For the last couple of months now, I have been talking about ROOM FULL OF SISTERS with friends who are looking forward to it this year, a few who, regretfully, will not be able to attend and with those who have heard of it, but were never able to attend and are so glad to hear of the event’s return.
And I have enjoyed every single one of these conversations because I so love the subject of the conversation. This year, as in years past, there will be a reading of the poem “Room of Full of Sisters”; we’ll hear a few new poems, too; there will be song and speech and prayer and video. And there will be a lovely lunch provided by the Hilton Garden Inn.
Every single time I attended RFOS, I gained something intangible and invaluable – a deeper sense of sisterhood with the women in the room (and then with women in general for the days and weeks and months that followed). It was years after I attended my very first Room Full of Sisters that I first learned about the third response to stress referred to as “tend and befriend”; and what a lightbulb moment that was for me. When I first learned about “fight or flight” as a high school student and imagined how it operated in my very own life, well, let’s just say, I could never figure out how to classify talking to my mom about a problem I was having. Because that is exactly what I always did when I was triggered by stress. Must be the “flight” response, I suggested to myself, because it definitely wasn’t “fight”. Turns out, it was neither. Turns out, women had not been represented in the research that gave us our understanding of “fight or flight” and, as such, were not represented in the outcomes either. Turns out, people have been tending and befriending all over the place for thousands of years as a way to adapt to their surroundings, whether they knew what to call it or not.
Turns out, one of the many reasons I have been enchanted by Room Full of Sisters year after year after year after year is because it has always made me feel better. Literally! I look forward once again to sharing sisterhood – and good vibrations! – with all who attend this year, too.