When you think of a tribe, what comes to mind? For some, it may bring to mind Native people in traditional clothing, beating drums and sitting around a campfire. Tribes were what sustained the human race for thousands of years. It would be silly to think of survival without the support from your fellow tribesmen when you struggled to find food and shelter. Although our modern conveniences have created the illusion that tribes are no longer important or necessary, I would contend that the need for community is still great if we want to THRIVE as human beings. We no longer need to maintain the “fight or flight” survival mode necessary when you are actually being chased by a tiger. However, our overscheduled lifestyles create this high anxiety of not “being enough” because there is always more to do and not enough time to do it. We function in an oversympathetic nervous system from this base level of survival that does not lend itself to joy, happiness, and contentment. As women and mothers, I know we deserve better. But it is not easy. The heavy weight of mama guilt when we leave our screaming child in order to spend time on ourselves is real. The self-judgement that we are failing as a mother when we choose to pursue our professional goals exists. How do we manage it all?
Finding a tribe of mothers with whom you can intimately connect with is VITAL for optimal growth and expression as a woman. We were never intended to mother on our own and although our current infrastructure makes it a little more challenging to create deep connections with others, it is worth making an effort to find. Social media creates a false sense of connection and subconsciously may even teach us that superficial relationships suffice. Being vulnerable and opening ourselves up to others requires courage and positive self-esteem, however, it is the first step to sharing deeply in order to learn, grow and ultimately thrive. There is something quite unique to the motherhood journey that is hard to fully grasp if you have not traveled this path. Therefore, seek out other mothers who share similar values and philosophies as your own and with whom you feel safe being authentic. Although there are some closed groups online that can allow for deeper connection, meeting in person with other mamas for much-needed self-care and conversation can literally lighten the proverbial load. For example, I look forward to my monthly “girls’ night out” where we enjoy a delicious dinner at the hottest new restaurant in town and the permission to share any current life challenges is met with compassion, sage advice and empathy. This type of share requires deep trust and respect that I can be real, raw, and honest without concern that my dark secrets will become gossip or judged. My tribe offers another point of view for a sticky situation that may be hard for me to see on my own (and hard to be shared from my well-meaning husband who is neither a woman nor a mother.) As I learned from my mentor, Tony Robbins, one of the four basic human needs is LOVE/CONNECTION and when we embrace other mamas in our tribe with great love, we ground ourselves to the GREAT MOTHER and create a much more joyful life that not only benefits us first, but our partners and children also get to enjoy the glow of a fully present and awakened woman. 😊
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