Who’s in and out of your tribe?

IN SHORT:  This piece looks at the relative importance of finding our tribe versus feeling connected to all life.
I think I have found one of my tribes.  I am now calling them Conscious Creatives.  People who are both doing inner work to become more aware, free and compassionate, and who also want to create, initiate, make things better and push the envelope.  There have been times where I have hung out with entrepreneurs and creatives and felt little resonance, usually because there doesn’t seem to be much of a purpose behind what they are doing (or purpose more than there’s any opportunity, I can execute on it etc.).  And, as you have probably heard me say before, I take issue with ‘CBIs’ – conscious but ineffective types.  To me, we need to bring consciousness to the structures and systems we live in, we need to bring consciousness to our creative endeavors.  And most all creative endeavors require ongoing application, working through tedium, operational nuts and bolts and so on.  See Scott Belsky who has written convincingly on this (how the creative impulse will get drawn to the next idea rather than stick out the slog of operationalizing something)
I say one of my tribes because I have started to realize that this concept of ‘finding one’s (singular) tribe’, made popular by Seth Godin  may work for some people better than others.  Or it may be an important step from a conformist life to a more self-authoring.  It’s sometimes led me to, at some level, dismiss people prematurely as they are not 100% aligned to me.  Yes, we both coach, yes we are both progressive, yes we both enjoy adventure, yes we are both on a path of inner work, but you would never have the vision or full-on intensity to be a founder/CEO, so we are not quite in the same team.    It’s good to be discerning, to see similarity where it exists, and not to project it where it doesn’t.  But part of my gift is liking to be able to connect with all different sorts of people, from different backgrounds, lifescripts, and worldviews.  And if I truly aspire to live an integrated life, I want to be integrated into all of life.  I want to be able to connect with all of life.  This doesn’t mean you don’t name the particularities that you like.  Some people you just resonate with more.  Some people you have more like-mindedness or more like-heartedness.   But means holding them within a context of connection to all life.  Said differently, you could decide to live a yummy life in certain post-modern, wealthy, progressive parts of the world – but if it’s disconnected from what’s really going on in the world to give you a more oasis-like experience of life, I question the intent.  Yes, critique the impact and value of mainstream media.  Yes, be mindful about how much technology you have in your life.  Yes, to draw on Stephen Covey, don’t make your circle of concern vastly different from your circle of influence.  But, in a world of increasing global association and consciousness, your circle of influence can increasingly be global.  The lines are more blurred than they have ever been.
If all humanity is the emerging in-group, then I am can be free both to connect deeply with the particular tribe or tribes I am most drawn to, whilst also looking towards and looking after – and maybe even noticing my obligations towards – the whole.
Now, that’s worth working for.

About Jack Butler

Jack Butler is a social entrepreneur, coach, workshop leader and speaker. His latest venture provides full spectrum human development through coaching, programmes and other development resources for leaders and entrepreneurs. He founded Future Foundations (www.future-foundations.co.uk), a leading youth personal development training organization. He is a professional member of the International Enneagram Association and a former fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Jack was the IAB 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year runner-up and took a double first class degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Jack spends his time between London and Brighton in the UK and Boulder, CO and the Bay Area in the US. In his spare time, he enjoys physical challenges (3 Peaks Challenge 2010, Tresco Marathon 2006) and supporting The Simultaneous Policy Organisation (www.simpol.org.uk). He is a Partner in Passion and Purpose of the Grubb Guild, a voracious reader of personal, cultural and spiritual development, and likes to inquire, journal, travel and write.
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