number of friends in my phone…and I can count the number of ‘soul sisters’ I have on my hands.

A short while ago I was speaking to one of my ‘soul sisters’ about how to describe our relationship, what it is at its essence.

Her response described it perfectly: “Unconditional Love”.

The thing is, when you strip all the pretense away, when you allow yourself to be completely and totally seen by another woman something powerful happens. When you share all your hopes, dreams, fears, worries and celebrations…when you share all of you.

When you remove every piece of protection, just being there with nothing more than your heart in your hand, and you connect with another woman who is doing the same thing, you create a real, beautiful, genuine, deep connection that is unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

Through sisterhood we get to explore and understand what it really means to be women. We get to grow together and understand our femininity at a deeper, more visceral level.

If you have these kinds of connections with other women in your life, cherish them. Take time to nurture them, to develop them and to enjoy them.

…and if you haven’t experienced these kinds of connections yet (the key word here being ‘yet’)…then look out for next week’s article because I will be sharing with you how to find your ‘soul sisters’, and how to create this beautiful dynamic of sisterhood with them.

In the meantime, if you’d like to dip your toes in the water…then why not come and join us in the Feminine 1st Facebook Group? It’s a great place to start…

Every single woman deserves connections like this in her life…including you.

If you haven’t found them yet, there’s an incredible world of connection just waiting for you to discover it…

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

This Week’s Thursday Thought: When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, you open up the door to a depth of connection, friendship & sisterhood that could never exist without taking that first brave step

This week’s Thursday Thought:

When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, you open up the door to a depth of connection, friendship & sisterhood that could never exist without taking that first brave step

– Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, friendship

Do you know the 6 friends every woman needs in times of crisis?

The 6 friends every woman needs in a crisisWe’ve all had those times.

The ones where everything seems to hit all at once.

Where just as you begin to catch your breath and find your feet, the next wave hits you, then the next, then the next, then the next.

Well the last month or two have been a bit like that for me…there have been a plethora of events and situations that have hit one after the other.

I’m sure sometime soon I’ll share more about what’s been happening, but to give you an idea included in this time period has been major surgery for my Mum, my Grandmother spending two weeks (and still counting at time of writing) in hospital and one of my dearest friends going in for yet another surgery which has not been a smooth as we would have hoped.

So over the last couple of months there have been highs, there have been a lot of lows, there have been intense emotions and there have been moments of numbness.

It’s at times like this that you need support.

Do you allow your friends to support you?

I’ll be the first to admit that there have been times that I’ve been running around trying to help everyone else out and I’ve committed the cardinal sin of losing focus on my own self-care.

(Side note…this lack of self-care has now been addressed and a much more calm and peaceful Claire has emerged…balance is being restored gradually…)

But in addition to self-care times like this are the times that you need good friends.

…in fact, it’s not just good friends you need, it’s great friends.

Amazing friends.

Wonderful friends.

Friends who know you, your heart and soul so well that they instinctively give you exactly what you need.

So what are the 6 types of friend every woman needs in times of crisis?

…and over this slightly challenging period of time that I’ve been experiencing I’ve identified the 6 types of friend that every woman needs to help get her through, and today I want to share them with you:

  1. The Venting Friend – When things aren’t exactly going the way that you’d like them to it’s great to have a friend with whom you can just vent. Even those of us who have been treading the path of personal development for some time now aren’t immune to the feelings of frustration and general annoyance that sometimes bubble up to the surface. Now I’m not suggesting for a second that this is where you want to live, but I also believe that it’s not health to deny or distract yourself from these feelings when they do appear. Emotions serve a reason, the only way to release them is to allow yourself to feel them so that you can then let them go. So it’s great to have a friend with whom you don’t need to be aware, or conscious, or reasonable…someone you can have a good rant to and get it all out of your system.
  2. The Love Bug – When things are a bit crappy you can end up feeling a little low and there’s nothing better than having a friend who makes you feel nothing but pure unconditional love. Someone with whom you can totally be yourself, who you know accepts you totally exactly as you are, who listens without judgment, and whose energy lifts you up when it feels like nothing short of a fork lift will do. These friends are like rays of sunshine, making you feel warm and enveloped, reminding you that you’re never alone and that there’s always someone there walking by your side.
  3. The Question Master – When you’re struggling a bit sometimes the last thing you need is someone telling you what to do. But one of the best types of friend knows this, and rather than telling you the answers, asks you the questions that will help you come to them yourself. The best thing about this friend is that they normally don’t have the answers themselves…and they know they don’t…but they help you to find them through simply being present and listening when you speak and then asking the questions that help you pick through the muddle that your mind is in….and show the clear blue skies on the other side.
  4. The Mirror – Every woman needs a mirror she can rely on…and I’m not speaking about the glass kind. The mirror friend is the one who listens patiently while you speak, holds space for whatever you’re feeling and sharing, and then simply reflects back to you when it’s helpful. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own ‘stuff’ that having someone who can see it clearly to reflect it back to us can make all the difference. They have the emotional distance from what you’re experiencing to be able to see things that sometimes our haze of emotions can obscure.
  5. The Jester – Sometimes when all is a little bit rubbish, it’s good to have someone who can just make you smile, make you laugh, remind you that in spite of all the clouds around, there is a little sunshine too. Someone who can be there to lighten the mood, to lift your spirits and to make you realise that everything will be alright…eventually 🙂
  6. The Friend Who Knows – These friends are the best. They are a little bit spooky, in the best possible way. These are the people who just KNOW when you need them. Maybe you don’t speak very often, maybe you’ve been out of touch for a while, but for some reason at the time that you need them most, they’re just there. They send you a message, pop a photo on your facebook wall, or call out of the blue saying “You kept popping into my head and I just wanted to check that everything was OK?” They know you, they sense when things aren’t quite right, and they’re right there just when you need them.

The beauty of these 6 types of friends is that they’re not mutually exclusive, but they also can be. You can have 6 different people who fill each of the 6 roles, or you can have one person who covers them all.

So how do you find friends like this?

I’m lucky…I have a number of friends who cover more than one of these types, and some who cover them all.

Most importantly I have a core of very close people, my soul family, who know me, love me and accept me, completely unconditionally, exactly as I am. I wish for you to find and cultivate friendships like these in your life.

…and how do you find friends like this? It’s simple. You be a friend like this.

It doesn’t mean that everyone you meet will instantly become this kind of friend, but it does mean that when you meet the ones who could…you’ll create an instantaneous, deep and mutually fulfilling connection…the likes of which you can’t imagine until you’ve experienced it firsthand.

Oh, and the last thing to mention? Having these types of friends is great. But they can only do their thang if you reach out and let them.

So being this kind of friend is important. Equally important is allowing these amazing people to be this kind of friend to you.

Reach out.

Call them.

Let them know you need their support.

…and then allow yourself to receive, and show your gratitude when you do.

Friends like this are worth their weight in gold….and I’m lucky enough to have my very own personal goldrush. I hope you are too…

…and today I’m dedicating this article to the phenomenal friends in my life. I love each and every one of your deeply, from the bottom of my heart.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x