Find Your Tribe

A fab reader Mindy Essex asked me a fab question and I, in turn, do what I do best: asked other fab people – my heart tribe – what they think. Shaazzam! A post chock-a-block-full of fab-u-licious ideas. If  you read this and aren’t inspired, please have somebody check your pulse. You may have died without noticing.

But wait! You might ask, what was the question?

If you had to relocate to a place in which you knew virtually no one, how would you go about finding or creating a community of intelligent, creative, professional women (very much like yourself) who are interested in becoming their best self in order to do their best work – whatever that may be?

Of course, the following wisdom will work if you want to extend or refresh your present tribe without moving. Thanks to all of these amazing smarty pants – be sure and click on their links to expand your world. And why not forward this anyone you know who it moving or lonely? That’s savoring & serving in style.

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I moved to Amsterdam for the fall 3 years ago and knew no-one. Before I left I started @craveamsterdam on twitter and followed like-minded women entrepreneurs.  I tweeted content relating to business and responded to comments.   When I got to Amsterdam, I had coffee dates and lunches set up.   In two months I had over 30 new contacts that lead to me starting a business there shortly after.  Without twitter this could not have happened so fast.  — Melody Biringer 

My number one choice for meeting people in a strange new place would be to do a little advance footwork from a comfortable old one: poking around on the twitters/Facebook for like-minded souls in a particular location can be done from your present home as well as your new one. But in a new place, I’d try the same thing (poking through friends of friends by location, then perhaps asking for introductions, searching Meetup groups, etc.). I’d just augment it with visits to the kinds of places where One’s People tend to hang—in my case, where they pull a good Americano, the few remaining bookstores, theaters, cool lecture societies, and so on. And if you’re totally flummoxed, consider service groups like Toastmasters. Friendly folk, plus you’ll learn something, to boot. — Colleen Wainwright

Stay connected with the people you’ve already found, because no matter where you all are, you’re weaving a web of light that is sustaining all of you. Ask this question now, before you get caught in settling your new life: who do you want to be? Decide right now to be that. Then go out & do that in every moment. Your people will come to you in surprising ways, because they’re all looking for you, too. — Brian Andreas

The best thing I ever learned was to meet face-to-face and be genuinely curious about the person across from you. And always, always ask the question: Who else do you know that I should be talking to? This makes visible the invisible network of interesting, passionate women in your new community. We’re out there, we just need to know that you’re here! — Jen Hofmann

I would peruse the local newspapers for interviews with people who seem like kindred spirits and then I’d contact them, tell them about myself and ask if they’d like to have coffee.  This technique is really forward, but if you have an online presence to back up your email, your legitimacy as a kindred spirit comes through. Also, I’d join a local knitting group. — Bridget Pilloud

Just show up, with bells on if ya have them (as in: be enthusiastically IN and AVAILABLE when you arrive. Go where the vibration is high for you–whatever that means for you.) Eyes UP and AROUND (when you are getting into the groove–graze with your eyes. What are you drawn to? What areas of town? When you are in community, who’s eyes lock with yours and invite you in.) Be inviting and invite others with clear intention: “Hi, you seem interesting and I’m new here, want to take a walk together?” Keep it easy breezy. — Dyana Valentine

When I go to places and events that attract me, I invariably meet other kindred spirits.  The key is to allow ourselves to tell the truth and be vulnerable, “I’m brand new here and am eager (desperate, in fact!) to connect with more intelligent and creative women like you. Would you be willing to be my big sis’ for a while?” — Gail Larsen 

I’d do what I always do in a new town, whether I’m visiting, or staying awhile: go to the bookstore. Especially in a foreign country, where I’d head for the nearest English-language bookstore. Hang around awhile, look at the books that interest you and see who else is also looking at them. If no one in particular is around, strike up a conversation with the bookstore owner or clerk. — Barbara Sher

I’ve relocated twice in the last five years. Both times to places I knew not a soul. My secrets ?  #1 I began before I left. #2 I took those connections with me. #3 I selectively invited new, knock-my-socks-off women to join the party already in progress.  #4. Viva FreeConference.com & SKYPE video!  — Lissa Boles

Get thee to the nearest gay bar, pronto. . — Alexandra Franzen

I would make a collage about the essence of the community I want to create. Then I would follow my intuition starting with a bookstore (old fashioned me), followed by a library, educational centers, art galleries, spiritual communities, a health food store, and any funky cafes. Next, I would link with my social media buds. — Gail McMeekin

Open my heart up wide to this desire and visualize the Universe as kind witness to my longing. Expect connections that I can act on to emerge. Assume that their timing and packaging won’t always be what I’d script for them. Lean into trust that all is always as it needs to be. — Kristin Noelle

As the daughter of a Marine, my nomadic ways began at a very young age and have stayed with me throughout my life. I have moved and re-located many times, and over the years have come to appreciate the space of time when I am in a new area and don’t know anyone. There is something freeing about it, something “blank slate-ish” about it that I’ve learned to love. Not that I want to be a different person all of a sudden, but that I am free to enjoy calm and quiet and silence more than if I walked into a new environment with a circle of friends fully formed. Savor the time when you are flitting about more freely. You will find your people; in the meantime, let the wind take you where it will. — Christina Miller

Tap into your virtual communities both for ongoing support you can take with you and to ask for connections near your new home. Once relocated, ask “Who can I most help? Right here. Right now.” Then boldly go serve these people. When you serve from a place of passion and compassion, you will quickly find opportunities to network with others dedicated to living their best life design. – Dr. Mollie Marti

Incidentally, I just relocated to a new city in August, so I’m familiar with this scenario! I don’t mean to sound glib, but I’d start by checking in with myself to make sure that I was doing my best work to become my best self, because I believe that that radiates. After that? My approach would be pretty low-key. I’d be going to yoga classes, writer’s groups, meditation centers, and just meeting people and getting a sense for who they are. Energy speaks volumes, and the way that we interact when we first meet–is there that “pop pop!” of friendship chemistry?–would mean more to me than whether or not someone was self-identifying as intelligent, creative, professional. I would also utilize resources from MeetUp, which I have found to be a good place to find groups of people who are getting together over like-minded interests.  — Kate Swoboda

I would start by asking why I want this community. Whatever you want from that group of women, find ways to bring it into your new life now. Then you sail your magnificent self out the door of your new abode, and move toward the people. Every day. Follow your instinct, go where the people are, and let the beauty of who you are draw your people to you. May your new life be a pageant of wonder! — Max Daniels

First, with social media, it’s getting increasingly difficult to relocate to a place where I know virtually no one. But, if I did, I’d probably jump online and find people on twitter and/or Facebook in my area and start conversations. I’d check meetup.com for local groups with shared interests. And, gulp, I might even go to the local library, community center, school, yoga studio or spiritually-based place and look for real live people who share common values and interests and build conversations from there.  — Jonathan Fields

I did this exact thing when I moved to Bath. When I look at the women I now have in my (local) tribe, I see that I found all of them through my blog. It acted like a lighthouse that caught the attention of the right people, who then reached out to me… we had coffee… the rest is history. So write a blog. Be visible. Be real. Send your intention out there and always know where your nearest Starbucks is. — Susannah Conway

The first thing I’d do in my new locale is find the yoga studio.  I would scour the Events postings, befriend fellow students, and get a sense of the city vibe.  The women I want to meet are probably yoginis in addition to whatever they do professionally. — Amy Kessel

1. Insinuate yourself into the heart of creative, professional, spiritual hub-bub. Go to events, centers, co-working spaces, Meet Ups – wherever the desired action is. (Tons of creativity MeetUp groups online!)
2. Observe. Find allies. It only takes two to build a community and change a neighborhood.
3. Volunteer audaciously. Assume leadership. Host your own event or gathering.
4. Let go of outcome.
5. Be thy radiant self.
Jeffrey Davis

Do what you love.  For me, this means, being a part of art local shows, going to Burning Man and camping with people from my city, talking to “strangers” who I feel an intuitive attraction to (one of my favorite pastimes:)) and volunteering at places I feel passionate about—all great ways to meet like-minded people while following my passions at the same time. — Flora Bowley

There are many local organizations already in place, no matter where you relocate, and you can leverage them easily to create your own community. Pick up a plain ol’ phone book and look for community development groups, business centers, clubs and existing meet-ups. Then get in touch with them: Present a plan for what you’d like to achieve and ask for their help.

Many people have also successfully organized workshop dinners – they organize a presentation, contact a restaurant, reserve the space and advertise an educational evening over fine dining and wine. Others put on smaller workshops or events – a Saturday afternoon presentation on a specific topic. This gives attendees a chance to learn and network, and it also gives you a chance to introduce yourself to the community and present your services.

Oh, and why not steal ideas? Try to think of local events YOU might like to attend after browsing what’s up and coming in newspapers or on bulletin boards – then brainstorm ways you can put together the same sort of event for other people and get them signing up!   — James Chartrand

I’ve done this. In 2005 I moved across the country to California where I didn’t know anyone at all. There were a few things I did that helped me create community and from which I was able to find like-minded women.

a) I got a job at a popular cafe. I got to know all the regulars and had a place to go where, soon, everyone knew my name.

b) I began hosting my own community potluck dinners in my house. Inviting anyone and everyone I met and it was a huge success.

c) I went every Saturday to the farmers market and over time formed relationships with the other regular shoppers and vendors.
Rachel Cole

Get crystal clear about the mojo you want so that you can spot it when you see it. Make hand drawn posters that tell people why this matters. Then go old school: Plaster them anywhere + everywhere that might match the mojo of your community. — Fabeku Fatunmise

Go forth and tribe it up! LOVE love LOVE!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.wenlock Debra Wenlock

    Wow – wonderful ideas here that make me feel like a hermit. I’ve got to work my way through these and make contact with the local outside world.

  • ColleenPhD

    Great ideas – I get asked this a lot by women who are not necessarily new to an area, but either have realized their current circle is not supporting them, or they’ve been so withdrawn for a while they’ve lost touch with friends and now want to meet new people. I’d like to post a link to this on my blog. 

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  • http://twitter.com/Lianne_R Lianne Raymond

    Great advice! Mine is along the same lines as Barbara Sher.

    I’ve relocated a few times and the last two times I did the same thing – started a book club by putting up a poster at the local library and a bookstore if possible (one town didn’t have a bookstore) and coffee shop.  I selected the first book as a way of finding compatible souls – I made it a book that I knew if they had heard of it and had read it or were willing to read it, there is a good chance we would click. It has worked for me both times. The one I started when I moved to Courtenay (Women who love books too much) in 1995 is still going strong and is an amazing group of women. So glad I put myself out there.

  • http://whynotstartnow.wordpress.com/ Patty

    I love to read so the book club idea has worked for me too.

    This question reminds me of two things. First, something Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote in the “Wolves” book (and I’m paraphrasing) about how women who search for their heart tribes to no avail often end up creating them.

    Second, something I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say: when you’re traveling (or moving) to a new place, get in touch with your circle of friends in your current place and ask them who they know in the new place. I love the idea, although you might have to be fairly extroverted to follow through on it.

  • http://twitter.com/tenaciousleigh Leigh

    I relocated 5 months ago. I thought that things would fall into place since I only moved 6 hours away. But, it didn’t happen. So, now I’m trying to create those circumstances where I can meet the kinda people I wanna know. Nice to hear how other folks have done it!

    Also, wanted to let you know the link to jen hoffman is broken. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/katie.bagby Katie Bagby

    Such great inspiration! Makes me feel so tingly I almost want to move just to jump in on the vibe! However, I am moving into a new world of work – coaching and soulcare, so I’ll use these tips to meet up with my new glorious tribe. Thanks!

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  • http://twitter.com/RenaissanceKate Kate Hash

    This is amazing advice. I heart your tribe :-) I moved to a new city a year ago (Florence, Italy) and did a lot of this myself. The biggest piece of advice I have is just to be brave and reach out to people (bloggers you’ve found, artists, etc.) that you think you’d get along with. I never turn down a coffee date!

  • stacey

    Such great ideas…thank you..I just moved to a smaller community about 8 months ago and am struggling…a few things really hit me…make sure I’m doing my best work to be my best self…and showing up with bells on – in and available….and we’re out there we just need to know you’re here!!!  I don’t – I’m not – you don’t!  :)  I have fallen into this silly pattern of feeling like an awkward outsider waiting for people to come to me…not gonna happen  Thanks for the kick in the pants!!

  • Mahala

    I heart these ideas. I finally feel settled in enough in Santa Fe to start reaching out beyond the meditation community I’ve found here.
    One recommendation I didn’t see, find out if there’s a TEDx community in your area. Sure to be brilliant, thought provoking community.

  • Kate Robertson

    This is brilliant.  I think it could also be used for those of us who feel all our great connections are online. There are many suggestions here to find that tribe locally.  I will be following some of them.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenleephoto Jen

    this is so wonderful. the timing of it is beautiful for me. Because , as a military wife who has moved around all over the country the past 10 years you would think it would be easy for me to settle down in a new place and make new connections and friends, right? nope. if anything it has gotten harder for me with age. i am naturally introverted and my kids are a natural way to meet other moms..but yet, finding a real connection is still *so* hard for me. i’ve gotten lazier and also have a lot less time with two little ones. i am definitely going to re-think and go over the suggestions (many good ones!). I know I desperately need my own tribe and community of women.