The Power of Authentic Tribe

A friend of mine, Dakota (not her real name), is going through a painful breakup. She’s a very independent person, someone who is more likely to be found supporting others through their troubled times than reaching out for help. But in this case she stopped listening to the voices in her head that told her she didn’t need – or deserve – support.

She called me and was very specific about her needs. “I’d like to come over to your house for a fire, maybe invite a couple of other people, and spend time together. I need to be with my tribe, with certain people who I know will understand.”

We gathered on a weekend afternoon. We talked and cried and laughed and chose Tarot cards that made us gasp and giggle. Another friend joined us and we lit a fire in the fire pit. We listened to Dakota and helped her figure things out – and sometimes joined her in cursing the choices of her former partner. We talked about and supported her own choices in moving forward, offered several options and urged her to follow her heart.

We were there for her in the way she’d asked.

Not that Dakota’s group of friends wouldn’t have supported her anyway – but it was so much easier to do when she spoke up to ask and to clearly state what she wanted.

She tapped into the power of her tribe, of friends who she knew would support and encourage her in her hour of need.

The power of tribe is vast and essential. Your tribe has a huge influence on your life, in both good times and bad. You can choose to be around healthy people – and by that I mean people who are beneficial for you to be around.

It’s not something that necessarily comes naturally to us, this deliberate choice of who we spend our precious time with. Often our group of friends is a matter of happenstance – those we work with, went to school with or know through a mutual acquaintance. We group with neighbors or the parents of our kids’ friends, often without really thinking about it much.

So take a moment to think about it now.

Who are the people in your tribe you’d call upon for encouragement when facing a difficult decision? Who are the friends who are always supportive? Who do you trust most to treat your heart’s deepest desires with respect and kindness? Who knows you as your most authentic self, and loves you fully – flaws and all?

Now turn it around – who are the people for whom you perform this essential role? Who do you find it easy to love unconditionally? Who do you see clearly and love deeply?

These are the members of your authentic tribe.

Can’t think of anyone? Don’t panic. There’s always time to find your people, and to open yourself more fully to those in your community who feel safe to you. They’re out there. We all have our tribe; we just might not have met them yet.

By finding and surrounding yourself with people who are authentic tribe members, you’re tapping into collective energies that will uplift all of you. Humans are tribal beings. We can accomplish more together, when our energies are united in harmony, then we ever can alone.

In modern culture we often get used to friends who tease or put us down, discourage us from our dreams or just aren’t fun for us to be with. They can be perfectly awesome people but you just don’t resonate with them – and that’s okay. You can even spend time with them when you choose – but for your authentic tribe, you want to gather the people who lift you up, support you in your true desires and make you laugh. Surround yourself with people who, although they may have wide varieties of backgrounds and interests, nonetheless “get” you.

When those supportive energies are shared, magic happens. You’ll have fun spending time with them, certainly, but you’ll also find that you’re empowered to make positive changes you might not have made on your own. You’ll doubt yourself less and trust more.

And when you do have a problem you need help with, you can gather your tribe around you. They’ll bring the wine or coffee, Tarot cards and big hugs. They’ll encourage you to follow your heart. When they come to you in tears, you’ll do the same for them happily.

These are your people – the power of your authentic tribe.

Nikki Starcat Shields is an author, book midwife and leader of transformational writing retreats. She's also a licensed Pagan priestess. She invites you to a process of unfolding creativity. The world needs your unique wisdom - now is the time to finally take your inspired book idea and bring it forth into the world. Learn more on her website.

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