What’s A Moai & Why Do I Need One?

Midlife Moai - Find your support!

This Sunday, I’ll open registration for the Savvy Sisterhood membership group.

This has long been a passion project of mine and it’s finally coming to life! The Savvy Sisterhood is an opportunity for women who are seeking education, inspiration and empowerment in their midlife journey to come together to be part of a group of like-minded group. I’m excited about this because I know from personal experience there’s nothing like having the support of a group and the accountability that goes with it to help you move forward!

When I first considered this project, I was reading Dan Buettner’s book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest . He was describing a concept from the island of Okinawa called “moai.”

What Is Moai?

Essentially, moai are informal groups formed by people who want to count on and cooperate with each other. Members of these ad hoc co-ops commit to offer emotional, social or even financial assistance to one another. While moai are often practical in their collaborative purposes, they also provide a way for men and women to share stress during difficult times and to serve as a sort of extended family.  

Being part of a moai offers people everything from long-term friendships to group problem-solving, from financing a business to responding to a personal crisis. In fact, according to a post at the Japan Update website, because the main aspect of a moai is trust, these groups and the relationships that are formed are often an essential part of a person’s sense of well-being.

In the back of my mind, I thought, “Hmmmm….wouldn’t it be cool to do this for women in midlife? But can it work virtually?”

On the surface, it appears that our Western way of living doesn’t lend itself to formation of these kinds of relationships, even in person. Many of us feel isolated, even when we are surrounded by people. The days when family members all lived on the same property or in the same town are gone. 

Neighbors are less likely to know their neighbors. 

Coworkers are separated into cubicles until they drive home, isolated in their cars. 

Cell phones interrupt conversations and computers demand our attention 24/7. 

But Consider This.

COVID has taught us that it is not only possible but a necessity to connect virtually. Can social networking become a high tech version of moai? Can we form personal circles of emotional and practical support without ever seeing each other except on Zoom? It’s probably not what the Okinawans envisioned, but it IS possible to build our interactions beyond 140 characters. It IS possible to truly become involved with one another on a deeper level in an electronic world.

Value Your Midlife RelationshipsI’ve seen this in action in my own life over and over. In the past week, someone whom I have never met personally, but who is a Facebook “friend,” shared her journey through a bedside vigil with a friend who was dying of ALS. Her posts were riveting and the outpouring of love for her and her friend was overwhelming. I am sure that our messages of support helped her through what was obviously a painful journey. We were her moai.

I am or have been part of electronic accountability groups…they have given me a reason to get out of bed and exercise on days when I just didn’t feel like it. Better to get up and go than have to admit that I just didn’t have it in me. We have supported each other through deaths of parents and pets, work-related victories, and moments when we just didn’t feel strong. The power of the “moai” mojo is always there. 

My experience creating the Hormone Harmony Club on Facebook six years ago has taught me that women are eager to have a safe place to come to ask questions and interact with each other. But at 8600 members strong, it misses the mark on the vision I have. While incredibly valuable, it’s just too big for the kind of community I want to create.

Enter the Savvy Sisterhood

Midlife and the hormonal transitions that go along with it aren’t regular dinner table conversation and even many groups of girlfriends don’t discuss it. Why are we NOT talking about this? The Sisterhood will be THAT place for education, inspiration, and empowerment. These are things we all need as we navigate a time of life that can be bewildering, confusing and anxiety producing. It will be a warm cocoon where you’ll be wrapped in the sisterhood and community many of us crave. And who knows? Maybe we’ll have real-life convenings of the group once Delta passes us by!

I invite you to join the waitlist for the Savvy Sisterhood because the ladies who are on it will get first dibs when registration opens up this Sunday (the 29th) at noon. I’m limiting membership for the first round to 100 women and there are well over 200 on the current waitlist. 

Whatever your mode of interaction, Barbara Bush’s advice is worth restating: Value your relationships. Care. Share. Listen. And then invite those you care about into a circle of support; form your own moai!

My free waitlist closes this Friday, August 27th, 2021 at midnight EST so join today!  

 



Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Dr. Anna is the author of Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony. Order your copy at www.perimenopausebook.com.

Dr. Anna is available for 1-1 consultation. Find out more at www.drannagarrett.com/lets-talk

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Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony

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