Weaving the Web of the Future with Women's Wisdom
Women have always been storytellers, artists, healers and weavers.
Through words and threads we create our culture, our future and our hope.
My beloved godmother Gloria was a weaver. She worked at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, an 1830's New England living history museum and full working replica of an old Colonial village which was visited by families and schools year-round. She dressed in full historic garb and worked in her cottage weaving textiles on a large loom while also weaving stories to the children who would come in and out each day asking questions.
Gloria was a magical women, and I'm blessed that she was my godmother, though she sadly passed away from breast cancer when I was 11 and I didn't get to connect with her as long as I wished.
My favorite memories of her was when she and my mom would get talking for hours when I was little, and I would sit quietly nearby and listen. First it would start with some personal catching up, then social gossip, then they'd starting retelling old stories and once they were warmed up (and I was quiet enough) they would start talking about dreams, spirituality, past-lives, psychic experiences, and more.
Through listening to the stories woven into my childhood through my mother and godmother, I learned a lot about women's healing ways.
My mother was a professional storyteller and owned a children's bookstore in the barn behind our house in New Hampshire. When it wasn't open to the public, it was my own personal hang-out zone. I spent years of my childhood in the bookstore reading almost every book in there, often while rollerskating around on the wood floors with a book in my hand.
I have a deep passion for the words and art of good stories and a love of publishing.
She also introduced me to a deep love of nature, wilderness, healing plants, natural medicine, massage therapy, and holistic living.
Through the women's wisdom I received through stories and experiences woven through my childhood, I found my own path as an adult to embrace the healing arts and preserve the stories of women for healing and transformation.
I've been a health and wellness entrepreneur since 1998, when I was 20 years old and starting out as a massage therapist and birth doula. I grew my practice for over a decade as a massage and craniosacral therapist specializing in women's health and infants, as well as teaching childbirth education, leading women's circles and training pregnancy massage therapists and doulas.
I started networking online in 1999 and realized the amazing power of the internet to create social connections both near and far. Through parenting forums I had made friends across the country to the point that when I was pregnant with my first son in 1999 I had online mama friends I'd never met sending my packages of cloth diapers, maternity clothes and baby gear from all over. When my first son was a toddler I traveled around the US and had new friends in every city thanks to my social connections, and often were gifted awesome meals and cool places to stay.
In 2003, I started hoopdancing and it quickly grew into handcrafting hoops for people as well as being booked for workshops, events and performances. There was so much interest in my hooping hobby that it became a full-on part of my business and my friend who worked at Microsoft encouraged me to start a website. I had no idea how to do that, and my friend helped me create my first website and then handed it over and told me to figure it out - which I did and I got the online business buzz.
Soon people from all over the country were ordering hoops and I was also booking massage clients and workshops with people from near and afar.
The internet totally changed the future of my business. It's allowed me to make connections with mentors and clients, create opportunities to have all-expenses paid travel to teach in the US and internationally, and reach out and spread the seeds of women's wisdom and natural healing all over the world.
In 2009, after my mother passed away, I released my local private practice and focused on creating more online programs to connect women globally. Since then I've grown my business largely through social media and now have thousands of people from over 70 countries around the world on my email list, and have gotten to work with women from over 30 countries in my online courses, including the Awesome Birth Teacher Training, the Women's Healing Arts Teacher Training, Healing Arts Business Academy and through private coaching.
The internet is amazing through it's powerful potential to connect people of like minds together. I want to encourage everyone who has wisdom and stories to share, and businesses to grow, to get savvy with social media!
For 12 years now I've been building and creating websites and blogs (for myself, friends, projects, events, clients and organizations) and have networked across many social media platforms (remember livejournal, friendster or tribe? I was there!) - and I can tell you NOW is the BEST TIME to grow your business online. There are more options than ever before and it's EASIER than ever before to create a pro website, build a blog, and grow your business through social media.
With social media, you can grow your community, business and income through learning how to make content shareable so that it could even go viral.
I've had articles on my blog go viral thanks to social media. My breast health article "Viva la Boobies!" has had over 3/4 of a million visitors on my site alone and has been published in many languages. Two of my articles were published on Cameron Diaz's OurBodyBook website this year, and I've had articles published in many online and print magazines. Several of my Facebook page posts have gone viral to reach over 300,000 people totally organically (and people think you have to pay to get anything seen on Facebook - not true!). I have several pins on Pinterest and one on Tumblr that get repined or reblogged every day, which has them reaching new people every day.
Through social media and online business, I've been able to create a life in which I get to stay home with my family, we get to live where we want to (we've lived in several of the most beautiful places in the US over the past 5 years), and we get to travel as we wish.
This summer we are planning a West Coast tour to connect and share, which is only possible because I can work and travel anywhere with my laptop.
Even if you have a local business, you need to be using social media smartly. Before I visit a new lunch spot or call to book a massage, I always look up businesses online. I often check Facebook pages or Yelp to find out about specials and to check out customer reviews. Almost 50% of traffic to my website today comes from mobile phones, if you're not online you're losing customers, even if you are right down the road from them.
It's important that we women use the internet and social media to grow our conscious businesses and uplift each other. There are more women than men on social media and women spend more time browsing and sharing content than men - but men are the majority of marketers and content creators online and we need to shift this.
As women step into becoming weavers of the online web, we can share more conscious women's wisdom online to each other, we can support women-owned business, and become the curators not just the consumers. We have an opportunity to reach each other, to build right livelihood and to keep the ways of women's wisdom alive through our legacy as storytellers, weavers, and healers.
I want to help you spread your wisdom, share your stories, weave your wisdom into the world, and create the income and freedom that you deserve.
You can do it! I believe in you.
We are the weavers of the future, we must use the tools of today, and together we will keep women's wisdom and stories alive.