“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” — Jane Howard
Each and every one of us has a fundamental need for human connection. Not just any connections, but quality connections. That means we need to be in the presence of people who “get us” and appreciate our quirkiness, while also offering us a safe haven of acceptance, understanding and support.
Ever since we were kids, we gravitated towards those with whom we share commonalities and who possess traits that we admire. Whether this special group of individuals comes from our families, schools or communities, they satisfy an important need for companionship and our deep need to be seen, heard and understood for who we really are. Today, we refer to this special group as our “tribe”.
The traditional definition of a tribe is “a group of people, often of related families, who live together, sharing the same language, culture, and history, especially those who do not live in towns or cities”. Nowadays, it has taken on a different meaning in pop culture. “Finding your tribe” has become a popular buzzword amongst writers, businesses, educators, bloggers and social media enthusiasts.
The reason why the word “tribe” has taken on a different meaning is because of the immense changes that have taken place in the social, cultural and technological landscapes of our world over the past centuries. Our identities are no longer limited to our race, nationality, culture or socio-economic status.
Our sense of self is now being shaped by what we absorb from a variety of sources such as the Internet, TV, radio, educational institutions, publications, books and travel experiences. We construct our own reality based on how we filter all these influences and what we choose to focus on based on our personal proclivities. Our belief systems are a lot more elaborate, multi-layered and multi-faceted.
Our rich and complex inner lives and perspectives make it more challenging to meet like-minded people who speak the same language as we do. Meeting people from the same cultural, religious, nationalistic background is often not enough for us to feel that sense of kinship. We need to seek out people who share the same ideas, interests, and who have a value system that harmonizes with ours.
After we step out of school and university, where there are ample opportunities for social interaction, it becomes even tougher to find authentic connections. As adults, we often make and do with friends of convenience who fill up our hours just so that we won’t experience loneliness. But these superficial friendships can never satisfy our need for authentic connections the way a member of our tribe would.
If you’ve ever had a group of friends or a friend that you consider to be part of your tribe then you’ll know what you’re missing. You share a strong chemistry with them that sparks conversations that could go on for hours without you getting bored. You both seem plugged into each other’s energy as you share your genuine thoughts, and you love the fact that you can be “real” with this person.
In my past posts and articles, I’ve often written about my struggles with fitting in and finding a sense of home within my community. What I realized during my journey of searching for my tribe is that the process must first begin with you. You have to find a sense of home within yourself by understanding and accepting who you are and becoming aware of your beliefs and attitudes and standing by them.
As I grew comfortable in my own skin, I was able to let go of my fears of being vulnerable in my relationships, which made it easier for me to open up to others and recognize members of my tribe. If we can follow the same inner process as I did, I believe that it’s possible for everyone to access the joy, stimulation and growth that comes from connecting with their tribe.
Finding your tribe will not only affirm your sense of identity and validate your belief system, but it will give you a sense of “home”. Your tribe members will support your highest good and will be a conduit for all the wisdom, inspiration and guidance that you need to accomplish your purpose and goals. In their company, you’ll be motivated to broaden your horizons and to move forward in a positive direction.
Finding our tribe even affects us on the deepest psychic levels. Within our energetic makeup, we have an energy center (or chakra) that corresponds to this need for tribal connections. The root chakra, as it’s called, is located at the base of your spine and represents your foundation. It is in this powerful place that your tribal consciousness resides and from where you absorb energies from your tribal interactions.
Your possession of tribal power guides the development of your sense of safety, security and belonging. People who aren’t able to find their tribe or face tribal challenges can experience a loss of psychic power, which makes them susceptible to physical ailments that are commonly associated with a blocked root chakra such as immune disorders or issues with their bones, legs, feet and rectum.
For these reasons (and several more), I encourage you to step out of your usual social circle and make efforts towards locating your tribe. Based on my personal experiences, it’s totally worth the effort! Here’s a five-step process to guide you along the course of finding your own tribe:
- Get comfortable in your own skin: Before we let people into our lives, we have to first clean house, so to speak. We need to create a sense of home within ourselves by establishing inner peace and self-acceptance. We can’t develop healthy bonds with other people if we’re still harboring feelings of hurt, pain and rejection from past experiences. It’s important that we prioritize dealing with our emotional issues and work on building a defined identity so that we can attract people who are on a healthy, energetic wavelength. Tribal connections can only promote progress and wellbeing if its constituents take responsibility for their personal growth and feel comfortable in their own skin as they interact with others. Bottom line is – love yourself first if you want to find people who’ll reflect that love back to you.
- Be willing to step outside your comfort zone: As creatures of habit, we tend to stick with what feels comfortable and familiar to us and that’s certainly applies to how we deal with our friendships. Most people tend to socialize with whoever is in their immediate surroundings, such as co-workers, old friends from school and college or family members. But friendships of convenience or blood relationships most often do not offer the kind of kindred spirit connection that we usually have with members of our tribe. If we are to forge deep and meaningful relationships, we have to break out of our social comfort zone and step out into the world and mingle. Go where the vibration is high and wherever you feel drawn to.
- Get clear about what a tribe-based friendship means to you: Before you’re able to recognize a member of your own tribe, you have to be clear about what you’re looking for. Ask yourself some self-reflection questions such as “What does a tribe friend look like to me and what qualities must they have?”, “What kind of activities would I be engaging in with my tribe?”, “What am I willing to contribute to my tribal community?”, “What would it feel like to have a tribe and belong to one?” These questions not only give you a sense of what you’re looking for in a tribe but it gives clues on where to find them.
- Set your intentions and stay open-minded: Clarity and setting your intention will open the energetic pathway for the right people to walk into your life. When you’re ready to find your tribe, declare to the Universe that are ready to meet people with whom you can work together to elevate each other’s consciousness. If you have a spiritual inclination, you can perform symbolic rites such as creating a home altar, burning incense or writing down your intentions in your journal. Performing these acts will create a deep impression on your subconscious mind and make you more cognizant of your desires. Once you do this, you need to surrender your control over the situation and stay open to how your desire to meet your tribe is going to manifest in your life. The less attached you are to the outcome, the better you feel.
- Join groups that interest you: Finding your tribe will require a plan of action and a well-thought-out strategy. Although you can meet people who feel like they are part of your tribe in random places such as social gatherings, cafes, bookstores and supermarkets, you can increase your odds of meeting them if you go to the right places. Make a list of your hobbies, interests and causes that ignite your passions and then join classes, groups, workshops or organizations that are related to them. Chances are high that you’ll meet like-minded folks who share your value system and have a similar worldview as you do. When you meet these individuals who you hope could become part of your tribe, take the initiative to invite them to your inner circle. Get creative about how you’ll stay in touch with them but make it a point to connect with your tribe and plan activities together with them on a regular basis.
Renowned business expert Jim Rohn once said that you’re the average of the five people that you most associate with. This implies that your success depends a lot on who you spend time with. By forming ties with your tribe, you’ll not only stimulate your own spiritual evolution but the elevation of global consciousness through the love, inspiration and magic that you and your tribe will generate together.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What are you willing to do to find your own tribe? How important is it that you find them and what do you hope to achieve once you find them?