Who’s in your circle?

Over the past several decades, I’ve taught, studied, and pondered the impact that our circle has on our life. The circle of close connections, the people we see, interact with and spend the most time with.  


And, this past week, I was beautifully reminded of just how magical and meaningful that circle can be. 


I was invited to attend a local chapter meeting of The Dames – a professional organization for women running and leading 6, 7, and 8 figure businesses.  The meeting was hosted @MolinasFineJewlrey and, my gosh! was it an incredible venue.  


The jewelry was stunning and the hospitality top-notch!  Towards the end of the evening, we were invited into their back room and each one of us got to try on an iconic piece.


The masterpiece I wore was a MILLION DOLLAR necklace encrusted with the most brilliant clear white and yellow diamonds.


I could feel myself stepping into a new arena just being in that space and wearing that necklace brought the full reality of what is possible in life home to me.  


For a person who’s always said she wasn’t that into jewelry, it was quite a powerful moment and it made me hyper-aware of the circle that you keep.


These days, I love and cherish my circle, but it wasn’t always that way.  In fact, I remember the exact moment when my awareness of that key ingredient in life shifted.


I was in Michigan visiting my family the fall just after I had finished college.  I was driving out of our oh-so-familiar neighborhood, chatting with my cousin on the phone.  She was sharing some wisdom she had discovered not long prior.  “You are,” she told me, “the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time.”


I objected.  


She doubled-down.


And I abruptly changed the subject. 


I could see, from a mile away, that my circle was a far cry from what I saw myself being and becoming and I didn’t want what she had said to be true.


In my circle, I had a boyfriend who was chronically getting new jobs and losing them; his best friend who was unemployed, unworried about it and unmotivated to change the circumstances (being an addict has that side effect); another friend who was controlling, manipulative and chronically popping pain pills and a more distant friend who was going through a messy and devastating break up.  My fifth was my boyfriend’s mom who was the only member of my ragtag roster that gave me a glimmer of hope: vivacious, successful, steel magnolia type of woman whom I loved dearly.


That summer afternoon, after casually, chatting with my cousin, I resolved to change my circle.


Being the average of those five was not at all what I wanted, nor did it align with who I was, and who I wanted to be.


It took me over 3 years and a cross country move to find fill out my circle and, since that day, I’ve been diligent about keeping and curating it.


How about you?  Who is in your circle?  Are you proud to be their average?

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