It’s the era of the “girl squad”. Scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed, and you are bound to find some sweet, powerful, woman-to-woman shout-outs. It’s incredible to live in an age where women are starting to lift each other up, celebrate each other’s successes, and view each other as complements, not competition. If you are lucky enough to have a crew that shares openly, trusts and can be trusted, and supports you in your path, hold onto it and cherish it. If you find yourself in a group or friendship that doesn’t give you these things, step away.
We have had the honor of experiencing strong and supportive female relationships for half a decade through Pure Barre Austin. Female-owned, female-focused businesses are unique. We have learned so much from the women around us. The experience has been nothing short of amazing, even with all of its challenges. The highs have been the most invigorating and satisfying moments in life, and the lows have been the best learning experiences in personal growth and development. There is equal gratitude for both. We hope that as women, we continue to move forward with positive influence by sharing with, trusting in, and supporting one another.
There is something really special about sharing a personal experience with another woman that “gets it”. There have been countless moments when a client or staff member at Pure Barre Austin has courageously shared their experience, only to feel more validated and understood. The women in the Pure Barre community consistently validate one another by sharing challenges, successes, and even fears. We let each other know that the differences in our lives and experiences are okay. Through sharing with one another, all of the things that we are not supposed to talk about, not supposed to feel, not supposed to think, suddenly feel normal. We get it! Validation can start the process of healing and growth in recognizing that you are not alone. This collective sharing and understanding can normalize what you are experiencing and help you learn from others that have experienced similar things. Maybe they provide some advice or resources that will guide you toward success. The most powerful moment of sharing we have ever witnessed at Pure Barre Austin was last year right after our breast cancer awareness fundraiser class. One of the clients had just discovered that she has a BRCA genetic mutation, an indicator of a high risk of breast cancer. She was scared and concerned, and she bravely expressed it. Another client, who was in remission, immediately consoled her and provided resources and support. It was powerful, shocking, moving and incredible to witness.
The more we share, the more we have to think (and worry) about trust. As women, it feels a little easier to trust one another, but trust comes with its own set of challenges. The ease comes from our ability to relate - simply being a woman and sharing similar experiences in that regard. The challenges in trust, or a false sense of trust, come from the inevitable experiences of betrayal. Many women have a bad habit of sharing confidential information with others. It usually isn’t out of spite, but out of the desire to prove that we are “in the know”. To prove that people trust us and tell us things first. Regardless of the reason, confidential is confidential. Trust is trust. We have witnessed a group of women grow to trust each other and become closer, which has enhanced the sense of loyalty in our business and in turn has elevated the level of confidentiality. When a sense of trust exists among a group of women, everyone is free to be herself. You have confidence in one another and understand that despite your differences, you are all there through a common goal/vision. At Pure Barre Austin, our staff and clients trust our common goal of inspiring each other to be our best self. There is confidence in that goal, and reliability and strength in what the staff and clients stand for.
When a group of women has built a strong group of loyalty, openness and trust, a feeling of support falls in line. Many women are maternal by nature, but to feel this same support between adult women is mesmerizing and incredibly special. We get to work with a group of women that supports one another in pushing toward their goals, but also rallies to protect a woman in need. A staff member was once at a crossroads in a relationship. She received honest support to encourage her to move forward knowing that the only way she would be happy in life was to let him go and discover who she truly is. It wasn’t easy, but she had the support she needed to make a change, and has flourished ever since. This is just one of hundreds of examples where this group of women came together to protect and encourage someone in need. From offering their home as a place to stay, providing a loan, lending a shoulder to cry on and filling in the gaps to free someone of their duties in order to take care of personal matters, the list goes on. This is something that a strong group of women does naturally and with ease.
When you assess your circle, what do you find? Hopefully, it’s something that aligns with all of the above. If not, you have a difficult choice to make. It might be time to step as far away as you need in order to protect yourself, and then make the commitment to becoming an example of what friendship should look like. We believe that every woman has the power to embody the open, trusting, supportive female dynamic we’ve experienced over the years. That’s why we are here, doing what we are doing through Moderna Muse. Through Pure Barre Austin, we have seen the power and impact of community, and it’s time to take it a step further. We hope to accelerate society’s shift toward a unified female front. We hope to reduce the need to “step away”. We hope to inspire every single woman who values her female relationships to let that mindset ripple through every woman she meets. It takes bravery and courage to step up from our historical norms of competition and judgment. Emotions can get in the way, making it difficult to see the facts and problem solve. We can take things too personally, making it hard to understand why someone may be acting a certain way, or making us blind to a veiled cry for help. We may become wrapped up in our common interests, and find ourselves only making the effort to connect with those who think exactly like we do. This is reality, and our emotions, sensitivity, and ability to relate can certainly have a valuable place in our relationships. We have some things to improve on, but who doesn’t? Acknowledge that these realities exist, recognize when they get in the way, and balance them with openness, trust, and support. The power and influence that we spark when we join in a common vision can shift a culture. It can inspire a community to change. If we continue to share, trust and support one another, we will emerge as a powerful influence in matters that we never saw possible. Go love your girls and live fiercely in your muse.
Rashanna Moss & Shannon Pike
Moderna Muse + Pure Barre Austin