North Bay Woman

June 2020

North Bay Woman Magazine

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S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 2 0 NORTH BAY WOMAN 51 I f this pandemic has taught us anything about ourselves, it is the importance of hu- man connection. Now, most of us have been fortunate to spend extra time with our family members, but the absence of friend groups has created quite a void in our hearts. There's something so joyful about standing around a kitchen island, sipping wine with a bunch of women, sharing appetizers and stories, and belly laughing. Do you ever wonder what it is about the bond of sisterhood and the role of friend groups that maximize our human experience? I decided to probe the topic further and talk with a few women about their experiences. Michelle Nevin, principal of St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, recalls, "I remember my father's funeral. I held it together all day, but eventually broke down in tears. I held my hands over my face and could barely stand up. Moments later, a warm circle of support formed around me. I didn't have it in me to look up to see their faces. When I opened my eyes I saw a array of black shoes … I saw patent leather shoes, Prada pumps, black wedges, strappy sandals, suede boots, Naturalizers and ballet flats. I was surrounded by my dear friends. These kind and compas- sionate women came to my rescue. They held me up, and got me through what was one of the worst moments of my life." Women are intuitive and emotional. We are the givers, the nurturers, and the healers of the earth. We feel everything, the pain of our chil- dren, parents, friends and the world. It's a lot to carry, and having a trusted sounding board is important because we are processing life at all times. Our friends mirror the finest qualities within ourselves. Spiritual mindset coach Shaina Gadow cap- tured the spirit of women so beautifully in her comments, "Sisterhood is deep connection where I can share ALL OF ME and be seen, understood, supported, and loved." In a world where we are often asked to dim our light or compromise some part of our-selves, our true friends will always show up and love us wher- ever we are. It's always magical to hear the backstory about how friends come together … high school, work, a play group, a hiking club, spin class, bunko group, book club, PTA meeting, wine club, a charity function, the dog park, or through a friend of a friend. There's something divine about the way that women find their tribe. When I asked femininity coach Denise Bar- ragan, "What is it about spending time with women that makes you feel so gratified?" She got this big smile on her face and graciously answered, "It's my honor to encourage women to see their gifts and love themselves because we are all creative, re-sourceful and whole." I took away some deeper understanding about women and how important it is to champion one another no matter what. There is simply nothing better than finding a sisterhood, a tribe, or a community of kindred souls who embrace everything about you. We yearn for unconditional love and yet it's not always easy to find acceptance in this big crazy world. The maternal energy of women remains such a comfort. It grounds us and makes us feel like we are a part of something greater than ourselves. By choosing friends, we are honoring that vulnerable part of our soul that wants to emotionally connect. Friendship is a reflection of our own self-compassion, and it allows us to explore our full capacity to give love and receive love. To be able to say, "I see ALL OF YOU and you see ALL OF ME" is the most beautiful human exchange possible. Some- how, it makes us feel like anything is possible for our lives and all is well in the world. n Krista Gawronski. – Photo by Victoria Webb Photography

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