Six years ago this month - or has it been seven - I emailed a few friends and asked if they'd like to come together every month to share with each other. My original thought for what I dubbed, "Creative Sisterhood," was that we would make things together.
But, very quickly, it morphed into something different, something better.
Over the years we've shared some amazing times together. We've supported each other through deaths, marriages, job changes and more. Relationships have started and ended in that time. Through it all we've kept meeting every month, sharing our thoughts, our dreams, our selves.
It has been a really important part of my life. The mix of people was right. When forming a group there's an art to who you invite. You want people who are similar enough the group can "gel" but with some differences that will add enough spice to keep it going.
I tried to form another group, which didn't work. I knew it included a lot of really divergent personalities and that it would have been amazing if it worked out, but it just never came together as a group. But, I learned some really important things in the process.
For this sort of a group to work, I think:
*it has to have a "home" - hopefully someone's actual home, but definitely a place where it can become a group, a place it can call home
*everyone has to commit to the group - you can't have people who are showing up only very occasionally - groups can't become groups that way - and it's not fair to the other members - the "group" deserves being respected enough by all members for them to be present and engaged - obviously, situations will present on occasion when it's unavoidable for someone to miss and that's understandable
*people must share themselves - unless people share their real thoughts and feelings the group can't ever become a group - people are want to hide behind stories of their families, jobs and other "acceptable" fronts - a group will never develop a personality of its own if the people who are in it are not present
*although it seems like a minor thing, sharing food together bonds people - there's something about breaking bread together - or cookies, as the case may be
*having some rituals for the group help define it - they will develop naturally if you're on the look out for them
*someone has to take the responsibility for the group - as much as we'd like to believe such things just happen, they don't - someone has to take responsibility for it
*it's good to take a moment occasionally to assess if the group is fulfilling a need in the lives of its members
In my original email, I used this quote to sum up that I was looking to share some of the journey with others.
We are all wanderers on this earth.
Our hearts are full of wonder,
and our souls are deep with dreams.
I'm wanting more interaction that's meaningful, like Creative Sisterhood is. I've been thinking about trying to gather some folks for another group. Of course, it would not be the same, and a different group would create something different, but it could be womenderful. I keep mulling over the list of people I know who might be open to such a thing. We'll see what develops.