Friday, February 21, 2014

In searching for my platform, I found myself again

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?

Weaver Woman

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.

Lela Florel


The Universe Lady said...

BEautiful! Have you considered weaving it back into the site? :)

Laura M. said...

Your blog post reminds me of the saying 'Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backward'. Thanks for sharing the beauty of what you're reclaiming.

Andrea Scott said...

Beautiful! We need more weaver women to transform our world.

Sheryl said...

I remember the colourful weave of the tapestry...from earlier on. Like Company of Women a cozy blanket that provides security and the warmth of caring. Not networking, definitely a community that makes people of all kinds of colourful personalities and businesses feel included and comfortable, as we find and re-find our niche in business and the community. Like the poem says "Cycles shape the pattern." I'm glad we found this organization when the business was first started many years ago, and we have continued membership while we shaped and reshaped our business (to compete in the current environment) because they are always reshaping too, to best support their members. Great job!