Entrepreneurs Build Businesses & Nurture Friendships w/ Dana Malstaff | Episode 010

BBS Episode 008

Join Dana Malstaff as she shares about how she met her bff and how she is helping moms who are building businesses and taking the time to nurture their families and while remembering the importance of a balanced life including maintaining and nurturing those relationships that meet the needs that are not meant for your children, your business or husband to meet.

Podcast Transcription

On today’s episode, we are joined by Dana Malstaff from boss-mom.com. She is a mother, an author, a business and content strategist, she podcasts, she coaches and in the midst of taking care of her children and her husband, she also finds the time to nurture her relationship with her bff. start taking some notes and just begin to think about how you can do all of these things that you want to do and at the same time maintain and build on your relationship with your bff, your sister, your best-friend.

Dana Malstaff runs a blog called Boss Mom and she basically helps mom-entrepreneurs raise and nurture businesses and babies at the same time because she raised and nurtured her babies at the same time. When she decided to finally be an entrepreneur, she got pregnant at the exact same time and ultimately it lead to a brand, a book, a movement that has become her business and her life. She is the ultimate boss mom that is trying to be out in the world and letting women know that we can not feel guilty about having businesses and babies at the same time and live in that space where we can raise kids, to know that you can accomplish anything and when we do breakdown, we have the space to connect and support each other.

since she was a kid, they moved every two years until she got into high school and when she got to college, she really did not have one of those sort of amazing connection groups of girls because they just moved around too much. In junior year, she decided to study abroad and that happened to be actually be 9/11. Obviously the flight was cancelled, everything was delayed for two weeks before she actually got to fly to France where she was going to move for the year and almost everybody in the program dropped. there ended up being four people from the entire program that went. It went from a massive group down to four people and one of the girls there, her name was Laura, they basically met the first week when they were in Paris, on the way to Dijon where they lived and they just instantaneously connected. They ended up travelling all over together and just becoming amazing best friends. They separated to do their own thing after college and about 6 years later, Dana was in Chicago and had gotten the opportunity to live in this apartment that she could not afford, she needed a roommate so she called Laura up and told Laura that she needed to sell her house in Virgina, quit her job and move to Chicago with her. She got a call from Laura two days later and told her that her house is up for sale and she’s moving to Chicago. They were roommates for two years. They since now live on other sides of the country but their sons are four days apart and their daughters are less than two months apart. She was there when Dana met her husband, she was there when Laura met her husband. They were playing volleyball when Laura met her husband.

They were friends because they both made decisions that sometimes did not always make sense but were based in adventure and experience.

They are so very different but there is just something about personality and the way they enjoy life, the way they experience life that is similar and there is that connection. the way they communicate with each other is what really works and they are open with each other.

Dana describes herself as a massive extrovert who loves to talk everything out while Laura is an introvert in the sense that she loves people but she could sit and read a book for all day long never talk to a single soul and be perfectly fine. Extroverts and introverts sometimes pair really nicely together because they can give each other things they don’t have but connecting and communicating in a relationship just takes a little nuancing and over the years we learn that holding a space for our sisters is more important than us giving them advice.

Launching her business, brand and movement, Dana was pregnant with her second child. She doesn’t keep a lot of friends, she has a very close knit group of friends. So when she was in the midst launching, she had a lot of conversations with her friends who were not even entrepreneurs to help her through it. in some ways all of the endeavours and stress of having babies and starting her business and movement that drew and kept them closer. While her friends were in corporate America, doing their own thing or deciding to stay at home with their kids, she realized that there was a need for some really close friends that were not just parents but were also entrepreneurs so that was what opened for her now. She has some people in her circle and then she has the boss mom community. It is the close connections that she has that share both sides of her so that it doesn’t get left out and that it has actually strengthened her relationships with her oldest friends because its not asking them to connect with her in a way that is just not their place to connect.

we have circles of relationships that we go to for certain things, so for instance for business, you should never have more than 3 people that you go to, to help you make a decision on one aspect of your life otherwise you get decision fatigue. Not everybody is going to have the same answer for you and it actually becomes more stressful to make decisions. life gets harder when we question our decisions and so in her friendship circles, Dana sees them as kind of segmented in terms of how they connect. for instance if she’s having trouble with her pregnancy or her babies or something, there is a finite number of people where she can truly be vulnerable with those people in that space and her group, her community as a whole kind of helps allows her to be more open in that space. When she talks about business and money and those kinds of things, there is a group that she feels really connected with and her two oldest friends are ones that she can share anything with, it crosses the spectrum and they will love her, accept her and talk her through it but as her group has grown, as her community has grown, as her friendships have grown, she looks to that like they share with each other, aspects of their lives but there is probably a finite number of people that know every part of her that they can know. It feels good to have that little privacy to ourselves even in our friendships.

social media has become so dominant in our culture until a lot of times people are allowing that to become their first place of relationship instead of face to face, people to people and then these communities become the surrogate best friends of sorts. It is such an interesting topic because in some ways we need that community to get feedback to say that we are not alone. being on social media just helps us feel not so alone even when we are surrounded by people. when we get online we are sort of auto segmenting ourselves in to what we care about so it is easier to find people. there is actually room to make really authentic connections in those spaces. we overextend ourselves and we end up creating a big amount of sort of haphazard relationships. in our effort to connect with everybody we don’t really truly connect with anybody. we have to find a few people that are really our sisters and get to know them, to connect even further with somebody you can really see that there is a connection with because you cannot be friends with everybody. There is just not enough of you to go around and at some point you have to make a decision about the things you are going to only share to the people that you love and care about

there seems to be less of a communal desire among women to actually have close female friendships and instead people are opting for the kind of relationships that they have on social media and for example, you know like if you are on the elephant in the room, and it is your birthday then you get a message on your board and all of a sudden you have one, two hundred people writing happy birthday on their board but how many of my friends called to say happy birthday as opposed to all of these numbers and what ends up happening, these online relationships meet any but we all know that friendships push you in areas that are not always comfortable because friends are supposed to be there for your growth and for your celebration, for your encouragement and then sometimes as friends, we push each other the wrong way, we kind of get on each other’s nerves once in a while but the true friendship is being able to hang in there as opposed to unfriending or leaving the group.

Those 200 comments, would we want it to be there if we lost our jobs, if we are getting a divorce or if we have miscarriage, if we were losing money in our business, if we are just having a really horrible day, if we got in a car accident. those are the things where if you can’t immediately think of at least one person that is not your spouse that you would call and connect with or cry to in that space then you are missing out because that is what we need the most, its the support that we need the most, its the space that we need the most, where somebody can be there, that can hold us, that can love us in a way that is not your husband, or your boyfriends, girlfriend, or whatever it is and not your kids but somebody outside of the circle. I would imagine if you had bad news to share. Who would you share that with? if somebody in your circle came to you and said this terrible thing is happening to me, that you would not feel put out by dropping everything to be there for them and that is when you know a relationship is really strong. if you needed to actually prioritize to be in their life more, would you do it with love or would you do it with hesitation. a good indicator of really strong relationships is when it is not even a question of I am going to clear my plate, I am going to be here for you because that is important. That is when you know you have those relationships. if those names for both of those scenarios don’t come to mind then you are not living a full life because we need those kinds of people and there is not a single person in the world who is going through the world without needing that from somebody And so you are going to find yourself lonely and crying a lot more than you need to unless you go out and make real connections.

If you are going to connect with people online, strive to do things that actually connect. You can connect virtually, you can create relationships virtually that become other things. If you are just creating relationships virtually that will always be virtual then I think that you are kind of pigeon-holing yourself. The connection should be there and it should become a phone call, a visit or a coffee or whatever it is depending on where you guys live or a skype, it should always be “how am I advancing this relationship” and is it worth advancing?

While Dana is focused on growing her business but from the boss mom brand they are always considering the way women live as moms or as people who are intending to be moms because it is built differently. they work with people that really only empathize with that, like the kids could come home sick at any minute or maybe they are at home and they are trying to build something on the side. They approach business differently because they know that the moms’ life is different. She wanted to create a space wherein they talk a little bit of best practice in their business but the rest of the time they connect and they plan and they brainstorm together because relationships are born out of conversation of how can I be helpful to you, to give what you need, the connections are made by talking about things we care about and what we are doing and how we are doing it and that’s where we start finding commonalities and so they created an event, a retreat to maximize how people are connecting with a ton of people so that the end, they can make decisions about who they really want to be with.

Dana wanted to create a space where women can meet as many people as possible and connect in as many ways as possible and so they can actually start to hone in on the people that are really to be the ones that you want to connect with and collaborate with and be friends with and go on other adventures together with and start businesses together or read books together or whatever that is. You know, have play dates together because the more that women connect with people in that space, the more confident they can be in in the decisions they make about the friendships they are going forward with.

in a circle, people are talking about their aspirations for their business, the challenges that they have, the planning that they are doing, going forward. sometimes when you are in the moment of doing that, something hits you, maybe it might seem like a challenge that you can’t at all figure out how you are going to over come it in and it shows on your face and being in that circle you get more than the information that is coming at you from the speaker, you begin to get all of the information and the feelings of the other people in the circle which will make for a very different dynamic.

In just meeting in person, there is a big difference between that and the virtual aspect of the world that we live in. you might be friends with somebody online and using their quotes online and then you meet them in person you haven’t had time to curate their comments, they haven’t had time to decide what they are going to say or not going to say and what they decide to care about or share more so it helps us tell a lot about other people but it also helps us a know a lot about us, online we can hold views and ideas and thoughts, though we have time to measure and when were in person, some of those conversations and things just come up more organically and more in more real time and so we discover just as much about ourselves as we do about the people we are surrounded by and who we want to continue to surround ourselves with which is why such events whether it is business or not can be really important for us because it sort of steps us out of comfort zone. We should strive to do things that make us uncomfortable because that is what helps us understand more of us and the more we understand ourselves the better friends we can be, the better spouses we can be, the better people we can be and the more in tune we can be with are we surrounding ourselves with the right kind of people and the right kind of friends, they are going to help us be the people we want to be and get us where we want to go.

Dana thinks that the reason why Boss Mom Academy has been so successful because it is a marriage of both business and family. about 80% of the time they talk business and about 20% of the time, its like how do I get over this hurdle that is I don’t have time, I dont have space I am in survival mode and when you are in survival mode the hierarchy of needs, your friends are like in the 3rd or 4th circle, they are often the ones that get neglected because you know you are trying to keep yourselves alive, your kids alive and then your business is like your baby and its the place where it helps everything else survive so those three things become it and part of the academy is how to create enough momentum for you and success that you can open up and make sure you are giving all these other parts of your life a level of importance and just reminding everybody all the time too that its way easier to build things that are successful no matter what you do when you incorporate the self care and when you incorporate other people connecting with other people that you really love. Those two things actually help you not the did you build that opt-in page and that sales funnel and build you anything else until you do that yeah, that needs to get done but so does that date with your husband and that phone call with your best friend you havent talked to in 6 months. You have to make times for those things because those are the things that make you feel like you are actually living a life as opposed to searching to moving down the path to try to attain the life that you want and that is when they say you are missing the moments that actually create what is important to you if you are just focusing on the thing that you have to get to do to get to the next place.

I believe strongly that females need female friends and when we are trying to be wife and mother and boss of whatever kind I just think that somehow or another whether our circle is big or our circle is small that we need to be able to have someone in the circle other than our business, our spouse and our children because there needs to be somebody that can get with us.

we have to find people that get us and that changes sometimes. Dana has friends that she is not close with because they just stopped being in the same place like love is not just looking at each other. Its looking at the same direction. That applies for friends too. Sometimes we just move apart not because we don’t care about each other but just because we are in different places and we stopped getting each other and that is okay. Some friendships are not meant to be for life like some friendships are and some friendships are meant for the time that you need each other and you connect on a deep level like a butterfly you let each other go and connect with the nest person. That is really going to be helpful because friendship should be helpful and uncomfortable and can celebrate, cry all those things, but it should meant to be something truly positively valuable for each other and when that stops happening, sometimes you let friendships go and you find other friendships and you kind of know which ones to do which with.

we love the way we like to be loved, we love others how we love to be loved but what we have to recognize is that these other people and their love to us is being valued, showing that you value somebody. Its one of the core parts of love. So in business, you love your clients, you love your community, in friendships, it is the same way. We need to start to get good in recognizing how the people you are with, your friends and everybody else in your business, in life how they need to be valued and how that really resonates with them so you can do those things because we subconsciously love others how we want to be loved and that doesn’t always work with other people so if you want to be better at being friends, being better at being a boss, better at having clients, having a community, get an understanding of that you can start recognizing how people are valued and speak to those things and do those things and ultimately helps relationships thrive so much better and that is what business in a regular standpoint

We need to have those relationships where you can giggle and have a good time. I want to leave as a pearl of wisdom for you as your thinking about and reflecting on this podcast, about the importance of knowing the difference what we get from “social relationships” as opposed to the eye to eye relationships. Remember, that it is meaningful to have a friend that you can look in their eyes and see the pain that sometimes their voice will mask friendships are great friendships can be challenging and you need that challenge in order to become who you should be come. You are not finished. Your personality is not completely finished. Your goals, your aspirations, they might look finished but there’s always another level, layer that requires some attention that you might not see and so relationships that live only online can take you but so far its almost like events and conferences, there’s a conference going on that I know will also be livestreaming, I will opt to be present as opposed to watching online because there’s something in the atmosphere at the place that I miss if I only watch it streaming. I want to encourage you to have eyeball to eyeball relationships and not just streaming relationships let us not lose the art of communicating and connecting. Here’s your call to action, please share the podcast very simple. Share the podcast just send it to someone encourage them to download on to their digital device and listen to it. Subscribe to it. Building A Better Sisterhood.

 

Yes, you can quote our “Pearls of Wisdom”

Holding a space for a sister is more important than us giving her advice. – Dana Malstaff

Being on social media just helps us to not feel so alone even when we are surrounded by people. – Dana Malstaff

You have to make a decision about the things you are going to only share to the people that you love and care about. – Dana Malstaff

A good indicator of really strong relationships is when you are willing to clear everything on your plate and be there for your sister Dana Malstaff

Balance includes maintaining and nurturing relationships that meet needs that are not meant for your children, your business or husband to meet. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

It is meaningful to have a friend that you can look in their eyes and see the pain that is sometimes masked in their voice. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

Great friendships can be challenging and you need that challenge in order to become who you should be come. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

Call To Action:

Please share the podcast, just send it to someone, encourage them to download it on to their digital devices and listen to it and subscribe to it.

 

Links

Find Dana Malstaff on the following platforms:

Facebook group: www.boss-mom.com/facebook

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/DanaMalstaff

Twitter: https://www.instagram.com/DanaMalstaff

Website: www.boss-mom.com

Free Trello Training: www.boss-mom.com/trello

 

Being thankful for the size of your friendship circle w/ Cecelia GreeneBarr | Episode 009

Being thankful for the size of your friendship circle w/ Cecelia GreeneBarr | Episode 009

BBS Episode 009

This Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I want to talk about being thankful for the size of your circle of friends. It is just you and I together today, no guest. Well, almost a guest by way of video that I saw on Facebook that I want to share with you. The Facebook video by Trent Shelton asks the question, “If all you had to offer is friendship, who would still be your friend?” The expanding and contracting of friendship circles is a real part of life. This podcast helps to understand the size of your circle.

Podcast Transcription

Today, I want to talk about being thankful for the size of your circle of friends. I saw this video on Facebook but we are going to talk today about just the mindset of being thankful but I want to twist it a little bit and talk about being thankful for the size of your circle of friends and to kick this off I want to share with you a video by Trent Shelton that I saw on Facebook.

In the video, Trent raises some serious issues that all of us who have been in friendship relationships have had to struggle with. What he is talking about is not just particular to sister friends, it is any kind of friendship, any kind of relationship but I saw this from the standpoint of the sister relationship that I have been dealing on here on Building A Better Sisterhood. He asked a really critical question and I am going to ask you even as I think internally about this question, “if all you had to offer was friendship, who would still be around? Who would still be in your circle?”. If the only thing you had to offer was friendship, you did not have a hook-up to offer, you did not have finances to offer, you did not have relationships to offer, your circle of influence, you did not have a job to get for them, you did not have a good word to say for them, if the only thing you had to offer was friendship, who would still be around?

One of the ways to answer that question is to look back over your life and think about the times when you realized that there were people in your circle, there were sisters in your circle that wanted more than the friendship that you had to offer, they liked your position and so they were going to ride your tailcoat so that they could get it, do you remember as a child playing the game leap frog? I remember that and how you would jump and then you would be down and then the person behind you would jump over you to get to that next spot and we call that leap frog and sometimes we have had experiences in our friendships where the person was in your life because they actually appreciated the fact that all you had to offer was friendship, it is just that they have looked at your life and something about your life was appealing and so what you represented to them was a leap frog opportunity until they could not leap frog over you anymore and then all of a sudden you were not as valuable to them, you did not bring as much interest or they would say that the season for that friendship is over or however they would phrase it, the bottom line was that they had gotten what they wanted from you. On a previous episode, I was talking with Tamara Scott and she talked about how it is possible to have good close sister friendships when people are well and they are wholesome and we also recognize as we women who interact with people on a regular basis, that is our profession, that is our calling, that we see that so many people, their souls are simply not well and it is not that we are throwing rocks, stones or elevating one over the other but there are so many things that I believe in society that promote sick souls

This podcast is all about building a better sisterhood and one of the key elements of being able to build a better sisterhood is being able to evaluate the condition of your own soul because if your soul is in need of attention, you should give it the attention that it needs so that it can get better, so you don’t have to pretend you can be real in your relationships.

When we are seeking to be better in our sisterhood, to the women who are close to us, our female friends, our bffs, then that means we don’t have to be eyeball to eyeball in order for one sister to be loyal to another. With a society that is moving around and now the whole globe is our playground, not just our little town, that means that the opportunity for you or your bff to move, live someplace else is pretty substantial.

So, with that in mind, can you still be loyal even though you are not in the same town where you grew up, you are in different corners of a country or some place else in the world and the answer to that is yes, that is all about all a part of being better in our sisterhood that we can be tight, we can be close. You absolutely can be close and loyal without that person being in front of you. I think about my bff for 2 1/2 years, I was heavily pursuing something that has been placed on my life and coming in contact with a lot of people and my bff happened to know some people who are in my professional circle and if they even thought about uttering something contrary as it related to what I was doing, I wasn’t there but she was my champion in that situation. She championed me, my name and my cause. Why? Because those are the qualities of nurturing and valuing your close friends, your best friends, your sisters, your very good sister friends. So, we are just looking at how to be better.

He said something; he said some of us are fighting for people who would not throw a punch for us, we are not talking about actual, physical altercations but the idea is we fight for the things that are important to us, what he is saying here is that some of us, we are fighting for people who would never throw a punch for us, people who not get in a game with us and when you find yourself in that situation that is a prime opportunity for you to back up and say I don’t need a friend, I don’t need a sister-friend. What is the point in having a sister-friend? She would not throw a punch for me, she would not hang in there for me, maybe you had a friend and you were all in for her but she was not hardly all in for you and you saw that as an opportunity to rationalize, well, you know what? You remember this, I can do better by myself but you may not say that but you might say to yourself, why should I go hard for my friend, invest this kind of energy and tenacity for the causes of my friend if they would not do it for me. Being a better sister also means that we guard ourselves in this whole area of gossip.

Now, if you saw it and you tell it, it is not gossip. You are a witness to what has happened but if you heard somebody say such and such about such and such, that is gossip. When you have a really good friend who loves to gossip, take that as an opportunity to help your friend get whole and to say to your friend, I know this sounds juicy but let us just be honest with ourselves, this is gossip. So let us not gossip about that situation because we would not want people gossiping about us. So whether the gossip is about you or not, if you have a close friend who really likes to gossip, help your friend and point out to your friend that bringing gossip to you about you or not about you isn’t cool and if they bring gossip to you, about you and they don’t finish the story by saying “but I told them, no that is not how you are” or if they don’t tell you in someway that they defended you, then you need to have some more heart to heart conversation with your sister-kith.

He says, as time grows their jealousy grows. As time goes, their jealousy goes. Pay attention because that is when true motives are exposed. I am going to get to my point in a minute about celebrating and giving thanks for the size of your circle. I like these points about his video up because have you been in situations with friends in the past and it was good for a bit but as time went on and your life began to unfold and really good and fulfilling ways, you noticed that jealousy in their heart began to grow and then before you know it, they show you their motives. I know I have experienced it and perhaps many of my listeners have experienced it as well. When this happens, even as he said in his video, you look around and then you have to make decisions when people show you who they are, then you need to believe them. I am not saying when you have misinterpreted a situation under the lens of emotional or psychological transference. I am not talking about that but when a thief shows you they are a thief by the evidence of what was stolen, then you need to believe that that is a thief. That is different than the perception that you have that someone is a thief based on your own psychological transference of whatever you are going through at the moment. Everybody in your circle might not be in your corner. We are talking about the size of your circle. Everyone in your circle, this is what he said, I am quoting him, “everyone in your circle may not be in your corner”. That is a hard fact of life that you need to come to terms with.

I remember when my son was in the 7th grade, he had gone to a new school and he had met a group of classmates who had come from a different theater school  and all of those guys were neighbors and I had been around them to some extent because they all ran cross country together but it got to a point where they would want to hang out more, they would invite my son to come over the house and play but they got a lake in their backyard and my son started sharing with me some of the behaviors that he was noticing of a couple of the boys in the group, not towards him but towards other people and let us just say that the behavior was not good and so I had to say to my son, son, you need to enjoy your new friends but interact with them with watchful eyes because if you are noticing how they flip on other classmates, be very mindful about how they are treating you because all of these guys know each other and you and one other guy, you are the new people into this situation, so just be very mindful of how they’re behaving towards you and other people because you are in their circle but that does not necessarily mean you are in their corner and true enough to mommy’s wisdom before it was all said and done by the end of that school year, they showed who they really were, a couple of them. So my son was not caught off guard, he was aware and that is the same thing that we have to be in our relationships with our sisters as we are seeking to have these relationships. I am saying this because too many women have given up on having a good friend, a good sister friend because they have experienced these very things that Trent was talking about in his video.

Now, here we go. He says, don’t be surprised if your growth makes your circle smaller. Small isn’t always a bad thing and sometimes your circle of sisters, it will get smaller as you personally begin to grow. Now, this is assuming that growth is one of your life goals that you want to advance, you want to get more depth of character and personality and a different areas of your life, you have mapped out a progressive plan for your life and you’re growing and your expanding and as this is happening, your circle can possibly get smaller. Is this a bad thing? It’s not. He says it this way that sometimes, the best way to add to your life is not to act to it but to subtract. Understand that it is not about the size of your circle. It is about the loyalty that is within your circle. Let me tell you something, loyalty is a precious commodity. People who are sisters, ladies who really, really loyal to you, they will push you to go after whatever that “it” thing is in your life and your friends don’t have to have the same goals and objectives for their life as you have for yours, that is not really the only thing that make you friends, you don’t have this exact same life plan for yourself as for all of your friends, those sisters in your life, they push you to go forward, and it is an encouragement but there is a sincerity to it and there is that loyalty that is to it as well. He says something that is important, mindsets are contagious. You know that is the truth. You know it is the truth, that is when you get the whole concept of group think because if get some minds together, sometimes the group loses its ability or people in the group lose their ability to think independently. Have you seen that movie, Divergent. The whole problem is when you have people who will not willingly and easily release themselves to group think. In other words, they think independently and they will not succumb to the whole group think is because mindsets are very contagious, this can work to your benefit if your sisters in your circle are positive, they are life-affirming, they are go getters, they are genuine, they operate with integrity. If you surround yourself and you take into your circle people with low morals and questionable integrity before you know it, that mindset becomes contagious in the circle.

You would hope that the opposite that the stronger, the better mindset would take very… The stronger oxen will win and often times especially with the influence of society now, that strong ox of low morality and people not being integrous will actually become contagious so, be aware of the mindsets of people that you let close into your circle and this is not to say that a person is better than somebody else but this is saying that we have to be careful in developing our sister-relationships and if you realize that someone close to you operates with a very low threshold with integrity, you need to be careful that mindset can be very contagious. Be careful about who you surround yourself with in your life.

So here is the question. If the only thing you had to offer your friend was just your pure friendship, how many friends would you really have? When people could not benefit from yourself outside of just being your friend, how many friends would you really have? I remember when I was in seminary. I remember when I was in seminary and it was my last year in seminary and I had broken my ankle on ice and I had to use crutches, no weight bearing at all for over eight weeks, I was also an officer in the black seminarians associations and every year, the associations around February, we would have this really nice black history event and it was my responsibility to organize that event and so my leg in a cast did not stop me but there was another student who saw this as her opportunity to undercut me and I guess she wanted my position and so she was working behind the scenes to undercut everything that I was doing and I remember one time we were in the cafeteria and I called her on it and you know people don’t like to be exposed. They become very defensive and loud and all of that foolishness. All of that to mask the fact that they have been called out so she performed and she left the table and then lunch was over and I was leaving and another one of my classmates who had been at the table said to me, well it looks like you have lost a friends and I looked at him and I said, I did not lose a friends, because she was never a friend. She was a classmate who was only close because she really wanted to take my place. And so the circle had gotten smaller because the motive had gotten exposed. And if you are not careful, you might really feel like something is wrong if your circle is not as big as somebody else’s or as big as you thought it should be. I don’t mind telling you that I really enjoyed the video by Trent Shelton and I encouraged you to watch it to listen to this again so you could hear it and the questions is critical. If all you have to offer is friendship, who would still be your friend?

I want to encourage sisters to desire to have good sister friends not based on the hook-up that you can do for them, the connection you can make for them, to help them push their product, help them push their business, help them push their whatever but to have friendships not based on anything other than the fact that that person only has friendship to offer to you and maybe that means that your circle is big and maybe that means your circle is small. We’ve all taken a look around our lives and we wondered at some point in time why people were actually in our circle and then why people were out. Everybody has those moments when you think about that. They are always expanding and contracting going on in friendship circles because it is a real part of life. You have people who come into your life and maybe you went into someone’s life and you weren’t as whole as you are now and maybe you just wanted more than just a friendship they had to offer, you wanted other things but you weren’t straight up with them about it or somebody wasn’t honest with you and before you know it, motives get exposed and relationships breakdown. I want to leave a thought with you that you don’t have to put people out of your life. You do not have to put people out of your life, you do not have to write them out, tear up your friendship contracts, burn them. You don’t always have to put people out of your life, you know why? Because some people drop out of your life by their own initiative. If people are in your life and their motives are hidden, they are not sincere, they want more from you than just the friendship that you have to offer, maybe they like the circle that you hang around, the influence that you have, the things that you have, the position, whatever it is, some shiny object in your life, maybe they like your home life, they want that for themselves, it could be a lot of reasons but then their motives get exposed, you don’t always have to put people out of your life because sometimes instead of putting them out, they will just  simply drop out of their own initiative. I have learned that people don’t like their motives being exposed, when their motives are not centered correctly. My kith circle and I like that word, kith. My kith circle of female friends has also experienced the motion of expanding and contracting. You can’t get around it. It is unavoidable. Holding on to friendships and tightening that group does not cause you to avoid  the contracting of your circle because your circle is going to get smaller at times in your life and you can’t avoid that. Holding on to people, putting a stern grip on people, does not going to make it better either.  That will only frustrate you and it will drain you.

If the signs are all there, don’t put undue force and pressure trying to hold together what is really contracting, it is not expanding. It is not getting bigger. It is getting smaller. It doesn’t mean that you are living as an island unto yourself, it just means that tight circle of sister friends is getting smaller and that is okay. That is okay.

So today, for this thanksgiving podcast, I want to celebrate the size of your sister kith circle. Celebrate and be thankful in your heart for the ladies who only want your friendship. That is all they want from you, they don’t want your insights, they don’t want you to use your expertise to further their life, they don’t want to replace you in whatever positions you have. They are not secretly envious of you, they don’t have ulterior motives, they don’t want to leap frog over your hard work so they can get in your spot or beyond.

Here is your call to action. This is the one thing I want to encourage you to do on thanksgiving. On thanksgiving day, some people go out to eat on thanksgiving, no matter how you do it, try to make this happen, on thanksgiving day when it is time to sit down and eat because that is what we do on thanksgiving, I want you to make a place setting at the table, don’t put food on it but put the plate and the goblets and the silver ware and this place setting will represent the size of your sister kith circle. Just one place setting. Now I am not saying to get a big plate or a small plate. Just get a plate that is just like the other plates that you will be eating on and make a plate place setting and when you are there at the table with how many ever people you have gathered with and someone says to you, well are you expecting somebody else? Who is this setting for? And you can very well say, this setting is because I am thankful for the size of my circle. It does not matter if your circle is big or small. It is all about being thankful for the size of the circle. It is for being thankful that you did not have to put anybody out of your life that those who should have not been there, they withdrew themselves.

It is about the fact that you learned how to be better in your friendship towards your close friends and it is about the fact that you have some people who will throw a punch for you, who will encourage to go get it, who will be loyal even if you are not around, that your presence does not determine their loyalty. That place setting is your way of being thankful for the fact that the people in your boat are rowing for you and they are not drilling holes. That the people in your circle, they don’t want anything else from you. They do not want your money, they do not want to replace you, they do not want to be envious of you, they do not want to see you doing bad, the only thing that they want from you is you because they value you and that is it and that is worth being thankful for.

Yes, you can quote these “Pearls of Wisdom”

People pretend well when their souls are for sale.Trent Shelton

Loyalty should not depend on your presence.Trent Shelton

Everyone in your circle may not be in your corner.Trent Shelton

Sometimes your circle of sisters, it will get smaller as you personally begin to grow.Cecelia GreeneBarr

Be careful about who you surround yourself with in your life.Cecelia GreeneBarr

If the only thing you had to offer your friend was just your pure friendship, how many friends would you really have? Trent Shelton

You don’t always have to put people out of your life because some people drop out of your life by their own initiative. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

Call To Action:

On Thanksgiving Day, when it is time to sit down and eat, I want you to make an extra place setting at the table. Don’t put food on this place setting because this one will represent the size of your “sister kith circle”. Now I am not saying to get a big plate or a small plate, just get a plate that is just like the other plates that you will be using. When you are there at the table with those who have gathered,  and someone asks; “Are you expecting somebody else? Who is this setting for?”, tell them “This setting is because I am thankful for the size of my circle”. It doesn’t matter if your circle is big or small. It’s all about being thankful for the size of the circle and being thankful that you didn’t have to put anybody out of your life. It’s about being thankful that those who shouldn’t have been there, they’ve withdrawn  themselves.

Links

Cecelia GreeneBarr Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @drgreenebarr

Find Trent Shelton on the following platforms:
Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/liketrentshelton
Twitter Page: @trentshelton
Instagram: @trentshelton

 

Female Relationship in a Social Media Culture w/ Tamara Scott | Episode 008

Female Relationship in a Social Media Culture w/ Tamara Scott | Episode 008

BBS Episode 008

We will be having a dialogue with our very special guest, Dr. Tamara Scott. She is a woman with insights in to female relationships especially when we are thinking about this digital age in society. This conversation is going to catch you off guard as it points and if you hang in here with us through the entire conversation, you will be surprised that you might be encouraged and enlightened and just hang in here with us.

Podcast Transcription

Today we are on episode number 8 and I have as our very special guest, Tamara Scott. She is a preacher, she is a workshop facilitator, she is the managing partner with her husband for their ministry across the country and she is a woman with insights in to female relationships especially when we are thinking about this digital age in society. For this episode, we’re here to talk about relationships among women and how we can create better relationships and better friendships.

Let me give you a short background on Tamara Scott. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her husband serves as senior pastor at the Galilee Baptist church in Kalamazoo and she currently for this time serve as director of women’s ministries at their church and in addition to that she is also the operations officer for Michael Thomas Scott ministries incorporated which is their ministry arm that they use to spread the gospel preaching, teaching, doing workshops, revivals, conferences for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God and to encourage God’s people to grow and change the world through by his word.

Tamara shares that her best girlfriend relationship that she currently has would be with my spiritual mother, Bishop Sadie Bronson, she lives in Wilmington, Delaware and she is a senior pastor of abundant love ministries. They met while she was attending a women’s conference in Ocean City, Maryland almost 20 years ago. She came in contact with bishop based on a class that she was teaching, Tamara was not a student in that particular class but some women from her church attended the class and so my first contact with Bishop Bronson was not actually a formal hand shake or a formal introduction but she actually happened to pass by as Tamara was walking in a group with some of the ladies from church at that time and she passed by one of the women in her group and one of the ladies fell out on the floor, just in passing and the anointing on their life was so powerful that that particular day she missed the shoulder sweep but all of the people who came in contact with her shoulder that day were literally laid out in the hallway of that hotel and so that was their first introduction to each other.

It basically looked like the current day mannequin challenge. It was like people were frozen, looking and trying to pick their friends up off the floor. it was just something that they had not experienced and the bishop kept walking, she went where she was going.

Tamara went up to Bishop Bronson, did not say anything, just looked at her and trying to figure out all the bits and pieces. She realized that she was actually a kind, friendly and loving person and so essentially it was not even a long conversation. She was making her aware that she was there with a group of women from her church and they experienced her the day before. The next day, she went to Bishop Bronson’s class and what she experienced during the class was unlike any other workshop she has attended during the entire conference. She knew that it was something that the lord was doing in her life that was different than what was happening to most people. She really wanted to know more about how she was able to operate in such a powerful way in such a traditional situation.

Their friendship went from “Hi, remember me” to sister-friends because the way her personality works and the kind of person she is. Tamara shares that not only is Bishop Bronson a pioneer in ministry but also in business. She is a business woman, entrepreneur as well. So there is so many areas and facets of life that she is able to offer information from and then the fact that her being the bishop, her being a pastor or her being an entrepreneur does not get in the way of her just knowing how to have a good time.

Their relationship started off more as a friendship because after the conference in particular she was able to call her and just talk to her. They would just talk and have conversations and it was not until much later that they looked into what some people would call the mentoring relationship. I think that it differs because Tamara has male mentors but then having a female person, in your life is a little bit different and a little more challenging as it relates to ministry. Having female relationships in ministry had been proven to personally to be somewhat challenging.

Her relationship with bishop was the first time that she became more open to the fact that you could be without challenge, without deceit, without jealousy with out all of the things that usually consume relationships between women in ministry who are successful. Without bringing all of those things to the table and she was not interested in her next idea or her next project or what she had going but simply like how are you doing? Just simply as a person like what are some of the things that you are doing to enjoy yourselves to relax. It was not about offering opportunities, stage, platforms, chance, things of that nature and so she is the person who really opened Tamara to the fact that it was a possibility.

Because of Tamara’s upbringing and the way Tamara was raised, she was always limited, her friends were selected for her more so, than her own selection. So once she went to college was able to choose of her own volition, she was a highly selective of the people she chooses to be her friend.

When Tamara became a preacher it was very different for her to maintain friendships because it was hard for them to understand the constraints of her life. What she may have been able to do before that she is not available to do now, understanding that she may not be able to talk to her friends everyday but they are still friends but for some people, that is complicated to understand. At a certain point, she more so sought out people who had a similar type lifestyle, so then one of her really good friends was also married to a pastor but she was a minister as well so it kind of worked out and sometimes it would just work out. They ended up going to seminary together so that was good that she had a friend that was female there and then they also preached at some of the same conferences and so they would see each other in those places and sometimes they would just get together just to have fun, nothing about ministry, nothing about work but just to enjoy each other’s company. Because of the complication with people not really understanding everything that goes on in the lives of those in ministry and not being sensitive to those things, it was really a challenge to be friends with people who were not in ministry.

Tamara knew that it was going to be challenging to have a good sister-friend who shared the same kind of profession as herself just based on the experiences that she was having along the way and how she was having to redefine what is a good sisterhood relationship looks like in this particular season of her life. You have to be a very compassionate and understanding person to know that I love you from the depths of my heart but our world is filled and you are filled in it but we just have to make sure that we outline in such a way that we are both mutually benefitting.

In the current age in which we live, sister-friends are defined differently than they were some 20-30 years ago. Some of the challenges that she sees or that she experienced with the women that she ministers to across the country are not unwarranted but at the same time, there are a lot of trust issues, one of the biggest problems when the biggest complications of the sisterhood relationships, is the trust factor. Can you really trust and individual with your innermost concerns to really see you in your humanity, for those who are in ministry, sometimes people do not understand that people are a human being as divinely as they preach and minister and teach and all the wonderful things you see them do at the end of the day, they are a person who wants to be loved, who wants to be encourage, who wants to just have a good time and so as I travelled across the country, I think that the trust factor is a really big deal and then the spirit of competition is just so great.

The Lord has gifted each of us uniquely to do a specific work. What bothers her the most is that a lot of women now are not true to who they actually are, that their authenticity means nothing to them at this point, that their fulfilment comes from being a copy of someone else and just not being authentically who they are and she thinks that, that also compromises the ability to be friends. To have a true sister-friend when you are sharing with this person because you are looking for a prayer partner, praise partner, somebody to get excited with you about what you are doing, not somebody to be a copy cat. So she sees that in person and she sees that online as well.

I cannot even really pinpoint where this fierce level of competition and covetedness opened to this point, I think all of us want to be the best at what we are doing. All of us want to experience levels of success but I do not understand how we become so disconnected that we are not able to celebrate the triumphs and victories in one another’s lives instead that when we see the success of our sister that it becomes a moment where we are saying, “oh I am going to one-up her on that” or “wait until you see what I am doing next”. It saddens me that, that is how people are living and I think that social media has influenced that as well and again social media can be used in such a great way to get back into relationships that you could have possibly lost or in some cases to meet people or to meet new friends that you would not have but yet we have to be careful and be mindful even of how that particular platform is even used.

And it makes me think about how so many women because the spirit of covetedness is so rampant throughout the gender that we are not really able to see the value in having a good sister-friend without competition, without envy, without strife, if that relationship is not existing, we do not even think to ask for from the preacher or prophet who is in town.

She believes that knowing how to value sister relationships can be taught but the work starts in each individual and it should start with the wholeness in the life of the individual. She does not think that fragmented people coming together works very well. You have to have whole people coming into wholesome situations in order for it to work out at its best so in addition to teaching that the sisterhood relationships is good, for a lot of sisters, they need to be convinced that they are good, they are good with what the Lord has equipped them with, that they are good at what they are doing. You have no reason to have to desire what the sister across the street or next door to you has because God has so aptly gifted you to do what it is that you are doing, so it is kind of a thing where we have to start from the inside of individuals and then introduce whole people to wholesome relationships and so that is a challenge that we face because so many across the gender, whether it is in business or whether it is in church and so many women need to be made whole.

And just like the game twister we forget that there are more than one circles in life to put our hand or foot on but it seems like that envy and that striving that the other circles are not sufficient and for those of us who are women of faith and we operate with God, we know that when God gives you an idea, when he burst something in you, he is going to take the gifts that he put in you to bring it to pass so it does not matter if somebody envies what you have, they came and took it all, they could not do it.

Women are becoming more and more open to the concept that work should start from the inside. This is something that Tamarahad really been praying for, that the women of God would be able to have other Godly women in their lives and not so many women that are unsaved that we’re giving them conflicting information that did not agree and line up with the word of God, because I think they need more of that in their lives.

There is definitely value both in intrinsic and extrinsic value of having good friends that it is healthy for you and that is a blessing and it is also a blessing to be a friend to someone else. You may not know how much a sister may need you to just say, you know what? I was thinking about you today, you know what, you are awesome. You rock, you got it going on and I am glad to be your friend. I am glad to know you so I think in spite of the way that the world paints the picture that all women are catty or you can’t have more than two women in a room at the same time, we get too many involved, we are going to make a mess of the situation. You have to just spend all of those things and you have to jump in and be open to the fact that it is possible and that it can work out if you allow yourself to be open to that and if you come into a situation as a whole person connecting with another whole person, you will have a wholesome relationship and it can be one of the greatest relationships with your life.

I want to encourage a woman to realize that when you meet somebody that you think you want to be a good friend, just be honest and say look I am not running, I am not operating on all 12 cylinders. I mean my program is not all together. I have some deficits in my personality but if you work with me I think we could be good friends and I am open to you calling me out and letting me know when my deficits are showing and then that way a person can get started on trying to have a good girlfriend relationship without feeling like I have to be perfect or expecting perfection from somebody else. Give it a try, many people have been hurt and disappointed and experience some great losses as it is in regards to friendships or relationships but don’t let one or two bad experiences dictate the rest of your life for you. It is possible to have a great relationship with someone and to enjoy that relationship and for that to be fruitful and productive with imperfect people, of course that is what is going to happen as imperfect people you will be able to help to make things better in one another’s lives so it def. Is another benefit.

Many times people get this mindset that if they have been hurt in a sister relationship especially those of us in a spiritual standpoint, we say stuff like oh that season for that relationship is over, you know how that conversation goes, the season is over and we mark that because there has been some hurt but every element of hurt is not always the signal that the relationship or the season is over because we have to learn how to work through our hurt. You can still be in relationships with somebody that hurt you because otherwise most people would not stay married very long.

Just because you have been hurt by your sister, that is not always the signal that the season for that relationship is over just because you have been hurt. We have to learn how to earnestly forgive, sincerely be able to move to restoration and reconciliation even in our good girlfriend relationships and some of the pain that we experience is necessary because all pain is not just a result of something that is negative but there are growing pains as well. we also all have to learn how to also be able to take constructive criticism and even though it may hurt you to your core and you put your heart and soul in to something it, it should not be a problem to take a constructive criticism but the best place to take it from is from people who have constructed something.

Yes, you can quote our “Pearls of Wisdom”

The spirit of covetedness is so rampant that we are not really able to see the value in having a good sister-friend without competition – Cecelia GreeneBarr

You have to have whole people coming into wholesome situations in order for the relationship to work out at its best – Tamara Scott

If you come into a situation as a whole person connecting with another whole person, you will have a wholesome relationship and it can be one of the greatest relationships with your life. – Tamara Scott

Realize that when you meet somebody that you think you want to be a good friend with, just be honest. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

Don’t let one or two bad experiences dictate the rest of your life for you. – Tamara Scott 

Every element of hurt is not always the signal that the relationship or the season is over because we have to learn how to work through our hurt – Cecelia GreeneBarr

It should not be a problem to take a constructive criticism but the best place to take it from is from people who have constructed something. – Tamara Scott

Call To Action:

Encourage another sister to subscribe to this podcast as we are striving to encourage and get strategies for having better relationships with one another.

Links

Find Tamara Scott on the following platforms:

Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/TamaraTheLadyScott

Twitter Page: @ladytscott

Website: www.michaeltScott.com

 

The Biology of Sisterhood: The Oxytocin Effect w/ Cecelia GreeneBarr | Episode 007

The Biology of Sisterhood: The Oxytocin Effect w/ Cecelia GreeneBarr | Episode 007

The biology of sisterhood: The Oxytocin Effect

 

This episode’s topic is all about the biology of sisterhood and is a reflective response to the article “Why Women need a Tribe” posted on upliftconnect.com . This topic came about while I was doing some research online and I came across a website entitled, Uplift and I found an article that I thought was very interesting and its entitled, “Why women need a tribe” and it also talks about how women are at the center of family life.

Podcast Transcription

On this episode of Building A Better Sisterhood, I am going to be talking with you about the biology of sisterhood.

Let me tell you about how this topic came about. I was doing some research online, I came across a website entitled, uplift, I don’t know anything particular about the website but I found an article that I thought was very interesting and its entitled, why women need to tribe.

First of all, the article, of course is encouraging women being close, women having close friendships and in the article, it talks about how women are at the center of family life, I remember when I was single and we would be in church and they were always talking about the family, I used to feel a certain kind of way because I felt left out but the truth of the matter is, it says in this article that women are the center of family life and we as women, we have learned how to create family with none relatives. We always seem to be able to create some kind pseudo-family even if our relatives are not around.

The other point in the article suggests and it puts forth the idea that women fulfill or fill emotional gaps that the notion that a one person in your life is supposed to fill all of your needs, so if you are married that your husband is expected to fill all of your emotional needs, but that is just not the case because there are some emotional needs that have to be filled by someone else because it is too burdensome to expect one person, your husband to be all things to you or your boyfriend to be all things to you but we as women, we have all of these emotions so we find that our best friends forever, our bffs or I’d like to say our sister-girls, our sisters are able to fill lots of emotional gaps and the gaps are there because we do not desire to put those emotional needs and demands on our children, we do not want to put them on our husbands, we do not want to put them on our co-workers and often we do not even want to put them on our extended family but our best friends, our female friends, our sisters, they are able to step in and fill those gaps.

The article also says that females, women create harmonious environments for children to thrive. We are looking at the ideal that when you have females who have good female relationships that makes the woman whole and when the woman is whole, that woman is able to create an environment where her children can thrive. The other thing the article says is that women are natural nurturers and that women are empathetic givers, women are instructional and just being with another woman, another sister, a best friend is restorative. One point in the article says and actually in this portion they are quoting someone else and they said that friends make our lives better and it goes on to say “friends have a bigger impact on our physical and psychological well being than family relationships”. Female friends have a bigger impact on your physical and psychological well-being more than your family relationships.

So, let us get to the biology. They talk about stress hormones and how in years passed when stress was being measured, it was mostly being measured in terms of the impact that stress has on men but men and women deal with stress differently. Men and women deal with stress differently and in the article, it talks about oxytocin is secreted in response to stress and it also says in the article that it buffers that fight or flight response and it encourages females to protect and nurture their children and to gather with other women. In the biology of it with this hormone being secreted, the article talks about how this, instead of being called the fight or flight, we get into this tend and befriend pattern but on the flipside when you have high levels of testosterone when you are stressed, it means that stress is addressed with this aggression. Fight or withdraw which is what we call the flight, but for us, what we get is this tendency to want to tend and befriend. In other words, it buffers that aggressive behavior and it buffers that withdrawal behavior and so it gets us to the point where we want to nurture our children and then hang out with our sister-friends when we are under stressed. Those were the points of the article and I want to respond to them from my own experience, eand I want to respond as I think about my sisters and my friends and perhaps something I am about to share will resonate with you.

I do think that as women, we have the tendency to really be at the center of family life. I know for myself, if I am not in a good place mentally because I am exhausted, I know that if I walk in my house I have to pull it together before I engage with my family especially my young children so sometimes I might sit in the garage in the car just breathe for 30 seconds because when I come in, I don’t want whatever is happening in me to negatively impact the household especially the children because I do believe and it has been my experience that women really are the center of family life and I do agree with this article when it says women, we fill in emotional gaps. Now, if you have a good sister-friend, whether you are single, married, divorced, widowed, you know that that sister-friend can hear your heart when your husband cannot, hear your heart even when your relatives cannot and you can depend upon that good sister to speak to where you are emotionally and she does not mind doing it if she is your close sister-friend, now it does not mean that it takes anything away from that marriage bond or trying to get there if you are dating or engaged but if you have a good sister-friend, you know that she can hold you together emotionally when you just feel like cannot take it anymore.

I think that not all females are very good at nurturing, it is just not their make-up. Now, they can still be good sister-friends, they work at it but I don’t know if all women are natural nurturers. Let me tell you what also came to my mind when I read this portion of the article – so many things have changed for women. We are not as communal as perhaps in my grandparents’ time. We go to work, many of us, a lot of women have more than one job then you have to come home and take care of your family. Women are busy and when we step into the work place, women are bosses, women start their own companies, they hire and we fire. We are leaders. We, for the first time in the history of our country, we have a woman running for president. Look at Britain, women are more than the stereotypical nurturer in the home and in their friendships but when women step into the open market, the corporate environment, the business environment, I think sometimes it becomes difficult for others in that environment to not see that women as if she is supposed to be their nurturer when she is their boss. So when you become the boss, they do not want to call you boss, they use other kinds of words to describe you because the expectation is that a woman is supposed to be nurturing at all times. Here’s the other thing, that women are instinctual. I know I am instinctual and most of the women I hang around we have this instinct about us that I like to say, there is a disturbance in the force that we are very instinctual, we have this sense when something is right on target or when some things are a little off, now it might take us a minute to put our finger on it but women, we are very instinctual, now of course, yes, I am making general statements but I am just sharing from my experience. Now when it comes to the fact that our physical and psychological well-being is greater impacted by our friends than our family, can I tell you when I read that portion of the article, I had to pause and have you heard this saying? “You do not get to pick your family but you do get to pick your friends” and when you think about the fact that people are your friends because you selected them in one way or another to be a part of your life, it does make sense that your friends, your sister-friends can have a bigger impact on you physically and psychologically.

So, who we pick as our friend and who we seek to be friends with, we need to realize that so many times, we are having a greater impact on our friends more so than their relatives, their siblings, their cousins. That is a sacred trust when you think about the impact that you are having on your friends’ life psychologically. It hurts when a friend betrays you, now I don’t know very many who have not been betrayed, I know I have been betrayed and I know that it really hurts. There is a psychological impact when your sister-friend betrays you, just think about that thing when you are looking at and thinking about your bff, your sister-friend. Just remember that what you have been giving is a sacred trust, a path into her life that even her relatives, they don’t even get to travel.

Last thing I really want to reflect upon is this whole biology, the whole fact that when we are stressed, and weak, we are often stressed because we have demands upon us, we have ideas and we have time crunches, we commute more than we used to commute, we are trying to stay healthy, we are trying to monitor the cleanliness of the food that we eat, we are trying to soar in whatever profession we are in, we are trying to negotiate relationships that are work related socially. There is a lot going on in any given moment, we too can experience high levels of stress and isn’t it good to know that we have the hormonal miracle that will repress that desire that comes from testosterone to fight or to flee but we have, because if you are the center of the relationship, you cannot be fighting all the time. You cannot be keeping chaos going on in the household because stress is upon us. Moms, women, we have to learn how to keep it moving even under high levels of stress. Now, that does not mean that we should not take care of ourselves. It just means that we have been given the miracle of biology that when the hormones come that make us want to be aggressive or to withdraw there is something else happening in our body that will suppress that and cause us to want to take care and nurture our children, if we have children and sometimes, women who do not have children, we just adopt children, we love on children or to want to kind of befriend and be around women.

Now, before I was married, before I had children, I became a mother to a young lady who had a child and I took them into my heart, into my home and I became a mommy and it was a precursor to the reality that caring for someone is a restorative activity. When you give up yourself in a very selfless fashion to care for someone who needs you. I personally have found that to be a restorative activity and then on the other hand when there has been great stress in my life, I noticed that I just dote over my children and then I communicate with my sisters more frequently. Now, I am pretty good with that. I call my friends pretty frequently but if I am really under stress they might get more phone calls from me than on the average and it is just the biology. Your body is working to keep you together because if you are the center of everything and I think we are, everybody around us needs for us to be at our very best.

So, I think it is just wonderful to know that our biology is working with us to help make it happen. I wanted to share that with you. If you get an opportunity, you can go online to upliftconnect.com and check out that article and see how it resonates with you. Now, there are some things in the article I could not relate to because I have never heard of them before but the things that I pulled out for you, I hope that this has helped you think about your role as a best friend that you have been given a sacred trust into the life of someone you have been given access to the heart of a person that even their relatives do not seem to have the kind of impact on them that you do and when I think about my best friends, when I think about my close sisters and I look at it from that perspective, I realize that I have a sacred trust and I hope you think of your friendships the same way.

So often we look at what people can do for us but when we think about how we can be such a positive impact in the life of someone else, that is when you realize that this relationship between you and your best friend, it deserves the best that you can bring you to it.

The next time you are feeling incredibly stressed, do two things. Go and spend some cuddle time with your child. I do not care if your child is grown with children, cuddle with your children. I do not think anyone is too old that they cannot receive some cuddling from their mother and if you do not have any children that you birthed yourself, there must be some children in your life that you love like your own. Take a few minutes and just sit down and cuddle with them, watch a TV show with them and cuddle, sit and listen to a song, a four-minute song on the radio and just cuddle. You do not even have to talk and you will begin to feel that stress coming down. The second thing I am going to give you as a call to action, when you are feeling stressed, try as quickly as you can to get around your sister friend, if you all do not live in the same area, if you are in driving distance, pull some hours together maybe on the weekend and just get together, walk in a park, go sleigh-ride. Do whatever you can but that woman who is your best friend, she can help you when you are stressed.

Yes, you can quote me.

Our sister-friends are able to fill lots of emotional gaps that we do not desire to put on other people. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

Female friends have a bigger impact on your physical and psychological well-being more than your family relationships. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

You do not get to pick your family, but you do get to pick your friends. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

We’ve been given the miracle of biology to combat the stress hormones that fuel aggression and withdraw.Cecelia GreeneBarr

Selflessly giving yourself, in order to care for someone who needs you, is a restorative activity. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

Women have the tendency to really be at the center of family life.Cecelia GreeneBarr

 

Call To Action:

The next time you are feeling incredibly stressed, do two things. Go and spend some “cuddle time” with your child and if you do not have any children that you birthed yourself, there must be some children in your life that you love like your own. Take a few minutes and just sit down and cuddle with them. Watch a TV show with them and cuddle. Sit and listen to a song and just cuddle. You don’t even have to talk. Watch as you begin to feel the stress decrease.

The second thing I am going to give you as a call to action, when you are feeling stressed, try as quickly as you can to get around your sister-friend. If you all don’t live in the same area there is still a way to make it happen. If you are in driving distance, make a plan for a few hours together, maybe on the weekend and just get together, walk in a park, go sleigh-riding (where appliable) etc. Do whatever you can. Just remember, that woma… your best friend, she can help you when you are stressed.

REFERENCE ARTICLE: Why Women Need a Tribe (Uplift)

Prioritize time for a getaway with your best friends w/ Joan Syers | Episode 006

Prioritize time for a getaway with your best friends w/ Joan Syers | Episode 006

Prioritize time for a getawa with your best friends

Weekend retreats can take all types of forms. Business have them to inspire their workforce. Churches have them for group engagement and restoration. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with one of my sisters about girls’ getaway and the benefits of making sure you have a wonderful girls’ getaway with your sister-friends. We share with you how we finally planned and executed our recent girls’ trip and how you too can make it happen with your friends.

Podcast Transcription

On this episode they are going to talk about girls get-away and the benefits of making sure you have a wonderful girls’ getaway with your BFF, with your sister-friend.

I have the exciting, wonderful and calming experience of having one of my sisters on the episode on the podcast and her name is Joan. They have known each other for almost 30 years, probably since when they were still in diapers.

The center of our conversation today is about the benefits of having a sister-girl get-away. But before they jump all the way in there, I want you to share your best experiences in terms of building.

Joan shares that her very first BFF was a young lady by the name of Laureen, they went to junior high school together and they were like two peas in a pod and they were best friends all the way until in elementary school. They then went to the same junior high school and they were best friends till the end of junior high school but when they got to high school, things kind of changed, kind of went on their own direction, found their own paths.

She describes her very first BFF as funny and she would do things that she would not dare do alone. They were just buddies, they were just friends, they were just young but unfortunately, she died when they we’re sixteen. Joan was 15, she had turned 16 and she was tragically killed and it really actually changed her life because the decisions that she had made going on to high school and the reason why they kind of went their separate ways, she had decided she wanted to go one way and she was kind of going on another direction which eventually lead to her death but had they still been bffs.

They were, at one point in their lives, they were two peas in a pod and it made her realize the decisions she would make as a young woman, as a young adult woman would have an impact on what she did for the rest of her life and so, as devastating as it was, it sorted of was a motivation for her to do other things like they met when they were on the rites of passage ministry, mentoring young girls. That was about the choices they make in the roads and the path that they take. How it would impacts you. That was the catalyst for that.

To this day, it actually changed her career focus because she was in Corporate America based on working with the young ladies in the rites of passage program, working in the youth ministry at church then her career focus switched to education.

It is not always our independent decisions that shape the direction that they go, sometimes what happens in the life of people who are close to us shape the way that they go.

Let us talk about sister-girl getaways. I remember the first girls’ trip that Joan and I took. We went to Myrtle Beach and It was about 7 or 8 of us.

It was a lot of us. We stayed in ocean dunes and it was a two-bedroom suite that slept a whole bunch of people and they drove down from Maryland. I don’t even remember all of the people because I think Joan was the center point. She was the common denominator in everyone who came.

Joan shares that the most famous one that she remembers was when she was pregnant and she was staying in a room with a couple of her girlfriends, talking and laughing until water started leaking out until she had a drive birth because she no longer had water. There was also this other time when she wanted to go to Tennessee for her niece’s graduation and they got in a car, sometimes, they we’re just fearless and they got in the car and they were listening to the radio as they said that there was this hurricane coming but it was behind them, so they just kept driving although its late at night, and they drove from Maryland to Tennessee and when they got to Tennessee and they turned the TV and they saw the devastation that had been behind them And so, they would just get on the road as girl friends and hang out and share, talk all night, drive all night, do the kinds things. It was not necessarily a retreat because they had a destination and a purpose for going there but it was just the joy of being with a good girl friend.

It took us About 12-15 years to go on a girls’ trip and as we would like to say it was because life happened and good intentions, i lived in Michigan and she’ living in Maryland at the time, both pretty much newly weds back in the day, children, job, responsibilities and doing everything for everybody else. Sometimes, you don’t realize how much you are going and how much you just had to make time for yourself.

So, it took a long time because life gets busy and the priorities of home and career and family and taking care of relatives, taking care of children, all of the things that can happen, can actually cause friendships to kind of get put on hold in the sense that friendships don’t get the attention that they probably have received before because everything else becomes a priority but when you want to do it and you never release the desire or the positive anticipation of doing it one day and you still keep the idea alive, it might take several years…

So I remembered when she called me and told me that we needed to go do this girls’ trip. There was something in her voice that made me say that she was serious. And so we started looking at dates and resorts Because we were determined to make it happen. We had to wait on the airlines just trying to get flights, by the time we figured out the flight and that finally worked out then the hotels were booked. It was just then the massage parlor was booked because that was when the deal for the spa came in and we were like, we are not only having fun but we are going to do it in a very economical way.

It doesn’t always have to be expensive to hang out with your girlfriends. You don’t have to mortgage your house, give up your kids’ piano lessons or track lessons.

And what I found to be so nice, even though she was coming here where I lived and my house is larger enough to accommodate guests but we got a hotel room and we were just going to be away and have a good time. We went to a concert and had a ball listening to just the vocal ability of the artist and we went to eat, walked around and talked for hours upon hours and I got a chance to just really unburden my heart about things that are weighty for me and I think she is far more the optimist than I am.

You do learn to be an optimist when you see what God has done in your life. We don’t serve a God that is a one time wonder. So if he did it before, you can rest assured that he can do it again.

The benefit of a girl-friend’s get away is to let you spend time talking, you do not have to feel guilty. You can Get things off your chest so when they talk they help each other because they help each other remember. And it is a blessing to have somebody who remembers what you don’t remember because when you are under pressure sometimes the attack on your mind is to keep before you what is not working, what is the disappointment, what is the frustration, what is the shortcoming. And for whatever reason, you seem not to remember every time it turned around, every time it did work, every time it came together and to have a sister who has been in your life who can remember what the mentor is trying to cause you to forget. And so for you to say, but do you remember that time when you were trying to do this and remember how this turned out and do you remember and I am sitting there thinking, well actually I did remember it until you just said it and it is not that you have amnesia, it is not that you have a mind problem, it is just that the attack upon your mind, part of that attack is trying to get you not to remember what you need so that you can hold on to while you are going through these temporary.

And another thing is just being able to sleep. Just being able to get to a place where you can relax because a lot of times when you are tired, you do not think clearly and so finding a place where you can relax, where you can just let our hair down, where you can be yourself, enjoy being you without any pretense or falsehood or having to do anything but just enjoy that time, it rejuvenates you.

In our girls weekend, Joan was coming to spend time with me also to try to help me get full again through my Mind, body and spirit. We have to take care of our mind. We def. Have to control our thought process, we have to know what goes in, what comes out, our body, we have to take care of it whether it is sleep, whether it is exercise, whether it is how we eat, so we have to take care of the body and then most importantly, we have to take care of our spirit. The thing that we do not tend to do as women is take care of our bodies because we are so busy taking care of everybody else. So, our temple goes awry, our mind gets crazy. Especially as we get older, we need different things and we don’t tend to take the time for us to get the rest, to get away, to talk to our friends, to do the things that will keep us healthy and whole.

I want to motivate a sister to make a sacrifice, if you can not plan it in a moment’s notice, plan it for 6 months away but pick a date, get the time off your job and start looking at where can you go and one of the things that they did that would be useful for a sister who is getting ready to plan a girls getaway, just do not put all of the planning on one person because we actually really did communicate about that. We planned together the dates that would work for both our schedules so neither one of us is inconvenienced.

And because we were both mutually invested in the getaway as opposed to her doing all of the planning and me cosigning on it or me doing all of the planning and her cosigning, we were both involved, so if you are planning a weekend, a girls getaway, everybody should be invested in the planning process. Think about the women who complain when they are getting ready to get married and if the fiancé seems disinterested in the planning process, you always have a happier bride when her groom seems interested in the wedding. It is the same thing when you are planning a girls getaway. A girls’ getaway weekend or a week or whatever it is you are going to do. Everybody should have a part of the planning process so that you both or everybody involved is invested. Now I am not saying that you plan by committee but everybody who is going to be there, should participate in it and that is a huge, huge, relief plus it makes the others involved. The other thing was my husband and my children became involved in the planning. So, it was not just the fact that I was happy about it but my family, my son and my daughter. If you are going to have a get away. Do not feel like you have to take the burden of planning the whole trip yourself. And here is something else that is good for ladies who are planning a girl’s getaway, communicate what the budget is.

And one thing that I had to make sure was that my family was okay with me going away because the things that I was leaving behind, they had to do, so I had to make sure it was a weekend that would work for them too because you do not want to come back from a beautiful weekend with your girlfriend and your husband and your or your significant other’s face is all frowned up because of all of the work or all of the extra work that they had to do. It was just like everybody had to be happy about it and so that is a real good part and then planning the budget again, they want to make sure that our spouses, family or significant others are okay with it.

Because nothing can turn the memory of a girls trip upside down than to get home and your husband was looking at you like you are inconsiderate and have you lost your mind and then he’s mad and now you have to do damage control. It is your girls’ trip but consider your husbands, consider the schedules of your children. Everybody just needs to be on board because when you come home you want to see happy faces and you want to be happy and you want to talk about the budget and you have to be considerate of the budget so that everyone will have an idea of what they are working with here, where do they want to spend our money. What kind of restaurants do they want to go to, so you have those kinds of conversations and you give and take because it is everybody’s weekend, it is not just one person’s weekend and then that way, you can spend time on the important things which happen to be enjoying the company of your sister girl.

Take time for yourself as women, we don’t take time for ourselves, we almost feel guilty spending that dollar. An hour here, an hour there asking the husband to pick up the kids although they are his kids too. You know, we just kind of do for others and do not necessary do for ourselves. But it is okay because if we are not healthy and whole, we can not be good for anybody and so I think being healthy, being whole, we just have to invest in ourselves and sometimes it may not be a girl friend’s get away, it just may be going in the bathroom and just taking a bubble bath, just some time for yourself so that you can get yourself together.

I also want to encourage a sister to take the initiative to get the ball rolling, that you be the person to take the initiative to call your sister friend and say hey, I know they have been talking about getting away for a decade but we’re going to make it happen and I am going to take the initiative and ask you pick a month and then pick a couple of weeks that they can choose between and take the initiative because some one has to take the step and since your girlfriend did not hear the podcast and you did my sister, you be the one to take the initiative to get the ball rolling for the planning process and then you will have some thing to look forward no matter how long it takes to plan it. You might not be able to pull it off in 3 weeks but somebody needs to take the initiative and I don’t think you should wait for somebody else, just go ahead and do that.

I want to encourage you to start a girls’ get away savings account. Start a girl friend get away bank account where you can put ten dollars in or 20 or whatever your budget allows for where you are not missing it in your weekly spending but put that money away so that when it comes time to have that girl’s weekend, you are not taking from the household budget on the weekly basis, to go off and have fun and hopefully this will eliminate or mitigate any kind of guilt that you might feel for spending money on yourself to go away with the girls getaway. So when you go away, you are not penny pinching you do not feel guilty about splurging on a 25 dollar breakfast or splurging for a day spa or whatever it is that you are planning to do a girls getaway because you would have made preparations for it and then that way you will feel good about it because you do not want to go away with your girls and feel like you are taking away from your household or you left a bill unpaid or anything like that.

Yes, you can quote our “Pearls of Wisdom”

It is not always our independent decisions that shape the direction that we go, sometimes what happens in the life of people who are close to us shape the way that we go. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

The thing that we do not tend to do as women is take care of our bodies because we are so busy taking care of everybody else. –Joan Syers

Everybody should have a part of the planning process so that you both or everybody involved is invested. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

It is very important to take time for yourself as women. – Joan Syers

If we are not healthy and whole, we cannot be good for anybody. – Joan Syers

Be the one to take the initiative and take the first step to get the ball rolling for the planning process. – Cecelia GreeneBarr

Call To Action:

Start a girlfriend get away bank account where you can put in a comfortable amount ($10 or $50) whatever your budget allows each week. It should be an amount that you are not missing it in your weekly household spending budget. Put that money away so that when it comes time to have that girls’ weekend, you are not taking from the household budget. Hopefully this will eliminate or mitigate any kind of guilt that you might feel for spending money on yourself to go away on a girls’ getaway.