The power of sisterhood can be amazing despite—and sometimes because of—the imperfections each person brings to the relationship. When sisters unite in heart, soul, and energy, true magic can happen. And, as soul sisters know, sisterhood doesn’t require biological connection to take root—it just requires loads of imperfect love.
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Nurturing Sisterhood: Keys to Connecting with Sisters of the Soul and Heart with Experts Sabrina and Eunice Moyle
Healthy Sisterhood Is an Ongoing Journey That Takes Effort and Imperfect Love!
The power of sisterhood can be amazing despite and sometimes because of the imperfections each person brings to the relationship. When sisters unite, heart, soul, and energy, magic can happen. As soul sisters know, sisterhood doesn’t require biological connection to take root. It simply requires imperfect love.
In this episode, we’ll focus on this audience’s real-life question, “I have two sisters but we have little contact. Partly due to geographical distance and partly because we grew up in a high-conflict household where we were pitted against each other. What steps can I take to reconnect with my sister or find a sister-like connection elsewhere?” That question is the focus of this episode.
I’m joined by two very special guests, Eunice and Sabrina Moyle, who will be sharing their expertise on sisterhood. These two guests are the authors of books on family and sisterhood. One is My Sister Is Super! and My Brother Is the Best!. They have a new series, The Cosmic Adventures of Astrid and Stella. Welcome to the show, Sabrina and Eunice.
Thank you so much. We are very happy to be here.
I love your energy and what you bring to the world. Before we get going into the audience’s question, I know you two have so much experience in sisterhood, working with sisterhood, writing about sisterhood, and bringing the beautiful energy of soul sisterhood into the world. First, we’ll start with Eunice. Eunice, tell us a little bit about you.Nurturing Sisterhood: Keys to Connecting with Sisters of the Soul and Heart with Experts Sabrina and Eunice Moyle Click To Tweet
I’m the illustrator of Hello!Lucky. I do all the illustrations for all of our books, cards, and game design. I’m maternally a Peter Pan. I roller skate, dance hip-hop, and do all kinds of random things that you would expect out of an eighteen-year-old. I refuse to grow up but I believe in living life with joy and learning new things constantly. That’s me in a nutshell.
You mentioned Hello!Lucky. I happened to know a little bit about Hello!Lucky but will you tell our readers a little bit about Hello!Lucky?
Hello!Lucky is a company that Sabrina and I founded in 2003. It started as a card company. I decided to learn how to print letterpress and bought a machine, parked at my garage, and figured out how to use it and fix it. We started here and there a little bit by accident. Slowly but surely, it was built until a few years ago. We shifted focus from 100% cards to children’s books. That’s been amazing and super fulfilling. We are also doing children’s games. It’s a dream.
I could talk to you for hours about your life. Behind you, I see a dressmaker figure and a fur baby walkthrough. Please tell me about the dressmaking and the fur baby.
I got a degree in Fashion Design on a whim during one of the several web busts where I got laid off but didn’t know what to do with myself. As my nature, I decided I’d learn new things and maybe take a new direction, which I never did anything with. I put it down for about twenty years, maybe. During the pandemic, I was trapped at home. I started looking for creative outlets aside from my work and discovered that twenty years later, there are amazing resources on YouTube like tons of incredible indie patterns and all these options that weren’t available years before.
Technology has changed everything. I started learning to sew and was able to do Zoom classes with incredible expert sewers all over the world. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been doing custom tailoring. I made my husband a suit with all hands sewn. I’m a huge nerd for anything like that. I love little technical details and stuff like that. That’s the sewing thing. I make a lot of my clothes. I knit as well. I’m always looking for a new project.The power of sisterhood can be amazing despite—and sometimes because of—the imperfections each person brings. When sisters unite in heart, soul, and energy, magic happens. And, as soul sisters know, sisterhood doesn't require a biological connection;… Click To Tweet
The fur babies, we have Freddy, who is a labyrinth-golden-doodle blend. He’s the best dog ever. He’s very sweet. We have a cat whose name means No Shame because she adopted us while we were living in France. She rolled into our house and decided she belonged to us. We brought her back from France. She’s a true French cat and looks like that Black French cat in the classic French poster. I forget what it’s for but she is that cat.
You said letterpress. What is a letterpress? I should know this but I don’t.
Letterpress is the original mass production but original printing form. It was what they printed the Gutenberg Bible on. It was the first machine on which you could print lots of stuff. I had a VanderCook, which is old-school. It’s from the ‘40s that I got off of eBay, where you crank the paper through one piece at a time. You can imagine it like block printing almost. You make a plate, which is essentially like a rubber stamp or a block print. Each plate is a single color so you put it down on the press, run the paper through, and then line everything up.
That’s how commercial printing used to be a long time ago but it was an easy way to learn. The reason I did it was because I didn’t have the money to have a printer print my cards for me. I said to myself, “I can learn how to print it, admittedly, in a slower way but I could do it myself.” That gave me a lot more options in terms of experimentation that I wouldn’t have been able to afford had I had to pay for a commercial printer with minimums and things like that.
I have bought Hello!Lucky cards. Are they still printed on that press?
Not on this press.
On a similar type of press then?
Yes. We have an amazing women-run company in Portland, Oregon called Egg Press, which does all of our printing and distribution. We do only creative and we’ve collaborated with them for them to do all of the sales distribution and production of our cards, which is awesome because it gives us so much more room for creativity and development of new stuff.
Reader, if you’re not watching on video, these cards are amazing and they feel good. In your hands, they feel good, special, and substantial. Thank you. Amazing background.
Sabrina, tell us a little bit about you. What makes you, you?
I cofounded Hello!Lucky with Eunice. I’m the writer. I write all of our children’s books. I came up with concepts for our greeting cards and provided art direction. Eunice and I are a creative, collaborative team. I was talking to the publisher who works on our books and he was like, “I think of you guys as a unit.” They are a creative unit. It’s pretty amazing. I also run the business side of Hello!Lucky.
Thank goodness. I hate all business-side types of activities.
Sabrina, do you have children?
I have three kids. My background is in both art history and fine art and business. I have an MBA in addition to having studied art history. In the process of starting the business with Eunice, I’ve become a writer. I’ve always loved to write but it happened organically. It didn’t flourish until we started writing children’s books and I was in my 40s.
I remember you two didn’t have a traditional household growing up. Who wants to tell me about what a nice calm childhood you had always been in one place?
I’d be happy to talk about it and it does relate to your audience’s question in terms of having there be a lot of conflict at home. There was a lot of conflict. We were raised by a father who is from Minnesota so it’s a very traditional Midwestern background. Our mother was born in China and raised in Taiwan. English wasn’t her first language.
The two of them could communicate but there were a lot of cultural and personality differences. Growing up, there were a lot of different expectations about how we should be raised and the usual. Our dad’s job was as a foreign service officer so we moved every 2 to 3 years and lived the most part in Asia and North Africa. We moved to the United States when my dad retired when we were in high school.
Eunice was a senior in high school. I was a junior in high school and we moved to Eugene, Oregon, which if you’ve never been there, it’s a very homogeneous and small university town. At the time, there were not very many mitigation people living there. We moved there and my dad suddenly found himself retired. Our mother was going through menopause with two teenage daughters and felt isolated. You can bet there was a lot of conflict there.
Early menopause also that she was not aware of what was happening. She was only 41. The hormones are nothing because she had no idea that it was even happening. She was super pissed off all the time.
Eunice, I grew up in that kind of environment. There were a lot of positive things about it but I could relate to what your audience was saying. Whether they intended to or not, to some extent, we did feel sibling rivalry. Hitting against each other is fair. Eunice was often characterized as being the artist and I was characterized as being the all-around academic superstar like I could do anything I wanted.
There were ways in which from a young age, we both felt a little boxed in. That creates tension and the sister’s relationship. It’s over the course of choosing to work together because we drifted apart when we were in college. We only came back together when we both happened to move back to the Bay Area. Eunice had this business idea to start a business and I had gotten my MBA. I said, “I’ll help out.” We had this project to work on together. We started working on it.
That’s when our relationship started to develop and grow. Through having the shared project, we both evolved and our relationship became closer to the point where we had this incredible creative collaboration but it was a journey. We are happy to share insights that might help your audience through our experiences.We both evolved, and our relationship became closer and closer to the point now where we have this incredible creative collaboration, but it was definitely a journey. Click To Tweet
Thank you. Eunice, you were the wild child. I see your poster behind you saying, “Dance it out.” I can imagine.
I firmly believe in dancing things out.
What was it like growing up with a rockstar superstar academic older sister?
It’s funny because I feel like I have the personality of a golden retriever. I am a little bit weirdly naturally zen. I remember Sabrina feeling a lot of sibling rivalry and I’m being oblivious to that. I was good at art. Honestly, I had no interest in being better at anything. That was the easy thing for me. I had moments where I was like, “Maybe science,” then I was like, “Too much math. Back to the art.”
My parents were like, “She was the theater. She was the math person.” There was a little bit of vision. They thought they were keeping us from competing against each other and they worried that Sabrina was very competitive. I was like, “I was not even remotely competitive.” Sabrina is very competitive. They worried that she would feel frustrated because I was two years older. Therefore, I would always be better than her at things, theoretically. That was their intention but it didn’t necessarily work out the way they intended. They meant well.
It feels to me as if part of the reason the two of you got along as well as you did is because you are naturally not competitive. You opted out of comparing yourself to your sister. I’m not a fan of comparing ourselves. It creates a lot of negativity. You sound like you naturally said, “I’m tuning out.” You are still living this way, it sounds like. You very much embrace being you.
I always tell my kids, “Comparison is the thief of joy. There’s no point in it at all.”
I forget where that quote came from but it is a very good one. You two have found a groove so to speak. When we go back to the audience’s question where she had this incredibly high conflict, it drove them all apart. There’s geographical distance. Not that we have to know her mind and soul but I’ll ask each of you, first Sabrina and then Eunice. What would you think she might do to reconnect with her siblings?
With healing relationships like this, the first step is to do your work on yourself and your perceptions. The first thing is to figure out what it was. How did you develop an inner story as you were growing up that was separate from your siblings and pitted you against each other? It may well have been introduced by parents but blame doesn’t get you anywhere. How can you have compassion for your parents in what they were intending? How can you process that so that you’re no longer holding on to this old narrative and bitterness? That is the first step.
Reach out to your sibling to compare notes and say, “This is what it was like for me. What was it like for you,” without attachment to changing their mind and needing to have agreement on the narrative. For a long time, Eunice and I were in conflict early on when we started our business and until probably we had kids and started to see things a little bit more clearly.
A lot of times, it was like my interpretation of our childhood versus her interpretation and who was right. It was a fruitless way of trying to work because it generated more conflict. The reality is both people are right. Both people’s experiences are valid. There’s no need to try to blame or somehow demonize parents because all parents are imperfect. They’re all trying their best.
Now that we have kids, we know for sure.
All parents mess their kids up in some way and siblings can be cruel to each other so there’s that. It’s very true that familiarity breeds contempt. Everybody grows up feeling contempt for their siblings or being wounded by their siblings. All of that needs to be cleaned up in terms of our inner narrative. Cleaning up, clear it up, and let it go. You can reconnect or reach out to your sibling. Do a little bit of comparing notes.
It was important for Eunice and me. Eventually, we got on the same page about our parents. As we get older, we need to start thinking about caring for our parents as they age. We got to a point where we had a very good mutual understanding and respect for our respective experiences with our parents. We have both compassion for our parents as well as boundaries.
We don’t undermine each other anymore. I feel like in the past, on my end, in an effort to try to avoid conflict or calm everybody down, I was always the middle person. I always used to say I was like the therapist in between. I stopped trying to do that because that was causing issues as well.
You were trying to be the middle person and you gave up that role.
I was like, “That’s not my place. I should not be in the middle to try to talk to both sides and make people see that they could get along.”
As children, we’re wired to seek our parents’ approval, yet our parents are very imperfect. As adults, children need to let go of that and realize that we’re not competing with each other for our parents’ approval. We don’t need our parents’ approval. What we need is to see them clearly and compassionately as the imperfect human beings that they are and try to create healthy adult relationships with each other and with our parents.
With that shared goal in mind, Eunice and I were able to get past a lot of the old patterns of behavior that were left over from childhood and the unproductive ways of talking about or seeing our parents to where we have a much better relationship with our parents and with each other. We’re much closer. It’s been helped by the fact that we work together. We have a lot of contact with each other.
Circling to your audience’s question, I know there’s geographic distance but you do need to have contact with someone, ideally fairly and regularly, to build and repair relationships in those conversations. I would suggest first doing your work and then bit by bit, simultaneously, reaching out and trying to connect with her siblings. Initially, it might be more on superficial topics but ideally, you can start to dance around getting to the meat of why there’s this underlying tension or separation.
If everybody’s willing to come to the table and maybe do a little work on it, then that can be beneficial and amazing. Ultimately, at the end of the day, as siblings, there’s so much depth in our relationship. It’s such a deep and unique relationship. It’s a wonderful thing if you can try to heal a relationship and understand you’re not alone in having a strained civil relationship. It happens to most siblings. You can heal and repair it. It’s all about repair. You can move forward and enjoy the fruits of having a sibling because it is an incredible thing.
Before we get to Eunice, I want to recap, Sabrina, what you said. The points you made are so beautiful and helpful. First, look at your inner story and narrative so that you can work on it. We all have stories. I hear you saying, “Let’s back up and look at what our inner narrative and story is. Maybe evaluate it. Let’s see if we can soften and shift it to make it work for us instead of against us.” That’s number one.
Number two, when you’re talking to a sibling, you don’t need to agree with their perspective. You need to honor it, hear it, and make space for it. As a clinician, I will often hold up a cup that has two sides to it. I’ll show a client and say, “What are you seeing?” They’re saying, “I see this cup with the flower.” I say, “My side has a heart on it.” That’s how relationships are. I’m seeing a heart from my perspective. You’re seeing a flower and we are both seeing accurately from our perspective. I love that second point.
Third, you don’t need to compete with each other for your parents’ attention and approval as adults. How important that is for us to realize. It happens even when we return home for holidays. We get back into that family home and it starts triggering all of these behaviors that we grew up with and that rivalry. I loved that point. I love the boundaries. Have boundaries with your parents as you get older. Not just boundaries with your siblings and partners but boundaries with your parents. That does help.
Fifth, remember how important it is. Ruptures happen. We make mistakes in relationships. It’s part of being imperfect and human. What’s so important is doing the repair and realizing that if you love someone, connect with them. Having that connection is far bigger than the fact that they stole your lollipop when you were ten or as long as the behaviors were not going on. They’re still not stealing from you. That is a good sign.
You put them beautifully, Sabrina. Eunice, the same question but slightly different. You can feel free to add to anything that your sister said. What if this audience says, “I’m doing the work. I’m trying to do the repair. How can I find sisters somewhere? Sisters of the heart and spirit. How can I find a new sisterhood of my own?”
I feel like men have different relationships with friends. I always tell my husband that like my girlfriends, I make time to go out with them. We talk about kids, husbands, and siblings. I feel like it’s important to talk with other friends often, female friends but it doesn’t have to be, about these things. It helps you understand that you’re not alone in the bratty child or the complicated sibling relationship or relationship with the parents. I find it so helpful to work these things through with other women, especially. That’s one thing I do all the time.
The other thing I have done, which I feel works well for me, is to find activities with like-minded people, like this roller-skating thing that I do. I meet with a group of women. We all roller skate together. In that activity, we have something in common and a reason to meet up. It’s meditative. You have to focus on it to not fall on your butt for one thing. Go around in circles and chat. Talk through things and work things out. Get advice from different perspectives. All that I feel like is incredibly helpful.
For someone who might not be very extroverted, you seem to be quiet.
I am not. I always joke that I’m an introverted extrovert. With the right people, I’m very chatty but I find it very challenging to make new friends and go to things like parties where I’m going to have to talk to people I don’t know. I find it incredibly anxious about these things.
You’re more of an omnivert or ambivert so you’ll understand.
Is that what that is?
Those are the two phrases that are used sometimes. An ambivert or omnivert, those are the people in the middle. You’re perfect for this audience maybe, who I don’t know if she’s an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert. How would you suggest that she maybe meet someone who could turn into a sister of the soul?
Activities are one way. If you love knitting, join a knitting club. If you love reading, join a book club. That’s a great way to wedge into maybe more deeper friendships. That’s usually how I find people. I speak French so I’ve met a lot of people through French clubs and activities or lessons and things like that. That’s usually my way.
As an adult, I feel like it’s very hard to make new friends outside of work. If you don’t have work, school, or something like that to bring you together with like-minded people, then to me, the answer is finding activities that interest you that might interest somebody else and they give you a starting point for developing a friendship. Also, lots of dinners.If you don't have work, school, or something like that to bring you together with like-minded people, find activities that interest you that might interest somebody else. That gives you a starting point for developing a friendship. Click To Tweet
Let’s look at one more element of this question that’s not there but I’m wondering if it’s possibly there. If this audience or someone in her biological family feels like somebody’s done something that can’t be forgiven as a duo, how would you coach her to know if she wants to forgive or can forgive? I’ll start with you on this one, Eunice.
This might be a better one for Sabrina, honestly. I have a tendency to want to let things go and try to start fresh and forgive whenever humanly possible but I don’t know. Sabrina, what do you think?
That’s a perfect answer. I promise I’ll go to Sabrina and get you on the hot seat on this one but I wonder. Let’s say she’s more like you and says, “They’re mad at me because I did this or that. I was Dad’s favorite and/or because I crossed their boundaries. Someone doesn’t want to forgive me and I’m willing to forgive them.” This person might need some forgiveness or say, “You need to apologize.” What would you say, apologies or no apology?
To me, if the other person needs to hear an apology to be able to move past it, why not give an apology? It’s a small thing you can do on your part but if it gets you past the blockage, to me, that’s worth doing. In doubt, the best thing you can do is try to have a frank conversation with the other person and face the issue head-on if you can without pointing fingers. Trying not to blame is huge. It is important and try not to put the other person on the defensive or anything like that. Being open-minded and willing to take the first step seems like a place to start anyway.If the other person needs to hear an apology in order to be able to move past it, why not give one? It's a small thing you can do on your part. Click To Tweet
If I’ve offended someone and hurt their feelings, I can usually find a heartfelt way to apologize. I might not agree with my intention but I can certainly say, “I am so sorry. I hear you say that this is what I did. I apologize for doing that. I will take great care in the future not to do that again. If I inadvertently, do please bring it to my attention.”
Be willing to listen. At one point, my husband and I got almost divorced because we did not understand each other. He had not talked about his feelings for a very long time. It collected them and had a lot of anger towards me and frustration. One of the things I did was sit there and listen. For about three months, I let him talk at me and get it all out. I didn’t judge and try to defend myself. Amazingly, it saved our marriage to do that amongst other things. That was a huge thing that a therapist told me to do and it was so effective. It gave him space to get his feelings out.
It’s good for you to be able to do that for three months.
It took a lot of patience.
What a lot of internal strength. This isn’t the topic of the episode but I do have a question because that’s me. Does he now do a better job at bringing his feelings forward?
Yes. I also make a point of coming to him and having chats regularly. It’s not in his comfort zone to bring up feelings or how things are going. He has a penalty to hold these things close to the chest. I make myself go, find him, sit down, and chat for no reason to let him. In case there’s something like he’s mad about how I load the dishwasher or something is bugging him, I know he won’t say it so I give him space to talk to me about it if there’s something there but not by sitting down like, “Tell me how you feel about this thing. I sensed your anger.”
It’s more like approaching it conversational like, “How was your day,” and trying to get the chat flowing. Oftentimes, that will lead to things that may be bugging him. It gives him that release valve so he’s not holding all these feelings that are going to blow up six months later. Our mother used to do that and like that. I’m trying to not recreate that situation where we would always be like, “She’s not saying anything so we’re going to get on with our lives and ignore it,” and then explosion six months over something minor but it’s about lots of stuff.
It’s all of the resentment that built up. You’re making me think of how that same strategy often works with kids too where you create that space and all sorts of things start popping out. Here, you didn’t think you had much to add to that situation. Expert Eunice, we are moving back to Sabrina. Sabrina some of your thoughts on that?
Eunice had put it beautifully. What I want to summarize is the need for touchpoints. When you’re separate from something, we’d love to say, “Assumptions make an ass of you and me.” If you’re not in contact with someone, it’s very easy to build up assumptions in a story. You drift apart. There’s no opportunity for you to get into the deeper stuff that’s holding you back from having a close relationship. You do have to have those. Reach out and have those conversations, whether it’s a simple text. For your audience, start to send a text like, “I’m thinking of you. I saw this and thought you might enjoy,” or whatever it is.” Try to create a superficial and light connection.It's very easy to build up assumptions in a story and drift apart, with no opportunity for you to get into the deeper stuff that's holding you back from having a close relationship. You have to reach out and have those conversations, whether it's just… Click To Tweet
Funny things you see on TikTok are a great way to start.
It needs to be around them. It can’t be like, “Here’s the latest thing I’m obsessed with.” It can’t be you focused. Seriously, try to center, “This made me think of you.” That builds a lot of goodwill and opens up the space to have a more nuanced, heartfelt, or maybe tender conversation about things that might be lying under the surface.
Especially the clarification when you send something, you’re trying to rekindle a relationship with a sister or whomever. Make it about them or something you remember them liking, whether it’s flowers, bees, or whatever it is.
Cats eating sushi is always amusing.
I haven’t seen that. I’ll have to check it out.
TikTok is full of funny cat videos. That’s always a good place to start. My daughter taught me that.
The things we learn from our children can help us be better siblings or soul sisters. Our kids are some of our greatest teachers. Sabrina and Eunice, you both know I could chat with you for hours, even the books on the back shelves I see and all of the beautiful things in your environment, Eunice. I’m so grateful to know both of you. Thank you for sharing your time with us. Where can our readers find you?
They can find us online at HelloLucky.com and also on Instagram @HelloLuckyCards and @HelloLuckyKids. We love hearing from our readers and listeners. Our latest book that you mentioned is My Sister is Super!, which is a board book that is intended to be read to toddlers. It’s celebrating sisters and encouraging them to appreciate their sisters and hopefully bypass some of the sibling rivalry.
Our comic book or graphic novel series is The Cosmic Adventures of Astrid and Stella. It is inspired by our sister’s relationship growing up overseas. Instead of moving around a country, our characters are moving around to different planets but there are tons of examples of funny sibling conflicts in these. It’s a great book for kids who have siblings to read because they’ll be able to relate to the relationship between the two protagonists.
A lot of it is inspired by these siblings’ interactions with our kids and of ourselves, like things that we remember going through.
I’m a firm believer that children’s books are not just for kids. Children’s books are some of my favorite books. I can imagine picking up one of your sister’s books, sending it to an adult sister, and saying, “This makes me think of you.” We know where to find you both. Eunice, I imagine we’ll have to look for you in a roller-skating park or somewhere in France.
Roller-skating is good for the soul. Roller skating in France is even better.
Thank you both for being so appreciative and for giving such loving attention to our audience’s question. I hope it elevates her life and the lives of our readers. Thank you so much. I’m so grateful.
- My Sister Is Super!
- My Brother Is the Best!
- The Cosmic Adventures of Astrid and Stella
- Egg Press
- @HelloLuckyCards – Instagram
- @HelloLuckyKids – Instagram
About Sabrina Moyle
Sabrina and Eunice Moyle are the founders of “Hello!Lucky” a was inspired by Eunice and Sabrina’s childhood, which was spent living abroad in Asia and Africa, where we were exposed to crafts, entrepreneurship, and pop cultures from around the world. Through our travels and the positive influence of our parents, we adopted a positive, open-minded perspective that embraces diversity, celebrates humor as the ultimate way to connect and get through hard times, recognizes our interdependence, and values creativity, connection and community.
Our business got started when Eunice, an artist, learned how to use a letterpress and got hooked on the beautiful quality of letterpress printing. She bought her first press on eBay and started printing cards in her somewhat leaky Oakland, California garage.
Sabrina, a non-profit arts and education advocate with a business background, soon joined in to support her sister’s budding business. Hello!Lucky introduced its first letterpress card collection in 2003 at the National Stationery Show in New York City.
From 2005 – 2013, Hello!Lucky served as a pioneer in the wedding industry, offering creatively designed letterpress wedding invitations and helping hundreds of brides design their dream weddings. Hello!Lucky’s designs were featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, with Eunice’s wedding serving as the cover story of the Fall 2009 edition. In 2010, Eunice and Sabrina collaborated with Martha Stewart Weddings senior stylist Shana Faust to create Handmade Weddings, a book about using DIY techniques to craft and style your wedding.