Since I’ve known Monika, I’ve been watching her very, very closely, and I think that’s one of the beautiful privileges of female friendship— especially female friendship with an older woman.

I began to imitate this woman who I so admired, hoping one day I would be more like her. However my friend Monika is having none of this! She turns towards me each time we meet with such loving curiosity, with such genuine interest in me that over time I’ve found myself doing the same with myself. My conversations with Monika always feel so fresh, so alive so real and I’ve come to understand this is because I am often hearing my own words for the first time.

Our conversations are rarely related to simply catching each other up, they ask far more of me. Monika opens herself up to listening with the intent to understand my thoughts, feelings, dreams, or dilemmas. She asks questions, lots of questions. She gives me unfailing kindness and good will and when I’m down or flailing or confused she reminds me of my inner beauty, strengths and power and it’s as if I’m hearing my own voice.

Monika has taught me much about belonging to myself, about the great gift of finding myself over and over again in this friendship. Perhaps this week turn towards a friend with this intention and being curious about what arises in you.

With great warmth Heather

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