When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks
but celebrate them with glad cries of “Me too!”
Be sure to cherish them.
Because those weirdos are your tribe.
~ A.J. Downey, Cutter’s Hope
As humans, we are social beings.
Study after study has shown that when we are connected, when we feel we are part of something larger, we thrive. We are healthier, live longer. We are fulfilled.
Yet today we find ourselves in a world that is more and more disconnected.
By addictive technology, by transient jobs, by broken families, and distant relatives.
And most recently, by political, ethnic, and social divides.
Many of us now feel alone within our own neighborhoods and families.
So how to connect with your tribe in a world where civil discourse has all but disappeared?
I was finding it more and more difficult to meet like minded people.
Working from home, this past year, as an online social entrepreneur certainly didn’t help matters.
Neither did holding firm to my commitment to speak out about the things that really matter.
I came away from networking events feeling disconnected.
Have you ever been lonely in a crowded room?
Where are my peeps?
While I’ve had plenty of surface friends to go to the movies, have drinks or dinner with, truth be told there weren’t that many of these friends who actually “got” me.
Never content with small talk or idle chitchat about the weather, I wanted deeper soul-bearing connection, conversations about matters of importance, and the nourishment close heart centered relationships bring.
I couldn’t be the only one, could I?
The void was affecting my head space and my heart space.
Time to do something different.
If I don’t even know where to begin, how do I find my tribe?
Gone are the days of global community where women birthed babies for each other, raised their children together and tended to the dying collectively . Extended families live thousands of miles apart, neighbors may not even know one another’s names.
We are more isolated in our own homes.
To find tribe requires getting out of one’s comfort zone.
Here’s the good news…your tribe is all around if only you will take a few simple steps:
~Get over yourself
There is a certain shame around being an outsider. A certain uncool-ness to being the outlier. But nothing changes until you change. First off, you have to get over the pretense and admit that you actually are lonely. (not easy for me). Commit to doing what is necessary to find what you want.
~Get Clear on What You Want
Explore what kind of relationships feed you. What do you want in a tribe?
For me, spirituality is at the center of who I am becoming. I am enthusiastic about my the inner journey, I want to be able to share this with my friends. I am also passionate about social change, attending political events has become more of a focus. I want people in my sphere who are committed to societal transformation.
Clarifying my wants gave me a new energy. I could actually “feel” these new relationships before they ever appeared.
~Frequent Places that Speak to Your Soul
Surround yourself with like minded people at places they might hang.
For me this looked like:
Entrepreneurial Conferences, Environmental Workshops, Health and Wellness Seminars, Spiritually minded, non-denominational church groups, Yoga studios, Volunteering with the Local Chapters of Big Sisters, working at the local coffee shop once a week.
~Let go of Judgement and Engage
Now is not the time to be shy. Chat up the gal on the mat next to you. Invite her for a cup of tea. She may not be your ideal but she may know someone who is. It becomes a numbers game, the more contact you make the more quickly you will find your peeps.
Don’t let a fear of not finding the “ones” allow you to settle for less than what you want in friendships. Healthy relationships should be reciprocal, each of you giving and receiving.
~Let your Freak Flag Fly
Be your authentic self. Not in a Too Much Information kind of way, but your charismatic, goofy, lovable self. After all you want to be loved for you, not some mask that you wear in public.
It’s All Good
When you find them, your tribe will feel as familiar as your favorite sweats. Your sanctuary for tears and laughter, truths and confidences. Unconditionally supportive and caring, pushing you, lifting you to be your best self.
Feel free to celebrate having found them with the tribal cry, “These are my people!”
Sending Love and Light,