By: Leeron Hoory, Guest Blogger
When I led the IATG chapter in Tel Aviv, we would begin our meetings with each woman sharing what makes her THAT GIRL. In other words, what makes her amazing or to share one of her recent accomplishments.
This is not the easiest practice to say the least. As women, we don’t usually have a running list of reasons about why we are amazing that we can just pull out of our back pocket. In most cases we’ve been taught not to share our accomplishments because we don’t want to seem “full of ourselves” or egotistical, nor, of course, do we want to offend or make anyone jealous. When we are asked to celebrate ourselves, it often comes with, “me? But I haven’t done anything remarkable.”
Yet, somehow, doing this practice in a group created the right momentum to get us all going. If one woman couldn’t think of something to say right away, another woman would jump in. Suddenly the first woman would remember what made her amazing and say, “I have one. I put together and performed in my own play, a one woman’s show.” or “I work in a male dominated industry and this week finally I spoke up to my boss and negotiated my conditions.”
What surprised me was how sometimes after a woman’s friend shared, her best friend might turn to her and say, “Really? You did that? I didn’t know.”
These fractures in our connections, where the women closest in our lives don’t know the brightest parts of ourselves, happen because we don’t naturally have a safe space to share our achievements and greatness with the security that we will be celebrated for it. This is yet another one of the tragedies of the patriarchy. Instead of celebrating each woman’s power as the collective power of all women, we are taught that we are separate, and so instead, one woman’s accomplishments undermines rather than encourages another woman.
Sharing in this way gave us a chance to see everyone in their moments of strength and to see the power of this collective group by what everyone had accomplished.
I’ve found that shifting from the paradigm of patriarchy to the paradigm that woman are a supportive network for each other to be one of the most powerful ways that I could connect with other women.
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