I started my last post by questioning where to begin. I have a better answer to that question now that more than a week has passed since I was on the beautiful coast of Oregon with my circle of kindred spirits for our second Tribe retreat. It’s taken me some time to process our time together as I immediately visited dear friends and then attended the World Domination Summit after saying goodbye to my Tribe sisters. I’ve now had the space to journal about our retreat and reflect on both my experiences and the collective one we shared.
I’ve given a lot of thought to the themes of building, deepening, and strengthening. Those words very much capture what we did in terms of our relationships with one another, as well as our commitment to our group, this Tribe. And as I reflect on those themes, they sound rather intense. They don’t necessarily seem like the words that spring to mind when you think of a group of 8 creative women heading off to the beach for a few days. Rather, you might think of words like wine, laughter, art projects, and shopping. While those words are true of our time together, our Tribe is so much more than that.
As I described after our first retreat last year, when a group of women come together with open hearts and courageous souls, MAGIC happens. This sentiment remains 100% true. In my reflecting on the Tribe this past week or so, I’ve given some thought as to what this magic is, as well as how and why our time together is beyond the simplicities of laughter, wine, and a good time at the beach. And here’s what I’ve come up with. The Tribe is about WITNESSING. Witnessing is about being present at or for. It is to have personal knowledge of. It’s about giving public affirmation. Witnessing is to see. And that is exactly what the Tribe is about — to see one another fully, to give witness to each others’ experiences. Moreover, the Tribe is about allowing and opening ourselves to be truly seen.
The Tribe and our time together is about truth-telling, listening, holding space, empathy, compassion. It’s about hearing each others’ stories, and accepting and holding the emotions that accompany those stories. It’s about reminding one another of our enough-ness, AND gently pushing each other toward our dreams. It’s about sharing “this is how I see you.” More than anything, the Tribe is about vulnerability, authenticity, and wholeheartedness. While our time together is a retreat from jobs, families, and the laundry-list of responsibilities we each have, it’s a complete dive straight into the emotional soup in our hearts, a turning toward the sensitive parts of our souls that need tending. And, we also celebrate our accomplishments, our starting close in, our steps toward our aspirations, and our trust for the process.
This Tribe, these retreats with one another, are sacred. Sacred space and sacred time together. It’s sacred because it is so rare. I personally don’t have many spaces in my life where such witnessing occurs. Where such vulnerability is safe. It’s beyond unusual to let our guard down so earnestly and completely, and allow ourselves to be truly seen and open-heartedly see others for who they really are.
We are very rarely “all in.” And with the Tribe, I’m definitely all in and I know my Tribe sisters are too. I’m grateful I took the chance to create this group. I’m grateful that each woman said “yes.” I’m grateful that each of us shows up, really shows up, just as we are, and gives their heart to be held by the rest of us for those days together. I’m grateful for each of us who were willing to take an extraordinary leap of faith, and who continue to do it each year as Tribe, and each day as Self. xoxo
You can read more reflections on the Tribe and our time together from my sisters here, here, and here. I also hope this post and the others that we have written encourage you to find or create your own sacred community. This is not about and in-crowd or an out-crowd. It’s about each of us finding our kindred spirits. We all belong.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.