That freaked me the hell out, because while I loved my friends and family dearly, my train was headed for the stops of self-discovery, spirituality, personal growth, and pursuing my passions, while many of theirs seemed to be headed to babyville, corporate america or self-pity land.
That was judgmental of me, and it certainly didn’t mean I needed to ditch those I loved and who loved me because we didn’t have all the same interests. What I found to be more true was that I needed to add people to my circle, people who were interested in those things and who would grow with me.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that some friends were more aligned than I thought. One or two casual acquaintances became closer friends as we discovered similar interests that had just never been brought up before. I went to therapy and indulged in that one hour a week to talk about nothing but me and hired coaches to guide me through my journey and keep me accountable and focused. I made blog friends that I connected with on Facebook or through email, and in some ways became as close to them as the people I physically saw everyday. I signed up for conferences, telecourses and teleseminars to stay positive.
I’m sharing this because there may be many of you who feel like you’re in this same position. Maybe you’re interested in meditation and your friends think it’s a joke. Maybe you want to learn to be more confident, but to your co-workers that means investing in a new “it” bag. Maybe, like me, you’ve been transplanted to a place that feels totally foreign to you and don’t have the support system you once did. Know that you are not alone.
First, you’re always welcome here , and I truly mean that, not just as a reader, but always feel free to engage in dialogue in the comments or even to reach out to me by email. I don’t care if you’ve been reading from day one or if this is the first post you’ve ever read from me.
If budget is a concern, visit websites and sign up for newsletters for people who inspire you. For me, it’s people like Marie Forleo, Gabrielle Bernstein, Danielle Laporte, Mastin Kipp, Katie Humphrey, Ali Brown or Tara Marino. For others, it’s Kris Carr, Suzanne Evans, Patricia Moreno, Kimberly Wilson or Doreen Rainey. Once you find a few, chances are they’ll lead you to others who are similar.
Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. It’s another great way to discover new people to inspire you and to stay surrounded with positive media rather than the latest violence somewhere in the country.
If they offer a free webinar or teleseminar, take it. If you get a recording of it, save it – you never know when you’ll want to come back to it later.
Podcasts are another great resource. Start by searching for those you already interact with, and browse by categories or interests. It can make the commute to work a lot more productive or your fitness time more enjoyable, and again, many are free.
Join Meetup.com. I know it sounds like a dating site, but I promise it’s not. It’s just a place to find groups of people in your area with similar interests. I’ve found everything from meditation to yoga to weight loss to couples date nights. Some groups have very nominal dues every quarter or semi-annually, but most are free and many of the events are affordable too.
Read. Listen to an audio book (a membership to Audible.com is about 2 coffees at Starbucks a month) or keep a library of e-books on your iPad (or tablet of choice). Right now, Audible is running a special offer – get your first 3 months for just $7.49 per month. If you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime memberships, you can get many books for free. And I may be the only one, but I still love to visit our public library!
If you can afford it, attend conferences in person. Do a Google search or keep an eye on the pages of those you follow and your local papers and you’ll be amazed at what is available. The event itself can be incredibly inspiring (I started this blog after attending my first conference) and you’ll meet people you can keep in touch with to keep that momentum going after the event.
Then there’s the simple things, like taking a class, joining a networking group, or volunteering for a charity in your community.
Everyone needs a tribe, and that tribe will likely be made up from a wide variety of sources and types of people. We’re fortunate that we have the technology to connect us to people all over the world and resources beyond our imagination to create a virtual tribe.