At the beginning of the month, I had the pleasure, the privilege and the honor of gathering with a group of women I’ve known and admired for a long time, several for 30 years. Not a whining session, but one of loving and understanding one another on a deeper, broader level.
We talk a lot about “community” in Cambria because it is one. What is community? It is a living, breathing, caring, all-for-one (most of the time) group of beings (apes, insects, etc.) that supports one another.
Then there is what we affectionately refer to as the “tribe,” a group within that community that is even closer knit — men and women who keep specific tabs on one another, help each other to a greater extent. Friends, family, surrogate family and BFF’s.
And then there is the sisterhood. While I don’t see many of these women as often as I would like — in fact, there were some new faces on this retreat weekend — there is a kinship that exists even without a weekly hug. But, when those hugs do come, they are electric!
Many of these gals do stay more in contact. I have always been somewhat on the periphery. However, I have had the opportunity to experience firsthand the power of female energy en masse when a particular friend was gravely ill. We all came to her side until she was kicked out of hospice. She is here today no worse for wear.
Yes, there is ritual. We sing, we speak our feelings out loud, we share, we hug a lot, break bread together as often as possible and, most importantly, put that collective energy into focus for the greater good. Woman energy (or as Sheri O. puts it, “WHOA, man!”) is a force to be reckoned with.
I believe that is something that too many young women do not realize. I mean, think about it — anyone who could grow a creature inside oneself must have magic powers! But how often does one get to gather with equally minded women/girls, concentrating on the spiritual connectedness we all have with every other living being, actually listen to each other without judgment?
I am not talking about organized religion with its set rules and ideologies, but more of a universal, friendly, loving, forgiving, fun exchange. We honored those among us as well as those who have moved on. We are all in this together, after all.
I used to go to Grateful Dead concerts to recharge my batteries, that collective energy, however you may want to describe it. Craft classes and workshops also fill my tank. But a gathering of the women, not to sit around complaining, but rather to share our deepest needs and liveliest joys, is the best medicine for me.
If I were to sum up that weekend in one word, it would be “conscious.” None of us is perfect, we all have stuff going on. But, each of us regularly strives to grow within ourselves with each other and those around us.
Let go of the same old story you have told over and over and over for so long if it is bringing you down. You are not that story. Write your own. Again. Until you feel it better describes you. Let go of baggage that serves you no purpose. For all that energy may be needed one day to deal with unforeseen challenges, real challenges.
Live in love. It makes things much more worthwhile. Here’s to the sistahs!
Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at ltd@ladytiedi .com.