Like so many others who struggle to find their tribe I spent much of my life pretending my need to find a group of people among whom I could be unconditionally accepted, while staying in alignment with my true nature wasn’t that important to me.
Although I had my share of friends, most of them weren’t friends with each other, and I always felt I had to change myself to fit in and be accepted.
I was often too introvert for the extroverts and too extrovert for the introverts. I was too clever for the average kids and too average for the clever kids. Too sensitive for the tough kids and too tough for the sensitive kids, too uncool for the popular kids, too cool for the unpopular kids, too good for the bad kids and too bad for the good kids…
You get the picture.
For years I tried to find ‘my tribe’, but no matter what I tried, I always felt apart rather than a part.
Then I met someone who introduced me to the spiritual concept of ‘my ego creating a separation story that distanced me from the belonging I craved’. I thought it was all a bit ‘woo woo’ at first, but gradually discovered something that should be really obvious to all of us. I eventually realised that before I stood any chance of finding my true tribe, first I had to discover my own true nature, without ego.
I sense the ‘Spiritual Message’ was that exploring my vulnerabilities and hidden fears would set me on the path or journey to finding my true nature.
I am now in my mid 50s and it has taken this long to let go of my ego and accept that I am among the tribe of life’s LOST, LONELY, FAILURES and MISFITS.
That might sound a little harsh and negative to some of you, especially if you are life’s winners, everyone loves you, you’re always right and free to live your life your way – as long as everyone else does what you say. If we’re honest with ourselves, very few of us belong to that elite tribe.
I like my tribe because there is huge power in accepting myself for who I am at any given time in my life. In the good times and the bad.
I am not always lost, not always lonely, sometimes I succeed and often fit in naturally these days. That’s because…
- Being lost enables me to find my self and others like me.
- Being lonely enables me to learn to love myself and give others permission to love me too.
- Failure in life enables me to develop the wisdom to know my self better and know others better.
- Knowing and accepting my true self gives me the courage to free my self and be myself regardless of what anyone else thinks and in so doing set an example others can easily follow .
My tribe are people ‘like’ me. Their true power comes from the inside out.
I am sure I’m not alone in my desire to be part of a tribe, so if you’re trying to find yours, let me share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
- Be mindful in your intention-setting.
Your mind (ego) likes to follow well worn and trusted pathways of thought. Most of the time we run habitual thought patterns that lead us unconsciously back to the same conclusions, understanding and ideas time and time again. If you are looking for new conclusions, understandings and ideas, set an intention and mindfully follow the path that leads in that direction. Practising Natural Mindfulness can help you watch out for distractions and resist falling back onto auto-pilot.
- You’re special but you’re not special.
Sometimes we let our sense of being “different” or “special” get in the way of belonging – that’s our ego. Understand that each of us is unique and individual, but we’re also much more alike than it may appear on the surface when we wear masks and lack the courage to be vulnerable or afraid. Don’t let your ego’s separation story keep you from belonging. Underneath our egos is a matrix of Universal energy that unites us all. We all hold within us sparks of divinity, and when we tap into the Oneness, the illusion of separateness dissolves and we’re left with what we most crave – intimate connection with life source – nature.
- Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
Take a class. Join a group. Sign up for a workshop. Find a community that feels authentic and lights you up. Engage in activities that empower you. Check out our Cotswold a Natural Mindfulness walkshttp://www.cotswoldnaturalmindfulness.uk you might like them.
- Be non-judgemental.
Someone from your tribe might be standing right next to you in the supermarket, at a networking meeting or sat next to you on a train, but if you label them as “other” because you don’t like how they look, what they say, or what they do, you might pass a person by who underneath is just like you. You probably look that way to someone when you are not fully engaged in being you. Instead of judging someone, dare to smile at them (genuinely) make eye contact and start a natural conversation. Look past the surface and see the person within. The more true you are to yourself, the easier it is to see past the masks others wear.
- Be discerning.
While judgement and criticism erect barriers between you and your tribe, you also won’t resonate with everyone you meet. This is where discernment comes in. Get clear on the kind of community you hope to attract. Be honest about your own needs and be willing to communicate them. Ask for what you are looking for and invite others to do the same. Set healthy boundaries, allow your experience and intuition to guide you, but leave your heart open to possibility too.
- Call to your tribe.
Don’t just sit around and wait for your people to find you. Put your desires and wishes out there on social media. Blog about your tribe, so people can tell if they long to be part of it. Be specific about what you long for. If you’re starting a purple hair tribe, tell them! If only vegetarian moon-dancers need to apply, be honest and courageous to say so. You’ll be surprised how easy it can be if you’re brave enough to speak your truth unapologetically. You are not alone, the world is a big place and we have better access to the world now more than ever through the Internet and quick and easy transportation and travel opportunities.
- Take action.
When you meet people who light you up – the ones you hope will become part of your tribe – be brave enough to invite them to be part of your inner circle. Tell them how much you enjoy and admire them. Be unabashed about your affection and respect. Set a date to get together and connect with them. Set up a Facebook group, arrange offline MeetUps. Start a community, get together to mastermind your businesses, plan a retreat together, or get creative in other ways. Be a leader and others will follow your example.
“You’re Officially Invited to Join My Tribe”
For many years I wanted to gather my tribe together in a new and vibrant way, so we could enjoy life together, nurture each other, support each other in our personal growth, bounce creative ideas around, share knowledge and advice, network professionally, and see past the masks we all wear to witness the true nature and light within each of us.
Walking in nature with natural mindfulness is me putting everything I learned about finding my tribe into action. It’s like the law of attraction in action. I am now connecting with like-minded people on a daily basis both online and offline on the growing number of Natural Mindfulness walks we create each month.
If you resonate with my message then perhaps you are a part of this tribe too.
Feel free to make contact online via Facebook or email and if you can, join us offline for a Natural Mindfulness walk very soon.
Have You Already Found Your Tribe?
Do you already have a tribe? If you’ve found your people, where did you find them? What tips can you share for those who are still looking? If you haven’t found your tribe yet, tell us what you’re seeking. You never know who might come across the comments on this post, looking for someone just like you…
Ian Banyard is a Nature Connection Guide and author of Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection. He is passionate about exploring nature and empowering people. Ian combines a wealth of knowledge and experience from his personal and corporate life with intuitive and instinctive insights from his own inner journey, to guide others.
Ian lives in Gloucestershire, UK where he guides Natural Mindfulness Walks and provides coaching, courses, gatherings and retreats, for others who want to deepen their connection with nature and their true nature.
To attend a Natural Mindfulness Walk or event, visit Natural Mindfulness Walks
Want to experience Natural Mindfulness for yourself?
Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection, is AVAILABLE NOW.
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