Find Your Tribe. Love Them Hard.

I am sitting at the airport for another countless time, looking at all the people around me going about their lives. I am tucked away in a cozy little corner at this place called the ‘Network Bar’. Characteristically, networking would involve interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

But not here.

Here, each one of us is hidden behind either a laptop, or a tab(let). None of us know the other, and yet, we all share a common theme — we are all going somewhere. Airports give us the sense of comfort, of belonging.. despite our different reasons for being here. It puts life into perspective, that we are all in this together despite what each one of us is going through.

I have quite a bit of time to kill before my flight. I am sitting quietly, watching the pulse of the airport on a typical day. And since I have been here for a long time, I begin to take real notice of things. The hustle and bustle of the passengers coming and going. The hot pilots and the air crew in their uniforms. The kids, even the ones crying. It is like scrolling through the newsfeed on your Facebook.

I wonder about their lives. I wonder about the part of their lives that is not on social media. I wonder what I would say to them, if our eyes met. Would I smile? Would there be small conversations? Would there be an exchange of phone numbers? A friendship in the making? Mayhaps, a romance?

And then it hit me.

It is human nature to search for any kind of belonging, to be able to fit in. We gravitate towards those who reflect the kind of qualities we admire. Those we share commonalities with, or possess traits we aspire to adapt. We all are, in some way looking for our “tribe”.

Our tribe, so to say, reflects our values while simultaneously satiating our need for companionship.

Finding one’s tribe is hard.

That is why there are so many movies where the high school kid ends up eating his lunch alone. As we bloom into adulthood and lose the setting of forced social interactions, it can be even more difficult to find meaningful connections, despite the smartphones and Facebook.

The first step to building a tribe you can call your own is to learn about yourself. Take a hard look at yourself and list some of the things that you really like about yourself, and/or you feel are missing from your life but are things you wish to inculcate. Are you drawn to spiritual practice? Do you love going on hikes? What is your take on music?

By developing a sense of self-awareness as to what you are willing to accept, you thereby, ease the path through which the Universe will present you with the people who match up to your needs.

Set the tone for your ‘inner circle’.

Draw a picture of a circle on a piece of paper. And write down a few words that describe the vibe you want for your tribe. Think about the qualities you consider key to uplifting, and nurturing long-term relationships.

When you’ve filled the circle, share it with all! This is your tribe’s cultural code. Tag friends who you believe embody this code. Encourage them to make one of their own.

Here’s mine.

As you begin the journey in increasing your tribe, know that you are loved and that anyone would be lucky to know you

The journey, Not the destination matters.

As I continue to build my own tribe, I’ve realized that it is a process. As your life continues to grow, you’ll learn more about yourself and bring more beautiful souls into your circle. Have the courage to reach out and relish honest connections.

And somewhere in the process, you would end up finding someone to share this life with, no matter who you are.

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