We constantly change. We grow. Our interests change. Our needs change. Is it time for you to find a new tribe? You may even need more than one tribe. Just as you have friends you play with, friends to discuss philosophy with and friends you work with, tribes can fill different functions.
What do you need from your tribe?
The first step in attracting, finding, or creating a tribe that supports nurtures and encourages you to be your best self is to find out what you need. Make a list of what you need to nurture and grow yourself.
My list includes:
- Intellectual stimulation
- Spiritual exploration
- Curiosity and love of learning
Where do you get what you need right now?
After you make your list, place the name or situation that fulfills that need. This can be tricky. Right now, I get eight out of ten of my needs met by me, on my own. I do that through my own path of study, my own writing, participation in online courses that focus on a specific area of interest and my own system of self-encouragement, challenge and acknowledgement. What’s missing is close-up and personal like-minded interaction.
What are you not getting in your life right now?
Place a big star beside the aspects of your life in which you are not currently being supported. Next, list three places, situations, people, etc. that can fulfill you in those areas. It’s a little tricky to define something you don’t have. You may not even know you want it or need it until it shows up. I have a few close friends but they are in other parts of the country. I share moments of insights, camaraderie, and support online in the course communities I am in. I’m living in a senior community where not only are we not on the same page, or in the same chapter, we are not even reading the same book. Where do I go for meaningful friendships? How to I find them? How do I develop them?
Who is sabotaging your efforts in an area of your passion?
You have a tribe now. It may be your family, your work place, your spiritual community. You may be getting support from those tribes and you may not. Look carefully to see who is undermining your efforts to express yourself. It is time to move them out of your life. I’m a liberal metaphysician living in the conservative Midwest. I’m a vegan in cow country. Those are challenging situations in which I stand alone in my beliefs.
Accept what cannot be changed
Here’s a big realization in finding a new community. Some things cannot be changed. At 82, I need to be close to my children for the occasional physical support I need. They are here in the Midwest. While New York City and Santa Rosa, California are where I spent 35 years that inspired and expanded me and helped me find my life purpose, this is where I am now and this is where I will stay. That’s why I need to join other tribes, to fill in the places I need nourishment that I can’t get here. Make whatever changes you can or need to. Then acknowledge what cannot be changed about your situation and make plans to work around it.
Give yourself permission to change tribes
It is very freeing to recognize that you have changed and need a new tribe in order to continue on the path that calls to you. Even if I didn’t need to connect outside of my living situation, I would have needed to change tribes when the focus of my work changed. Look at how you have changed. Look at your list of what you need and where you are getting it. Identify what is missing. Then set about finding how to fill that need.
Make some choices and take some action
The internet offers you the world. If you are interested in helping the environment, there are groups to join and participate in. If you are interested in deepening your spirituality, resources and inspiration are online waiting for you. All you have to do is identify what you need and go searching.
Try your new tribe on for size
It may be that participating in a specific online community may fill a particular need in a short time. For instance,if I want to learn a certain skill, immersion in the topic may only be needed for a short period. If you want to improve a certain area of your personal awareness, that may mean immersion in several tribes over a longer period.
Identify what you need. Give yourself permission to leave the tribe you are in. Begin your search for a new tribe.
The Find Your Tribe Series
Find Your Tribe 1 – When People Don’t Understand Your Passion
Find Your Tribe 2 – Do You Need a New Tribe
Find Your Tribe 3 – How to Identify Your New Tribe
Find Your Tribe 4 – How to Change Yourself For Your New Tribe
Find Your Tribe 5 – How to Participate in Your New Tribe
To Sing a Deeper Song consider: