It is important that women support each other. I’m Gail Zelitzky, founder of GEARSHIFT™, Wonder Women Mastermind Club, Women Rising, and Women Over 70-Aging Reimagined podcast.
My passion is coaching women business owners to expand personally and professionally while working smarter, growing faster and discovering their hidden potential, all while leading fulfilling lives.
How many of you drink Bedtime tea? I do. It’s calming and relaxing, and is the first step in my path to a good night’s sleep. Yogi teas (I especially love Caramel) have a message on each of the tea bags. Last night’s message was:
“When fear is forcing you to give up, call upon your heart’s courage to continue.”
It stopped me in my tracks. How many times in my life have I retreated rather than forged ahead? How often has the path forward seemed insurmountable and so I take the low road?
And every time I feel that way, without exception, it is another woman who, gently and firmly, reminds me of my heart’s courage. Who lifts me up so I push forward, renewed.
The Women’s Mentoring Coop asked us to make a short video in support of other women, and in honor of Women’s Month, asking us to state why we are strong allies of other women.
This is what I recorded:
“I am a strong ally to other women because I know how important it is to feel seen and heard, to be raised up and supported while stretching out of your comfort zone.
I am a strong ally to other women because I believe each woman is unique and each has her own story. We must help each other grow and let our passions take wing.
I am a strong ally to other women because other women have been strong allies for me.”
Women friendships have been a constant source of renewal for me throughout my life. Last week three of us zoomed – my lifelong friend from kindergarten and our mutual friend from high school. We were inseparable for years and then, as life often does, we went our separate ways. Our 50th high school reunion (1 of only 2 that I attended) reunited us and, once again, we have been inseparable.
In the late 1960’s, I joined the West Valley chapter of NCJW – National Council of Jewish Women. A group of us met regularly on Friday mornings, children in tow, to write postcards to legislators on topics of importance to us: equal rights, laws to protect women’s abortions, workforce issues, domestic violence, equal pay, etc. and forged powerful friendships. Later, when I was President, we brought Safety Town to Niles, IL.
7 of us have been friends since the 70’s. (Now we are 6 – the first one of us to die.) We meet monthly for dinner, have traveled together and during the pandemic we meet every other week on zoom. Our husbands became friends, too, including new ones (!), and we now meet on zoom twice a month as a group. When my husband passed away, the ‘girls’ did not miss a beat. We support each other in the down times and we celebrate our successes.
I have a similar group of friends from the synagogue I belonged to in the suburbs. The women of this group shared a special bond as well. The men and women also meet on zoom, every Saturday since the pandemic began.
And there are many other individual women – colleagues, clients and cohorts, my daughter-in-law, step-daughter, granddaughters, nieces, cousins, special co-mentor, Erin – all of whom contribute to the richness of my life, including my podcast co-founder, Catherine Marienau.
Women Over 70-Aging Reimagined has opened up an entirely new world through the guests we interview. I am privileged to share their stories of lives filled with social activism, social service, health and wellness, play, expressive arts and career enhancement, as well as loss, resilience, vitality and perseverance.
It is important that women support each other, lift each other up and help to renew our heart’s courage.
From my experience, the most important ways women can uplift each other are these:
- Leave judgment at the door – we are each unique individuals with our own dreams and needs. Our support is most needed to affirm that uniqueness.
- Celebrate success – be there for the good times, cheering each other on without an agenda.
- Listen – it’s true that sometimes all we need is to be heard. Providing that ear, making the time and listening is huge.
- Grab someone’s hand and hold it – not everyone knows how to ask for help. Showing up, giving support, sending a hug are all crucial to uplifting someone who is down.
- Tell the truth – protecting is often seen as kind. Women who support each other find kindness in facing fact, not fiction.
And there must be countless other ways women find to support each other. I’d love to hear from you.
Yours for continued success,