The May book for our book club was a brand new book by Lori Harder, "A Tribe Called Bliss: Breakthrough Superficial Friendships, Create Real Connections, Reach Your Highest Potential." This book was actually chosen by one of our members and best friends, so thanks Jessica! I loved it!
Although I've long loved the idea of having (and creating) a tribe, I didn't really expect to learn much from this book that I hadn't already read or thought about. I created my first networking group in 2005 with my sister and we've been creating groups of like-minded people in some way ever since. I believe in the confidence that comes from solidarity and having a tribe of people who share your values instantly creates that. And I believe strongly that when women sit in sacred circle, energy shifts. I even raised my daughter under the "it takes a village" philosophy, making sure she spent her formative years being looked after and influenced by some of the most amazing women I knew.
I also spent much of 2015 exploring the concept of intentional friendships. I met the superstar ladies who were creating an app for friend-dating. I talked to a gender sociologist professor friend of mine about researching how women make friends so I could write a book. I even spoke at a Friendsgiving Event about how I was making friends in a new and different way. And, more than anything, I realized as I grew into a new and different version of myself who I wanted to spend time with and what I needed from them changed.
Enter Lori Harder and this book! For me, this was a "can't put it down and stay up way too late reading it" book. From opening the book sharing her own story of not feeling like she belonged in her uber-religious upbringing to trying to fit in with the party crowd to discovering she was craving real authentic connections - it was like we are soul sisters!
You could read this book and never actually go create a mastermind or "tribe." It is the book I wanted to write in some ways: detailing the ways we can show up for each other and analyzing why we don't. But, in my opinion, the true beauty of this book is that she gives us all the tools we need to create a super-connected get-shit-done tribe of women who always have your back - not in the burying the bodies sort of way that I was used to, but in the you can do better and are you really being true to yourself and your desires sort of way.
It's literally a step by step guide for a whole year's worth of meetings and conversations. Each chapter covers a topic in the personal development world and ends with a self-reflection exercise and list of prompts for your next mastermind. I had a moment of "But what if I want a mastermind to grow my business, not talk about Forgiveness again?"
And then something in my heart clicked. Each woman can bring whatever they want to work on to the table. And you can still process your desires and struggles using the topic for the week. It's likely that whatever you want to see movement or growth in is being hindered by a block attached to one of her topics. And these prompts can be applied to it all.
I won't spoil the specifics as I want you to be able to read it with fresh eyes, But the Forgiveness chapter is a perfect example for me. I've read 100s of books, blog posts and essays on the importance of forgiveness - everyone from Jesus to Danielle LaPorte preaching the gospel of forgiveness. But, after I went through the questions in this book, I realized that one of the reasons I haven't been able to move forward in my own business dream is because I hadn't forgiven myself for all the past business "failures," I hadn't forgiven my dad for wanting me to have a conventional job, and I hadn't forgiven ... well, you get the idea!
Whether you decide to create your own mastermind (as we are!) or just use this book to change how you show up for your tribe and build community, I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Let me know in the comments below!