I met Wendy at a networking event in October. While the two of us talked, it wasn’t long before we discussed plans to meet for lunch. Deep in conversation, Wendy told me that her mother was involved in a weekly women’s group. She said that they referred to it as the “Angel Group”. They would meet to discuss all the struggles that go along with being a woman in today’s world.
Wendy was interested in starting something similar and wondered if I might want to become involved in the endeavor. As you would imagine, the idea intrigued me. What could possibly be more exciting than bringing together a group of women to talk openly about their struggle to be happy and healthy in in life? I saw it as an opportunity for women to share and support each other as they persevere to achieve their life goals.
As fate would have it, I sat down with Lisa two days later. As we discussed her upcoming opening of her new place, she shared that she was interested in bringing groups of women into the salon in the evening to share and learn. The light bulb went off in my head and I shared our vision with Lisa— who loved the idea. When the three of us finally met, we decided that we would keep the monthly evening fun with wine, appetizers and a loose structure. Each of our “Sassy Girlfriend Talks” would discuss a different topic.
The response to our event was unbelievable. The RSVP’s kept pouring in— obviously we had hit a nerve in the community. As the women started to arrive, I began to worry. There were very young women and there were older women. There were married women, single women and recently divorced women. A few knew each other, but the majority did not. To be frank, I felt that they had very little in common. I hoped that I could encourage this group to let down their guard and share their feelings.
Sitting in a circle, I asked each woman to a take turn and talk about a life change they would make in the coming year. My fear was that I would have to direct much of the discussion and encourage the talk— which was not my vision of the evening. What if they wouldn’t connect with each other? What if they wouldn’t let others truly see who they really were?
As the first woman began to talk, I realized that I was witnessing something incredible begin to unfold. One by one, each woman exposed her fears, her hurts, and her vulnerabilities. As each woman shared her story, the other women intensely listened and validated the feelings shared. The walls came down and the tears flowed. In the end, my job was so easy— I just had to be quiet and allow the women to bond with each other and offer support and guidance. This was “their” group and I wanted them to own it.
Near the end of the evening, new friendships were formed as the women hugged and exchanged contact information. Looking back, I realize that it didn’t really matter whether the women in the room had anything in common. They were all women and that was apparently enough. I know that each girlfriend went home that night feeling a little sassier, a bit smarter and had become a firm believer in the power of siste