We Are Family

The energies lately seem to be reawakening a need, desire, hope to find like minded people to spend time with, learn from, share life’s victories and turmoils.  Spending life hiding behind the curtain and peeking out keeps us all isolated and in many ways adrift from being able to make that connection with one another.  We need to pull together in order to make it through yet for so many, we’ve been on our own for so long we truly are neophytes in the intricacies of social gathering.

Abraham Maslow nailed it when he introduced the world to the Hierarchy of Needs.  His theory has provided a psychological blueprint since the 1940’s. People all need to have their physical needs met, to feel safe, be loved and accepted, develop self-esteem and eventually reach the level of self actualization and transcendence. If your life is functioning at a level that you’re worried about not having enough to eat or keeping a roof over your head, that will be where you focus your energies: survival. The need for belonging follows then leads to achievement, self-respect, independence and prestige. Lastly we can focus on reaching our potential, seeking personal growth, or having peak experiences.  In the 1960-70’s, Maslow’s work was amended to include cognitive needs of seeking knowledge and meaning as well as aesthetic needs and appreciation for beauty, balance, and form. Transcendence is now the pinnacle in helping others reach self actualization.

I lived under the radar for years, so afraid of persecution and ridicule that it was easier to hide. I read whatever I could get my hands on and when the internet exploded, the floodgates opened with validation that I wasn’t alone in how I view the world. Despite the social media frenzy and global web of connection, so many are lonely; afraid of being vulnerable, not being enough, being unwanted or feeling too weird to show the world their truest self.  Maslow was pretty spot on, most of us want to feel unconditionally loved and accepted in all of our imperfection.

Lissa Rankin, MD. gives 7 steps for finding your tribe:

  1. Be mindful in your intention setting.  In setting an intention you are releasing who you’ve been to allow who you are becoming to emerge. Meditation, drumming, writing down what you want to let go of and burning the paper are all forms of ritual that help when you are setting a new intention for what or who you would like to manifest in your life.
  2. You’re special but you’re not that special. We are all special little snowflakes but we are each connected to Divine and interconnected to the Collective Unconscious and Knowing.  If you let ego dictate how special you are, it may deter you from fitting in and allowing yourself to put your guard down enough to have fun.
  3. Surround yourself with like minded individuals. This is where you can fly your freak flag a bit. What do you want and love to do? Is it an art class? Book club? Running a marathon? Dancing tango? If you cringe at the thought of an activity, event, or outing, why the hell do it?  Chances are pretty damn good these aren’t the folks you want to be hanging out with if you don’t enjoy what is going on.
  4. Ditch judgment. Look past the societal expectations of who can be your friend. Age, style, background, anything that prevents you from seeing who someone really is underneath the packaging or preconceived notions.
  5. Be discerning. Be clear on what kind of community you want to attract and be honest with yourself about your needs.  An incredibly important question to ask yourself is: Do I feel safe enough to be vulnerable?
  6. Call in your tribe. Speak up. Join an online group. Start a group. Be brave enough to put it out there what you’re looking for from your tribe.
  7. Don’t be shy. Take action. Invite people to be a part of your inner circle. Start a new circle. It doesn’t have to be life long buddies in all areas. Be flexible and open.

 

Above and beyond everything else, be gentle with yourself.  Treat yourself as kindly and with as much generosity and thoughtfulness as you treat your friends. We feel most at home with people who support our highest good and want the best for us. Please realize you bring so much to people and so very much deserve to feel accepted and validated. The true answer always seems to revert back to do it your way. Kinship of spirit is not necessarily based on location or previous relationship but more on who you are here and now on your unique journey. What characteristics do people in your tribe generally possess? Are they quirky? Intellectual? Athletic? Artsy?  All that matters is there is something that feels right and true; that speaks to your soul and reminds you that you’re who you are for a reason and you’re okay. We’re here to look out for each other and help one another navigate this long and winding road. Safe travels to you and your tribe!

 

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