Written by Karina Doob
Like any other fundamental human need, our need to connect with others was, without a doubt, one of the many important issues spotlighted during the pandemic, begging more attention. Our modern world was picked apart, and the virtual way that many of us relied on connecting with others on the regular was given a second, necessary look. Additionally, women, who often rely on the support and encouragement of other women as they navigate life in a society that still accepts many patriarchal norms, lost this support system when the world shut down. Now, finally, we can all get back to seeing each other again in the flesh, and, women can continue to build and strengthen those female relationships that empower them to live more fully, and happily. The shop is tremendously grateful to be able to provide a space to do that in our community (and more on that in a minute).
So, you may have heard that humans are social creatures. Well, it’s true. Human beings need connection in order to live their best lives. Even while technology has afforded many of us a way to survive the disconnectedness that the pandemic brought about, staying glued to our social media accounts by no means helps us thrive, as a species. In-person, face-to-face interaction with other people is said to reduce anxiety and depression, and raises our self-esteem. Connecting with others in real life allows us to develop trusting relationships with others and even improves our immune systems. Being socially connected can also help us recover faster from disease and may therefore lead to living a longer life! Despite our busy lives, it’s clear that we could all stand to log in a little less and make plans to see each other more often, instead.
There is a sad truth about our culture worth mentioning, though, particularly where women and their interactions with other women are concerned. While we’ve come a long way in the way we live and work with each other, women haven’t always had the easiest, most pleasant time while in each other’s company. There are a number of reasons for this (and getting into all of them would take a while), but women are commonly thought of as having the capability to be “catty” towards each other in almost any setting - particularly if they feel threatened by other women. To be clear, being “catty” is a sexually biased way of referring to the cruel and spiteful way that women sometimes act when they feel competitive with each other. So, why does this happen, especially when we could benefit more from supporting each other, rather than tearing each other down? It’s been argued that women have been socialized to be “catty.” In other words, we grew up with the notion that only men were allowed to outwardly and unapologetically express their wants, desires and their competitiveness. The truth is, competitiveness is a completely natural feeling for all human beings. In fact, it is a feeling that can motivate us to get what we want and deserve, as long as it’s done in healthy ways. For example, rather than saying something regrettable when feeling threatened by or envious of another person, simply sit with the feeling, feel it fully, then let it go. Afterward, make a productive choice that will help you move toward reaching your own goal(s). While not always easy, women would surely gain more individually, and as a group, by banding together - for as we all know, there is strength and power in unity.
This brings me to our beautiful shop community. One of the founding principles of Blossom and Tempest, as a shop and studio space, was and continues to be that women from all walks of life have value and should be celebrated. One way the shop helps many women tap into their true selves so that they may live authentically and enjoy the benefits of doing so, is through our Women’s Circles. Led by Jessy Lehman, our Women’s Circles give all women the space to explore their innermost selves - the selves we are often too busy to notice during the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives. Jessy’s approach is an alternative one, as each circle incorporates spiritual, witchy and Eastern medicinal elements; she will often incorporate reiki into Circles, spending time with each woman so that they may come to understand the energies held within their own bodies, facilitating their own healing. Often after Circle, many women will remark how awakened and amazed they feel due to having deeply channelled their innermost parts, coming to understand themselves in ways they hadn’t before. Notably, it is this connection to the self that bonds women at Circle. It is this coming together and holding space for each other to explore, acknowledge and celebrate our own gifts that fulfills that innate human need we all have to connect and belong - not just to a group, but to the entire universe, just as we are.
In a world designed to pit women against each other, it is refreshing to know that in reality, women actually THRIVE when they connect with each other. It is through our connections that we are given the space we need to find ourselves and be ourselves. Consequently, as we are accepted just as we are in our connections with other women, we undoubtedly feel more empowered to share our unique selves, and the many benefits of doing so, with the rest of the world. It’s safe to say that connecting with other people is beneficial to one’s individual health and well being, as well as to the collective health of society. Let’s get together more! Consider joining us for one of our upcoming Women’s Circle. Keep an eye on our social media for announcements; sign ups will be on our website. On this planet, there is room for every woman and every person to shine.