If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen multiple posts in the past few days related to Brené Brown’s newest book, Braving The Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. As is true with all her work, I cannot recommend it highly enough. And this one? Stellar. Timely. Important. A must-must-must read.

Today’s post is inspired by this quote:

…rather than coming together and sharing our experiences through song and story, we’re screaming at one another from further and further away. Rather than dancing and praying together, we’re running from one another. Rather than pitching wild and innovative new ideas that could potentially change everything, we’re staying quiet and small in our bunkers and loud in our echo chambers.

And a bit further in, she says this:

Social media are helpful in cultivating connection only to the extent that they’re used to create real community where there is structure, purpose, and meaning, and some face-to-face contact.

Don’t get me wrong: I love so many aspects of social media. Even though I’ve left it, some of my deepest and dearest friends are women I met on Twitter years and years ago. These are relationships I wouldn’t trade (or lose) for the world. And if that weren’t enough, social media has, in large part (if not exclusively) enabled me to build and sustain my 11+ years of blogging and 8+-year-old business!

Still, the movement from virtual to real, from Facebook to face-to-face, is increasingly, always, endlessly what makes the most difference and has the potential to change everything.  

It’s what women have always done (but keep forgetting…or…maybe it’s just me). Song and story, dancing and praying, birthing wild and innovative ideas that change everything! And at our very best – together! 

I don’t want to forget. I deeply and desperately want to contribute to any and all that changes everything. And I 100% believe that “together” far surpasses rugged individualism, even isolated impact. So, I’m asking myself some questions:

  • How can I amplify and encourage the in-person relationships that are right here, already in my midst?
  • What does it look like for me to engage more intentionally in my community?
  • What offerings, classes, conversations, “work,” might I step into and invite where I live – my city, my circles, my neighborhood?
  • What can I make available, even virtually, that will bring us face-to-face (even if on a screen), create community, and strengthen us because we’ve chosen to gather? Not anonymous, but courageous, seen, and heard.
  • How do I increasingly recognize (and confront) the safety and ease that online provides and instead, choose to be brave, to dare, to step into places of discomfort on behalf of so much more? 

These questions, conversations, and their accompanying ramifications are always needed, of course. But as we navigate Charlottesville and Houston and Florida and politics and-and-and – a list so long, we struggle to imagine any good outcomes or endings – we can be certain of this: we need each other. And this: we are better when together. More: we are at our very best – together!

Though hardly the end of my thoughts, Brené Brown offers fitting conclusion to this post:

When we come together [face-to-face and yes, even via Facebook] to share authentic joy, hope, and pain, we melt the pervasive cynicism that often cloaks our better human nature.

Oh! May it be so.

One of the ways in which I’m trying to answer my own questions is to offer an in-person, in-my-home Women’s Sacred Writing Circle. 5 Wednesday mornings – October 4 through November 1. No writing experience needed. Just the desire for face-to-face time with other women and the willingness to be vulnerable, to write your truth, to let yourself be seen. Email me if you’re in my neck of the woods (Seattle/Tacoma area) and interested!

As I have talked of this possibility on social media (yes, another of Facebook’s blessings), many of you have asked if I will be doing the same virtually. I’m not sure yet, but I’d love to hear from you if you’re interested. CLICK HERE to subscribe to a list that will keep you informed as I ponder and maybe even plan.

And Sacred Writing Circles, in-home gatherings, or not, I hope you’ll find your people – face-to-face (and on Facebook). Gather them close. Have bold, meaningful, and honest conversations – especially if you disagree. Tell them they matter. Let yourself be changed.