How are you even more beautiful than before?
Originally published in Qween Magazine - Fall/Winter 2016
By Ursula Adams, MSPOD, SheHive Founder
I’ve long had a gift of saying stuff out loud that other people are afraid to say. I don’t do it to offend or to intimidate or to even draw attention to myself. I do it because I want everyone around me - women, in particular - to know that they’re not alone in their thoughts, desires and fears.
You feel like no one is ever going to love you unless you pretend to be someone you’re not? Been there.
You’re afraid you’re stuck in a dead in job and don’t know if you’ll ever find your purpose? Done that.
You have a secret desire or passion but are afraid to follow it because you’re afraid you might fail. Been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt too.
Funny thing about our secret fears and desires - they are far less scary once we speak them out loud. Most often, because, someone who hears you is going to turn to you and say, “Me too!”
Never was this more true for me than when I started graduate school a few years ago. Prior to our first class, the program director sent out a student listing. One by one I looked up each of my new classmates online. There were U.N. Peacekeepers and CEOs and Executive Directors - each person more impressive than the last. In fact, there were people in my cohort that had job titles that were so damn fancy that I didn’t even know what it was they actually did!
To say I was intimidated was an understatement. The fact that I showed up for class on the first day with my pants on inside out did nothing to quell my fears. (#TrueStory)
A few hours, and a few glasses of wine, into our welcome reception (after I had put my pants back on correctly), I decided to ‘fess up to my a few of my new classmates, a group of eight women.
“I looked each of you up online before I got here,” I told them. “Y’all are an intimidating bunch of women!”
“Oh my god, me too!” they exclaimed one after another. “Your LinkedIn profile is so impressive!” or “You’ve done so much!” or “You’re so put together!”
“So ‘put together’?” I laughed. “My pants were on inside out just a few hours ago!”
We laughed at how each of us had convinced ourselves that we were the weak spot in the cohort - the fluke - the one person that was going to stick out like a sore thumb among this group of powerful, smart, dynamic women. We promised each other that night that we would always remind each other that we all belonged, that we all had worth and that we were all rock stars in our own right. We developed a “secret” greeting that night to remind each other of this important decision...
“How are you even more beautiful than before?” We said it to each other every time we saw each other after that day - a reminder of that special moment where we all discovered that we share fears and desires.
Throughout the next two years, this group of women became my people - my tribe - my ride or dies. As grad school was wrapping up, I started to mourn the future loss of their company. Sure, we’d still always be connected, but we would never again have the opportunity to be together in one space for any length of time and learn from each other, nurture each other and cheer each other on like we did while we were still in school. I had finally discovered the value of having a sisterhood and I so didn’t want to lose it.
So I decided to recreate it at home in Detroit. Or, rather, I decided to start thinking about recreating it back here at home. Thing is, once the idea took root I couldn’t stop it. Passion and purpose have a way of doing that to you.
Which is why, on June 13, 2016, I quit my job of sixteen years in nonprofit administration, cashed in my retirement and set out to create a community where smart, brave, badass women can connect with and learn from each other. I started talking about my passion project, nicknamed the “SheHive” by a friend’s husband, with anyone who would listen.
Apparently I wasn’t the only woman that was craving connection with other women because the more I talked about the SheHive, the more women stepped up to offer support. They gave their time, talent and resources - even a free space to test out the concept. Within two months, I had a business plan, an awesome partner, Andrea Clegg Corp, an advisory board, a lease on an office space, a logo design contest under way and a legal entity called SheHive.
Equal parts your best girlfriend’s living room, mom’s kitchen table, a girls' night out and your favorite classroom ever, the SheHive is a place for you to connect with and learn from women fiercely committed to loving you, lifting you up and helping you discover those best parts of yourself that only other women can. Programming is co-created by the Hive for the Hive and includes workshops, seminars, coaching and special events focused on all facets of your well-being.
We officially opened our doors to the public last week. Over three hours, on an unseasonably cold and rainy night, nearly 150 women - young, old, black, white, introvert, extrovert, seasoned professional, student - packed our 600 square foot space to learn about this new community created just for them and connect with other women looking for the same. We started our workshops the very next day.
We have an initial 100 days of programming built out for now covering the many facets of women’s wellness - spiritual, emotional, physical, occupational and social. In addition to weekly workshops taught by volunteers, our signature programs are: the Bad Ass Ladies Supper Club - a monthly meeting to share Life Lists and work on them together; the Lady Boss Network - a support group to help female leaders navigate the emotional side of being in charge; Warrior Goddess Wisdom - a multi-part series designed to help you rediscover both the warrior and goddess within; and the Weekly Waggle, a free cup of coffee and conversation every Wednesday night at 7 pm to connect us to each other.
I invite you to come check out the SheHive, either in person and/or online at www.theSheHive.com. I swear to you, if you are looking for connection with other women and self-empowerment, there is magic within to be discovered.
How are you even more beautiful than before? Come find out at the SheHive!