That's what is so powerful about women connecting. We get to remember something within us when we witness it, truly witness it, in another woman. Something sacred wakes up again, wakes up from a slumber that was meant to keep this sacred feminine safe until a time when it could come forth again. That time is now. We are birthing Her. Together. Always together.
~ Julie Daley
I've participated a few times in Magpie Girl's 8*Things posts. One of these challenged us to list eight people who supported us, either virtually or in real life. I started to write something more than once and then stopped. Narrowing a list to eight proved difficult. I feared hurt feelings if I left someone off, especially one of my face to face friends, in order to include some of the new "virtual" friends I've found lately. So I ended up posting nothing.
Then I wrote "Enough" and posted it on Saturday. Every time I thought about what I'd written, I cringed and wanted to rip it down and hide it away. And then something rather amazing began to happen. Women began to comment, supporting, encouraging, identifying. I received a couple of comments by email, from friends I interact with online but also know face to face. But every public remark identified a friend I only know virtually. And those comments, and the subsequent emails, made all the difference. That post still leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable and exposed, but the support from an online community of women walking the same path while in distant cities helped me to own my voice in a new way.
So I have been reflecting on the power of community, both face to face and virtual. We all need connection with people in our lives that we can see and touch. Sometimes nothing but a hug will do. But technology has given us a new way to reach out and connect with people we might have never had the privilege of knowing before the social media craze. On this path of re-imagining my life over the last four years or so, I have formed two friendships that have changed my life, primarily through online connection. And lately, in the past month or so, I've met a double handful of amazing powerful women who have given generously from a well of support and encouragement and challenge. I have remembered and woken up something sacred inside myself by witnessing it in these women - just as Julie said so well.
All of these women write. All of them honor the divine feminine in their own ways. None of them hesitate to ask the hard questions. All give generously. I feel the power in the connections and find myself amazed at the overlap. I read a blog and then see a comment from someone I "know" from a different space. The threads form a web, interconnected, so tangled together the start and end are impossible to unwind. And this web has a strength that holds and supports us all.
I'm tempted to make a list of these women - but somehow that seems too concrete and confining. And truly, the list already exists on the left hand side of the page in my blogroll. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the warm support and responsiveness of each of these women. And for the continued support of my face to face friends, some of whom don't or aren't currently writing for the blogosphere. I have NEVER had a tribe, a community, a circle of women like this. The feeling of birthing something together leaves me at a loss for words.
I don't know what all of this means. But I know there is an energy here, around these virtual connections, that feels new to me. Virtual connection allows for an instant connection to the heart and soul of a matter without the usual social niceties getting in the way. We don't first assess how someone looks. We don't ask what someone *does* or how many kids they have or where they live. We connect around deep thoughts, sacred ideas that resonate. We encourage and support one another without competition or comparison. Somehow the virtual space allows for the display of feminine strengths and facilitates connectivity in a way that the face to face world makes more difficult.
And all of that leaves me with the question of where is this all going? what do we do with all of it? Maybe there are no immediate answers to those questions. Maybe the virtual connections simply allow us to step more powerfully into the lives we each live. But maybe, just maybe, there is something more. Something shimmers on the horizon just beyond my view - so I keep moving, wondering what's just over the horizon, and glad to have companions on the journey.