In this delightful guest blog in honor of International Women’s Friendship Month, artist Rachel Awes shares her story of finding new friends. We think you’ll love her art as much as her words!

When I first began my blog, “all I did was listen” in October of 2009, I had no idea that a new world of girlfriends was about to open up. I had set out to share my art and words and further blossom this part of me. Additional flowers and trees and worlds of wonder met me here in the form of beautiful women.

In the fall of 2010, Liv Lane (of the blog Choosing Beauty), and I co-hosted a retreat at my family cabin in northern Minnesota and there were 8 of us for a few dreamy days of getting to know each other, creating art side by side, cooking together, taking walks, lots of pictures, and becoming dear friends! During this time, I spent moments with each one, hearing about all they love, and then made a little art featuring something each one so beautifully said. The one I’m including here is from the lovely Carissa Paige.

I was also later invited to a retreat similar to this in Sedona, Arizona and so happily went in May of 2011. Not only would I reunite with two of these lovely girlfriends from the October retreat in Sedona, but also meet an additional seven…one in particular who had become one of my very best friends, who I had exchanged many e-mails and phone calls and secrets with, but had never met in person (Chrissy Gardner of the blog cultivate—also pictured here). The bonding with these women was heavenly. The peak being one evening’s candlelit dinner overflowing with belly-aching laughter, tears, fairies, and amazing food!

These women have become art in my very life and love within reach. I am so deeply grateful.

The above illustration Rachel created says: “I love places where I can be. Really just be. & Cry & drink Dr. Pepper & laugh & cry some more. & Be understood & sign & have faith in myself & overcome & move & question & dig & breathe & laugh some more & stretch out into all of with my arms wide open.”

(Love your girlfriend sentiment Rachel!)

Rachel Awes is a psychologist, art playgroundist, writer, wife, mother of two sons, and friend, who loves listening to the beauty in people.

THANKS Rachel! We love you and your appreciation of girlfriends – and your fabulous art!

Rachel’s friends inspire her art – How do your girlfriends inspire you? Share your comments below!

And, by the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

Note: It’s September – International Women’s Friendship Month and we’re celebrating all month long! From this interview and guest blog by Miss America, to a month of women’s wisdom and 30 guest blogs, to our Newsletter Sign-up Contest and Facebook fun, and more! Don’t miss out on any of it! SIGN UP for our Newsletter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the fun friendship festivities and more!

Our September Friendship Month Guest Blogs so far …