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Finding and fostering female friendship
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Lately, Ive been thinking a good deal about the positive and powerful influence of female friendship in my life. So often women feel the desire for such friendship, but arent sure how to go about finding or cultivating it. - photo by Connie Sokol
Lately, Ive been thinking a good deal about the positive and powerful influence of female friendship in my life. So often women feel the desire for such friendship, but arent sure how to go about finding or cultivating it.

1. Be clear about the kind of friends/friendship youre looking for. This will determine where you look for it. On a light level, perhaps you want someone to enjoy similar interests with you. Look for a hobby group writing, craft, cooking or start your own. Make a fitness connection, like a walking group or class. Years ago I started going to Zumba when my daughter started Kindergarten. After years of being a solitary exerciser (due to many small children), I was shocked how fulfilling it was to work out with others.

On a deeper level, perhaps youre wanting to connect through more self-awareness and shared connection. Consider classes or events that teach self-improvement or emotional intelligence kind of topics. As you attend these youll find like-minded women and more easily start a fulfilling connection.

The owner of the place where I teach monthly Jumpstart Back to Basics classes has created a unique evening format for women. Instead of women leaving home several times a month to attend several desired classes, she hosts several classes in one night, making it easier for women to attend one evening each month and yet enjoy two or three desired topics. Attending classes create a regular rhythm which creates familiarity, which creates opportunities for more realistic and natural connection.

2. Start with a step. Dont focus on all the things you need to do to start a friendship, or how awkward it can feel. Just put yourself out there with one step. In our neighborhood a woman holds a casual Friday play group. Everyone knows its at the same day and time each week and its open to whomever wants to or can make it. Easy.

On a professional scale, author Rena Pedersen of "Whats Next? Women Redefining Their Dreams in the Prime of Life," shares that she took a chance and offered an early morning Christian Bible study group in downtown Dallas for female businesswomen. To her surprise, not only did she get a yes from some of the busiest leaders in the city, but they consistently made time for the morning sessions.

3. Be assertive in seeking support. Actively look for help with your specific or current life needs through womens groups and connections. When theres a need, women do what they do best rolling up sleeves and digging in to make it happen, as well as lending a listening ear and encouraging hug when needed.

One of my friends had the happy prospect of a daughters wedding, but needed help with the details. Enter The MOB, the Mother-of-the-Bride club. She joined this neighborhood group comprised of up to 30 women who each have a wedding they need help with, and in return, help with the other weddings. Each woman chooses an area in which to assist and ensures the day of the wedding that the mother-of the-bride can fully focus on the event without worrying over details. It worked like a charm!

Female friendship offers layered love and nurturing as we reach out and make a vulnerable effort. Try a small step that feels genuine to you and open yourself to a sweet connection that will bless your life for years to come.
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