Almost a decade ago I found myself less than enthused with the real world. It was a monotonous kind of existence—get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, rinse and repeat.
Prior to, I was a student. In those days I had all these dreams about what I wanted my life to be and all these amazing goals, but here I was bored and not really sure what I had to look forward to. And goals? What goals? 9-5 living provoked a passive kind of existence with only enough energy for the next day.
I began to think if I feel this way, there must be others who do too. With this inkling I decided to start a “Women’s Empowerment Group,” (i.e., a sister circle). I wanted to create an intimate space where women could gather to network and share resources—inspiring each other to revive old goals, make new ones and move towards them.
Almost 9 years later, we’re still together. Since that time, I’ve obtained a doctoral degree. Another woman, who was a teenage mom, went back to school, completed her Bachelor’s and just finished a law degree. Three of us write for this blog, while there are others who’ve started businesses, got married, had children and shoot…there’s even a County Legislator among us, now.
On a monthly basis, I set up numerous workshops for the women—some I conducted, some I invited special guests for. However, the truth of the matter is that there was magic happening just because we were together. “Oh wow, look at you, you inspire me. I want to be my best too,” and that was the aim of the group as I fully believe as Marianne Williamson said, “As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”
Now it’s time for you to start your own sistah circle! Our group has a general focus, “empowerment in every aspect of our lives,” but you can start one around a particular topic such as home ownership, single motherhood, getting out of debt or entrepreneurship. Below are a few tips based on my tenure as group leader of Empowered to the Third Degree, Inc.
1. Decide how regularly you want to meet. Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?
2. Determine what the mission of your group is. Answer the question of why you exist. It serves as an anchor for who you invite to the group and the regular activities you participate in.
3. Be picky about who you invite to the group. You want people to get along, as well as you want every one to feel comfortable and safe.
4. Keep the group intimate. I recommend 8-12 people. Not every one will come to every meeting, so it’s nice to invite enough that there are at least 5 people each meeting, but not so many that you lose your intimacy.
5. Decide where you will meet. We meet monthly at different peoples homes. Either the host provides all the refreshments or we do pot lock.
6. Decide the kinds of things you want to happen in your group. Volunteer and charity activities, anyone?
7. Keep every one motivated. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees, so on a yearly basis review individual and group goals and mark progress. People are often surprised with their progress, as well as they are motivated when they see where they’ve fallen short.
Do you desire to start a sistah circle and have more questions? Ask below. If you’ve already started one and have learned some tried and true lessons, enlighten us in the comment section below.