I think I started getting into the notion of tribes a view years ago after I read some Mastin Kipp posts. Since then the word has seemed to infiltrate my life. Yesterday it popped up on my timeline in a hashtag #igolutribe (freaking cool!). And with my birthday Tuesday and Thanksgiving today, I’ve really got it flowing in my brain waves.
Call it a tribe. A clan. Your peeps. Your posse. Your family. Your friends. Your squad. Your people. Whatever, the adjective, they are the people who surround you.
Take a moment.
Who are those people for you? Who do you spend the most time with? Are they positive? Do they build you up? Do they light you up? Are they energy vampires? Do they suck you into drama and bullshit? Do you thrive with them? Do they encourage you in your dreams? Can you be vulnerable in front of them? Can you cry in front of them? Is there space to be honest, real and completely raw at times? Can you be yourself, 100% completely embracing the weird and genius you?
In recent years I have become hyper aware and conscious of TIME. Notably, who I spend time with. For time is valuable to me. The one fight my ex (and still friend) and I had was over this very thing. Where I felt he was disrespecting my time. He wasn’t on time or wouldn’t check in to tell me he was late or wanted to change plans. I’m a big girl I can handle no. But respect my time. I am CHOOSING to spend time with you. If you don’t respect it, then I will choose to spend time with someone else. Boundaries set.
Add to this the awareness of WHAT AM I CONTRIBUTING? What’s the energy I am putting out there? Am I being negative? Am I gossiping? Am I being a downer? Am I thinking of me, myself and I? Or am I being loving? Kind? Open? Funny? Am I lighting up and working that room? Am I allowing others to be vulnerable? Am I listening or talking over people or lost in my own head space? Am I engaging? How about eye contact? Is that there? Am I warm and inviting? Would I approach me? Would I want to be friends with me? Am I being authentic?
Put yourself on both sides. Think about it.
Take a moment.
I always go back to Victor Frankl. We choose. Life presents us with opportunities. We choose our path. We choose our careers. If you’re unhappy in your job? Why stay? If it doesn’t bring you joy? Why continue? Tomorrow is never guaranteed? Why waste time doing things you don’t want, with people who don’t inspire you?
YOU DESERVE THE BEST.
Yes you. And me. I deserve the best. And that’s what I want. That’s what I create. That’s what I have around me. And more to that story, I shift. I change my attitude and approach. Instead of focusing on someone driving you nuts, focus on something you love about that person. Instead of judging them, put yourself in their shoes for a moment.
LOVE. LOVE MORE.
When I am struggling with someone, I tell myself to love more. I got in a fight with my father last month. My conditioned thoughts were all doom and gloom: I am unlovable. I felt alone. I felt sorry for myself. I am a hider. When I am hurt, I want to throw myself on my bed, curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out. After the initial fight as I was making the decent towards my bed, gathering up the steam for a good cry, I caught myself. What the hell are you doing?
YOU CANNOT CONTROL ANYONE ELSE?
Boom, this hit me on the way down. And I stopped. I sat up. I wiped my eyes. I got my phone. I sent out an apology. Because I can only control my reaction/response. I do not have to retaliate with anger, fear, bitterness, and pain. Just because I feel hurt doesn’t mean I have to hurt someone else. And so I chose forgiveness. I chose to say I love you first. I am sorry. Each relationship is a two way street. Are you causing chaos, wrecking and creating havoc?
Back to the tribe. What’s the vibe you put out? What are you attracting? Who are you attracting?
Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Working at Java (a local coffee shop) I was around some artsy people. Meeting and becoming friends with my girl Julie has inspired me to get back to my art. We have done canvas paintings for each other’s apartments. We both contributed to a local adult coloring book. We paint the windows at the restaurant I work for. Besides that we are similar, she gets it (me). We can sit on my couches with no music, TV or phones, completely devoid of distractions, and talk for hours. In a time when we ‘connect’ (are connected ALL the time) online and not in person, this is vital to me. Something about it lights up my soul. This interaction. This connection. This transpiring of ideas. Of life. Where the person is sitting in front of you and you feel their energy. It is exciting. It is engaging. You listen. You talk. And more importantly, you talk and are heard.
Surround yourself with people who show up. When I broke up with my boyfriend recently, my best friend came to my door at 3 am to be with me. She sees me cries. She has seen the scared, lost Brittany. She has been there for my rock bottom. We lie in bed and talk. Talk about life and love and dreams and all it. There is nothing we can’t talk about. We have fun too. And then most times we just pass out, content being near each other. Same with my friends Chelsey and Heather. I have always been a highly independent, kind of recluse. This recluse (and the movie Burnt) has taught me its okay to need people and to lean in for help. Receive help. Get help. If I call. If they call. We are there.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you. People who build you up. I love my bosses and my job. They are good at building me up. Telling me I’m awesome and valuable. I feel so loved in this environment (which is good since I spend a lot of time there). And they also give me advice and tell me how I can be better. Look at my cousin Jacki. She spouts bliss and goals and possibility. She invited me to do this igolu work. She encouraged me. She believes in me. In Bliss Delish.
I recently did some interviews for my igolu homework. It was empowering and eye-opening to say the least. One thing I learned is the value of perspective. I am surrounded by people who not only believe in me and my dreams, but they believe I can do anything I set my mind to. POWERFUL. I am a fierce, badass. And I have people around me pushing me to be better. To keep dreaming. Who tell me I’m a great baker. That I’m loving and kind. That I inspire them. They tell me to expand. Get a bus. Go to the market. Write a cookbook. Travel. Write. Cabin café in the woods. Outdoor kitchen. Cooking classes. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your vision.
What do you want in life? This list can keep going. Surround yourself with people who are positive. If you are surrounded by negative, fault-finders, how are you supposed to be happy and positive? Surround yourself with people who bring you joy. Who makes you smile? Every time I see my friend Amy I have to smile. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Like really laugh. Like makes your face hurt, grab your stomach, double over in laughter laughing. Surround yourself with people who are honest. People who keep it real. People who love you and want nothing but the best for you. And they will call you out on your shit. That’s right, that’s what I want. I come from a no-bull-shit family. And so I truly value my dad, sister and grandma notably for keeping it real. I want people to tell me what I NEED to hear, not just what they think I WANT to hear. Don’t worry about my feelings, I’ll handle that. Let me learn. Help me!
Surround yourself with people who warm your heart. Thinking of or talking to my genuine, so-sweet brother melts my heart. Surround yourself with children. Sometimes when I am having a tough day, I just need to see my nephews. Whether it is the 2 year-old twins or Gavin or Trenton. I need that untouched innocence. That purity. I watched the twins run around my mother’s dining room table for 30 minutes, having the time of their life. They were running around a table? As adults we tend to let life weighs us down, we need the lightness of a child.
Now flip. Flip the coin. What are you doing for your tribe?
Be kind. Love. Say I love you. Show your love. Believe. Fiercely believe in other people, they need it just like you. Listen. Engage. Smile. Laugh. Give good energy and vibes. Stay positive. Hold yourself accountable. Become aware. Aware of your thoughts. Apologize. Forgive. Be open. Be vulnerable. Allow space for others to feel vulnerable. Hug. Give really good hugs. Laugh. Light. Be a light. Be grateful. Tell them. Tell others that you value them. That they are important to you. Life is precious, tell people while you have the opportunity. Be kind. Put your phone away. Help. Help in any way you can.
Edit. Edit your life. Edit your goals. Edit your tribe.
Who is in your tribe? Who do you give your time to? Who do you create space for?