Originally posted November 2014
When I first envisioned creating a coaching practice, I imagined that I would connect on-line and reach women all over the world. I never considered how my new ways of thinking and the messages I want to share would impact my life in my home community. The first time I advertised a class I was teaching and four of my friends signed up I was simultaneously excited and terrified. In all of my classes I share my story, how I went from being a good girl perfectionist buried under the weight of responsibility to now, being more grounded, connected, joyful and going after my purpose. The story is on my website, but there is something much more vulnerable about detailing your journey out loud, in person and to friends.
This month I had the pleasure of hosting the first meeting of my in-person women’s group called ‘Women Who Have Your Back’. In this circle we examine what holds us back in relationships, career and life. The idea for the group was sparked my recent experience with true, authentic, supportive connection among women. Regena Garrepy once said that “A circle of women may be the most powerful force known to humanity”. I believe her with every fiber of my being and I wanted to create a circle for support and empowerment of other women in my home town. What I didn’t expect at this first meeting, and I’m not sure why I didn’t, was that all of the participants there that night were connected to me. I shared my journey with a room full of women who know me, but perhaps didn’t know me in that way. It felt unguarded, unprotected. And that’s when it hit me. I have experienced real support in my life, from the women in that room. But, they all came into my life at a time when I was really, deeply guarded. I envision myself like a human Ninja Turtle with a full body shell that was protecting me from what? Connection. That realization occurred to me as I was sharing my struggle though the early days of motherhood, with women that I’d met primarily through having children. The shell was wide open. And it remained open as they recounted how they were curious about the women’s circle because of the changes they’d seen in me. One friend said she’d seen a physical changes in me over the years and noted that I make more eye contact now. I had no idea.
It is November, the month of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. It is a catalyst for reflecting on what is good. This month I am grateful for the women who showed up for the group meeting; for their warmth, curiosity, courage, sharing and honest feedback that opened my eyes (and my ninja turtle shell). I am grateful for the people who trust me enough to sign up for my mailing list. I am grateful for those who believe in me and support my efforts. I am grateful for the opportunity to follow my passion and help other women discover theirs as well.
You do not have to be an American to reflect on your blessings at this time of year. What are you grateful for? Please share in the comments, I would love to hear.
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and are curious about the women’s group please email me info(at)jennifersherwood(dot)com Our next meeting is focused on “A Better Approach to New Year’s Resolutions” and takes place on Tuesday December 16 7:00-9:00.