I Became Deranged and Fell Madly in Love With Five Women / by Dana Bergstrom

I got crazy jealous after hearing a friend talk with deep fondness about her women's group. Immediately I envisioned a bunch of lovely ladies sitting together in a cozy, inviting living room. They're all lounging, drinking and having a great time sharing their successes and failures, joys and fears with each other. I could see they'd created a safe, warm space to be fully themselves.

As soon as I snapped out of my sweet fantasy about my friend's group, I shot straight into wild envy. I thought, "OH, GEEZ! I WANT THAT! I WANT A GROUP OF WOMEN EXACTLY LIKE THAT IN MY LIFE!"

Then somehow I stopped what was about to become a runaway train of jealous thoughts and wondered to myself, "Hmmm. How would I go about getting a group like this?" I had no clue but I knew for sure that was what I wanted.

Not long after secretly dreaming about my very own grrrl posse, I got an email from another friend. She was in the process of assembling a bunch of women for weekly meditation. Once we'd all agreed upon a date, we gathered to meet and begin our meditation practice, which would also include a short time for check-ins before meditating. The check-in was our opportunity to share about what was going on in our lives, a little update each week on where we were at.

Check-ins were extremely awkward at first. Some of us knew each other and some didn't. I only knew Heather, the person who had brought us together. I've been well accustomed to putting up a front for most of my life whenever people would ask me how I'm doing. "I'm good. Everything's good." But, in truth, things were not always all that good. It's just what I say when I want to be polite and cordial and not seem like a total nut-job. Many of us did that during our initial check-ins. Then one day shit got real for me.

I can't remember who, but somebody opened up and set the tone for this group to be a safe space. I'm pretty sure it was Heather, our fearless assembler of women, the only one who knew all of us. Her nickname is the Sledgehammer of Truth or Sister Sledge for short. She fuckin' brings the honesty and authenticity and the whole room reverberates when she does. You feel it in yer bones.

I recall very well the first time I went FuLL FeRaL during group. It wasn't a conscious choice, believe me! I don't know what happened but I went nuts and started yelling and waving my arms about how I've always wanted a Mini Cooper. Of all the things I could possibly go apeshit about, I lost my mind in front of a bunch of women I barely knew...over a car.

I have wanted a Mini Cooper since I first saw them in the U.S. in 2001. I thought they were the cutest things on wheels in the whole wide world. "THEY'RE LIKE AN ADORABLE SCULPTURE YOU CAN DRIVE!", I would regularly shout at Pauly. And whenever I'd see a Mini Cooper, I'd play my own version of the "slug bug" Volkswagon Beetle game. I'd holler "MINI" at the top of my lungs and would take three fingers and enthusiastically draw an upside down "M" on Pauly's arm. I was officially obsessed.

This was 2011 and I had been jonesing for a Mini Cooper for exactly ten years! I somehow got triggered by something that was said, lost control and began frantically screaming about how I've ALREADY tried to win a Mini Cooper from Cub Foods in a contest but I DIDN'T win it, and how I REALLY thought I would because I LOVE Minis so much, and how I DON'T like paying interest on anything, and how I WANT to pay cash for my Mini but I'm paying for this STUPID FUCKING FIXER UPPER #4 and I'M LOSING MONEY ON IT EVERY DAMN DAY and I just want a FUCKING MINI COOPER, I WISH I DIDN'T WANT ONE SO BAD, AND I'VE EVEN TRIED TO FIND SOMETHING TO DISLIKE ABOUT THEM, BUT I REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVE THEM, AND I HAVE MY OWN MINI SLUG BUG GAME, AND THEY'RE SO FUCKING CUTE, AND I'VE NEVER WANTED ANYTHING THIS MUCH, AND I CANNOT TAKE NOT HAVING ONE ANYMORE!

I let my deranged, tiny car loving, high volume hollering rip.

I was thoroughly mortified once all that mania had flown out of my mouth. I could not believe I'd just spewed so much thundering insanity all over these beautiful, graceful women who I was just getting to know! And there was no way to take it all back. It was too late to pretend that I was not a completely beserker, cuss-mouthed, vehicle lusting lunatic. I'd lost my well-maintained composure over a STUPID CAR. I was sure I'd be shunned from the group and permanently ostracized for being too fucking nuts.

But nobody called me crazy. Nobody said I needed to get a grip. Nobody said that I was a selfish, materialistic, lame-ass, middle aged, wannabe race car driver. They smiled at me and said that they wanted me to have a Mini Cooper too. They thought it was fantastic that I was so excited about this car. They even told me to just go out and get one - which I eventually did. They accepted me for exactly who I was. I remember taking a deep, long breath after that. This grrrl group was gonna be good for me.

And it has been sooooo goooood! Tonight we celebrate five amazing years of weekly meetings together!

And the crazy day that I screamed and yelled like a lunatic was just the first of many days that I would go totally insane in the presence of these women. Ever since then we have each taken turns losing our shit and also showing our true grace and expansive growth. We all do it in our own unique ways and no topic is off-limits.

The group has seen each other through starting businesses, a new baby, deep depression, ecstatic elation, a Xena Warrior Princess surprise birthday party, health scares, financial crises, physical relocations where we met via Skype, career changes, one lovely lady leaving the group to focus her energy elsewhere, multiple relationship break-ups/break-downs and just last weekend a new husband. Another new partnership will happen in December thanks to the legalization of gay marriage, which also happily occurred during our time together! So many tears and so much JOY JOY JOY!

These women are why I'm able to share myself so easily now. They have shown me that it's perfectly okay to be my authentic self, as loud and messy as it truly is. They demonstrate to me what LOVE is each and every week.

We haven't meditated for a while; we've explored different topics before we do our check-ins for the last few years. Most recently we've met with and worked as a group with my favorite blogger and friend, Marian. She's taught us how we can shift low vibe Inner Bully thoughts to high vibe Inner Being thoughts, which then alters our entire experience.

Right now we're just checking-in because so much is going on with each of us. But the life cycle of a group is always changing. We may start up something new or we may take a break or who knows what, it doesn't matter. Whether we do something different or even if we continue to meet or not, this group of women/sisters has had a huge impact in all of our lives and we will be linked forever.

And hey! If you want something this delicious in your life and you feel a bit jealous right now, see if you can shift your jealousy to curiosity. I did it totally by accident and it still magically drew these ladies right into my experience. I love being able to look back and see how thought/emotion/vibe shifting has brought me so much goodness and I've got five gorgeous women in my life to show for it!

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Grrrls! Thank you all for being so vulnerable, so real, so beautiful and so perfectly you!