Community Nourishment: Growing An Online Space That Thrives
In case you missed it (because you truly don’t want to miss it,) Rose Kaz wrote this week about the origins of the LBI Backstage Pass, what motivated her to grow this community and the dream she has for its cultivation.
Just like a garden, cultivating a community requires patience, dedication, and a love for growth.
Both require a delicate balance of providing the right conditions for growth, nurturing development, and pruning and removing obstacles.
In the short time I have been with LBI, I have dazzled by the colors of this garden.
Here is what Backstage pass member, singer, songwriter and producer Bridget Lyons has to say about her experience on the LBI platform:
Being able to create together in a community, and tell our stories, and be heard and support one another has been wonderful to be a part of. It’s been inspiring and mesmerizing at times.
Listen to Bridget’s full testimonial:
I keep coming back to this image of of a garden and of the gardener, tools in hand, dream in heart, sitting down with a blank page and drawing out the garden plan.
She must take into account the growing conditions, what type of plant is likely to flourish, what type would need extra care. She creates a design both pleasing to the eye and in harmony with the landscape.
She chooses a variety of flora and fauna
In different shapes, colors, heights.
Maybe she plans an herb garden where she will grow plants to harvest for her healing kitchen, or a cutting garden of bright blooms to make bouquets.
Maybe she will plant with the intention of attracting butterflies or hummingbirds or restoring native growth, bringing balance.
Soul Coach for transformational women leaders, Ber-Henda Williams says:
What sticks out the most to me about this particular platform is that in many cases when we have female identified or female-centric programming, it’s usually focused on patriarchy. In particular, white feminism has caused a detriment and harm to communities of color because it is singular focused. What I have found in being a part of Rose’s community is this it is intersectional in all the ways. It’s not only inclusive, but it is welcoming. It does not tokenize, but takes into consideration the entirety of the feminine experience.
Listen to Ber-Henda’s full testimonial:
After the dreaming and planning is done, the work begins – the work of tending the soil and planting seeds – watering, but not too much, shielding tender roots from the frost, pulling way the dead leaves.
As someone who loves a beautiful garden but really has to work at having a green thumb, I can say, growing a lush abundant garden is difficult but deeply rewarding work.
And that is how we grow a community.
Clare Ramírez, the Boxing Yogini, says:
The Backstage Pass connects me with a like-minded group of women in a world and land that can feel very lonely. Just trying to provide for yourself as a woman, and provide life and health for your business, can become a lonely space. It can become an anxiety ridden space, and it can become a vulnerable space. To be inspired by other women has really been useful, plus it’s a joy to work and speak and listen to women on their paths.
Listen to Clare’s full testimonial:
Growing a thriving online community means:
Planting the seeds. Just as in a garden, you carefully choose the right seeds for your climate and soil, a community requires the right mix of people to be the foundation. This can be a core group of people who share similar interests and values, and it can been a variety of different people who share a common goal or understanding, or who are open to sharing that understanding, but it is people who set the tone for the community.
Providing the right conditions. Just as a garden needs the right amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients to thrive, a community needs the right tools, resources, and communication channels to facilitate growth and engagement.
Nurturing growth. A gardener must continuously water, fertilize, and tend to their plants to ensure they grow healthy and strong. In a community, you must continually foster engagement, provide support and resources, and encourage members to participate and contribute.
Pruning and removing obstacles: In a garden, removing dead leaves and branches helps direct the plant’s energy towards growth. In a community, removing negativity, toxicity, and obstacles helps maintain a positive and productive environment for growth.
Celebrating milestones and victories: A gardener takes pride in watching her plants bloom, and in a community, it’s important to celebrate milestones, from a member’s first post to a community event.
Just like a garden, a community requires consistency and attention to flourish.
And by following this map, tending to this garden, you have helped this community grow into a thriving and vibrant space for members to connect and share.
This is what Therapeutic Image Consultant Marisol Colette says:
Of all the social media platforms, this is the one that has the most positive impact, because it’s about the sharing of valuable information around how to show up in the world as a better person with more support.
Listen to Marisol’s full testimonial:
The LBI Backstage Pass is your community. Rose is the gardener, but so are you.
You are the gardeners and the seeds and the beautiful blooms.
In my part of the world, it is icy and cold. The sky is grey. But deep beneath the frozen ground there is a glowing ember of warmth. There is life.
In a few short weeks, the first buds and signs of spring will arrive and if I am careful and consistent, I will cultivate the tiny piece of land outside my back door and create a sanctuary for the wild life, an environment where the flowers can flourish…where I can flourish.
Before I know what happened, it will be summer – lush and vibrant.
As Rose dreams into the lush and vibrant future of this community, she invites us to dream along with her, plant along with her, cultivate this space together, and grow.
Thank you for your presence in this process.