Finding My Tribe

I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of feeling as if we do not fit in. That’s actually pretty much my status quo. But every once in a while, I’ll go somewhere or meet someone that makes me feel completely comfortable and at home inside my own skin. When that happens, it’s such a relief. It feels as though I’m removing shoes that are two sizes too small. I feel understood. I can be myself.

We humans are so nomadic and so culturally, emotionally and politically diverse that it’s a rare and precious moment when you find a member of your “tribe.” It’s also a gift to feel at home. These people may not look anything like you, they may be a different age or gender identity or nationality or religion, but you can tell that they get where you’re coming from. And these home places may be far flung and entirely unexpected, but you know that a piece of your very soul resides there.

When you find your tribe or your homeland, embrace that feeling. Hold onto it if you can, if only in your memories. These feelings will remind you of who you are at your very core. And whoever you are, it’s nice to be reminded, sometimes, that you’re exactly who you are supposed to be.

finding my tribe

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Walk Your Life

I’ve been watching a BBC series called Tribal Wives on Youtube lately. The premise is that they have a British woman live with a remote tribe for a month and take on the role of a Tribal Wife. Women have been sent to Thailand, Gabon, Mexico, and Namibia, to name a few locations.

It’s really fascinating to watch someone cope after being forced to cast off all the modern “comforts” of life, such as cell phones and indoor plumbing. It’s interesting to see them struggle with the day in and day out grueling work that comes with living rough. For many women in the world, life is really, really hard.

But what I enjoy most is seeing what inevitably happens. These women generally assume that they will have nothing to learn from these uneducated, poverty-stricken, deprived people. But by the end of their stay, they discover that there’s a certain wisdom that comes from not being distracted by all the extras of modern living. There’s a certain glory to just living. Just getting on with it.

In the episode I watched today, a woman from London was placed with the Raramuri tribe of Northwest Mexico. This is a woman who spends a lot of her time worrying and overthinking things, and not trusting people. She lives with this tribe, learns their customs and traditions, and works side by side with the women. Her nervous nature becomes all too evident by comparison.

Their advice to her is not to think so much. Basically, she needs to get over it. Just relax and do what needs to be done. The Raramuri have a saying, “Walk your life.” Sometimes the most profound insights come in deceptively simple packages.

Just walk your life.

Tribal Wives

[Image credit: bbc.co.uk]

Riding the Planet

Today is my birthday, and yesterday, my grandnephew Carter was born. Naturally, this has given me ample opportunity to compare our two situations.

Having spent almost half a century on this planet, you might think I know a thing or two, and I suppose I do. I can pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time. I have memories of my travels, and of friends both present and past. I’ve had regrets, I’ve learned from at least half of my mistakes and I’m proud of my achievements.

Carter, on the other hand, after just one day of life, is simply riding the planet. That’s what I call it when you just trust that gravity will hold you to earth’s surface, and you let the planet hurtle through space without making any effort to steer. You’re not there to stress out over anything, you’re not trying to solve anything. You’re just entrusting your fate to the universe, and you’re along for the ride. I try to do this when I meditate, with mixed results. But when I achieve a full state of planet riding, I’m content. Everything seems so much easier. Carter was born with the ability to do this. He trusts that he’ll be fed and cared for. He has faith that things will work out for him. So who is wiser? Nobody’s feeding me, giving over their entire existence to make sure I’m safe, or rocking me when I cry. Lucky kid.

Unlike Carter at the moment, I seem to be in a constant state of surprise. For example, just yesterday I discovered that this creature exists:

Pink Fairy Armadillo

That’s a Pink Fairy Armadillo and it lives in central Argentina. Granted, I haven’t spent copious amounts of time wandering around the heartland of Argentina, but still, I cannot believe that I’ve shared the planet with this animal and have never known about its existence up to now.

And a few years ago, they found an entirely new Indian tribe in Brazil that has never had any contact with the outside world. The only reason they discovered it at all was that an airplane flew over their longhouse. Here was a whole group of people living their daily lives, being born, laughing, loving and dying, and yet we didn’t even know about them. How freaky is that? http://news.discovery.com/human/newly-identified-tribe-in-the-amazon.html

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that you’ll never stop learning, so Carter, even though you’re just starting out, even though I might seem comparatively wise, in the overall scheme of things, we’re really in the same boat, and we’re both just at the starting line of life.

So keep dreaming your newborn dreams, dear Carter, and let the world take care of itself. At least, for now.

Carter