When we understand the connection between how we live and how long we live, it’s easier to make different choices. Instead of viewing the time we spend with friends and family as luxuries, we can see that these relationships are among the most powerful determinants of our well-being and survival. – Dean Ornish
September is upon us. This time of year always signals to me the beginning of turning inward. Things cool off, people go back to work, kids to school, and the days are getting shorter. I become much more reflective at this time of year as opposed to the outward hustle and bustle of spring and summer. For this reason, I have been doing more self-reflection than usual. Something has just been “off” for me these last few weeks. When I can’t figure something out on my own, I do what I always do. I started writing more and meditated more to seek answers.
Then it came to me. Literally. My husband is preparing for a vendor sale next week and I have been helping him come up with some ideas for signs he is building. I was looking on the internet for ideas of inspiration, and one just popped out at me.
“Create the things you wish existed.”
I knew right away what was missing. Intelligent conversation with a group of women. I used to have a core group of females that I met with at a book club for 10+ years. Over time, some moved away and others became busy with life and families and we just stopped getting together. Change happens. That was sacred time for me and something I have been really missing. So I thought about some new acquaintances I had made as well as some friends I don’t see often. I decided to send out an email to 8 of them to see if I created a book club, if I could start to build that space. Most of the women do not know each other, but I was so happy to see that all of them responded that they would love to try that. In today’s busy world, it is so easy to neglect time spent with friends. I know many women who push that “me time” aside for play dates for children, events for work or other obligations that take over. The fact that all of the women responded expressing interest, tells me that this sacred time is something that deep down most people know they are missing in their lives.
I know that people’s lives will always be busy. There are so many obligations that must take president. Feeding your family, earning a living, taking care of extended family. I do not expect 8 women to attend every monthly meeting. I don’t expect myself to be able to attend every meeting. What I do hope is that we can create a safe space to talk about life, world events, interests and families. There is such strength in building bonds and groups where everyone feels safe, validated and heard. A space that everyone knows is there to show up to when life permits.
I personally believe that when I went inward, I was listening to my voice expressing what it needed, as well as maybe the voices of others who were longing for this space as well. I hope you all can spend some time looking inward to see what your soul is missing. Be brave! Only you can take the steps to fill that void. You never know what magic may happen. Life is hard. It is kinder with connections with kindred spirits.