What actually happens when you put 14 women in a house together
And a free gift for paid subscribers
Throughout my childhood, teens and twenties, I was occasionally taken down, excluded, or on the receiving end of some pretty nasty behaviour from women. Most of us have been, at some point or another. However, despite some truly difficult experiences, I never bought into the narrative of “women don’t get along”. I also didn’t want to be someone who said she could only be friends with men, because anytime I had problems with bullies or cliques, I always had other women in my corner, whose support I counted on. I needed women in my life and I needed the energy they hold.
So much so that when I was in my early twenties, I wanted to write about all of the women who had rescued me along the way. The names and faces attached to moments or pieces of my story, who all showed up with love and compassion right when I needed it. It’s funny to think of this now — over a decade later, my work revolves around celebrating women, helping them to see themselves in a different light, and sharing their stories.
So, last March, when I was awarded a place on The Break, a fellowship programme for women entrepreneurs which included a one-month work retreat in Spain, you’d think it would be a no-brainer. However, I didn’t immediately jump at the opportunity. Pro: meet women on a similar journey to my own, running heart-centred businesses. Con: live with a group of strangers, which could go either way. I realised that I had avoided these kinds of groups since finishing school, as I was still nervous of the politics. Of course, I have been in groups of women, but they were all of my own choosing. Something I thought I had healed, I had actually just avoided.
Over the last few years, the narrative about women constantly fighting each other for a seat at the male-dominated table has changed. We’ve replaced it with examples of supporting each other and lifting each other up — which is exactly how it should be — but we still have to ensure that we uphold it. So did we?
I’m so glad to say that I was placed a group with thirteen absolutely phenomenal women. We went from being total strangers, to floating heads on zoom, to sharing our work and living space (and sharing a whole lot more than that) for a month. In that time, we treated each other with the utmost respect and care. We helped each other in any way we could, whether it was sharing work expertise, personal support, or simply providing a meal at the end of a tough day. We listened to each other, gave space and quiet to those who needed it, and I think I can safely say that nobody felt excluded. We didn’t form cliques and everyone could be themselves — a true sign of feeling safe. In fact, we got along so well that I barely worked on my “work retreat”, it felt more important to focus on the connections we were forming.
It can be that simple: respect each other and treat each other with kindness, then everything is easy. When I was young, I wished I could tell the bullies that there was no need for that petty, competitive behaviour; we would ALL feel better if we were just nice to each other.
Life is so much easier and more joyful when you have amazing women in your corner, cheering you on. It’s also so much more fulfilling when you are that cheerleader for others (probably why I based my entire career around it 😂).
So that’s where I disappeared to over the last few weeks, but I’m back to work now, albeit on Summer hours. I have some availability for new clients over the next few months, for mentoring or for Soul Signs, in-person or online.
If you are interested in an in-person immersive experience, I will be hopping around between Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Croatia and Ireland between now and October, so get in touch if you are interested in booking any of those locations.
To all of the new subscribers, thank you for signing up. If you’d like to learn more about me, you can head here.
To my paid subscribers, I don’t know where I’d be without your support, and I feel as though I’ve neglected you lately! As a thank-you, here are some free gifts: