Dedicated with deepest love to Ria Yarker.
We need our tribe now more than ever before. We all need to experience love, connection and belonging. It is intrinsic to who we are as human beings. It is part of our make-up. We are fundamentally social or ‘group’ beings. And yet we live in a time where our sense of community and living in family groups is more eroded than ever before. In recent decades the direction of travel has been all about the individual rather than the collective. And I think that we are paying a price for this, in terms of our health and well-being.
In this article I want to explore how finding your tribe can truly support your health and wellbeing. How creating authentic connections can give you more energy, joy and vitality. How finding your real ‘family’ is essential to living your fullest life, without needing to abandon those who love you.. But before we dive deep into this, let me ask you this:
Do you ever feel like you are in it on your own?
Do you feel like you are trying to get your message out, but no one is listening?
Have you felt that you have to hide parts of who you really are or dumb things down because the people around you dont relate to this verison of you?
Find yourself thinking: I was born in the wrong family! Or I’m in the wrong job! This isn’t me at all!
Then the missing piece could be that you haven’t yet found your tribe!
What do we mean by ‘your tribe’?
Our need for connection, being seen and being heard goes very deep. It sits at the very centre of our health and wellbeing. We are designed to be ‘in group’. And not just any old group, but that one that resonates with you.
In physics, resonance has a very specific meaning. Take a sound wave eg a soprano holding a powerful note. When the vibration of that note matches the vibration of its environment, things explode. Literally!! This is how sound can break a glass.
Our hearts produce an electromagnetic field which is thought to be many times stronger than that produced by our brain. The Institute of Heart Maths has carried out a lot of the research in this area. This can have a profound influence on our health. For example, the effects of a mother’s loving gaze on her newborn baby is accompanied by an expansion of the heart’s electromagnetic fields, We now know that one person’s electromagnetic field can alter the brain waves in another person’s brain.
So it is not such a far fetched idea to think that when we are with people who get us, who experience feelings of kindness and compassion, understanding and connection towards us, would have an influence on our well-being
So when you find your tribe, it is like finding your ‘sweet spot’ for life. Your normal energies are amplified through resonating with what is around you.
Your tribe are the people who allow you to experience a sense of coming home. You feel like you belong. You feel they simply ‘get you’ and they speak your language. Your tribe hold similar beliefs and values to you. They care deeply about the same things as you. And it is these people that will resonate with you. In other words, let you find that sweet spot for living your life.
How does finding your tribe connect to health and well-being?
First of all there is the pain and stress of being ‘ disconnected’ from people. It is well known that social isolation is extremely stressful. This is why it is a recognised form of bullying: to ‘socially excluded’ someone. Or why being put into solitary confinement can make people suicidal. On a less dramatic level, simply living an isolated life, away from people, away from conversation and the experience of connection, can be deeply stressful. And unfortunately, a lot of people live like this. It is very common for people to feel lonely, disconnected or invisible. And it has a huge impact on us, mentally, physically and emotionally.
And the opposite is also true: that if we want to be our very best self in this lifetime, if we want to make a difference, contribute, and serve, we need our tribe to be able to fulfill on this.
As human beings we need connection. And not just to be ‘ not on our own’ but to be seen, heard, and witnessed in our lives. This is fundamental to our emotional well-being.
On a physical level, going it alone can rapidly deplete our energy, our life force and our vitality. The physical impact of chronic stress alone is breath-taking. It fundamentally alters our physiology and set us up for things like: high blood pressure, diabetes,depression, a higher risk of cancer, a compromised immune system, and even poor memory.
When researchers looked into the Blue Zones, the communities in the world where people regularly live to over 100 years old, the staggering finding was not the excellence of their medical systems, but the quality of their communities. Finding your tribe, and being with those you love and who love you for who you really are, can literally make you live longer.
And what about the effects of finding your tribe on a spiritual level? Does feeling heard, seen, loved, nurtured, understood and cared about making a difference? Absolutely! Spiritual qualities like creativity, fulfilling your life purpose, and feeling aligned with your higher self are all important if we want to live the fullest life we are capable of living.
So on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level, finding your tribe has a huge impact on health and wellbeing.
What happens when we find out tribe?
Spending time with people who get us, who value us and who want to hear what we have to say, is incredibly powerful and as you can now see, it’s an essential part of awesome health.
It gives you more energy, because you are no longer navigating the seas of life on your own. There is a reason that birds fly in formation! Because they share the burden of carving out the flight path! Of working hard into the headwind. Of being the first. They take it in turns, to lead or be led.
It means we are more balanced. We can give as well as receive. Because it gets pretty tiring always being the one who is leading, putting out the ideas, the thoughts, the new way of working. We need to fill and be filled.
We have more courage and we live more boldly. We feel safe to take more risks, try out new things, and so open the door for being an expansive and more expressive human being.
We become healthier, as the work on Blue Zones shows. When we are connected to our tribe, we are no longer doing all the heavy lifting. When we surround ourselves with people who see us for who and what we really are, who encourage us, and who invite us to step up into our own truth, that is when the show can really begin! It’s powerful stuff!
Let me share my tribe with you!
I have spent the last 4 years exploring the world of functional medicine (FM). There were 2 powerful triggers that set me off on this path. One was my own health collapsing around my ears (burnout, chronic fatigue, depression – yes, that delightful little trio!). Despite doing all the right things, I was getting worse not better and this is what led me to look for and find another way. And eventually I found FM.
The other one was my need to find professional fulfillment. I have always been driven by a desire to help people, to make a difference and to live my life to the fullest. Nothing makes me happier! As an NHS GP I was passionate about a person-centred approach and a holistic approach, and using ‘natural’ means whenever possible. But it left me feeling like I was trying to do the impossible in ‘10 minute slices of time’. I just could seem to ‘ do the job’ the way my colleagues were doing it and it left me feeling like a failure.
When I found functional medicine, I literally had a light bulb moment of ‘ oh wow, this is what I have been trying to do all this time!’. I had been trying to put a square peg into a round hole.
Since meeting my FM ‘family’, I feel like I have come home and I have flourished. Last Saturday, I attended a one day conference where dr Jeffrey Bland, one of the founding members of the FM movement, was a keynote speaker. Hearing him talk about wellness, helping the body to heal, and the power of community was so inspiring. Even just walking around in the crowd of FM practitioners, I could feel my shoulders relaxed and my breathing ease. All day my mind felt busy and fizzy with all the amazing concepts, thoughts and ideas that were being presented.
You instantly know when you walk into a room full of people who speak your language, who believe in what you do, and who are also living and breathing this work, exactly the way you do!! Being with them allows you to feel taller, more like yourself, and like you can be who you really are. Deep in your heart. It’s an absolute thrill!!
And this is what it looks like when you are with your tribe.You feel wide awake. You can speak freely, with openness and without holding back. Your mind is full of amazing thoughts you didn’t even know you had and ideas are just popping up all over the place. You have the most incredible energy. And everything feels very expansive, and possible. It’s like being in love!!
There is no greater gift in life that to be able to live in a way that is true to who you really are,and to feel fully expressed. To me this is the ultimate in health, And this is why I am urging you to find your tribe!!
“ Finding your tribe is like being in love.”
3 Ways to find your tribe.
So by now you might well be thinking, ok you’ve persuaded me. I’m convinced I need to find my tribe. But where can you start? Here are 3 pointers to finding your tribe.
- It starts with YOU!
Last week we spoke about getting out of overwhelm and back into your power (https://drmargriet.com/how-reclaim-your-power-and-ditch-the-overwhelm/) And a big part of this, is being who you really are, first and foremost. And here we are talking about this again!
So it is worth taking the time to do some digging. To reflect on what is really important to you. What are your beliefs and values? What do you feel strongly about in this world, and what difference would you like to make in this area? What has you in the flow? What excites you beyond measure?
2) We attract our tribe!
You can’t ‘dial-a-tribe’. You can’t do a google search for one, or order one on Amazon. Because the secret is much more subtle and powerful. And it is this:
You need to attract your tribe.
So how do you do that? Easy, you spend time and energy investing in YOU. The more you step into who you really are, what lifts you up, and what gives you true joy and meaning in your life, for you and your heart, then people who’ recognise’ this energy in you, will start coming your way. Some people like to call this ‘ the law of attraction’, but I like to think of it simply as, ‘we know what we love’. We all have this capacity.
We know exactly when we are attracted to a person, or a place, or a project. Because it resonates with us. So the more time you spend in this energy of what make you feel truly alive and on fire, the more you will attract your real tribe.
The more you can connect to the feeling of joy, happiness, excitement and creativity , the more easily other people can recognise you! So go for it! Get clear on what you believe in, and what you don’t. What inspires you, and what doesn’t. Who or what ignites your passions, and what leaves you cold. And then spend time iwth this stuff, as much as possible.
3) Stay in your own centre.
Even when we start to connect to our tribe, to the people who really hear and see us, and allow us to sing our song, it is important that we stay in our own centre. In other words, don’t overextend and ‘ become them’ or ‘walk in their shoes’ or start living their life with them. Stick to your own centre, and from this place, walk with them.
Finding your tribe is all about coming home.
Hopefully you now have some new insights and inspirations to connect to your tribe. Finding your tribe is all about coming home. Firstly to yourself and then to other people who resonate with you. This is how you will attract the people who hear and see you for who you truly are. This is how you will find your tribe and how your tribe can find you! With you tribe behind you, you can feel healthy, vibrant and well. Living in deep connection to others, you can live your life in the most generous way possible. And make the difference only you can make.
If you have enjoyed this article or it has given you new insights, food for thought or ideas, then I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment in the box below. It can be anything!
And if you would like to join a new tribe that cares deeply about health and wellbeing, and how we can be the best we can be for our own health and happiness, then you are very welcome to join my wellness tribe Dr Margriet’s Clinic via this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/183767482524862/
I look forward to hearing how you are getting on!