Female Friendships – International Women’s Day

She Ignites is celebrating International Women’s Day by discussing the importance of Female Friendships in Adults!

Female FriendshipsHappy International Women’s Day to all of the brilliant, lovely ladies that I have the pleasure of sharing this world with! You’re raising our children, educating our youth, protecting our rights, representing us in the business word, finding cures for our ailments, and you’re inspiring us every single day. I can’t possibly express how grateful and amazed I am at my fellow women!

In honor of this special day, I will be offering a 15% discount on ALL purchases from my website until Sunday, March 11th in addition to the freebies that are always offered! I only ask that you are mindful of your relationship with your personal beauty consultant if you have someone that you are working with locally. We’re here to empower women, including each other!

Today I would love to talk to you a little bit about the amazing power of female friendships. These are relationships that seem to fall short to our other competing priorities. I would love to discuss how we can do better for each other and build quality, long lasting female friendships. Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

What happened to Female Friendships?

As I look back over my nearly 30 years on the planet, I can’t help but notice that the number of female friendships I once had has diminished significantly. Moreover, the relationships I have left in no way resemble what we once had. Since realizing this, I made a point to ask other women about their experiences with their female friendships and I quickly learned that I was not alone.

Many might argue that this is just a normal part of “growing up”. That somewhere in our mid-twenties it makes sense that most women allow their lives to revolve around their romantic relationships, children, and business. That somehow, being a good friend is LESS important than your responsibility to these other relationships. But is it really?

Popular TV show, Golden Girls, would have us believe that there is still hope! We can have our close community of female friends again! We simply have to wait for our children to grow up and our husbands to die..? But is it really that impossible to nurture personal friendships in addition to your own adult life? I truly don’t believe that it is.

Why We’re Lonely

pexels-photo-573306This issue really came to light as I started my Mary Kay business. Of course, it is recommended that you practice your presentations by having friends and family members host a party so that you can start building your network. This is a great method that many other MLMs have implemented because it helps you get comfortable with the product in a supportive environment. But it was at this point that I truly started to understand how very isolated I was. After all, I could go WEEKS without seeing another human who wasn’t my son or my boyfriend.

I quickly found that I was desperately reaching for people who could help me out in this area. When I did reach out, I found that I was not alone in this struggle. Even asking for these people to pull two or three friends for a small party was difficult. This was because their lives weren’t unlike mine. They were busy, burnt out, and let’s just say it… lonely.

Looking back, there are definite life events that contributed to this loss. Moving out of state, high school graduation, taking our first “grown up” jobs, marriages, having children, and climbing up the corporate ladder. With each of these events, it made it more difficult to actively contribute to these friendships. We no longer saw each other each day, there were more obstacles that got in the way of making the time, and eventually we stopped talking altogether.

Technology contributes both positively and negatively to our daily lives as well. Social media is a great “quick fix” for loneliness and craving social interaction. But not only that– it’s convenient. There is, however, a reason that these social apps are so addicting. We are biologically hardwired to BE social. Now, we simply have the option to supplement our relationships through technology. Suddenly, we disconnect from our real friends in favor of venting to thousands of strangers at a time. And the gratification is almost instant. Additionally, you don’t have to bare the guilt of burdening your close friends with your “negative” feelings.

I personally believe that social media is a fantastic tool for busy adults to use and connect with their friends and make new ones. However, I don’t think that it should be at the expense of REAL personal relationships.

Repairing Adult Friendships

All of the reasons that women have struggled to maintain close female friendships are understandable. But I would like to see us resist “normalizing” this loneliness and instead, actively try to repair and build our adult friendships.

If I learned anything from starting my Mary Kay business, it is that old friendships can be revived. It put me back in contact with many people that I hadn’t spoken to in years! The thing to remember though, is that you shouldn’t just be trying to “sell” them on something. This just happened to give me a unique opportunity to check in with old friends. And if I’m being honest, I might never have reached out were it not for that reason. But I am SO GLAD that I did. Because now I really know what I was missing out on.

One thing that is important as you reconnect with old friends is to just be very genuine with them. I think so many of us have subscribed to this mentality that we really are better off holding onto our burdens instead of discussing them like we did when we were younger. So when you intentionally reach out to an old friend to see how things are going, don’t be afraid to remind them that you truly care. You would be surprised how often “I’m fine.” Turns into someone who really does need a friend right now.

Building Adult Friendships

Women TalkingWhether you have moved or are just looking to make new female friends, there are resources out there! Sometimes you are lucky enough to find co-workers who become close friends. You can meet many people through local networking meetings. You can even use apps like Meetup, Bumble, Nextdoor, and more! You can even look for similarly minded women in local Facebook groups or under platonic female relationships on Craigslist. Yes, Craigslist! Just know that I wouldn’t recommend it if I haven’t tried it and come out with a success story!

However, the best way to make female friendships out in “the wild” is to simply pay attention to the women around you. Offer words of kindness and don’t be afraid to ask a stranger “Is everything alright? Do you want to get a cup of coffee and talk?” Because it is impossible to know whether the woman crying in the public restroom has someone else to turn to. Or if there is someone else who is going to tell the woman in the grocery store that she looks beautiful that day.

Some of the kindest things you do for others don’t cost money. You just need a little bit of bravery to speak up and acknowledge that you recognize something in them. A simple reminder that there is MORE outside of that bubble that we’ve created for ourselves. There are other women around us all the time and we are all in this together.

The Benefits of Female Friendships

If the general merriment isn’t enough to convince you to make an effort towards building more lady friendships, note the health benefits! Studies have shown time and time again that socializing is incredibly important to our physical and mental health- especially for women.

Lowers Stress

In an emergency or exceptional situation, stress can be lifesaving. However, the chronic stress that comes from anxiety disorders, a hectic lifestyle, or long periods of isolation can be harmful. By having friends, you could actually be healing your stress and extending your life expectancy.

Improves the Quality of Life

There is a wide-spread acceptance that the quality of your life can be greatly improved by having social support. This includes people who are fighting through cancer and other medical issues. This social support can help you in areas of health that can only be attached by human compassion and understanding. Just think of how it helped Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club!

Improves Confidence

Having a close group of friends is almost like having your own personal fan club! While you might not always agree, it’s good to know that the group of people you love are loving you right back. And fortunately, women are typically pretty great at expressing that love!

Makes You Feel Secure

Your gal pals can make you feel more safe or secure. You will walk more confidently knowing that in the face of something going awry, your friends will be there to help pick up the pieces. In the face of a break up, family feud, or rejection- your friend’s often become a “safe space” for you. Your friendships can also motivate you to take better care of yourself.

Improves Physical Health

Having a strong social circle and feeling supported contributes to healthy hormone function, lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and possibly lower levels of inflammation.

Your Friendships

I love to hear positive stories about friendship! Tell me all about you and your group of female friends in the comments!

What My Child Taught Me

A bittersweet reminder that children are changing and growing quickly.

Rolling with the Punches of Parenthood

I’ll be honest, guys. It has been a rough week at our house. My 16 month old unnamedtoddler managed to cut 4 molars, get a double ear infection, and has thrush in his mouth and diaper area all at the same time. Needless to say, it’s been loud, exhausting, and we’ve both done our fair share of crying.

One reason that I could never be a Mommy Blogger is because, let’s face it, I don’t know much. I’ve got one child under two years old. And to be perfectly honest with you, he’s usually pretty easy to deal with. Because of this, I’m uncomfortable with the thought of giving out unsolicited parenting advice.

But in light of this difficult week, I want to share one important and universal lesson that parenting has taught me. And that is that everything is temporary, whether it is good or bad.

Everything Changes

After what can seem like an eternity, when you’re sure you can’t take it anymore, everything changes. Whether it’s crying, sleepless nights, teething, separation anxiety, or anything else… it’s all going to pass. Everyone always says “they grow up so fast” and it is more true than I ever imagined. Because with every new phase comes a new skill, a new challenge, and another step towards being an independent person.

I will never tell you that your feelings of distress and frustrations aren’t justified, because I feel them too. I feel inadequate, like a failure, and like I’m just plainly NOT cut out for being a mother A LOT of the time. But to be honest with you, the memories of those times are going to be what pulls me through THIS time.

Being Kind to Yourself

19265130_10154989755185683_1635290530_nLooking back on all of the times I’ve felt like this, I only see a human being who is doing her best as she navigates uncharted waters. I’ve never even been in the running for “the worst mom ever”, though I’ve often told myself I was. And I am willing to bet that you haven’t either.

So if you’re a parent who is also having a rough week with your kids, just know that we’re all going to be fine. And also that it’s perfectly okay to cry into a pint of ice-cream at the end of the night. Or consider which act your child would be most suited for if you sent them away to join the circus. (Definitely something involving a trampoline…) Just don’t actually send them and you’re golden! 

7 Simple Ways to Choose Happiness Today

By making a conscious effort each day in choosing happiness, you will be able to fend off some of those negative emotions that beg for your attention.

Hello, Gorgeous!

My name is Serena Brontide and I am SO excited that you are here with me to celebrate the first post on my personal blog, She Ignites!

Each day, I have the distinct pleasure of meeting intelligent, wonderful women who are setting thWomen Talkinge world on fire as they pursue their dreams. Each one of them come armed with their own experiences, aspirations, and passions. These women are making your coffee, cutting your hair, writing you books, selling your home, and more. They are all around you and they ARE you.

For this post, I would first like to let you know a little bit about myself and my vision for She Ignites going forward. Afterwards, I will dive right into my first post, Choosing Happiness.

She Ignites

As an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, I have committed my whole-self to enriching women’s lives. I strive to not only make women feel more confident and beautiful in their skin, but to also encourage them to push their limits and break through the glass ceiling. I have staked my success on a business that allows me to build and Sparkler 21restore confidence in those women who inspire me every day.

By writing the She Ignites blog, I hope to reach out and connect with more women and men who are committed to living a better life in a better world! Through this blog, I hope to share with you as I explore and learn more about my crazy, beautiful, chaotic life. I would like to introduce you to some of the exceptional people who I meet on my journey. And, of course, provide advice on how you can feel great about yourself, both inside and out.

Please, please feel free to engage with me through comments or by writing to me. I would love to take your questions, content requests, or chat with you!

Choosing Happiness

Lately, I often feel like I am being bombarded by negative emotions. As each new tragedy Choose Happyhits my news-feed, it becomes more difficult to prevent the grief and anger from taking over. And of course, stress knows no bounds when you are a mother. Yet, in my 28 years, I have learned without a doubt that CHOOSING to be happy can be the difference between success and failure. Believe me, I have learned that the hard way.

By making a conscious effort each day in choosing happiness, you will be able to fend off some of those negative emotions that beg for your attention. I’ve found that it is very seldom that my anger, frustration, or sadness has ever been productive to getting myself out of the situation that has led me down that path in the first place. How about you?

Assess and React

One common misconception about choosing happiness is that people believe that it means you should be happy at all times. But that is, of course, completely unrealistic.

Say, for example, that you are in line for coffee and it is taking an excruciating amount of time to get to the counter. If you’re in a rush (and obviously have not had your coffee), it is understandable that you would begin to feel frustrated and impatient. And given the circumstances, your feelings are justified! However, there is no benefit to you or anyone around you to yell and cause a scene.

Anais Nin1By choosing happiness, you would assess that you are feeling frustrated. But then make a decision to react with patience or simply change your plans in a way that will work best for you. After all, it is perfectly possible that there is a good reason for the delay.

Keep in mind that you are riding dead center in your universe, and that can sometimes give us tunnel vision. However, beyond your impatience, you might find a new employee in training, a computer system that has gone down, or a seasoned employee who is simply having a rough morning. We’ve all been there!

As with every new habit, it might take some practice to truly get the hang of choosing happiness. And it is important to note that even once you are an expert, there are still days that you will struggle. And that’s perfectly alright! The BEST thing that you can do is strive towards living a full life, where your overall happiness is a priority.

7 Simple Ways You Can Choose Happiness Today

If you’re unsure of where to start, I’ve compiled a list of 7 simple ways that you can choose happiness today!

  1. Be Mindful of your Complaints- As you speak today, pay close attention to the words that you’re using. If you know there is no productive outcome from a complaint, try working it out internally instead. This will allow you to avoid a negative or hostile environment and possibly diffuse a tense situation.
  2. While the people around us can sometimes seem like a blur, it’s important to Happy Womanremember that each person is an individual. It’s even more important to take the time to acknowledge that. This task could be something as simple as paying a compliment to your cashier. Or opening a door to a shop for the person behind you. No matter how big or small the gesture, you will be making a difference.
  3. Take Time for Yourself- I often feel my best when my hair and make-up is done. So it is important for me to take that time in the morning. Make sure that you carve out some time into your schedule to start your morning with a routine that will inspire confidence in you!
  4. Give Yourself a Pep-Talk- I PROMISE YOU that you have everything you need inside you already. You know exactly what to say to inspire you. And believing in yourself is the first step to achieving your dreams!
  5. SMILE-  Actually, it is scientifically proven that smiling can make you happier! It’s the ultimate “fake it, ‘til you make it” technique.
  6. Practice Personal Growth- Our brains, bodies, relationships, and our world are far too complicated for us to ever be “finished”. For this reason, you should always be striving for personal growth! You might choose to eat healthier, practice patience, or learn something new. The possibilities are endless!
  7. Show Appreciation- Each day, make sure to express your appreciation to those around you. And don’t feel the need to limit your appreciation to just your family and friends! Your co-workers, bank teller, mail-carrier, and everyone in-between are all working together to help make your life complete. Make sure they know that you appreciate their hard-work.

Thank You for Reading!

Thank you to the readers who have made it this far! I would LOVE for you to comment Thank youhow you are personally able to practice choosing happiness in your own life!

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