Girl Power

“When we bond, in those really important, pivotal, transitional moments in our lives, we’re really vulnerable.” Elissa Schappell

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.” Thomas Moore

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…” C.S. Lewis

“Once women find sisterhood, there’s nothing stronger.” Zoe Kravitz

let your heart break daily

in conversations 

over song lyrics

during the pause right before the sun rises

while you’re sipping coffee

and looking into the eyes of someone you love

for it’s when we break a little

we come alive

it’s in this space of feeling

we expand

and it’s here

in our vulnerability and openness

we step into our greatest selves

-Danielle Doby

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships. They came so easily as children, then grew complicated during middle school and high school, and eventually, in college for me, grew effortless once more. 

But then. Marriage. Babies. Stay-at-home motherhood. More babies. 

There came a time when I lost myself in the struggle. The late-night feedings and dirty diapers. A changing body and lower confidence. Post-partum and a sudden surge of anxieties. Seasonal depression. Constant whines and sticky hands. An aching to connect to someone—anyone besides those little people that needed me every second of every day. 

I tried to make friends, but motherhood brought out the crazy in me and those around me. The mommy wars—breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, epidurals vs. natural, sugar vs. NONE, organic vs. whatever Walmart sells, spanking vs. timeouts, clean houses vs. jungles. The list could go on forever. Any time I tried to make friends, it seemed the only thing people talked about was how they had the right spin on motherhood. 

Honestly, I never cared if someone used an epidural or if they fed their children scraps from leftover chick-fil-A. I just wanted to connect, but I left almost every playdate or get together feeling like a failure. Like I was doing everything all wrong and the whole world knew it. 

I felt more alone after every single effort. 

So, I quit. 

I quit trying. I quit inviting and quit attending anything besides church and family events. I settled into my little family and accepted that this was my new normal. I didn’t need other women; I had my husband and my babies, my mom and my sisters (which, don’t get me wrong, mean the world to me).

Years passed, sometimes painfully slow and other times so fast that I could only chase each moment, wishing it would stay just a little longer. I tried new things. I failed. Then, I tried more new things, until I started to find my way, until I finally felt like I had a pulse, a grasp on life and what I wanted. I began to dream, ever so slowly, but only on my own. 

I don’t know what happened, or where it all began, but one day, I decided to call a friend named Amanda (someone I knew from story time and book club) to join me on a run. That single run turned into an almost daily interaction with Amanda. Suddenly, I was laughing more. I was talking about things to someone that understood—in a female, solidarity, authentic way. 

And then my life changed. 

Soon, my friendship with Amanda grew to include other women—ones that I adore and consider as important as family. Soon, I joined a beautiful writing community where my tribe grew even larger. Add to that, I began going to volleyball every week and building meaningful connections. Kelly, Helen, Tara, Dayna, Ashtyn, Jamie, Keisha, Meg, Amanda, Des, Saige, all you vball and book club girls, etc, etc, etc. (seriously, there are SO many dear people I could name).

We women need each other. We need each other as much as we need to breath. Life is hard, messy, insane, amusing, exciting, and everything in between. Without finding our people, the world feels lonely, depressing, discouraging. 

A single phone call changed my life. I think about that all the time. I might be another phone call away from making another friendship, another life-changing connection. When we reach out to others, we become more. When we talk about things in a real, nonjudgmental way, we give others permission to speak their truths. When we laugh, we lift each other, and when we cry, we do so together. 

So, if you’re feeling like life is a solo journey, I hope you’ll reconsider. We need each other. We need each other’s unique strengths and insights. We need each other’s support. We need connection and service. And as women, there’s nothing like sisterhood. 

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Lucky 33

Lucky 33. oh boy….

This year 

I choose to burn my good candles

On a Tuesday at noon

Just because

I choose to use the expensive lotion

The one I keep tucked safe up on the counter

Not ration any of my most cherished belongings

Because I am worth investing in—right now

This year

I choose to wear that thing

You know

The one I told myself I would slip on

When I looked a certain way?

I choose to love my body

This vessel I have been given 

And her seasons as they shift

This year

I give myself permission to change

And keep changing

For I understand

There is an underlying truth when it comes

To becoming—it doesn’t have to mirror anyone else

This year

I choose to let go

Really let go

Of the heavy

Of the half-hearted

No more forcing connection

Where it no longer lives

I choose to nourish

What’s willing to grow

This year 

I choose to be grateful

For the teachings of my yesterday

I honor my wholeness

When I honor my whole story—even the shaky parts

This year

I choose to step forward

Clear eyes

Heart open

Two feet grounded

Palms wide

To the all-is-possible

Unknown

And new

DANIELLE DOBY, I am her Tribe

I’m not a superstitious person by nature. I don’t mind stepping on cracks, opening umbrellas indoors, or watching a black cat cross the road.

But a lucky number? I always have loved 3. In fact, the more 3’s you add, the luckier it becomes to me. So, turning 33 has been so FUN! I am thrilled to live a year in the 3’s. 

The other day, a mysterious package arrived on my doorstep, a package with a book, I Am Her Tribe

I flipped through the first pages, and emotion caught in my throat. Immediately, I knew who had sent the package. Only one person understands my fascination with words and meanings and the magic of growing and becoming. Only one person understands who I get lost in language about the feminine or connecting with earth or a higher power in connection with our earthly existence.

Thanks, Carrie. This book has become my food lately; I’m devouring it. The fact you found this and KNEW I would love it shows how well you know me and that you love me. And, I love you right back!

Words can hold magic—just look at a few of these AMAZING words by Danielle Doby:

I could have made visuals for every single page of her book. Guys, I loved it.

Year 33– I’ve got big plans for you. I will not stop trying, changing, and finding my way through motherhood, marriage, writing, and my many, many other goals. So here’s to new places and faces, to new growth. 33, I’ve decided to make you the luckiest year YET.

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