This week we have a special guest here at In Our Shoes and true sister spirit whom I was humbled to have met when she had just begun her entrepreneurship venture. Readers, I am pleased to introduce Shasta Nelson founder of GirlfriendCircles.com who has turned the spotlight on what the essence of friendship really means in our lives. In the last few years, Shasta has been forming communion amongst women through her speed friending “Girlfriend Circle” events in major cities across the US.
Girlfriend circles creates communities of local women who value real friendship and in true In Our Shoes style is rooted on the basis that like-minded relationships improve our emotional, physical and mental health. Here’s a review of a Girlfriend circle I attended shortly after having my second child a few years back. Shasta’s event was the uplifting pick-me-up I needed to lift me out of maternity leave isolation mode at that time.
Off the presses is her new book: Friendships Just Don’t Happen: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends which is available on Amazon in the US and UK.
I sat down with Shasta to uncover her insight on the meaning of friendships from her new book. Here’s our interview – enjoy!
Interview with Shasta Nelson, founder of GirlfriendCircles.com and Author
In Our Shoes: Name 3 things you are passionate about in your book that you would want women to walk away with after reading it?
- First that it is way more normal than they think it is to regularly engage in the friend-making process. We are replacing half our friends every 7 years so it’s pretty much a given that if you don’t currently need to make new friends, then chances are high that you will soon after a change in your relationship status, job, address or life stage.
- Second, that we don’t have to leave friendships to chance. It’s less about discovering the right people and more about developing the right kinds of friendships with the people we meet. Meaningful friendships are based less on what we think is important (i.e. that we’re both mothers, that we’re both entrepreneurs, that we’re both single) and more on the fact that we get to know each other well enough to find 2-3 smaller things we have in common.
- Third, that there are very different kinds of friends. I break it down to five circles and once you know which circle is your emptiest, then I’ll teach you what the steps and stages are for developing that circle into a fulfilling and robust circle of friends.
In Our Shoes: Given your research, tell us something that most people would be surprised to learn about women and friendships.
I actually think what you’ll be most surprised by, is how significant the health research is for this area of our lives. I think if women truly understood the health ramifications then they would be less willing to let kids, work, romance and stress get in the way of girls night out. If we feel disconnected it is as harmful on our bodies as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and twice as damaging as obesity is claimed to be. In fact a circle of friends, was the number 1 factor that determined whether women survived breast cancer or not! Those of us who claim healthy friendships recover faster from surgeries, get sick less, and live longer lives. This is really just a life area that is barely beginning to get the attention it deserves!
Join me next week ladies! With love and inspiration,