Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ladies Living Strong Launch Event (i.e. Why Community Matters)

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to speak at the launch of a local community organization.  Ladies Living Strong is an organization that inspires boldness and empowers relationships among women. It aligns women to local non profits and businesses of integrity as well as encourages connections and relationships with each other.

I love this organization for so many reasons. First of all, it is the result of years of dreaming, planning, and working by my dear friend Starr.

Starr Leger, Founder and CEO of Ladies Living Strong

I remember about two years ago when Starr brought this itty bitty infant of a dream to me and said, "What do you think?" 

I'll have to admit. I didn't get it. I didn't get the importance of relationships, of connection, of having a community to do life with.
Over the past two years, I have listened to Starr's heart for community. And I have experienced my own battles - depression and others - where my "tribe" of women was my saving grace. Now, I can say I get it. I get why we need other women. They are our mirrors. Our friends are the ones who reflect back to us who we really are. When we lose ourselves in the mundane, the busy, the stress, the kids, the career, the minivan, the laundry, the tummy bugs, life - that's when we can check the reflection of our friends and see, "You are not what you do or don't do. You are not just a compilation of success and failure. You are not only mom or wife or employee. You are strong. You are good. You are beautifully amazing. You are you. And I see you."

Women wrote lies they might believe about themselves.

The finished mirror after they wrote truths about themselves and the women around them.

The thing about friendships with women is this: they are hard to form. We all have our insecurities, our past relationships, our middle school experiences that make us wary of new women. It's hard to let down our guard and let friendship in. 

That's where Ladies Living Strong comes in.

At the launch event, there was so much life and affirmation. It was easy to connect, to start new friendship. From stations that addressed our insecurities and reminded us of our beauty, to tables where we could write our dreams for the year, to yummy yummy snacks and coffee, LLS filled us up - mind, body, and spirit.

It was really beautiful. 

And it reminded me why we need other women in our lives.

So who is your "tribe" today? Do you have one? Find a way to connect with women in your community. If you are local, head over to the LLS Event Page and plan to attend the spring event. If you're not in the greater Athens area, what can you do to start surrounding yourself with mirror friends?

Let's do this. Let's fill our "tribe" with beautiful, strong women. We need them, you and I. We need each other. 

*All the non-selfie pictures were taken by the amazing and beautiful Yvonne Niemann. She volunteered her time and talent to document the event and offer free head shots to the women in attendance. Head on over and check out her page here. 

Want to know more about LLS? Check out their website here. Or like them on facebook  to get updates on upcoming events.

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