As human beings we are herd creatures. We crave connection, community, and a sense of belonging. Being part of a herd helps us feel heard (I couldn’t help myself) and helps us hear ourselves better too.
Part of this is biological: back in the day when there were saber-toothed tigers after us our survival depended upon us sticking together. That’s probably why we evolved to fear rejection (if the group rejects us we die, historically speaking.) And it’s probably why we’ve evolved to relish genuine, heart-centered connection so much.
My mom often says that community builds immunity. She refers to a very interesting study that showed that the more varied, regular social group interaction a person has, the stronger their immune system. They counted the number of groups a person was a member of (a church group, the PTA, their immediate family, a yoga class, etc.) Then they measured the number of colds a person had during a year. (The way they determined whether or not a person had a cold was by weighing Kleenex. Disgusting and hilarious. Go science!) They found that the more social groups a person was a part of that they hung out with regularly, the fewer colds they had, and therefore the stronger their immune system. Move over Echinacea. I’m headed to my knitting circle to boost my immunity.
Last night I met with 12 incredible women in Portland, ME for our first Campfire centered around Danielle LaPorte’s new book The Fire Starter Sessions. It was a beautiful Maine summer night after a few days of rain and yet these women chose to circle up in the name of self-actualization instead of going outside to play.
Here’s why the evening rocked my world:
• I put out a call with only a week’s notice and people came. I thought I’d have maybe 3-4 women and we had 13 including me. Many are called and sometimes more than you think choose to show up.
• I arrived at 7 on the dot and the party had already begun without me. Women brought friends. Women showed up and saw acquaintances from around town they’d known for years but had never actually had an in depth conversation with before. And here they were baring their souls at the Campfire after having only said a simple hello in years past.
• One woman’s vulnerability and sharing what was really going on for her gave permission to the next woman to go deeper into laying her truth out there for us. I got teary more than once listening to the brilliance and heart and verve in the room.
• Almost every single woman said she had come for the connection and community. The recognition that we’re all after the same thing here on this human journey coursed through my veins and sent a delicious shiver up my spine.
• Each woman shared something about wanting to go deeper, higher, more full out, clearer, more truthful, more authentic, and more them as we delve into The Fire Starter Sessions with one another as our soulful cheerleaders. I was tickled pink to have this rocking group of women, most of whom don’t know each other, show up to stand for themselves and for the best versions of one another.
Here’s what I know about women coming together:
• Seismic shifts happen simply from sitting in a circle, hearts and minds open, even if there’s not an agenda, specific purpose, or even anything in particular produced
• The act of bearing your under belly gives the next woman permission to do the same and so on and so on until every person on the planet is set free from the tyranny of pretending to be something they’re not or live smaller than they know they’re capable of
• No matter how much we’ve accomplished and how much we seem to “have it together” we all need support, love, and community. It’s a fundamental nutrient for thriving.
I’m nourished to the core from the gathering of these 12 incandescently beautiful women who came and put their hearts and souls on the line last night. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We’ll be meeting for the next 4 months, ever 2 weeks, doing 2 sessions from Danielle’s book per gathering. If you couldn’t make our first gathering, never fear – our doors are open! You can email email@example.com and let her know that you want to get in on the Campfire goodness.
And, if you don’t live in Southern Maine (which chances are pretty good you don’t), start a Campfire of your own! Start a women’s jam session to come together and cheer each other on. Center it around a book that you’ve been dying to dive into, like I did, or just do it for the love of women and community.
Do it for your immune system. Do it for your heart. Do it for your soul. She will thank you. And so will all the other souls you circle up with. Surrender to the herd creature that you are and connect.