feminism

A message to the next generation about the power of sisterhood

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For the past four years I’ve been enjoying being part of a growing sisterhood community. We gather together in circles in person and on whatsapp and talk about what is going on in our lives. We celebrate the things that are going well, share the challenges and the heartaches and set intentions for our lives and what we want to contribute to the world around us.

It can sound super cheesey from the outside, but every woman that has had their first experience of a sister circle has had the same response: ‘I really needed that’.

And I believe that as women we really do need it.

There is something about women coming together and supporting one another that seems to nourish and heal us on a very deep level

Which is why the sister circles that I’m part of are held in such high esteem and love by the women that are part of them.

And which is why we are always encouraging women to have a go at their own sister circles – to experience the simplicity and power of them.

So today I wanted to share with you a poem that expresses the power and beauty of sisterhood.

It was written last month to welcome little Loli into the world. She is the first baby girl to have been born into our sisterhood crew and when her mother was planning her naming ceremony she asked all of the women in the sister circle to write something about what sisterhood meant to them, so that it could be woven together and read out at the ceremony.

And so here are the words that Loli’s godmother (also part of the sister circle) stood up and read out at a ceremony to welcome her god daughter into the world. A message of love and sisterhood, woven from the words of the sisterhood of women that support her mother.

“Sisterhood exists.
And it is truly powerful

It's the strength of a united force
One that's immediate with the women you surround yourself with
And one that’s universal with your sisters from around the world

Sisterhood creates a space of nourishment and love
A place to celebrate your everyday joys and triumphs
And one to hold one another when joy seems far away

Sisterhood is where you are supported when you are at your most vulnerable
It's a space to listen, and to be heard
For both the laughter
And where you ask for help

Sisterhood is surrounding yourself with women
whose energy ignites your spirit.
A space to grow and flourish.

It is listening without judgement,
Without needing to give advice.
It is allowing women to be beautifully real
And fearlessly be themselves

Sisterhood exists.
And it is truly powerful

It’s a force that when it’s awakened
has the power to heal
both one another
And the world around us

Loli –You will always have the support and strength of your mama's sisters around you.  And with this, hopefully, you will learn how to choose and find your own sisterhood.

Which is one of the most powerful things a girl can have.”

X Selina

P.S. If you want to start your own sister circle (all you need is three of you to create one) then download our ‘Guide to starting a sister circle’

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Why we want to get everyone into sister circles in 2017...including you

image by  Rebecca Westcott

If there is one thing we would love to see happen in 2017, it would be for all women to get into sister circles.

We mean it. We’ve been enjoying sister circles a lot over the past year and getting our friends involved in them too, even the ones that didn’t think they’d be into something called a ‘sister circle’. And without exception, every woman has found it to be a profound and often life-changing experience.

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And before you go thinking that sister circles don’t sound like your kind of thing, think again.

Sister circles are designed to suit ALL kinds of women.

Our own circles have included bankers, creative directors, business women, singers, scientists, film directors, entrepreneurs, doctors...they couldn’t be a more eclectic bunch of women.

And yet they have all had similar experiences in the sister circles: the experience of being heard, being seen, being held by other women in a way that has them connect deeply, not only with one another, but with themselves. That kind of support and nourishment can be truly life changing. And we’re not the only ones that think so...

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A recent Harvard study revealed that women with strong female friendships were significantly happier and healthier than those without. A cancer study in 2012 revealed that women with breast cancer that had a strong supportive circle of friends were four times more likely to make a full recovery than those who didn’t. And study after study has found that strong and nourishing friendships reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. Our female friendships literally have the power to help us heal.

More than that, they have the power to help us achieve our dreams and remember who we really are.

And that is why we want to get everyone into sister circles.

So we have created the ‘Project Love Guide to Running a Sister Circle’ to make it really easy for you.

>>> Download it here for free

Now all you need to do is invite a few women that you really admire and the guide will do the rest.

Come and let us know how you get on!

x Selina & Vicki

 
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An open letter of gratitude to brave women who show up every day

Last week was a big one over at Project Love, as 3 of our coaching clients completed their 3 month ‘Get Ready for Love’ journey and we celebrated 1 year of love stories from our ‘Get Ready for Love’ online course.

We’ve been so moved by some of the stories that we've heard since we started Get Ready for Love and we feel a huge sense of gratitude for the brave women that we have worked with over the years and for the brave women that we haven’t yet worked with.

This week’s post is dedicated to them, and to you, an open letter of gratitude to brave women, showing up every day, even when it's hard.

Thank you for having the strength to rise up through challenges and difficulties in life and committing to what’s important, even when it feels really uncomfortable.

Thank you for your openness and willingness to be intimate with your own deep feelings, to create the space for intimacy with another.

Thank you for holding a space for other women to be brave and share their stories of struggle and transformation.

Thank you for having the courage to walk away from people that aren’t able to commit in the same way that you are, so that you can move on to find someone who can.

Thank you for not giving up and working through your deepest, darkest fears and letting the light in.

Thank you for dropping your expectations of who you think you should be so you can be who you are.

Thank you for respecting your needs and being brave enough to express them and loving and honouring yourself in a way that invites others to do the same.

Thank you for opening up to love, opening your heart and embracing your vulnerability, even when it feels like the scariest thing in the world.

Thank you for feeling everything, even the shit stuff, and even when that voice is saying ‘fuck this.. It’s too hard’.. knowing that feeling is healing.

Thank you for dropping your assumptions as to who you could be attracted to and being open-minded and open-hearted when dating.

Thank you for choosing the path of self love when you’re broken, even when the path of self destruction feels like the safest option.

Thank you for dating yourself, getting to know yourself and treating yourself like a true friend.

Thank you for having patience, taking the time to figure out what you want and the things that inspire you and make your cells dance.

Thank you for your tears, your laughter, your strength, your smile.

Thank you for accepting yourself, as you are, right here and right now.

We're all on this journey together, we’re all going through the same ups and downs and your bravery inspires us and it inspires a whole tribe of other women to keep showing up.

In awe of you,

Vicki and Selina x

P.S. If you’d like to join us and start your own Get Ready for Love journey today then simply head over here and we’ll send you your welcome pack straight away.

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The secret to success? Having a team of empowered women around you

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of successful women who have her back”

Imagine what it would be like to have a team of women in your life that are committed to helping you make your dreams come true.

Women who want to see you live a life you love, who know what projects you are currently working on, who cheer you on, help you when you get stuck and who are truly committed to you fulfilling your dreams and ambitions.

What would you do if you had a team like that behind you? What would you dare to have a go at, knowing that you had a group of women committed to supporting you and helping you along the way?

Well, inspired by Nisha Moodley’s Global Sisterhood Day (19th March), we want to get you having a go at creating a team just like that for yourself and your friends.

All you need to do is grab a couple of women that you think are great and invite them over for a couple of hours to get into some deep, meaningful and empowering conversations – sending them this blog post so that they know what it’s all about.

And don’t go thinking that this isn’t for people like you and your friends.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done this kind of thing before. It might be the first time you’ve sat down and shared about your dreams and ambitions in a group or talked openly about the things that are challenging you. The idea of it might even make you feel a little bit nervous or uncomfortable at first.

Even more reason to do it.

Because too many of us rush around in life thinking that we have to do it all on our own, never taking the time to stop and celebrate our successes with others or ask for the help that we need. It’s exhausting, it’s lonely and it’s unnecessary.

So when we create teams with other women and meet up regularly to share what we’re up to in life, what we’re wanting to make happen and the challenges we are coming up against, when we let other people support and help us, it really can make a huge difference to our lives and how we live them.

It certainly has done for me.

For the past two years I’ve met up with a couple of friends on a monthly basis to talk about what we’re up to in our lives, share and celebrate the good stuff that is going on and get help with the challenges that we are facing.

It has had a profound impact on each and every one of us in the group.

Our lives, careers and relationships have flourished in the two years since we started our group and it’s an incredible feeling to see how far we’ve each come in those two years and to know that we helped one another to get there.

Because when you know you have a group of women behind you, supporting you, you dare to go after the dreams that you might not otherwise have had the courage to go for. Because you no longer feel that you’re doing it alone.

So are you ready to give it a go?

Here is how to start your own group

1.     Shoot an email out to 2-6 women that you know (and think are great) and invite them to give this a go. Send them this blog post so that they get what it is about.

2.     Fix a date you can all do – if there is quite a group of you then use http://doodle.com/ to find a date.  

3.     Download Nisha Moodley’s guide to running a Sisterhood Circle (we now use this format every time we meet – it’s so simple and so powerful)

4.     Get some snacks in

5.     Let the teamwork begin

On the night itself

The purpose of the evening is for you each to have a chance to talk about what is going on for you in your life right now. What there is to be grateful for and a challenge you are facing at the moment in any area of your life. At that point the other women in the group can offer their compassion, support, love and any wise words or suggestions they have to offer that might help you deal with your challenge or even find a solution to it.

Aim to give each person about 20 minutes of air time.

At the end, each take it in turns to set an intention – an attitude you’re going to adopt or a commitment you’re going to make moving forward - that will help you to flourish.

And that is it.

All there is to do after that is book in your next meet-up and keep it going throughout the year and just see how your life flourishes when you have a tribe of women behind you.

As ever, let us know how it goes.

X Selina

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3 awesome women that have inspired + shaped the way we think about love | In celebration of Women's Day

Happy #InternationalWomensDay!

To celebrate all things woman today, we wanted to share with you 3 incredible women who have inspired us over the years - both professionally and personally - and who have shaped the way we think about love

1. Brene Brown It’s Brene for so many reasons! She has taught us about the power of vulnerability and the importance of revealing our true selves, even when we're shit scared to do it. Through the many books we’ve read of hers over the years. we’ve learnt about courage, compassion and connection and how they are key to living and loving authentically.

Brene is possibly Project Love’s most quoted woman - we talk about her in workshops, at speaking gigs, during coaching sessions and online through our courses and blog (so much that it’s getting a bit weird now..). If you know of her, you’ll know why. And if you don’t then check out her now famous TED talk to get acquainted

Our favourite Brene quote:
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging”

Thank you Brene for giving us the gift of imperfection, for showing us how to dare greatly, how to live a wholehearted life annnnnnnd for the tools to rise strong when we fall.

2. Brenda Shoshanna She is a psychologist, relationship expert , Zen practitioner and the author of a book that completely transformed our whole understanding and approach to love.

In Zen and The Art of Falling in Love, Brenda offers a unique understanding of love and relationships that is beautifully illustrated through lessons from the Zen practice (although you don't have to know anything about Zen practice to get it!). I’m not going to attempt to summarise these as it would take me all day - both mine and Selina’s copy of this book have notes, scribbles and pages folded on pretty much every page, it’s THAT good.

But I will share with you one of the key lessons from the book and that is to look inside of ourselves for the love that we seek. There is nothing to fear in opening up to love, but everything to gain.

“When we sit, we open our own treasure house. Rather than do this, however, most of us first seek to find the treasures another person can provide. We calculate their value to us. When we approach relationships in this manner, we are coming as beggars, seeing the other as a source of supply. When we can enter a relationship with our treasure house already open, there is no end to the wonders we can find, both within and between ourselves and another”.

3. Marianne Williamson Selina and I were lucky enough to see her speak last Easter, she speaks with such an urgency that I’ve never come across before. Her book “A Return to Love” was released back in the 90’s but it’s still as relevant today as it was then. Based on the metaphysical text “A Course in Miracles”, she makes the distinction between fear vs love and that we can’t have one without the other.

“Love is to fear as light is to dark; in the presence of one, the other cannot exist. So wherever there is a place of fear in your life, think of one thing -- even if it's just a thought you can think, where you can generate love to cast out the fear.”

When we’re feeling stuck in love, she says it’s rarely through a lack of love and rather, a mental block to our awareness of its presence. This thinking inspired a lesson in our Get Ready for Love course called “Love is all Around You”. If we take our focus away from where love is lacking in our life and turn our attention and focus on where love is flourishing and growing in our life already then we can train the mind to focus on the good shit (rather than focusing on the bullshit.. which we all have a tendency to do sometimes, right?). This shifts us from a mindset of lack and scarcity into a mindset of abundance. And how do we do that? Through the practice of gratitude (here is an app that can help you get into the gratitude groove).  

Through Marianne, we have learned about the power of forgiveness and how it is the most important practice in any journey of healing. But she reassures us that it’s not always easy! It starts with willingness, we can be willing to forgive those that hurt us because when we don’t, the only person we punish is ourselves. It is the purest act of love there is.

These three women have had SUCH a big effect on us and how we think about love and life and it’s such an honour to share them here with you.

Who are the women that have inspired you - comment to let us know! Let’s celebrate them and let’s celebrate each other today.. and every day that follows actually..

Vicki x
    
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Are the love stories and fairy tales you grew up with holding you back in life and love?

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Think of your favourite Hollywood and Disney love stories - the rom-coms, the tragedies, the classic fairy tales. The ones you were brought up on. The ones you loved.

Now take a closer look at what role the women have in those films and stories - the likes of Snow White, Cinderella, Grease, Dirty Dancing.

What messages are those Hollywood films and Disney fairy tales giving to us about what makes for a good, successful, attractive woman and what doesn't?

Because when you take a closer look at how women are portrayed in the vast majority of Disney animations, Hollywood films and the media, a shocking reality starts to emerge: women are still, by and large, being treated as objects. In fact even more so than we were in the last century. The message is loud and clear: as women, looks are still valued over intellect, values and character. We're not being seen, our true power and value as women isn't being recognised and the narratives we're being offered as women by these hugely influential powers are at best limiting and at worst damaging.

And if you think you aren't hugely influenced by these messages then think again.

This is what the the incredible star-studded documentary film 'Miss Representation' is all about.

Watch it and prepared to feel seriously fired up!

You'll see just how much your beliefs and judgements about you and other women and what makes us attractive or not attractive have been shaped by these limiting female narratives offered to us by Hollywood, Disney and the media.

You can watch the trailer here:
 

And you can either buy or rent it here ($3.99 to rent) or watch it on Netflix if you're a subscriber.

Miss Representation had a huge impact on both of us when we watched it. We dedicated a whole podcast to it.

 

It really drove home to us the shocking degree to which our beliefs around what we thought we had to be like to be considered attractive and womanly, had been shaped by the media and the film industry. And not in a good way.


There is a serious lack of powerful narratives for women and it's having a huge and detrimental impact on the way we view ourselves and the way men view us. And men don't have it that much better.

This documentary set us both free in so many ways and we encourage everyone to watch it - women and men alike.

Because once you realise the limited and often damaging narratives that you've been fed by the media and film industry and how much these narratives have been influencing you, you have a choice.

You can choose to unplug from those narratives and start to write your own narrative of what it is to be a woman.

Narratives that empower you rather than limit you.

x Selina

P.S. when you watch it come back here and let us know how you found it!

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