7 Ways to Find Your Tribe & Ditch Loneliness


My favorite #Truth Bomb by the oh-so- sultry Danielle LaPorte:



"One of my "tribe" and her family spent the night at our home last week.  Five of the six children between the two of us are boys. As we sat outside and watched them play, the solo girl in the
clan kept making her way back to my lap.

I was slightly annoyed, due to my inability to focus entirely on my friend. “C’mon Sophie, just play with them," I pleaded. Off she would go, only moments later to return, with her long legs and braids, a posse of sweaty boys left in her wake.

She whispered in my ear, “They don’t want to play the same things I do. I just want to be with you.” The spell of my irritation broke - I got it; this clan of boys was not her tribe. She tried to make it work, but she wasn't feelin' it.

How many times have we all felt the same? Trying to connect, but feeling an emptiness inside when it; {magical connection} wasn’t happening, coming home drained and disheartened. Instead of deciding it just wasn't a good fit, we often ask, What’s wrong with me? Or fear that it will ALWAYS be this way and feel like giving up.

Over the years, I've felt what Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron describes as "the hot loneliness.” Her description: “This type of loneliness is when we are looking for something to save us; we look for a way out. Our minds go wild trying to come up with companions to save us from despair."

I don't know about you, but my desperate attempts to outrun loneliness were through an eating disorder, and a million other unhealthy alternatives (bars/booze/boys). However, those
temporary distractions never give us what we're truly longing for, so over time, I learned to follow
Pema's advice:

“So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when
yesterday we couldn't sit for even one, that's the journey of the warrior.”

What I notice most often is that my clients primary emotions are fear and loneliness. I too felt
these emotions deep into my bones when I was stuck in my eating disorder, and only by getting
sick and tired of being sick and tired was I able to sit for the 1.6 seconds.

I've strung those 1.6 seconds into 13 years of solid eating disorder recovery. During that time,
I've learned how to sit with loneliness and more importantly, how to cultivate a tribe.

My tribe has a wider reach these days, with pockets of people from varying facets of my life, but
there is one particular tribe that feels most like home to me, and that’s my Recovered Tribe.

When you’ve survived and escaped the grips and utter terror of an eating disorder, and you’ve
lived to tell the tale, it's of great comfort to look into the eyes of another who has fought and won
the same battle. There is a knowing, understanding, and depth in those relationships that adds
a decadent, rich layer called Belonging. The ‘me too’ factor.

As the night wound down last weekend, I was full, not only from the margarita, Mexican food, and s’mores by the fire, but more importantly, my soul was full. Snuggled up with my friend, my recovered friend, on the couch, I thought of a time when I wouldn’t have allowed myself to be full in any of these ways.

My restrictions weren’t limited to food. I fasted in the arena of friendships as well, buttoned up all the way to ward against all of my fears and insecurities. When I see that in another person now, their resistance to connection, I think of how desperate they are to feel loved and most importantly, known.

So, as I thought of you that night (those of you experiencing the hot loneliness) I recalled the steps I took to cultivate my tribe, slowly over time. So snuggle up and let’s talk about how to pull this off:

Steps to Create Your Tribe:

1. Admit to the Longing in Your Heart: Be honest with yourself about your desire to have deep connections with people who get you. Quit creating a story that you don’t want/need people in your life. Tell yourself the truth about your loneliness.

2. Soothe with Self-Compassion: Please don’t make yourself wrong for feeling lonely.  Loneliness is a universal, and often, a deeply hidden emotion. Remember that little girl who couldn’t find her place amongst all of those boys?  We wouldn’t shame her and tell her something was wrong with her. We would pull her up on our lap and wrap our arms around her.  Be exactly that gentle with yourself.

3. Send an Invitation to Your Tribe: Write a letter, draw a picture, or close your eyes and imagine your people. What does their laugh sound like, how do they dress, what do you guys talk about and where are you? Remind yourself that they are waiting for your invitation and are in need of this connection just as much as you are. Keep this visualization in mind and go back to it often.

4. Open Your Heart: Now that you’ve got a visual of your clan ask God, the Universe, or Mother Nature to help you keep your heart wide open to the infinite possibility that is all around you. What if the girl down the hall at your office or dorm is equally desiring friendship. Let go of the story that everyone else has ‘their people’ and you are the only one alone. It’s just not true.  You’ve heard the quote: “Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe.” Well, if you heart is shut the hell off, guess who you’re attracting…nobody!

5. Get Vulnerable & Take Action: OK, so your heart is open, you’ve admitted to your longing, you’ve sent the invitation out to the universe, so now what? Well, now it’s time to wade in. Yep, shits gettin’ real! This part is the scariest, but I promise it’s worth it, and it'll be ok. You can’t sit alone in your apartment and expect to attract your tribe while you watch hours of Netflix. C’mon, you know better! Take a deep breath and sign up for the book club you heard your co-workers talking about, attend a group/class with people that have similar interests, ask your neighbor to join you for coffee, put your phone down and actually start a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class or on the bus.Begin. Something. Anything.

6. No Personalizing: You might strike out, but go back out there - over and over again. Each time it gets easier. If it’s a miss, it’s just a miss. It doesn’t mean you suck, that it'll never happen for you, or that you’re a horrible, awful, no good person. Remember when you were little and played Memory? When, not if, you flipped over two non-matching cards you just flipped them back over and took another turn until you found a match. Same thing here. Praise yourself for being brave and say the following: “I look forward to the day when I have my peeps. I trust this will come together for me.”

Props to you if you start working on your tribe. Be yourself, be a good friend and watch as it comes together. Putting yourself out there takes courage; it's so much easier to wallow behind a closed door about how sucky it is not to have your people.

Do the work and wade into the relationships that are out there waiting for you!  

Good luck and know that I’m so excited for you to be surrounded by your tribe!

Love + Light,


Hello, World!