“I would drive off a cliff for you.”

Our relationship hasn’t always been easy and we’ve had years of silence. Yet our bond remains unbreakable. We understand each other often without uttering a word; she challenges me, holds me accountable, and strengthens me. She pushes me to be the best version of myself. I hope I do the same for her.

She’s my sister of the soul and when she looked at me after our recent reconnection and declared, “I would drive off a cliff for you”, it was a defining moment.

It was my equivalent of that incredible Grey’s Anatomy moment between Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey when she proclaims, “You’re my person. You will always be my person”.

Because relationships matter to me. I invest wholeheartedly. I give generously. I would do anything to protect my people and the friendships we share. I’m guessing you can relate? But for women, it can be challenging to find your “person”, the Cristina to your Meredith, the Thelma to your Louise.

Our tribes have broken down.

Our role (traditionally speaking) is to care for others. We’re the “family CEO”, organizing, coordinating, and planning for the family. Many of us may be CEO at the office too, fulfilling a similar role. As a result our relationship skills are in constant demand, but we don’t have the time to work on the relationships that fulfill us outside of these roles. The friendships that were so abundant during our high school or college years are now thin on the ground and those that remain are so often characterized by futile attempts to “get together sometime soon”.

The distractions of everyday life get in the way. Or we’ve been around long enough to have been hurt and our vulnerability stands in the way of forging new relationships. For some women, it’s literally a case of not knowing where to look! It’s hard to create a tribe with women who work for you and family … well, families can be complicated.

I’m not afraid to admit that there have been times when I’ve been almost overcome by a deep sense of loneliness when my home life and my career have taken more than I had to give. Sure, when overwhelm creeps in we can turn to self-care strategies but an indulgent bubble bath or a solitary pampering session at the local spa can only do so much. It is times like these, when we need more.

We all need to be seen, to be heard, and to know that we matter. We need meaningful connection.

We’re beginning to recognize this need.

Many women are out there building tribes, forming organizations to support the modern-day woman. We have created networking events for women to gather and promote one another professionally. We have seen giving circles dedicated to bringing women together aligning their philanthropic values. Women have gathered to advance issues and political candidates.

It’s incredible. But I want more. I want to convene and to connect. I want to be challenged to remain present in mind, body, and spirit. And, most importantly, I want to strengthen other women.

So, thanks largely to my recent “person” moment, I’m on a mission — three exciting opportunities have emerged as a result.

  1. Beautiful Voices

I’m tired of the rhetoric that women must “find” their voice. We’ve always had a voice; we just need to learn how to use them. And, when I say use our voice I mean use our voices to be heard, to share our thoughts and ideas. We know raising our collective voice creates change so I have launched circles committed to bringing women together to share, to learn, and to elevate.

  1. Trust Tree Group

My “person” and I have launched Trust Tree which is a collective of like-minded women and women-focused businesses committed to creating connections that support and empower us across the spectrum of our lives. We began by partnering with the sisters of NW Wicks to sell custom candles symbolic of the light we see reflected in the women we gather. Our partnerships have expanded and we were asked to co-produce the Women in Leadership Lecture series with the Greater Chamber of Commerce. We exist to empower women through purposeful action. Our long term (admittedly ambitious) goal is for Trust Tree to expand to multiple platforms and to provide collaborative and creative spaces, a social club, films documenting trailblazing women and, of course, merchandise, so you can proudly proclaim your membership to this tribe.

  1. After the Conversation

As we tested the Trust Tree concept in the community, we launched an After the Conversation Purpose Dinner to bring women together. We wanted to know what happens after women have had meaningful conversation — what are the steps needed to take things further? We also wanted to invite and introduce women who may not know one another. It worked. We host circles with the purpose of action after a conversation.

If you’re still looking for the Thelma to your Louise, I’d love to add you to my tribe of inspirational women. We’re always looking for other women who will challenge our perspective, cultivate our minds, and nourish our souls. And we’ll do the same for you in return.

If you haven’t identified your “person” yet, you never know, you might meet her here…