My special author guest today is Brenda Billings Ridgley. We’re chatting about her great new self-help happiness book, Lady and the Tribe, How to Create Empowering Friendship Circles.
During her virtual book tour, Brenda will be awarding a Cape Diablo wrap bracelet and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (US ONLY) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Brenda Ridgley is an author, speaker, and girlfriend guru who loves helping women connect, find success, and discover joy through friendship. Her mission is to start a movement: women coming together to build thousands of new Lady Tribes around the globe. Through her workshops, vlogs, blogs, and book clubs, Brenda helps women connect and communicate with respect, love, and trust. She holds an MA in human resources and has spent decades cultivating her own Tribe. A Colorado girl at heart, Brenda lives in the Carbon Valley area with her husband, Parker, two kids, Parker Jr. and Gillian, and pooch, Perry. She enjoys hiking and has conquered Longs Peak and several other 14’ers.
Welcome, Brenda. Please tell us about your current release.
Lady and the Tribe is about the woman, her journey through career, marriage, and children, and how it often leads us to “let ourselves go” to include our preferences, hobbies, interests and friendships. We are left with a full life yet feeling a bit empty. The book identifies the issue and helps readers create a game plan to rediscover themselves through nurturing friendships.
What inspired you to write this book?
Once career-focused and driven to hit the top of any organization I deemed worthy, motherhood significantly shifted my priorities to focus on the family. Over a period of 15 years, I “let myself go”. Not the typical weight gain and yoga pants routine seven days a week, although that happened too. I found myself feeling surrounded by people and activity and responsibility, yet I felt isolated. I was highly connected on social media but most of my friendships were superficial because they had little face-time. My journey back to wholeness is documented in Lady and the Tribe. I am on a mission to help women reconnect and deep dive into meaningful friendships that will enhance their lives.
Excerpt from Lady and the Tribe, How to Create Empowering Friendship Circles
You are about to embark on a journey that can fill the space inside your soul that is longing for more. You may have no idea why you feel empty, but you know something is missing. What is it that is preventing you from becoming the best “whole” version of yourself?
Believe it or not, the missing link involves our lack of meaningful connection to other human beings. You may be thinking, “Oh no . . . that’s not me! I have lots of friends!” That very well may be true. However, it is not the quantity but rather the quality of these friendships that matters. In the chapters ahead, we will discuss what it means to find, deepen, build, preserve, and broaden friendships so that they become like family—your soul sisters. When three or more of you gather together, you are a Tribe.
Today, a dichotomy exists between our concurrent hyper connectedness—the immediate and ongoing ability to check up on faraway friends via social media—and our elevated sense of emotional alienation. Add to that, we as a culture are so focused on career success, financial accomplishments, and family milestones that we often lack the time and energy to connect with others beyond those arenas. Despite being surrounded by people, places and things, somehow we are left feeling alone. We are not alone because we lack relationships. We are alone because these relationships lack depth, knowledge, and certainty. In his column, “Loneliness is Killing Us,” George Monbiot suggests that, much as we labeled the Stone Age, Iron Age, Space Age, and Information Age, this era will be called “The Age of Loneliness.”
Almost without noticing, we have distanced ourselves from the people who choose to love us without obligation. These closest personal friendships are ever present—yet do not demand our time. They are an advocate in our corner, mirroring back to us who we really are. This neglect is not without a price. We must actively seek, grow, and maintain these relationships. If we fail, we won’t just lose a friend—we’ll lose a piece of ourselves.
The wonderful thing is that no matter where you are right now with your relationships, you can exponentially improve your connections by deciding to give them a little more attention and intention.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am compelled to write about women in the competitive workplace, our history in corporate America and finding success by returning to our true collaborative nature.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Early 2021 when I completed my first manuscript.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a first-time author and wrote my first book while I, worked full time, managed my household/family and was competing in the Mrs. Colorado America pageant. In my formal career life, I help families and businesses cut expenses with health sharing, a non-insurance solution to healthcare. Once inspired to write Lady and the Tribe I set a goal to write 500 words per day. That did not happen every day, but I met my weekly goal and had my first draft completed in 10 weeks. My husband Parker was very helpful in clearing the way so I had some quiet time to work on my manuscript.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to feel cozy and pampered when I write. I wear comfy clothing, fuzzy blanket on lap, scented candle burning and hidden away in our home’s small parlor.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought I wanted to be a stockbroker like my father. Life is funny, I feel like I have done about everything in real life accept pursue being a stockbroker! I’ve been in corporate fitness, entertainment, human resources, retail business owner, travel, health sharing and now a published author! I don’t feel as old as that makes me sound!
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I invite your readers to join Lady and the Tribe’s Inner Circle! Our mission is to create 1000 new Lady Tribes in 2022 and grow our kindred clan network of support all over the world. Join Inner Circle for weekly friendship tips and to join the movement: http://eepurl.com/huWZiz
Thank you for being here today, Brenda!