Finding Your Tribe: Authenticity
Day 88 of 100 days of Blogging
In 1989, I was in an Insight seminar doing an exercise called a “Stretch”. The assignment for each of us was to do a short speech, a skit, or express something to the group of 50 people in the room that would stretch us, take us out of our comfort zone but not put us into a frozen state of panic. For my stretch, I had dressed up like a fairy godmother. I wore a lilac, poofy-sleeved bridesmaid dress and bought a Toys R Us fairy wand. I stood at the front of the room to call in the energy and slowly, softly and deliberately, I walked around the circle of people pausing to bless each person. Holding eye contact, I sent them love. Tapping them on the shoulder, I blessed them. In that moment I was everything I came here to be. They received my blessing, my presence, my power and it opened the door to me being more of me. When the facilitators asked me why that was a stretch for me, I shared that I rarely acknowledged how much personal power I have. I kept it hidden even from myself and I rarely stood in a group and let people see it.
Two years earlier I had left an abusive marriage and at the time of the Insight Seminar, I was still fighting my husband for custody of our children in court. At times I felt quite powerless. The experience in the Stretch gave me a touchstone. I had felt my quiet strength. I had seen the look in the eyes of each participant who I blessed and I knew that what I was transmitting something. I could see it in their faces.
I had found my tribe. A place where I could authentically be myself, where I was encouraged to be me and where I could explore and practice. Keep learning, make mistakes, start using my super powers more consciously and live life in a new way.
I met my second husband in that Insight tribe, found some close friends who are still in my life 30 years later. Supporting each other in love. There have been times when we have agreed and times when we have disagreed. Both are important in a tribe. Like-minded does not always mean you agree on everything.
That tribe was the beginning of learning to seek and find other tribes. Sometimes it would be around a 30 day project or a ten year passion project. I found people who had a similar interest and we banded together to support, learn and grow together.
I found and nourished a tribe when I was homeschooling my kids in an unschooling, community based learning style, a Shaklee community with people who were using alternative healing and nutrition when I was recovering from an autoimmune condition, an Evolutionary Women tribe where making conscious choices to create change were encouraged and embraced, a Heal My Voice tribe of authors writing our stories together in community. I know that each tribe has opened my eyes to new ideas, to creativity, to passions, and to explore who I am.
A tribe satisfies the human need to belong. A tribe should raise you up, not hold you down. Cultivate relationships in more than one tribe and be ready to take a break from the tribe or move on when it is time. Some tribes are long term and some are short term.
To connect with a tribe that would support you right now:
1. Ask yourself questions:
*What am I longing for?
*Where do I need support?
*What skills and talents can I give to the tribe?
2. Set an intention. Use the answers you discovered to carve a focus, to build the energy and call in your tribe.
3. Take inspired action.
*Take a class (a class may be your tribe)
*Go to a meet-up
*Follow up with someone you meet at a gathering.
*Trust your feelings
*Take steps to build relationships.
As you enter this new year with shiny, bright, promising intentions for the year, be sure to spend time reflecting on the support and the tribe you need to make it happen!
Now…Go for it!
Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voices to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.
She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.