First, to be able to ‘find’ your tribe, it helps to know what it is:
‘Tribe’ – a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.*
The latest buzz phrase seems to be ‘Find your Tribe’. As the definition indicates, a tribe can be a family, a group of friends, church, or any other group with which you have common interests. Sometimes you have no choice but to be a part of a tribe – such as family – and sometimes you get to pick and choose.
The Family Tribe
I am proud to be a part of my Family Tribe. We consist of some great people, such as my Mom. At 91 years of age, she is a 4-foot, 11-inch F-5 tornado, and needs a leash. But she is a wonderful woman dedicated to loving her family, serving others and loving Jesus. She is my go-to person for most everything.
I am also blessed to have many family members – although some no longer with us – who have helped me to become the person I am today. They loved me, in spite of the fact that I rarely conform to expectations. Instead, I travel my own path. When I chose to live on a farm and live as self-reliantly as possible (rather than find a more ‘professional’ office-based position), they just nodded their heads in understanding. (I think the actual words were, “I’m not surprised. That’s Julie for you…”) Rather than condemn, they found ways to encourage me, support me, and learn more about what I love.
Find a Tribe for Homesteading
As I began my farming/self-reliant journey, I began to search out other like-minded folks. Now I have a Homesteading tribe on various Social Media. It is through websites, Facebook, MeWe, and other SM pages that I can interact with tribe members. With rarely an exception, these folks are there to answer questions, offer guidance, empathize with the disasters, and give support and encouragement. They also are there to laugh with me, mostly because they, too, have fallen face first in the mud, both literally and figuratively.
I also have a Faith Tribe. A couple of years ago, we switched congregations of the church we attend. We loved the last one, but chose to change because the new one was where Mom was attending, and a good friend was preaching. I know it is normally difficult to fit in with a new group, but this church apparently didn’t know ‘Making it Difficult’ was in the rule book.
Instead, I left that first day with no less than 10 hugs (Nathaniel, Mr. Travis, Mr. George, Harry – I’m talking about you!), expressions of delight that we were there, and more invitations to come back than I can count. When I needed support in moving The Farm Wife to a full-fledged business, everyone jumped in to help. (Thank you Holly, Tim, Melba, Mary, Jean and John – I couldn’t have gotten this far without you!) This congregation isn’t just any group of people; they are family.
The Friend Tribe
My Friend Tribe is probably my most colorful. They are an eclectic group consisting of counselors/Social Workers, farmers, administration professionals and hair stylist. There are also nurses, college professors, artists and laid off blue-collar workers. Each person has something to bring to the table. Through this group, my world is expanded, and I have the opportunity to explore paths in my life journey I never knew existed. Surprisingly, most of the things I learn from them go hand-in-hand with living a more self-reliant life. One of them even taught me how to cook possum. (Let it be known here and now: I only said I have learned things….I never said I actually tried them.)
The Blogging Tribe
Recently, I joined a new tribe, called the Blogging Tribe. It is through this tribe that I get assistance with the best blogging practices, technical advice, encouragement and support. I can go to them with questions, frustrations and step-by-step how-to instructions. It is through them that I have the courage to make my own website a better place to visit.
Lesson from Tribal Membership
One thing I have learned through Tribal Membership – living without a tribe has to be a very lonely experience. Yes, there are some folks who prefer to live as loners. But even they have to interact with others from time to time, whether it be a clerk at a store, a family member, or a neighbor. And I do respect their choices. But overall, humans are designed to be a part of a group – a herd, if you will. We function better, live better, learn and love more when we are part of a tribe. We can be a member of just one tribe, or many. Some tribes overlap, some are completely separate. But no matter how it lays out, being a part of a Tribe is just one of the nicer joys of life.
How to Join A Tribe
Are you looking to expand the number of Tribes in your life? Here are some suggestions:
Find a church
If you aren’t currently attending and want to, check out several different churches in your area. If you aren’t certain about a denomination, read your Bible to see what it teaches first.
Volunteer, or join a Social Group
There are usually many activities in an area, from service organizations to Painting with a Twist. Figure out what you love to do and search your area for groups that are like-minded. If you are nervous about being a newbie, invite a friend to join you.
Start your Own
Do you love to knit? Crochet? Read? Play Bunco or cards? Start with a few friends, then expand to include others in your community. Get together with your preferred enjoyment, and have a knit-fest and visit. Roll those dice, or slap down those ‘bones’ with your new Dominoes group. Choose a book and start a Book Review. And when you are looking for others to join, don’t forget that person who doesn’t have a large tribe. They will probably appreciate being included.
check out the pages and groups that focus on what you love. When I went on Facebook and typed ‘Homesteading Groups’ in the search bar, it turned up a long list of groups and websites. The same thing happened with ‘Weaving Groups’, ‘Knitting Groups’ and ‘Baking Groups’. Check out some of the posts, and determine if that group is a good fit. When you find one you love, ask to join.
You can find a tribe the same way with a Google Search as you did with Facebook. My search for Homesteading sites turned up over 2.6 million options. Take the time to visit a few within your scope of enjoyment. Read their posts. If you like them, subscribe. Some have email notices of new posts, some offer e-newsletters. And if you are stumped, jump in and ask a question. Most website owners are more than happy to help, and they all love to hear from their readers.
Finding a new tribe isn’t difficult. Just do your homework. Listen. See what fits, then start slow. Before you know it, you may be a part of many new tribes, and finding out you are having the time of your life!
Are you looking for a Homesteading, Self-Sufficiency tribe? Visit these wonderful folks at their websites. You will find great posts, interesting subjects, and some of the most delightful people I have ever met!
Annie Lewellyn – 15 Acre Homestead
– annielewellyn.com (blogging, planning/scheduling, self-improvement, time management, coach)
Lisa Lombardo – New Homesteaders Almanac
– The Self Sufficient Homeacre
Kathi Rogers – Oakhilll Homestead
Shelle Welles – Rockin W Homestead
Tamara Reid – The Reid Homestead
Candy Page – Candy’s Farmhouse Pantry
Amber Bradshaw – My Homestead Life
Amy Dingmann – A Farmish Kind of Life
Lesa Wilke – Better Hens & Gardens
Shawna Lance – Home Grown Self Reliance
This list is only a smattering of the great websites available. Be sure to do a search and check out as many as you can. Just be prepared to be welcomed with open arms!