These days it’s hard being a woman. We need like-minded women in our corner rooting for us and journeying along with us through this thing called life.
In ancient times women shared a lot more than they do today. They shared care of their babies, gathered food and cooked together. The women and the children shared their lives intimately, and were a source of strength and comfort to each other on a daily basis.
Today, women are a lot more isolated in their own homes and lives and more separate from each other. The opportunities for coming together are much more limited and the time spent together in this way greatly reduced. Because of this women miss the beautiful healing and nourishment that comes from being with other.
Having a tribe is about being vulnerable and letting those who love us in, letting them show up, letting them give us comfort and support and us reciprocating.
Why Women Need a Tribe
Here’s a few reasons why every woman needs a tribe of their own.
1. Sisterhood is a powerful force
Our tribal sisters and hunter-gatherer ancestors did not enjoy the kind of freedom and independence we, as modern women, do today. However, just because we no longer need that strong sisterhood to survive in life, we do need it, it turns out, to thrive in life.
Study after study is starting to reveal that when women create strong bonds with other women it has a huge impact on their health and happiness. When women come together to share and support one another, it has a profound and often life-changing effect on them.
2. The power of female friendship
The true benefits of friendship are immeasurable. Friends make our lives better and studies show that friendship has a bigger impact on our physical and psychological wellbeing than family relationships. Women share a special bond; they bare their souls to each other, support and encourage one another.
The power of female friendships has also revealed some of its secrets to science. Researchers have found that the hormone oxytocin is, for women especially, the panacea of friendship and, by extension, health.
3. Encouragement and support
We all have those moments when it seems like life is just throwing blows at us from every angle – just being downright disrespectful. You need someone in your tribe that makes it their mission to pick you back up and speak life into you and your situation. When you’re uplifting your bestie with “You are worthy” or “This too shall pass” after she has shared her frustrations, you’re actually encouraging yourself at the same time. It’s a win-win.
4. You need a safe place to land
Spaces where you can be totally and utterly vulnerable and yourself. No pretense and no bullshit. Where you can show up with your bed hair and your ugly cry. And share – you can tell your story from your perspective and just get it all out.
You can be a brat, stomp your feet, have a glass of wine (or a beer in my case). You are loved exactly as you are and because of that you are continuously transforming and growing.
5. A chance to stop and breathe
In today’s fast-paced world where women on average get 36 minutes of down-time a day (or 17 minutes if you’re a mother), women circles offer you a chance to stop for a moment as life whizzes by. To take a step back and breeeeeathe.
It’s a chance to check in with yourself and ask ‘How am I doing…really?’ and have other women bare witness to your answer. It’s a chance for you to do what women generally aren’t very good at doing: listening in to your needs and your dreams and making sure that you are doing what you can to have those needs met and bring those dreams to life.
6. Your tribe reduces stress levels
When we encounter stress our ancient survival mechanism kicks in and we may feel a need to either ‘fight or flight’. However, most stress research is based on men and now researchers suggest that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just ‘fight or flight’.
If you feel stressed and tired and would rather go home after a long day (i.e. you try to go into a ‘flight’ mode), but go to your Woman meeting instead, you always feel completely rejuvenated after the discussions in your female tribe.
7. Challenges seem easier to overcome
Does this sound familiar? You have hit a snag in your project and feel completely overwhelmed by it. The more you think about your obstacle, the more impossible it seems!
Then you see a friend or come to your monthly Woman meeting and just by sharing your story the stress and the difficulty seems to evaporate. You feel the support and the obstacle seems to become smaller and smaller. You start to find solutions and believe in yourself on a new level.
8. Having a listening ear
Some of you have been guilty of calling the man in your life ‘Girl’ when you begin to spill the tea from your day one too many times – and he’s over it.
While it is certainly healthy to have flowing open communication with your mate, we need to have our moments for true girl talk. Some opinions and perspectives on certain topics are best received from your lady friends; therefore it is essential to have a few women whom you can trust to offer sound advice within your tribe.
9. What it’s like to be a woman in society
As women we face a different set of challenges to men, every day the world over. We are still making our way in a very male dominated world – we get passed over, overlooked and ogled. We are at a higher risk for abuse and trafficking but are still in the minority in government, media and even tech industries. Moreover, we are told what to wear and how to behave, we give away our power because we think we should be submissive, feminine, softer.
Being in a tribe of women we know what this feels like every day and we say fuck that shit. We hold each other up and push forward hand in hand, we say screw the patriarchy, down with inequality and for shame to those who cannot move beyond. We draw strength. Cheerlead. Lift up. We pop-pom. We light each other’s fires. To all this, we show compassion, empathy and an understanding that can only be borne from the same struggle.
10. Inspire one another
It should go without saying that those in your circle should inspire you to be the best version of yourself. When you see members of your tribe being their go-getter selves, it just makes you want to step your game up and be apart of the winning team. You need those friends that are going to inspire you and that will push you to your full potential.
The World has Changed
Changing economic and social structures make having your own tribe even more important. No one can lay their trust on corporations, organisations or even countries in terms of their future happiness and support.
Men have always had their networks, their golf clubs and their football teams. It’s time we women step out of the shadows and find our own tribes. Together we can help each other become the women we want to be, the women we already are.
Now a tribe doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole slew of individuals; your tribe can consist of one or two great friends and that’s OK. But also consider any mentors in your life or even your first lady at church apart of the pack; and your mother is certainly not exempt. Whoever is apart of your tribe you should be able to trust them in your most vulnerable state and dependability should most definitely be reciprocated.
Surround Yourself with the Right Tribe
It’s the old saying that really rings true: “Show me your friends and I tell you who you are.”
It works both ways, hang around negative people who tell you how bad things are and you will start to believe them. Surround yourself with people who are interested in improving themselves and becoming the best they can be, and voilà, you will pick up a thing or two along the way for your personal development.
You can work on building your own personal network one by one, or jump start your tribe by joining one that shares your values and injects the kind of positivity and growth you are looking for. However, it’s important to build your network before you really need them.