Why Gathering Matters.

Our inaugural Soul Sisters gathering last month in Portland, OR. Photos copyrighted by Darrah Parker Photography.

In case you’d rather listen:

Listen Friend, what I want to tell you is this.

Gathering with like-minded women is not a luxury.
It’s not an add on.
It’s not “just” dark chocolates and red wine.

Powerful things happen when women gather.
Lies are called out — about our bodies, our voices, our roles in this world.
Truths are spoken — about our strength, our message, our unique ways of leading.

This does not happen naturally in our society. We are bombarded — every day, all the time –from every billboard and commercial and magazine in the checkout aisle–with lies and misdirection.

(The same is not done to the menfolk. At least, not nearly as much. So if anyone tells you there is no war on women in our culture — and even more severely in other cultures–do. not. receive. that.)

We can do a couple of things about this reality.
We can notice.
We can bemoan.
We can lick our wounds. (That’s actually step one in healing.) 
But what we cannot do is stop at outrage, and frustration. We must not simply wage a finger and wish for a change. 
That, my friend is impotence in its sneakiest form.

We must heal.
We must proclaim.
We must point out to each other how powerful we are.
Help each other receive and celebrate our accomplishments.
Challenge each other to push boundaries.
Share our strengths, our know-how, our skills, our talents.

We must gather up and do this, because nobody else is going to do it for us.

Friend, you do not yet see how powerful you are.
But your sister, sitting next to you in this circle? She does. And she will tell you.
She will hold up the mirror.
She will Testify.

We have evidence of this, your soul sisters and I. We have proof. Because after we gathered as soulsisters in Portland, this is what happened:

Christina started selling her art.
Kimberley began writing poetry.
Jenna created a new class to help women tell their stories.
Anna (gently) called me on the carpet and reminded me to host, yes, but to teach as well.
Laurie recognized all the areas in life in which she is already brave (and got even more bold!)
Terri, and Ev’yan, and Rachael and I made connection so we can find ways to teach together on healing topics that few people are addressing.
Together, we raised over $,1200 to help families in Haiti stay intact.
Not an un-small number of us re-activated our passion-and-creativity chakras with the help of a hula hoop. 

This happened because in a culture that often assaults us, we carved out a place to be safe.
We created a zone where we could ask our selves the tender questions.
(“Am I being afraid of my own power?”)

We built a room of our own to tell our stories. 
(“A terrible thing happened to me, and I turned it into something healing.”)

We took back our time in order to reconnect with our hunger and our bodies.
(“I finally know what my body is asking me to feed it!”)

We need to do this on a regular basis. Like maintenance. Like a check-up. Like eating our vegetables.  (Only way, way more fun.)
And moreover, we need to find ways to bring new voices into the circle through invitation, and scholarship, and by tithing our time at the mic to others who don’t look, or think, or experience life quite like we do. (So we can grow. So they can heal. So we can all do both together.)

No, this is not a luxury.
This is not wine and chocolates.
This is dark leafy greens, and organic peaches, and the coolest cleanest water imaginable.
This is how we feed ourselves so we can thrive, and serve, and make everyday miracles out there in the world.

We won’t apologize for wanting to gather as women. 
We won’t feel badly that men don’t have the mic for this one weekend, this one event, this one song. 
We won’t call it a little luxury.

We’ll call it Healing.
We’ll call it Leadership.
We’ll call it Power.

And we’ll call it out now.

Amen? Amen.


If you’d like to join us at an upcoming Magpie Girl Gathering, and you are seeing this on the blog or through a friend’s Facebook, please  join my mailing list for an invitation! We will be gathering this winter at The Giving Table (a fundraising dinner); and again this spring for a small-group version of Soul Sisters. Please join us. Because it’s like I always say, “There ain’t nowhere to go, but together.

Kimberley McGill November 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Oh, Rachelle! This gave me shivers all over. Powerful, true, inspiring …. Yes.

Laurie November 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm

“Friend, you do not yet see how powerful you are.
But your sister, sitting next to you in this circle? She does.
And she will tell you.
She will hold up the mirror.
She will Testify.”

This happened over and over,
in many moments of every day of our gathering.
This was my very favorite part.
Having it happen to me, making it happen for others,
and watching our lights get brighter and brighter and brighter.
This realization, recognizing, reclaiming.
This is why we must gather.
To remind one another.
And to remember ourselves.


Christina Carnoy November 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Sniff!!! This brought tears to my eyes…thank you so much Rachelle for dreaming up this wonderful gathering that blessed so many of us in so many ways!!!!

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