During the last decade a number of Universities have been studying how women interact with one another.
Not surprisingly, they've learned that women feel a strong need to engage in "face-to-face" interactions. To talk about real things, like feelings and personal concerns. Men, also not surprisingly, tend to favour conversation that's more casual and less consequential.
The same studies have also found that close friendships among women actually help them lead happier and healthier lives. It's measurable. They have fewer physical health problems. They live longer. In fact, not having close connections with other women can actually create a health risk.
Women bring something to each other that is primal. The ability to relax. To be our most authentic self. The comfort of being with someone who loves us deeply, and is okay with who we are. Without make-up. Without pretense.
We all know it, because we've all experienced it. Affirmation – even of our fears. Acceptance – even of our weaknesses.
Who else knows what it means to have a child—even when that child is 12, or 20 or 30. Who else understands the unique pressures and obligations that only women have. In the home. In the workplace. With the families we've created, and the elderly parents in the families we came from. Struggling with relevance, while being at the top of our careers. Feelings of insecurity and, at the same time a unique sense of personal power.
Without those connections our sense of self begins to drift. Our spirits begin to fade. It's time we began to see the connections women have with each other as something sacred.
But then again, in our 24/7 society, where multi-tasking is expected and demanded, our friendships somehow begin to feel optional. Too often, we don't get around to returning that call. Or setting up lunch date. Or bringing by that small birthday gift. After all, she'll understand, because she's on the same treadmill you are.
So, rather than being something sacred, our time with friends is seen as just one more line on our list of things to do. Too often they're at the end of that list.
Life is like that.
We get caught up in the everyday realities. And the older we get, the harder it get to make new friends and keep up with our long-time connections. Kids get in the way. People move to different neighborhoods, cities and countries. Husbands aren't always compatible.
Is it any wonder why we feel adrift? Alone? Needing connection?
They are many of us who know better. We're old enough to know the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. Who's real, and who's worth our time.
And we've reached a place in life where we have enough time, and enough money, and enough desire to make our friendships a priority again.
But the world hasn't made it particularly easy for us these days. There are entire industries organized around business travellers, families, and couples but who is tailoring their services and attention to women friends who are just trying to connect?
Spas are nice. There's always "ladies night out" at a movie or local restaurant. But what about something a bit more interesting? A bit more elegant and distinct. Something that shows a deep understanding of the real importance of this relationship. The rejuvenating effect this connection has in our lives.
There is. We're calling it "Ladies&." An organisation deeply and solely committed to that crucial friendship between women. An organisation that has a global reach, and a flair for local experience. Creating opportunities for travel and new adventures on the other side of the world, or the other side of town.
We don't accept the premise that there are choices to be made between what is urgent and what is important. We don't have to live in an "or" world. We can have both. We don't accept that trade-offs are required that put our friendships last in our lives.
And we're inviting you to join us. Begin a journey with us. One that promises to put your important friendships at the center of your focus, and create opportunities for women to escape their everyday life, together.
Ladies& Manifesto
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