These days everyone talks about having a platform. What’s your platform? I have to say I’ve been struggling with mine.
One friend suggested I think about what people most thank me for which did help narrow it down… a bit. Usually I get thanked for the introductions I have helped people make, the connections established or just for what I offer at Company of Women and sometimes the support and encouragement I have given a would-be entrepreneur.
“Networking” was the conclusion at the end of this conversation, but you know, that just didn’t sit with me. Partly because unfortunately networking still has a negative connotation and is frequently done badly. Did I really want to be associated with this? I don’t think so.
I needed to spend more time noodling that one. Then I realized what I do, and what I have been doing all my career – is build community – be it mothers, teen mothers, abused women or entrepreneurs. That’s my platform, community builder.
Or so I thought. It is strange how the universe will provide the answers, if you are willing to listen and are alert to the messages. In an interesting conversation with a woman from Atlanta, we started to talk about net-weaving, a word that really resonated with me.
In fact, when I first started Company of Women eleven years ago, I intentionally used tapestries in my business card, on the website and our promotional material. I felt it symbolized what I wanted Company of Women to be – the intertwined threads making a beautiful fabric, representing how when we weave our threads together, we make a much stronger fabric. Even our newsletter was called Tapestries, with the tagline of weaving wisdom and warmth into the lives of women…
Now I know some of you may be thinking P U L E E Z E – shoot me now, but you know what it worked back then and I still think it works now. Everyone wants to belong to something greater than themselves.
Now after a few years we got rid of the tapestries, albeit gradually, and probably not fast enough for my webmasters who I suspect thought it was, correction I was, over the top.
Reflecting back on all this, made me remember that just prior to starting Company of Women I was in California where I found and bought a pin and poem called the Weaver Woman. At the time I thought it was a good omen, given the journey I was about to embark on.
Despite our recent move, I was able to find it – no mean feat I tell you, but suddenly I feel I have come home. Isn’t it strange how we think we have moved on, evolved and yet in my case gone full circle back to who I was meant to be, and probably always have been, but I just didn’t know it.
Here is the poem. What do you think – does it resonate with you?
Wise weaver woman weaves, the fabric of life
A thread for each creature, a thread for each plant
A thread for the elements, that enliven the dance
A thread for spirit, a thread for sharing
A thread for balance, a thread for caring.
Cycles shape the pattern from death to rebirth
She is weaving a fabric of life for Earth
So precious – so fragile – so easily torn
So connected is all of life, all belong.
Let us help her to weave it, not tear it apart
With our choices, our voices, our actions, our heart.