I have been doing repairs on jewellery recently. Fixing a clasp, threading a lost bead, adding a link. The bits missing, being replaced or recycled are echoed in the acts of connecting I’ve been doing lately too.
I am a networker. I connect ideas, people and people to ideas and ideas to people. I connect systems and strategies and blend them together. I find the lost bead or add a new catch that brings the piece to completion for us all to enjoy.
I was asked, during the week, if I would run an in-house training session on networking as I seem to know how to do and other people didn’t. This observation had been gleaned by watching new linkages emerge, old ones reappear – healed from being broken – and a few extra people in a room that seemed to make the room complete.
There are so many lessons for me from my jewellery repairs that can be applied to networking:
– when the bead rolls away and you have to grab it quickly before it is camouflaged by the carpet
– adding the catch so the necklace can form a circle
– finding the right size of a bead or link to fit the missing space
– clenching the link together forcefully to fix
– having a steady hand and eye to do the threading
– visioning the whole before it is complete and knowing what is needed to make it so
It got me thinking … maybe I will run a bead workshop instead and we can talk about the metaphors!
The central insight for me is that each person is a jewel and needs to be valued and recognised for the individual contribution it brings to the whole and without that single sparkle the whole piece is incomplete. What if everyone understood that about themselves?
I don’t think my networking is legendary (although – and I say this with a tongue in cheek and some sound evidence – I know it is) what I do think is that I try to see each person sincerely as the jewel in creation that they are and their unique place that becomes complete when they join, connect, blend with others.
I went on a retreat for my 30th birthday and composed a chant based on a verse from Isaiah:
You are a sparkling jewel
In the crown of God
Arise shine out
Your light is come
The glory of the love Is with you.
I introduced the chant to my fellow retreatants during one of our rituals and each of them said their name and presented a result of their creativity for the day. In this reflective harvest, as I remember were a poem, a painting, a collection of stones and leaves, a bunch of flowers and a pot of soup! Each person presented the fruits of their reflection (in silence) and then we all sang the chant to them as a group. I haven’t thought about that day for many years but it is a memory that has flooded back in writing today. I sing the chant to myself when I want to be reminded of my own inner beauty and value, a rare and precious jewel that is endowed with light and love.
Hildegard when I next hear your music, I will consider each note, like a bead, threaded on a band of light and love, making an exquisite piece of jewellery for adornment and adoration! What a cosmic network! One thing does lead to another and my lesson is to remain open to that possibility and in the process of doing so, threading some beads and repairing broken links and finishing with a recycled or new clasp to bind it together.
PS And in my networking this week I just happened to connect a friend in San Francisco with a jewellery maker there whose work I had been lead to by the poet David Whyte‘s work while I preparing for my trip to Ireland. She is now considering, in her words, dropping hints to her partner to purchase the Walt Whitman ring. I love networking and I bet you did too Hildegard! Needless to say my connection to my friend in San Francisco is through a facilitators network.