Have you ever met someone and known instantly that they’re “your people”?
My friend and renowned friendship expert, Shasta Nelson would tell you that friendship is not born that way. It’s planted, nurtured, and practiced. And she’s absolutely right!
AND with this work I do, I’ve found that I can learn pretty quickly who my people are.
We don’t always become BFF’s, because we don’t always get a chance to “workout” in the gym of everyday life that brings us the opportunity for what Shasta explains as Frientimacy, in her Ted Talk: “Frientimacy: The 3 requirements of healthy friendships”. But through planning the HeartStories Girls Night Outs, I get the incredible privilege of experiencing that kind of “born” connection every month. As I plan the content and search out the women who will share their stories for the night, I’m looking for people who purposefully exhibit the characteristics of Shasta’s three requirements:
Positivity, Consistency, Vulnerability
This often makes it pretty obvious, even before we meet, that they’re our kind of people. When I read their social media or blog posts, I don’t have to look far to find their humanity, vulnerability, courage, and kindness. They may have perfectly filtered Instagram feeds, they may be hosting thousands at their upcoming events, like the one Cindy Pedraza Puente (pictured above) is hosting this weekend.
But they are women who are daring to share the real stories behind the scenes.
I choose them based on their experience, skills, and ability to lead us through a workshop, of course. But the first filter is whether or not they’re already showing up with Positivity, Consistency, Vulnerability. Because that’s the way we roll at GNO. That’s the recipe for the magic that happens in moments like the one above where Cindy is up there sharing her story, while laughter rolls and tears leak spontaneously from her eyes as she remembers, and shares publicly, the struggles that led to her success. And even most of us in the room can’t identify with renting an old abandoned storefront in Oak Cliff, we know the feeling of hope that rises when our family and friends encircle us and get their hands dirty, reminding us that our dreams are possible.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You, too? I thought I was the only one.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Our stories are always different. Our journeys have taken us to different places on our own unique paths. But when we practice those three actions that lead to belonging, it reminds us that we are never alone.
You are never alone.
But the only way you’ll know is by sharing vulnerably your story with others.
That’s the moment you realize you’re not the only one.
to more love,
p.s. A week from tomorrow, you have the chance to experience this beautiful friendship magic for yourself. Join us for Simmer Down GNO. You’re not the only one.