"Imagine a community of women inspiring it's daughters, granddaughters, and nieces to refuse to twist their lives out of shape to fit into expectations; supporting them to refuse to please others by pretending to be less intelligent and gifted than they are; and empowering them to love their women-bodies, regardless. Imagine yourself as part of this community." ~Patricia Lynn Reilly
More often than not, many women feel the need to compete or belittle one another instead of building one another up and supporting each other through this journey we call life.
There seems to be a notion that women being catty and well...mean girls, are natural part of life just like the boys will be boys notion.
However, I don't think women are naturally mean spirited, conniving, catty people. I think more often than not, this comes when our own self-worth feels limited or when one feels insecure about themselves, their status, their achievements, their physique, etc.
I also believe the only way we can begin to change this is by showing solidarity as women as a whole. I think it begins by teaching our daughters that other girls are our allies---not our enemies.
I think it begins by building one another up instead of tearing one another down. I think it begins by believing we are all phenomenal women.
Believe in yourself, your worth, and be proud of your accomplishments. Do not diminish yourself or someone else because you feel they have accomplished more than you. Do not brag because you believe you have accomplished more than someone else.
I believe in women. I believe in the power of sisterhood, friendship, and TRIBE. I believe in the healing spirit of women everywhere.
I am in awe of women in history, women of different cultures, women in literature, our mothers and ancestors who have gone before us and paved the way. I believe in you and me and the power we have to unlock the secrets of the past.
We are not evil seductresses who fed Adam the apple or Pandora's Box full of secrecy and lies. Women over time have received a bad rap and as a result it has caused division and competition and a catty nature amongst women.
I have a desire to bring forth the ways of the old burning through my blood. I believe in coming full circle: maiden, mother, crone.
I believe within each of our breasts we carry the strength of warriors, goddesses, nurturers, and everything in between.
I want intimacy between women to blow to the four corners of the earth breathing in the elements of earth, wind, and fire.
We are here to belong, to connect, and to see into the depths of each other's soul. But, how do we get there?
A Tale of Sisterhood, Friendship, and Tribe:
Long before the world was like we know it now, there existed a Wise and Mighty Tribe of ya-ya's.
The ya-ya's were a band of women, strong and beautiful, who roamed the country.
The stars in the sky loved them so much that they would dip down and allow the ya-ya's to ride through the sky, so that they could travel all around the world.
Our mothers, who raised us, were the first ya-y'as and were most beautiful and loving. People adored them and no one messed with the tribal ya-y'as.
We also learned to love the inner gifts that naturally spring from being raised as a woman, which include charm, manners, quiet strength, and the ability to laugh at one's self and not take things too seriously.
We remember that the meaning of life is about opening up, being in touch with our spirit and our feelings and finding the friendships of a lifetime.
The Lady of the Moon is our guardian and her silver light reflects the goodness in us all. She is here to teach us that the true mission of the ya-ya's is to empower women and serve as a place to help us remember who and what we are.
We know that women are divine love, full of generosity, kindness, creativity, and wonder.
We wish to help women "remember" that these gifts are within each of us. We share them with others, so that our inner light can come out and shine.
The Lady of the Moon, knew that so many of us had been forced to move from our birth places and so she promised to be with us always. She also told us stories of how we would one day meet our other ya-ya sisters and be reunited.
We no longer live in our birth homes and we know that our town does not realize we are loyal, but, we the ya-ya's, secretly know our history and we are loyal to our tribal sisters and the women who were there before us.
We come together in appreciation of women and sisterhood and celebrate how much joy there is in this world.
We believe that in coming together, if only for a few brief moments, that the spirit of the ya-ya restores us, renews us, and reminds us of the wonderful women that we are and were always meant to be.
Find your tribe and connect. Bring in your daughters, nieces, friends, and family. Create crowns of glory to showcase your inner goddess and celebrate you femininity. Celebrate being a woman---a female. Raise your young with strength and the lesson to honor their fellow sisters and not compete and tear one another down. Give each other Goddess names and dance under the light of the moon.
Have a girls camping trip. Around the bonfire, repeat after me (while drinking a chalice of hot chocolate):
"These are the headdresses of the queens that have gone before us. They come from Indian holy ground... the jungles of the ancients... prairies of the Norwegians... and the forests of the mighty Amazons. The royal crowns of our people."
[Pour some of the hot chocolate into a chalice]
"This is the blood of our people, the wolf people, the alligator people, the crow people, and the moon women from which we gain our strength to rule all worlds."
[Pass the chalice around for everyone to take a sip]
"We are the flames of the fires, the whirling of the winds. We are the waters of the rains and the rivers and the oceans. We are the rocks and the stones. And now by the power invested in me, I declare we are the mighty Ya-Ya priestesses. Let no man put us under. Now our blood flows through each other as it's done for all eternity. Loyal forever. We raise our voices in the words of Mumbo Gumbo... YA-YA!" (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells)
Maybe rituals and symbolism isn't your thing? If not, I'm sure you will find an equally creative way of teaching other girls and women the power of sisterhood and friendship.
Today, I challenge you: Celebrate being a woman. Celebrate sisterhood. Uplift one another and stand strong together as a unified bond of one...