The blessings of friendship & community

Friendship |
My default setting is lone she-wolf. It’s taken me a long time to fully understand this and I suspect it will take many more years to truly accept it, because it flies in the face of the norm — or the norm that I perceive. I have friends I love and trust and my family are more important to me than anything else, but most of the time I really do prefer my own company. It goes far beyond being able to amuse myself of a long weekend. I like visiting new places on my own. I like working on my own. I walk my own path and looking back I see it’s always been this way. I don’t think I’m particularly anti-social — I like spending time with friends, just not as often as most people do. Once a week is just fine for me — twice a week and I feel drained.

Yet even with this bone-deep independence — and a life-long journaling habit that keeps me sane — some of the most important personal work I’ve ever done came about through the sisterhood found with other women. Through being seen and heard and emotionally held by others.

I was reminded of this last weekend when Meg came to stay — within an hour of her arrival we were already talking about the Real Stuff. We’ve known each other for eight years so it’s easy to open up and be honest, yet I remember even on our first friend-date we did the same. That’s the lovely thing about meeting friends through blogging — you cut straight through the fluff to the bean-spilling.

witchy night |
Our second friend-date was a flight to Seattle in 2006, where we spent a week with new friends and I got my first taste of how powerful being in a group of women can be. That week changed so much for me, as has every retreat I’ve been on since.

Fast forward to 2012. Meg, Sas and I flew to Italy for SquamItalia. Having spent many weekends together we were excited to be sharing a room again. Like sleepovers when you’re at school, the adult version is even better: we basically talked our faces off for three days. That was where we hatched the plan for our Redfox retreat (we were even planning the goody bags late into the night!)

Redfox was born out of the desire to bring women together to share their stories in community. To experience the kind of sister-bonding that lasts long after the retreat is over. We knew the three of us could hold the space for transformation to happen, and the more we schemed the more we knew we had to make it happen — it was something we yearned for in our worlds, too.

Last year’s retreat blew us all away, but especially me. This lone she-wolf likes to stay at home, so I wondered how a week of not just retreating but also facilitating would feel. As it turned out, we’d woven so much intention and love into our retreat plan, it was the most restorative and nourishing week of last year.

two foxes are better than one |
This November we’re leading our Unravel Your Story retreat again and we’d love you to bring a soul sister with you to both get 25% off the price. Taking time out to nurture yourself in this way is so rewarding, and doing it with your best friend/sister/cousin/mum? You’ll be taking your relationship to new heights :)

This is the only in-person teaching I’m doing this year and I can’t wait to meet our new group of vixens, ready to dig deep into what’s meaningful and true in our lives. And if you’re a lone she-wolf like me? There’ll be plenty of space to decompress and refill your cup in the quiet. Hello scheduled free time for naps, reading and walks in the woods!

Will I see you there? Feel free to email me if you have any questions! x

9 responses
  1. MEg

    I love you. I’m so honoured to be a part of you pack ;)

  2. MEg

    Duh! YOUR pack.

  3. Sas

    Its going to be magic! I can’t wait to hang out with this year’s foxy birds. And you two.

  4. elizabeth

    HEART BURSTING in the best way!!

  5. Gerri

    Oh, the photos take me right back there every time… xxO

  6. Helen

    I’m right there with you re: major introversion. Still, I love all the ways that you manage to connect with strong, awesome women in your career and life.

  7. amy grethcen

    i cannot say enough amazing things about my experience at your redfox retreat. It definitely nourished me body and soul and was exactly what i needed. I wish so deeply that i could be back in that safe magical space again with you ladies. miss you sus xx

  8. yvonne

    love your laugh Gerri! xx.


    Have you read the book Quiet by Susan Cain (or seen her TED talk)?

    When you mentioned feeling drained after meeting friends too often I just thought about that book. I guess we all just have different need of outside stimulation. My partner, for example, need to have a much more sociable life than I desire to be happy.

    The retreat sounds lovely! I am already going to a conference that week otherwise I might would have considered it :)

    x Matilda

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