The Spirit of Community with Women
Maybe I’m looking for the best of both worlds sometimes. I want to belong, be part of and included in those groups of women that seem to have all the fun together and yet I want space to still be me. That part of me that craves that connection in friendship to other women where we can relate, share and laugh at the things only women seem to understand. Holding those deep conversations about life and the perspectives shared in confidence and sacred space. Yet a big part of me also likes that loner rebel that stands strong and is independent and fierce. I am both these types of woman.
I have always felt on the outside looking in to those groups of women who make up groups of friends. Watching them eating lunch together, taking weekend trips for wine tasting and shopping always gave me that twinge of wanting to ask if I could come too. It sounded fun. You could tell though there was history with these women doing these things together. They had stories and connections that formed their group that would be disrupted by including newcomers. Instead I watched from afar wondering how someone went about having those types of other women friend relationships like that.
There would be times in my life where I did feel part of that type of group of women. Professional mentor groups, friends and neighbors found their way into my life building that patchwork of community connection. It wasn’t on the level of weekend gal pal trips or anything but it filled needs I had for friends. I still craved those opportunities but I felt I had at least found a workable balance for my own needs in this area. It worked and I had some beloved friends in the process.
When I signed up to be a distributor for doTERRA and began building my own business I found a new level of community with women. I had explored other network marketing companies and all promised this environment of connection and community but when I dug deeper I saw a lot that didn’t appeal to me. I wasn’t interested in pursuing traditional spammy sales to drive ranks that separated people. While that is inherent in any direct marketing company I wanted one that didn’t make that their primary focus. I wanted the true sense of women coming together to uplift and support each other professionally and personally in a community of genuineness. Maybe I was just dreaming.
Sure there are people even in doTERRA who are hard core it’s all about the rank advancement at all cost. There are also people who will take advantage of you and steal your ideas as their own. Yet the majority of the culture is not like that. There is actual cross rank up, down and sideways help to each other. There is real connection and community that is honored, respected, inclusive, honest and real. The ones who don’t uphold these values are the ones you can literally see a mile away and they don’t last long.
As I started finding others who were interested in building their own business, I brought forward these values and culture to this smaller group. I am known to say all the time, let’s build this once the right way for the long term. This group of women and I have spent hours dissecting what that means and agreeing we didn’t want to be that community where real conversations, support, encouragement and love for each other couldn’t thrive. We wanted to thrive together. There would be people come and go as there always are in these situations but the core stay. They continue pressing on individually and as a group.
I have come