One of the greatest joy of doing the work I do is coming into contact with the most beautiful, compassionate, wise, kind, honest people on the planet. A few days ago I had a meeting with some lovely women who I’m considering bringing onto my team and as I was describing my audience to them, tears came to my eyes. I said something like, “They’re truly the kindest people in the world, and I feel so lucky to be in connection with them. Even on Instagram, which can attract negative and mean-spirited comments, I’ve only had to delete a few comments over the last four years.” They both raised their eyes in wonder, knowing the rarity of this experience. How lucky I am to know you…
For many years, the way I connected most with you was through this blog. We would converse through the comments, sharing stories and insights, and your names became familiar to me. I loved connecting here, and when blogging started to fall away as the primary platform of conversation, I grieved. I could see that people were gravitating to social media, but I wasn’t quite ready to enter those platforms yet. Eventually, upon the prodding of my publisher before the release of The Wisdom of Anxiety, I trepidatiously joined Instagram, and was thrilled to discover the same kindness that I had experienced on my blog. Again, how lucky I am…
But the limitations of Instagram also became clear. For one thing, I knew that many of my long-time readers weren’t on that platform at all. Secondly, the constraints of the platform aren’t conducive to deeper dialogue. And lastly, I felt the promptings of wanting to express myself not only through writing but also through conversation, and that’s when the seed of the Gathering Gold podcast took root. I floated the idea to Victoria, we had a few delicious and bubbly conversations about it last March 2021, and the podcast was born.
Creating, recording, and sharing the podcast with you has been one of the great joys of this past year. When we started the podcast, we did so as an experiment; we would see how it felt and we gave ourselves permission to close it out at anytime. How would we be received? Would we find enough topics to delve into? Would it feel nourishing? I had made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t take on anything that didn’t feel nourishing, so this last question was particularly important.
It quickly became clear that the podcast was a YES in all ways. We’ve loved hearing from you. We’ve loved imagining you listening and speaking to your places of tenderness. We’ve loved connecting through this platform. And week-after-week, month-after-month, it felt nourishing in ways I couldn’t have even imagined when we first began.
As we approached its one-year anniversary, Victoria and I began to assess where we are with the platform. We landed on two places that needed more attention.
- There are costs associated with running a podcast and in order for this to be sustainable we needed to figure out a way for it to make financial sense.
- We’re longing to be in more conversation with you, our audience. One of the downsides of a podcast is that there isn’t an easy way to be in dialogue. We release an episode and it goes out into the virtual arena, and while we do hear from many of you through various channels, it’s not a public conversation. This hasn’t sat well with me since we released our very first episode, and I’ve wanted to find a way to shift it.
How to bring these two needs together?
We talked. We mused. We dreamed. And then it became clear…
We decided to create a Patreon page! This would allow those who feel called to help support the podcast financially – even in small way – to do so – and, because there are extra offerings with each tier of support, we’ll be in more direct conversation with you. In this week’s short episode, Victoria explains a bit about how Patreon works for those who aren’t familiar with it and goes over what you would receive in each tier. You can also go directly to the page here.
We also talked about the first bonus episode you’ll receive as a Patron – one that we recorded months ago and didn’t release at the time because it felt too vulnerable. Because we now have trust with our audience, it feels absolutely right to share it now.
As part of our Patreon launch, our next Gathering Gold episode will be called “Ask Us Anything.” In the future, the opportunity to submit questions will be specific to Patreon members, but to get the ball rolling, everyone is welcome to submit. You can ask your questions here, or send them directly to Victoria at: email@example.com. We’ll respond to as many as we can on the next episode, but if you want to make sure to have a chance to connect, consider becoming a patron.
We’ve LOVED reading the questions that have already been submitted. There are plenty of vulnerable, tender ones, and then there’s the number one question: “Sheryl, what’s your favorite Taylor Swift song?” 😂 I’ll let you know on the next bonus episode!
Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening. I love you all.