When we heard about Carolyn Hidalgo’s Soul Sister Club, we wanted her to share the details of her intriguing concept. After you finish reading her essay, let us know if you’d like to become a Soul Sister.
Have you ever wanted to dive deeper into conversation with a few fascinating women, who would encourage you to be yourself? Where nothing is off limits for discussion because you have a safe space to show up, mentally and emotionally. I’ve often thought how wonderful it would be to engage with life at a deeper level, and grow more fully, with the support and courage of other women who wouldn’t judge me. I could bring the ‘good, the bad, and the ugly’ into the space, although I’d prefer to call it ‘my whole beautiful unique soul’.
Last fall, I found myself working towards my goal to create sacred spaces for groups of three or four women, so they could develop together over a period of time. I’d call it Soul Sister Club. As a certified life coach, I longed to take my work in a more spiritual direction, but with an overall focus on our emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. I wanted to explore what brings meaning, joy, and purpose to our lives.
I started my career as an accountant, but there wasn’t too much meaning, joy, or purpose in that! It was practical, and gave me a decade of corporate experience that I don’t regret, but it just wasn’t me. My husband, on the other hand, is right at home in the corporate financial world, where he enjoys the constant challenges of being a VP in the automotive industry.
Reconnecting with my own inner spirit began after we had our first child, and I had no desire to juggle corporate life with raising my son.
Twin girls soon followed, and I was already seeking a new career. It wasn’t a coincidence when I ran into a mom, who also was searching for something more after leaving her corporate job. Together, we joined a small group of women led by a life coach. It was my first experience intimately sharing all aspects of my life, and looking to have more joy, fulfillment, and direction.
I’d already discovered that I loved to write, and then I knew I wanted to pursue life coaching as a career. Interestingly, as a teenager I’d skip reading the news, and go straight to advice columnist Ann Landers to learn what she advised readers about their personal issues. ‘How cool would it be to write to people for your job?’ I thought at the time. I was fascinated by how we think and behave; the choices we make. But, when I became interested in studying psychology, family expectations focused on me having a solid profession. Both my parents are physicians, and they repeatedly told me, ‘What can you do with a psychology degree? That won’t land you a job!’ So, I became an accountant.
Today, I lead conversations that delve into the challenges we confront in our closest relationships, in the work we chose, and exactly what prevents us from fully experiencing what we most desire, and need.
My Soul Sister Clubs are broken into fun gals, science gals, and spirit gals, depending on the type of energy the women bring to it. More openness and trust develop when a small group has energy resonance, which I define as the vibe you instantly feel with someone.
The science gals all have academic backgrounds in the science fields. They think logically and linearly, and have strong practical sides. They like to ‘think things through,’ as opposed to letting ‘feelings’ dictate their actions. They have voracious appetites for knowledge, and like structure. We focus on shifting them from less ‘doing’ to more ‘being’.
The fun gals share similar senses of humor, and they laugh so loud that my belly aches being with them! They also have strong ties to exercise and nutrition, as well as emotional vulnerability that stems from their experiences, and allows them to connect deeply.
The spirit gals all have been on spiritual journeys for quite some time, and although they take their journeys alone, they’re able to share them in our safe space. They bring their inner work to the group, and their deeper states of awareness allow them to understand each other.
The one thing we all have in common is a desire to be seen, and heard, by others who get us unconditionally, no matter how we show up. The women share a ‘judgment-free space’ that’s not only confidential, but lets them reveal their most vulnerable feelings and thoughts, and get back honest, and sometimes difficult, feedback. Each woman trusts that the other women in her group have her back, as she has theirs.
When others in your life support your highest being, and champion who you want to be, the possibilities to create are infinite.
I invited each of my Soul Sisters to come up with a ‘spiritual theme’ at the beginning of the year, one word that would define who they want to become. These are words like focused, connected, and free, which help them step out of their comfort zones into higher places. Personally, taking this approach has affected every area of my life, from how I handle my finances to the conversations I share with my three teenaged children, from my friendships to the intimacy I experience with my husband of 20 years. At the same time, I get to do what I love most: Help clients transform their lives to align with their spirits.