By: Emily Pereira Monroe, Guest Blogger
Growing up, I liked playing with the boys, hanging with the boys and secretly I wanted to be a boy. Through my young eyes, they appeared to be the ones pushing the limits, having the most fun, and, just more… badass.
As I got older this thinking directed me to one long-term relationship after another with a guy I considered my “best friend,” and by extension I became cocooned within his group of friends.
In my twenties, when my five-year-long relationship with the guy I thought I was going to marry ended, I found myself even more heartbroken as most friendships I’d created through him dissolved as well.
It was then that I decided to do some soul searching, and I discovered that I’d unconsciously gravitated towards boys on the playground and later to long-term relationships because on some level I didn’t feel like it was enough just being a girl- just being me. When we don’t feel like we are enough just being ourselves we have to perform to achieve approval and acceptance; if we exchange our authenticity for an image of what we think will be best accepted, we never get to feel seen, truly validated, or loved.
Flittering from dinners to birthday parties, vacations and events, I started to notice how little truth was really revealed between women. We all kept our fears, challenges, and doubts carefully tucked behind our friendly masks. It was then that I realized how starved we all are for authentic connection with each other.
As I continued down my path of introspection and healing, I came into greater kindness and acceptance of myself, which translated to greater kindness and acceptance for others, and I felt a deep longing for a sisterhood I’d never had.
I didn’t know exactly what to do, but I made a resolution that I’d be the kind of friend I wanted to create: authentic, vulnerable, loving, supportive, courageous, and fun.
About six months later the universe delivered me to Emily Greener, Co-Founder of I AM THAT GIRL. Needless to say I immediately developed a massive girl crush.
Sitting down to my first IATG dinner, I was amazed to hear Emily kick off things with what I now know as the IATG tradition: “I am a badass because…” and then bared her soul to the fifteen other women around the table, immediately granting each of us permission to open up about the things that really matter in our lives. Amid the laughter and tears, we each revealed what we were letting go of, moving through and stepping into our fears, regrets and hopes for new beginnings.
A feeling of deep connection and meaning was palpable in the room, and I knew in that moment, only other women could truly comprehend this complex journey.
I’ve since participated in many heart-quaking IATG dinners and recently had the honor of hosting one at my house. As I contemplated what I would say to kick off the IATG sharing circle, I realized, I’d had a deep hunger for authentic and vulnerable connection with other women and there I was holding space for that very reason in my very own home. That’s most definitely badass.
Emily Pereira Monroe is the Founder of Ordinary Magic, a revolutionary platform of programs designed to create dynamic personal change. As a Spirit Nature Certified Advocate, Emily assists women in gaining greater consciousness, discovering their innate worth and unique creative genius in one-on-one sessions, workshops and group retreats. She is also a writer, artist and musician who believes the creative life is a most adventurous existence that’s intrinsically tied to who we are as spiritual beings.
Featured image via alifearchitect.wordpress.com