: a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest
: any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs and traditions, adherence to the same leaders, etc.
What does “Tribe” mean to you? What does “Support System” mean to you? To me it’s a group of people who simply care about one another. They’re there for you through thick and thin, sickness and in health… it kind of sounds like I’m describing a marriage, hahahaha 🙂 It could be someone you’ve known for a long time, or someone you’ve just met. It could be family, the one you were born into, or the one you’ve created over time. What matters most is that this “Tribe” or “Support System” is a group of people who support you, that build you up, that make you a better person.
Over the last few years I’ve had two things happen in my life related to this discussion. During a major transformation that I went through specifically due to my journey with Lupus, I have lost a lot of friends. Either they just couldn’t deal with my disease at some point, I no longer served them; or they were specifically chosen to no longer be a part of my life when I made MAJOR changes in order to heal and become a better person. That was phase one. Phase two, which is currently in the process, is the development of my new tribe/support system. I literally shed skin in order to reveal something new, fresh, and more fitting.
Through my journey with Lupus and developing YogiNest I have met SO many amazing people. Some of them have been there all along and we’ve built on our relationship, some are new friends, some have been clients, people I’ve networked with, some of them I haven’t even officially met in person, only through social media. This might be the first time in my life that I have fully understood what it means to have a tribe, and or support system. Most of my life I have counted on one person, and one person only, ME. It seemed as though that was working, and getting me far in life. Then I got sick and I lost “Me.” I could no longer count on this person to take care of me anymore, I needed help. For the first time in my life I began to reach out, and it SUCKED! I hated it, I hated needing anyone for anything. It took me a long time to change the way I perceived reaching out, to see “help” in a different way; but man when I finally saw the light, I couldn’t get enough. Here’s the thing about having a strong tribe, a strong support system… You can literally conquer the world! You know that feeling you get when you fall in love? That feeling like nothing can touch you. That’s what it feels like to have a good group of people in your life.
And the cool thing is it’s not just people you’ve known you’re whole life, or through friends and coworkers. Over the last year I’ve had several meetings with people regarding my business, all of which I’ve hand chosen carefully. I’ve met with these people because we are like-minded and I believe that together we can make a big difference in the world. This one little word always seems to come up in my meetings, that word is tribe. I’ve never met these people before, but this invisible thread seems to connect us, over and over, and over again. The NEED to be connected. This feeling that if we build a strong foundation together, a tribe, we can reach more people than we can alone. I’ve met with groups of women, female entrepreneurs, who just want to connect with other women that understand what it’s like to own your own business. No one is competing, no one is trying to steal ideas, they’re just there for support. It’s beautiful really, to see a group of people come together to support one another. It’s human nature.
The friends that I have in my life are my tribe, my family is my tribe, the people I’ve met through Lupus are my tribe, the people I’ve met through YogiNest are my tribe. This support system is what makes me get up in the morning, it’s what makes me work harder and harder on myself, the way I treat others, the reason I built my business, the care I took in building my business, etc. I genuinely believe life “takes a village.” You’ve heard that saying before right? Your support system should pick you up when you’re down, keep you in check when you’ve lost your way (in a loving way), they should want you to succeed, they should be there when it all falls to the ground; to remind you that this has happened before, to get up, and give it another try.
I believe developing your tribe is incredibly important to your journey. Whether you’re a mother/father that could use a physical or emotional hand, a business owner that could use some guidance, a sufferer of a chronic/terminal illness, a small child/teen/adult, a survivor, a fighter, a friend, a human being… support is the key to success! I use the term success loosely, it means so many different things to so many different people. In this particular case I’m using it to describe navigating life. We could all use a hand from time to time.
Some of you may be lucky enough to already have your tribe (though I believe you can never have enough of a support system, there’s always room for one more). Some of you may not, and you may feel lost, you may not know where to start. I’ve added a short list of suggestions to get you started below. As always feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, would like to schedule a time to meet with me, or would just like to share your story.
Where To Get Started – Find Your Tribe
- Get involved in community services and events that you care about. Check your local schools, libraries, museums, and community centers. Some of these events are even free. I like to do beach cleanup events, and meet lots of great like-minded people.
- Volunteer. You can find all kinds of local volunteer opportunities that align with your morals and beliefs. And I bet you’ll meet lots of like-minded people in a situation like this. I’ve volunteered at countless animal sanctuaries and still have friends that I’ve met through these experiences.
- Find a support/chat group online. Ask questions, answer questions. Get involved.
- Join a club that interests you
- Go to a workshop or sign-up for a class at a local community college. You’d be surprised how many people you can meet in situations like this, plus you’ll already have something in common right off the bat
- BONUS: You could even create an event. Facebook has a really easy way to create events and invite people to them. It’s a great way to connect with people who are already in your tribe that you’d like to see more often.
“Be around the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters, the game shakers. They challenge you, break you open, uplift & expand you. They don’t let you play small with your life. These heartbeats are your people. These people are your tribe.” – Unknown