I was asked after my last post how to create a Tribe or a Community.
The bad news is that as with any relationships, it is not overnight, or even in a month. Forming a Tribe takes time and discernment and a matching of energies – the same as friendship! Because what is it if not friendship where you are willing to open and share heart talk that makes for that special community?
That said, the good news is that there are a ton of articles out there with great ideas. LOTS of great ideas – which means you’re going to have to do some work. But if you really want community, it’s worth it!
This tends to be all about bloom where you’re planted. While my art isn’t the type that attracts crowds here in Southern Maryland (the on-going joke which is totally based in fact is that you have to paint birds, boats, barns or bridges if you want to sell art), it has attracted a closely-connected cadre of friends (who just also happen to occasionally do birds, boats, barn or bridges in their respective art forms. Except me. I do goddesses.).
And you don’t have to move to find yourself in need of a community. Sometimes the “move” is an internal shift that moves you out of what were comfortable circles seeking something else because those circles are not longer comfortable – they pinch and rub.
So I’ve put together some ideas for gathering your Tribe:
1. Before you start gathering the how, take a minute and decide what you’re looking for. There is enough information out there that you could spend a lot of time running down the wrong trail and setting things in motion that aren’t helpful if you haven’t gotten clear on why you want a Tribe and what you want to do with them? That will definitely also affect how many you want in your Tribe from 1 more to 100 or more. Set realistic expectations. The more specific you are about who your Tribe is, the longer it’s going to take to gather them. And it’s worth it!
2. Does your tribe have to be in person? Or can it be on-line? Some of my current bffs are on-line buddies! And some of your on-line buddies may be close enough to become face-to-face buddies. Mine your on-line hangouts (Facebook, Pinterest, favorite blogs, favorite newsletters) and see what they have to offer.
3. Make a list of your interests and run through where and what you do around those interests, and follow up in your locale.
4. Take a retreat close to home and see who you meet. Take a continuing ed class.
5. Check your local on-line and print media and see if there are any networking, neighborhood or newcomer groups you can join. If there aren’t any, create one yourself.
6. Talk to people while you’re waiting in line. Tell them what you’re looking for. Interview people (pretend or actually write an article or a book). Ask them if they have a Tribe and how they found them. Ask them who else you should be talking to.
7. Start a book club, or a bird watching club, or a plein air group (if you’re a painter). Like wildlife? Check local environmental organizations and join in what they’re doing.
8. Volunteer! Research nonprofits in your area and pick one whose mission you can passionately support.
9. Invite friends to invite a friend to a potluck and see what happens.
10. Host salons (A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. Find someone interesting? Invite them to lead a discussion and then invite folks you think will be interested)
11. Get politically active around an issue.
12. Share your skills, whatever they are.
13. Google “finding my tribe” and see what comes up. Here’s what came up for me:
Find Your Tribe… this is a blog by Jennifer Louden that is *very* comprehensive. Be sure to read the comments for even more Tribe-finding gold!
There you go. No better time to start than now!