When was the last time that you felt truly supported, ? I mean, really and truly supported. So held up by others that you felt such confidence, pride, and - perhaps even a bit of validation, in your work? When was the last time that someone reached out to you at just the right moment when you were doubting yourself or your work and their words were exactly what you needed?
I think about this often because it is such a powerful feeling, don't you think? We're raised, taught, or conditioned as womxn to be competitive, to only let people see what's on the surface, to show only what we want people to see so they can't hurt us or undermine us. We go through our school years, uni, and then years in the office being weary of and sometimes even warring with the womxn around us. It's expected of us. And it's awful.
We're fortunate enough to have chosen a path that let's us determine how we want to treat others and how we, in turn, want and expect to be treated - without the constant societal and patriarchal pressures - at least not within our own offices.
But even with our new way of living and working we don't often let others know that we see them. We don't regularly show them that we see the amazing work that they're doing in the world. We don't take the time to comment meaningfully or reach out to them directly to let them know that we appreciate them, value them, and support them. It's often a habit to give some fly-by likes or hearts, share a quick gif, and move on.
Except... those aren't really supportive. They're nice, but we have an opportunity to do more. We have an opportunity to raise up the womxn around us.
#womensupportingwomen is a beautiful sentiment so how can we do that everyday?
Yesterday I was decluttering my office (again) and found a beautiful note written by my far-away friend, Robin Parr, who painted this beauty for me. If you've ever been on a call with me - at my sit down desk - you'll have seen this painting. Robin posted on her FB one day eons ago that she was doing a fun quick project painting people's spirit animals. Without knowing mine, I reached out and asked within the thread, and someone who I don't know knew mine right away (still a mystery to me how) and reached out to Robin with the exact image they had in their mind for my spirit animal. A month later this gorgeous being made its way across the oceans to me. She regally sits behind me and supports me in everything I do. So yesterday when I found the note, I took a photo of the note and this photo and reached out to Robin, who I haven't been in contact with in far too long, to let her know how much I appreciate her and her heartfelt painting.
You know what... it felt amazing.
And that's exactly why I do these wee things as a habit. I love the feeling I get when I reach out to someone and hear how it made them feel, and I adore the feeling I have when someone does the same for me.
Because it's so easy to feel alone with our work. To feel isolated in a world where everything is filtered and surface-level and carefully curated. Even though we're surrounded by so many womxn doing work in the world, we can feel so separated from them. And that's no fun at all.
And it's also why I send personal, hand-written postcards to all of our contributors, featured writers, and subscribers. It's important to me that people know how much I love having them in my life and part of the SOULACY family. Every single one of them positively influences my life, and I would love for them to know that, at least in some small way.
It's also why I'm becoming pen pals with the people in my life. Sure, a quick voice note in WhatsApp, and messages in Messenger/IG DMs are darling and great, but I want to show the people in my life that I think of them, that I adore them, and I want to take my time and give it to them. Plus... pen pals, how fun is that? And the perfect excuse to by lush stationary. :)
So I'll leave you today with some questions... How can you truly support the womxn in your life? How would you like to be supported? What would it feel like to support and be supported in those ways? And, what can you start incorporating into your life to show your support.
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