My message as a life coach is mostly about three things: mindset, community and legacy.
I’ve made great strides in improving my mindset in the last 10 years. My inner critic used to have a much louder voice, and I’ve learned how to tune her out. I used to strive for perfection, and now I know how to let progress be the victory. It feels so awesome to be able to help others do that, too!
Legacy feels like it’s something that’s always been a part of me because it’s the end goal. Legacy is what the journey of our life is leading up to. I’ve been a big dreamer and planner most of my life! I’ve learned how to be intentional about what matters most to me. I love helping women get clear about the legacy they want to create!
And community? Well, that’s what I want to talk about today.
I think there are several types of community & friendship. I kinda use these terms interchangeably.
Online communities and online friends. Facebook provides us with a plethora of communities where we can belong. It’s super easy to find people that have our same interests, and social media and technology makes it easier than ever to cultivate those relationships.
Long distant friends. These are probably college friends, friends from back home, and the friend you met at a retreat that lives across the country from you. Most of us have at least a few friends we don’t live nearby.
The community of family. Sometimes we get lucky enough (or not so lucky, depending on your situation) to have family living nearby. Now matter where they live, family is a community in our life.
And, of course, there’s our nuclear family...our spouses and children we’re living with. THEY are a community in our life, too.
Local friends. The town where we live is probably the biggest community of our lives. It’s where we live our day to day and these are the folks we interact with everywhere we go, whether we speak to them or not. Think the bank, the grocery store, driving, the doctor’s office, etc.
I’m sure we all have acquaintances...other moms at school, the neighbor we wave to when we get the mail, people we see at the gym, etc.
We have even closer connections to the people we spend a lot of time with, like people at work or the folks at our church or synagogue.
Then there are the people we know best. I call them casserole friends. These are the people who will bring you a casserole when there’s a death in the family or your husband’s in the hospital. They take care of you, and you take care of them. You love their kids almost like your own.
All of these types of communities play an important role in our everyday life, mostly because we all want to belong somewhere. And, according to Psychology Today, having a sense of belonging is a human need like food and shelter.
We, as people, are better together. Life can be easier, more fun, and less stressful with a community of people to support you and love you.
But you know what? Many of us feel SO lonely.
And here’s my confession...I’m one of those people.
I feel completely fulfilled by my online community, my family, and my long distance friends. I have AMAZING long distance friends. But I feel lonely because my local friends are nearly non existent.
Seriously. I have no casserole friends. #truth
There are a lot of reasons why I haven’t found my local peeps, and I’ll share those with you later. For now, know that this has been an ongoing problem for a long time! Years!
When I chose my word of the year, STRETCH, a few weeks ago, I couldn’t have imagined that THIS casserole friend problem would be the universe’s way of making sure I realllly stretch this year!
This word was supposed to be about me stretching myself in my business, stretching my body with pilates and yoga, and stretching myself as a mom as I watch my oldest go to college this fall. I know it still will be about those things, too, but...
I did not think STRETCH would be about me stretching WAY outside my comfort zone to face an issue that I thought I had made peace with long ago. And, yet, here I am!
The thing is, I know I’m not alone. I know there are a lot of awesome ladies out there that feel lonely, too.
It’s freaking hard to make friends as an adult and have it move beyond pleasantries and small talk. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
We can do the work to change our mindset, and we can be crystal clear about our legacy, but without community we don’t have people to share it with. We can create the community we long to have!
I have several amazing communities in my life, but I want you to know I don’t have it all together. I struggle with making friends, just like a lot of you. So, this is going to be one of my biggest missions in my personal life this year...finding casserole friends! You know...the kind of people in your town who show up when the messy stuff hits the fan.
It will be an adventure for sure!