Exploring Friendship + Connection with Alison Lumbatis of Get Your Pretty On

I was so thrilled when my friend Alison Lumbatis, Founder of Get Your Pretty On, and Author of The Ultimate Book Of Outfit Formulas, asked me to join her for an Instagram Live to explore friendship and connection and discuss all the details of our upcoming girls trip!  We took a little look back into the history of why I started HeartStories in the first place and all the way through to an (always teary me) answer to what I have to say to the woman who is struggling to give herself permission to go on this trip, or get away with girlfriends in general.  I loved our time together so much that I wanted to be sure we shared it with you here as well!  Whether this is a girls trip for you, or not, I hope this little chat is an encouragement to you, to be INTENTIONAL with your friendships with the women who matter most.

You can watch the full video above and/or read through the basics below as well. 

Tell us a little bit about who you are and why you started HeartStories:

In 2012 I was enjoying a successful career in medical device sales, making more money than I ever dreamed I would.  I was busy.  I was hustling and life was hustling right by.  

I missed my girlfriends, but every time I’d try to schedule time with our old group – it was like pulling teeth between work and family responsibilities to get everyone together…. So eventually, I just gave up on the groups.  But in my one-on-one nights out with my closest friends, we’d talk about how life-changing our simple conversations were – How just sharing our stories reminded us that we were never alone, no matter how heavy life felt sometimes. 

I know you know that feeling, I feel that with YOU.  

As I began to analyze that further, I realized that So many women were just going through life surviving – taking care of business and everyone else – AND not even sure if they’re doing ANY of it right.  Often losing sight of who they are and who they wanted to be in the first place. It results in women who feel alone, and worn out, and too busy to do anything about it.  Modeling THAT as some sort of badge of honor for the generations behind us, rather than showing them what a confident, rested, healed, connected, and strong woman looks like.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  

So I decided to leave my career to do something about it.  The beautiful magic of friendship is that simply being present – face to face – showing up to witness each other’s lives debunks the negative stories we all tell ourselves,  The lies that tell you You’re not pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough, rich enough, you’re not good enough.  Not a good enough mom, wife, sister, friend, teammate, boss, business owner, or whoever you’re showing up to be today! 

They’re all LIES. 

And they’re easy to believe when you stay stuck in your head in isolation comparing your real life to the Instagram feeds of other women. But when you show up face-to-face even via technology with other women who love you and see you for who you really are and are FOR YOU you realize you’re not alone.  And that changes everything!

That’s what our heart-shaped headphone logo is all about. 

It’s a reminder to replace the negative noise playing on repeat in your mind, with the beautiful truth and love that comes from Laughing, and sharing stories, being surrounded by other women, who’ve dropped the judgment and dropped their guards to celebrate the moments of real-life and insist on JOY in the middle of whatever crazy season life brings! 

That’s why we do everything we do at HeartStories. 

We’ve been on a mission to bring JOY through friendship since 2013.

Will you talk a little bit about what the pandemic has done to some of our friendships?

We need an hour for this one topic! 

The Bottom Line: 

The pandemic put a spotlight on the disconnection that we tried to hide so well with our busyness. The pandemic added so much uncertainty, struggle, and responsibility to our already full plates, in almost every area of our lives.  We felt even more isolated (for obvious reasons, but some not so obvious as well)  It was like we were waiting to feel safe enough to come out again… and just as we began to think we could – there is SO much judgment being lashed out from every which direction that temps so many women to shrink back into their “safe” little corners of the world to hide until it’s over.  

But if we’ve learned anything over the last year and a half, it’s that we can’t rely on our circumstances or even the people we love to make us feel the way we want to feel.  

It’s up to us to grant our own permission slips for the rest, connection, and JOY we so desperately need. Intentional time with our closest friends brings JOY and connection. We leave time with our friends feeling lighter, refreshed, and inspired, reminded that no matter where we are, we are never alone. 

And you know we need that now more than ever before.  

What are some ways that we can make connecting with other women a priority when we’re already being pulled in so many different directions?

Friendship is a choice … it doesn’t happen naturally the way it did when we were in school – as a grown woman, you have to decide you want it and intentionally choose it – just like getting dressed each day. 

So 2 practical things: 

  1. To make friendship a priority, you have to first get clear on your WHY.  Why does it matter to YOU? How do you feel after time with your closest friends? Seriously, drop that in the comments below… what’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about how you feel after spending quality time with the women who love you most? Do you need more of that in your life?  That’s your why.  

It’s entirely up to you to get it.  Friendship only costs you time.


2. You have to Schedule your friendship… it doesn’t happen by accident.  Make a list of the women you know are FOR you, the ones you’d bury the body with, and schedule time with them.  Friendship is Just like your hair, nails, skin, doctor’s visits – if it’s a priority, it’s on your schedule.  Am I right?  It’s not romantic, but it’s true.  You have to Schedule friendship.

Why is it important for us to get away?

All the reasons we’ve already discussed, PLUS – It’s our very first girls trip, and I can promise, you’ll leave feeling encouraged, inspired, and connected.  How do I know?  I know because I’ve done this for over 8 years, and I have learned that all I have to do is give women a means to gather with intention and it happens naturally.  It’s the magic of connection between women. 

What do you want to say to the woman who is struggling with giving herself permission?

Oh, this is good.  

Lean in, look in my eyes.  You deserve this.  You are worthy of love and belonging, even on the days you don’t believe you deserve it.  YOU are worthy.  

Close your eyes and think about the woman you really want to be.  Is she confident? Wise? Strong? Rested?  At peace?  Full of joy? Does she feel supported? Connected?  Known?  Loved?

Now think about continuing on the path of friendship and connection you’re currently on… is that the path that leads you to her?

If it is… then maybe you’re struggling to give yourself permission because you don’t need it.  

But if more of what you’re already doing to feel supported and connected doesn’t lead you to become more like the woman you really want to become, for yourself and the women who come behind you, the ONLY person who can give you permission is you.  If you’re waiting for someone else to give you permission, you might as well get comfortable right where you are. 

And if you’re waiting to feel comfortable giving yourself permission, remember that woman you want to become . . . your future self. . .

Who do the people you’re leaving behind for the 4 days of this trip need more?  Your current physical presence for 4 days?  Or the healthy, strong woman you’re seeking to become for yourself and for their future?

I’m guessing it’s the latter.  

Then we discussed ALL the fun details and happenings of the upcoming HeartStories Girls Trip to Mexico, with loads of laughter.  I seriously cannot wait, especially after conversations like this.  Because THIS is what it’s all about.  Women who see you for who you really are and are committed to be FOR you, no matter what circumstances life brings your way.

I hope you’ll schedule time with yours today.

to more love,


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