Who's in your tribe?
We all have a tribe. You do. You really need your tribe. It keeps you just a little bit more sane than you would be otherwise without one. Otherwise you’d be floating around in nothingness. No one likes that feeling.
I recently read an article in Wellbeing Magazine about the breakdown of our tribes and community and the increase of isolation and loneliness. This is an epidemic although we can also take steps to connect with like-minded people and find our tribes and change the world.
I’ve been paying attention to some of my tribes – I actually have a number of them when I think about it. We all do. At the moment, I’m LOVING my football team that is keeping me active and very present. When I’m on the pitch running around (thinking I need to train more and panting like a large dog!) I’m watching my team mates, the ball and totally going with the flow. I have the competitive urge to win and still get butterflies in my belly before the starting whistle, but then I’m in the zone. Generally my family doesn’t come to watch and I don't mind. There’s no pressure, I can just be 16 years old again without a care in the world. In my head I’m like Sam Kerr taking a penalty and winning it all for the team. That is until I trip or air swing or can’t catch that player when reality hits that I might not be as fast as I was at 16. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the yelling and shouting of the girls on my team as we give it our all and totally lose ourselves in the game. We don’t win all that often, but we are having a go and losing ourselves in the experience. It feels so great to be alive and hanging in the sisterhood. Women really need other women and I’ll happily shout this from the rooftops. You don’t have to join a spots team – have more coffee dates. Start a book club. Take a pottery class. Learn to fly. Join your local bee keeping club.
My husband also has his tribes. He's a Type 1 Diabetic and has been for over 30 years. He looks after himself by staying active and eating well. Lately he’s been so great at having a chat with others that are just starting their diabetic journeys to reassure them and give them pointers to cope and get a grip on their new reality. He’s building a new tribe of people that he can totally relate to and is realising what expertise he has and how important it is to share with others. This tribe is really fueling him and giving him purpose the more people he speaks to. The recipient also gets a chance to share and let their guard down as they learn how to adapt their lifestyle and live a full life of meaning.
My boys also both play football and I love watching the regular ritual of arriving at training or a game as they all clasp hands with the coach and each other to say hello (pre-Covid). They connect for a brief moment as they make there way through the group one by one and acknowledge the other. They’re learning respect for their coach and parents and also their peers. No one is left out and all engage. They are totally part of a tribe and I see how much confidence and pride they get being with their group. This has been a beautiful side effect and it’s magical to watch.
We build our tribes one at a time. What does your tribe look like?