I have always valued my girlfriends, some of whom I have known for longer than I will admit to
on paper. Many of them have seen me at my worse and, hopefully, at my best.
It is in my newest venture, writing, publishing and publicizing my first book where the support
and encouragement of so many women new to my life has made a difference. The case in point
can be found in my Tuesday morning yoga class.
I practice ‘gentle yoga’ for which my 70+-year-old body is eternally grateful. It is at the local
sports center and I pass the more toned, the more committed and the more ab-focused as I
descend the stairs to the yoga studio. There with my mat in hand, I wait with for the earlier hot
class to be over. When the doors open, I take my usual spot, gather my blanket and block and
begin to prepare as the temperature lowers to a more comfortable setting. On one of those days
our yoga teacher overheard me sharing the news about the upcoming publication of Becoming
Herself with my neighboring yogi. After our class, she asked me to tell her more. In the weeks
that followed, she announced the book, introduced me and the date and time of its launch to our
class. She sent out a flyer, read the book, and told her sister to do the same. At the book
signing, many of my Tuesday enthusiasts came and celebrated the event.
This support—unasked and enthusiastic–has gotten me thinking about how often and how
naturally women come to support one another. You hear it the winning words and actions of the
U.S. Women’s Soccer Team following their World Cup victory– talking about the love and care
they have for each other on and off the field. There is no selfish bargaining in any of this, no
quid pro quo. It is simply coming together to form a sisterhood that for me has roots in an
individual practice taken with a community of strangers. I feel connected even when their first
names escape me and I could not identify their last names on a multiple-choice exam.
In Becoming Herself, Margaret speaks about her friends: when I am with these women, I can
breathe. So, on the days when I practice my breathing in a room filled with what once were
strangers, I feel a bond that comes not from what we have done but from who we
are—caretakers, supporters, explorers.
And so much more.