Sunday, June 21, 2009

Encouragement for women

For whatever reason - a lack of close, ongoing connections, unawareness, apathy, self-absorption, lack of opportunities, or the sheer busyness of life - it can be easy to feel cut off from the support of other women at a deeper level.

And I don't know about you, but I get a lot of my inspiration and encouragement from other women.

I still enjoy the old 'deep and meaningful' with a girlfriend or two, but they are pretty rare these days. And when I do catch up with girlfriends, there are usually children around to get drinks for, give cuddles and read books to, or push on swings.

Or waiting urgently at home one or another of us has a pile of reports to do, permission notes to sign, or a husband wanting attention.

We converse in harried snippets with meaningful undertones and there's never enough time to plumb the depths of all that we want to say.

I think women's magazines try to address this need in their own way. They try to be our best friend, and what a crock that is! In the main, the popular mags have contributed hugely to so many women's self-loathing (even while we still love them and they are so addictive!).

Newer forms of social media are a different story. They facilitate conversation, which is such a natural means of connection for women.

Things like facebook, twitter and similar platforms are perfect for those little, unschedules bits of down time (often very late at night when it's too late to call) that come up unexpectedly when we want to remind our friends, 'Hey I'm here and I'm thinking of you!'

The internet in general is a logical place where women are creating nurturing and safe places to connect with other like-minded women for the purpose of offering and receive support.

I've done a little looking around and I can vouch for these, a mix of Christian and secular, and online and 'real world' initiatives.

Check them out for some inspiration, guidance and connection with other women trying to get maximum enjoyment out of this crazy little thing called life:

  • Sisterhood is a Canberra-based initiative for Catholic single and married women to provide mutual inspiration, support and formation.

  • Simple Savings offers tips and encouragement for saving money and working smarter, not harder, so you can live the life you really want. You do need to pay a subscription to be a member of its forum however.

  • Your local council or public library will have flyers or a community noticeboard advertising events, businesses, groups, and special initiatives where you might find other like-minded women in your area.

  • Live first, write later. Don't forget that I would love to hear from you too!

Drop me a line if you have any more suggestions to add to these.

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