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The Power of Connection and True Friends

yoga instructor, connection and true friends, active wear for yoga, health coaching

As a child, I never really thought much about the power of connection and true friends. Friends were not something I tried to have, I just seemed to naturally have them, at least a few at all times. I had a tendency to play outside with the neighborhood kids, mostly the boys. And we were riding bikes, climbing fences, and digging in the dirt! As I grew older, my friendships changed to primarily female and often with older girls. I had two older sisters as built in friends and seemed to easily connect more with their peers than even my own. Still, I always had a good friend or two and like I said, I didn't really have to try.

Fast forward to adulthood, marriage, and motherhood! Suddenly I felt a little disconnected from others and honestly didn't have a lot of time to really be disappointed by it or worried about it! I was living in my own world of chaos and busyness and trying to build a life and family. With time though, I did begin to feel a little envious when I would see women with these tight knit groups and began to really want these kinds of relationships. As an adult though, I would find this much harder for many reasons. First of all, everyone is busy to a degree so time is an issue. Second, I would come to realize in my 30’s just how incredibly complicated, cliquish, and sometimes even mean women can be. Often when I was around women my age I didn't really like the way I felt with them. It was a lot more pleasant to spend time with my husband and kids and so that's mostly what I did. I would try playing on tennis teams, joining bible studies, attending fellow school mom activities etc. Most of the time I developed some new acquaintances, but nothing significantly deeper. What I began to notice about myself was that if a friendship wasn’t super natural or easy, I would tend to shy away from making the effort. Making assumptions that others really already had enough friends and probably didn't want to connect anyway. So, there it was, busyness and bad assumptions had left me with very few close friends and I was kind of ok with it because I don't really care to have shallow friendships either. If I was going to invest the time, I wanted something meaningful.

Although I wasn't running around with my own big girl gang, sprinkled through these adult years there are a handful of people God placed in my path that did fill that space of genuine, heartfelt connection. Each relationship held its own weight and though we weren't spending tons of time together, the connections were positive and we always stayed in touch to some degree. Come to find out, when shit hit the fan and life got hard and some days seemed more than I could get through, these strategically, divinely placed women I had invested even a small amount of time into, proved to be deep and genuine and worth it!

I have a little more free time now that my kids are older. I also have more flexibility and more money than I did when they were younger. These things combined with alot of personal healing and new found confidence, have me reaching out more than ever to make sure I stay connected to my true friends and bravely finding ways to develop new ones! I am not casual about who I choose to connect with. I am very purposeful to keep my circle well protected from toxic relationships, gossipers, and negativity. What I am finding is there are really a lot of great and powerful women out there to align with and do life with and we need it!

After years of feeling like most women were often rude, jealous, and sometimes a bit shallow, I am finding that when you look in the right places and guard what is sacred to you and own the gifts and values placed inside of you, you will begin to attract like minded and like hearted friendships. I have also discovered, if you dig a little deeper, even the women who are harder to deal with are really great humans just buried in their own pain and inability to connect in a healthy way. If you encounter someone like this, have grace, give them the benefit of the doubt and move on.

This weekend I had the privilege of meeting up in person with one of my dearest tried and true friends. We have similar, yet different stories, but hearts aligned with the same love and mission.

yoga instructor, connection and true friends, active wear for yoga, health coaching

When we get together it not only feels easy and pleasant but so empowering and inspiring. I always leave her feeling better and feeling like I want to be better! We had so much fun and even collaborated on some work together. This meaningful friendship isn't just for the good times and has never involved spending every weekend together, but even the quick phone calls and weekends here and there are so life-giving.

Currently, I have alot of life giving relationships with other women, and I am so thankful I have stepped out to start creating them and that I have nurtured and held on to the lifelong ones that really matter. We need each other. We need to stop comparing and start cheering. We need to stop talking about and start listening to. We need to stop assuming the worst and start asking questions to see if someone is ok. We need to show up in this world, full of confidence in who we are and the purpose of our life so that we can love and help our sisters to do the same. Show up happy, and ready to give to your friends and stop expecting them to always just give to you! Let’s level up as the beautiful women God made us to be, and start coming from a place of kindness and support over jealousy and competition. There is enough good for us all! The world is abundant with all that we each need. Ladies, we don't have to take it from each other, there is enough for all! Go make your dreams come true and go be a great friend and help other women make theirs come true too!

We are wired to be connected. Numerous studies link close healthy friendships to reduced depression and anxiety and even reduced heart disease. At every age it is imperative to our physical and mental health to stay in a relationship and push past the temptation to isolate. Friendship and community take work and time. It takes commitment and sometimes sacrifice, but isnt it worth it? If you've been hurt, I get it! But, I would like to encourage

you to try again. Let go of the toxic people who aren't good for you, but don't give up on finding the people who will bring you joy and light your soul on fire and stick beside you when times are hard. There is someone out there for you! I promise.

There are so many ways to connect through physical activities like golf, tennis, and all the rage pickleball! There are spaces in the art and music world, book clubs, travel clubs, running groups, churches and academic clubs. Whatever you love to do or talk about, step out and find your people to do it with. I have recently also stumbled upon a local group of people who have implemented meet ups based on the book “The Two Hour Cocktail Party” by Nick Gray and it has been an amazing way to connect with people I would have never met before. Anyone can create these types of gatherings and they are quick, simple, and fun!

Remember, two are better than one and iron sharpens iron so don’t go on in this life alone. Find a good friend, be a good friend, and watch how much a powerful friendship can improve your overall health and bring you joy like never before! Cheers!

Always with love,

Keri :)


PS: I have another wonderful book after you check out the one above. This one is called “Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World” by Jennie Allen.

Be sure to check these two resources out, you won’t regret it!

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