9 Ways to Build Your Village

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April 25, 2019
9 Ways to Build Your Village, This is Motherhood

You and I aren’t likely to experience what it’s like to raise children in an actual village, like many mothers who have come before us. But that’s okay. That’s not what this generation is about. This generation is about waking up to who we really are and what we really want, and resetting society’s sails accordingly.

Playing your part in the re-villaging of our culture starts with being wholly, unapologetically, courageously you.

Your Village, This is Motherhood

Here are a few tangible steps you can take whenever you’re ready:

  1. Get really clear on one thing: You need and deserve help. The fact that you’re struggling is not a reflection of your inadequacies but the unnatural cultural circumstances you’re living within.
  2. Own and honor your needs. Most mothers are walking around with several deeply unmet needs of their own while focusing almost exclusively on the needs of others. This is precisely the thing that keeps us from gaining traction and improving our circumstances, both individually and collectively.
  3. Practice vulnerability. Rich, safe, authentic connection is essential for thriving. Cultivating this quality of connection takes courage and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. What you want most exists on the other side of that initial awkward conversation or embarrassing introduction.
  4. Own your strengths. What makes you feel strong and fully alive? What lights you up and gives you energy just thinking about it? Who would be in your village if you had one? Tapping into your strengths and engaging them is one of the greatest ways to attract the kinds of people you want in your life, bless and inspire others, and build a sense of community in ways that fulfill rather than drain you.
  5. Become an integral part of something. Whether it’s a knitting group, dance troupe, church, kayaking club, or homeschool collective, commit to growing a community around one area of your life that enlivens you or fills a need. Use the connections you cultivate within this community to practice showing up bravely and authentically and asking for what you need, whether that’s support, resources, or encouragement.
  6. Do your part and ONLY your part. Though it’s tempting to fill our lives to the brim with commitments that make a difference, doing so only further disempowers us. Read Essentialism by Greg McKeown if you struggle with this one.
  7. Learn self-love and self-compassion. In a culture of “never enough,” it is essential that we forge healthy relationships with ourselves to be able to fend off the many messages hitting us about who we’re meant to be and what makes us worthy of happiness and love. In fact, I see self-love in action as the greatest gift our generation of mothers could possibly give to the mothers of tomorrow.
  8. Speak your truth. Be true to yourself and the path you’re on by standing up for yourself. Even when you’re terrified. Even if it makes you the bravest one in the room.
  9. Imagine a new way. Where we’re headed looks nothing like where we’ve come from. Creating the kind of future we want requires envisioning that future and believing a new way to be possible. Get specific and think big. What do you want?

Excerpted from This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Essays + Practices.

Beth Berry is a contributor to This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Essays + Practices. She is writer, life coach for awakening women, and mother of four daughters.

Motherly is a lifestyle parenting brand dedicated to writing a new narrative that’s powerful and feminine, as well as informed and inspiring. Motherly exists to change the world on behalf of millennial moms. Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety cofounded Motherly to serve a new wave of women redefining motherhood in an optimistic, digitally native generation. For more, visit Mother.ly.

This is Motherhood, Sounds True

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Listen to Tami Simon’s in-depth audio podcast interview with Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety: 
Redefining the Motherhood Journey »

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9 Ways to Build Your Village

You and I aren’t likely to experience what it’s like to raise children in an actual village, like many mothers who have come before us. But that’s okay.

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Dear Sounds True friends and community,

While holding a mirror to our own organizational accountability, Sounds True unequivocally stands in solidarity with the Black community, the family of George Floyd, and the many others who have been victims of police brutality and ongoing racial injustice.

We stand with and for our Black employees, our Black authors and colleagues, our Black customers, and all of the protestors and social change activists—past, present, and future— who are working to put an end to racism in every corner of our society.

And we are committed to not just stand in solidarity but to step up.

Since George Floyd’s murder, we have been having many in-depth discussions among the 125-person staff at Sounds True about the most meaningful actions we can take as a transformational learning company to help educate ourselves and our community and contribute to the dismantling of racism.

We have been asking ourselves questions such as:

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  • And how do we actively address these areas so that we can evolve as an organization and be a force of genuine service in the world?

The answers to these questions are not simple, quick, or easy. It has taken me a while to write this email to you, our beloved customers and Sounds True community, because we have felt as a team the need to listen carefully and look deeply within in order to lay out an action plan moving forward that will contribute to meaningful and substantive change.

Anything less falls short of what I believe this moment is asking of us.

We also want to learn and evolve in partnership with you. We are learning and growing together as a community, and it has been important for us to create a moving-forward action plan that invites engagement from our entire audience.

With arms wide open, I invite you to witness, support, and step up with us in the following ways:

  • Over the next two years, Sounds True will be undergoing an in-depth Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training in the workplace. This training initiative has been in development for over a year, and will be provided by TMI Consulting, led by Dr. Tiffany Jana. Dr. Jana is coauthor of the books Overcoming BiasErasing Institutional Bias, and Subtle Acts of Exclusion. As part of the training, we will be uncovering how unconscious bias, microaggressions, and micro-acts of exclusion show up in the workplace, in our personal lives, and even in our products. The training also includes a thorough audit of Sounds True’s hiring practices, HR policies, marketing materials, and more.
  • Sounds True also wants to include our customers, authors, and partner businesses in the introductory phase of this training process that we will be embarking upon. With that in mind, we are hosting a three-part webinar series on “Healing Racism” with Dr. Jana, beginning on Wednesday, June 24, at 8:00 pm ET | 5:00 pm PT. The series is free, and we are inviting our customers, authors, and business associates to join the Sounds True staff for this online training and to walk this part of our journey together. As someone on our email list, you will be receiving all of the details in future emails.
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As I mentioned, working to dismantle and heal racism—in ourselves, in our organization, and in our world—is not a flash-in-the-pan effort at Sounds True. This is a long-haul commitment to the creation of a different world that is just, kind, and equitable. And we have a heckuva road to travel with you to get there.

And we are committed. We don’t want to simply talk about spiritual awakening. We want to embody it … as individuals, as a company, and as a force in the world. Humbly and boldly, we are going to give everything we have and invite you to do the same. This is the time for us to step up, together.

With love on the journey,

Tami Simon

Founder and Publisher, Sounds True

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