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Finding Your Tribe


Back in May, I wrote an article about the importance of finding our tribe (Be YOU) and having people in our lives who love us, flaws and all. People we can be authentically ourselves around and show them our world - perfect or not, because let's face it, none of us is perfect.


Sure, it's easy to have friends and enjoy each other when everything’s good. When life is flowing easily, we feel happy, proud, and even loveable! But, our true tribe can also handle our moody, sad, or depressed moments too. Times like those build the strongest, most meaningful connections.

The hard times form the strongest bonds.

I posted on social media last week asking people to tag their squad or best friend and share how you met. My intention was to recognize the special BFFs in our lives and to start a conversation on how these relationships are formed. Some of us mentioned that we didn't meet our current closest friends until we were older. I know this is true for many of my closest friends.

Different people come into our lives at different times, but it's always the RIGHT time.

If you think back over your friendships, you'll likely realize that a lot of these friendships formed just when we needed that type of person most - someone who was critical to your growth at that exact time.

Sometimes those relationships last, and sometimes they simply help us both learn important lessons before moving on. But together we've grown and shared moments that have shaped each of our journeys in meaningful ways.

Right now, making new friends can be challenging.

A friend and I were recently discussing how much more difficult it is to maintain our connections, let alone form new, solid friendships right now. With busy work schedules, kids, aging parents, and now a pandemic, we find ourselves becoming more isolated and disconnected than ever.

So, what can we do to put ourselves out there? How can we still thrive and share our struggles and celebrations with people, when many of us are working from home, or in the thick of parenting, or caring for parents? Is it even feasible to still make new friends and maintain old ones?

The truth is - yes, it is. But it may have to be more intentional and it may require some trial and error.

Some ideas for building your squad

(inspired by the comments on my posts)-

Join a socially-distant outdoor exercise group.

I know this isn't for everyone, but people who run, walk or workout together bond quickly. There's something about sweating together and working toward a goal of health that forms strong connections. This is part of the philosophy behind our GritChicks Retreats. Outdoor boot camps are also popping up in many places, since some gyms are still shut down. Women of every level of fitness attend most of these groups, so they are great for trying new things! AND the best part, as you find someone you seem to mesh with - you can plan coffee afterward!

Volunteer

A lot of non-profit organizations are struggling right now, and most have put processes in place to abide by CDC guidelines for volunteers. This is a great way to meet people, feel good, and help others. It doesn’t even have to be in person - you can get started by helping organize email communications, supporting fundraisers, and so much more. Meet the team through Zoom meetings, and then go from there!

Walk your dog!

Ok, so this only works if you have a dog, but people love to bond over furry friends. It's a little trickier right now due to social distancing, but you can still socially distance at dog parks or in your neighborhood! People are craving connection right now, and sharing stories about our four-legged-loves is a good way to strike up a conversation.

Join online groups

Join online groups through Facebook or other avenues for things you're interested in. (If you receive my weekly emails, keep an eye out for an invitation to join our upcoming private GritChicks Facebook group!) There are online communities for EVERYTHING - hobbies, ways of eating (vegan, paleo, etc.), work-related, fitness and so much more! Some online groups will even branch out to meet-ups in real life...and when the time is right, go for it!

Most importantly - allow yourself to be a little vulnerable.

Vulnerability can feel scary at first, but remember, by being real, you give everyone around you permission to be real too! And you're giving them the priceless gift of the REAL you. The world is so much brighter with you in it.

Xx Jen

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