Finding Your Tribe

tribes

 

Who is your tribe?

Who makes up the group you surround yourself with, the group you “belong” to?

Does your tribe consist of the people you grew up with? The ones you went to school with?

Are they the people who live near you?

 

What ties you to your tribe? Do you have similar interests, play sport together or have kids who attend the same school?

 

Lots of factors determine who we spend our time with and who we identify with.

Quite often who we mix with are people who think like we do, who hold similar beliefs and opinions.

Sometimes what we like most about them is that they’re so much like us…..

 

Feeling that you belong is incredibly important to most of us. We have a basic need to feel liked and accepted. We long to “fit” somewhere, to find our place in the world.

 

Some people belong to the same tribe their entire lives. Others spend their lives flitting around the fringes looking desperately for a place to belong and never quite finding it. Some spend a lifetime trying to join a tribe that is never going to accept them into its fold.

And some of us find the need to change our tribe as we grow and change as human beings.

What happens when you wake up one day and realise that you don’t quite fit anymore? That you seem to be headed in a different direction maybe, or simply that your tribe is no longer a place where you can be who you really are?

 

Many of us try to hold on, afraid that if we leave our tribe we will be left alone forever…. (to wander lost and lonely as a cloud…) :)

That terror of being alone is pretty much up there with death on most people’s fear chart.

For that reason many people stay with their tribe long after it no longer feels right. When those people who surround us no longer reflect who we really are.

 

Transitioning between tribes can be a terrifying experience. Knowing that you no longer fit the old but having no idea how to find the new.

Knowing that there must be people out there like you.

People with similar beliefs and ideals.

People who think and feel like you.

People with fresh new ideas.

People willing to embrace you on a whole new level. Continue reading

Teachers Come in All Shapes And Sizes

Teachers

 

Our teachers come in many forms….

 

They wandered into the shop I was browsing in, carrying inside with them a friendly banter and bright smiles. They’d just been out for their weekly coffee together.

The aunt wore a t-shirt which declared ‘Nobody is perfect…except for me!’

The niece wore a mischievous grin and her cheeky “Hello!” lit up the shop. The store manager and I were soon drawn into the pair’s hilarious ribbing of each other. Their dry humour and snappy come-backs had us in stitches.

 

I’d seen them before on the “Special Bus.”

Our society of labels would call them “intellectually disabled.”

 

Their love for each other was apparent as their comedy routine became more and more wicked.

Every time I thought I couldn’t laugh any harder I did.

Through the tears of laughter I happened to look past them out of the window into the bright sunshine and saw there a world of scurrying suits all too focused on “work” and “doing’ and clock-watching to even notice the blue sky above.

At that moment I had a blinding insight. Continue reading

As Kooky As Gwyneth…and Loving It!

chalkboard

 

You know those kooky people I used to laugh at?

Those airy fairy-types who used words like energy and intuition and who planted by the moon cycles and talked to their plants?

 

Well I recently realised that I’ve become one of them.

It happened when I came across a scathing newspaper article about Gwyneth Paltrow. The full two-page character assassination was based around providing proof of Gwyneth’s supposed descent into nuttiness.

As I read through all of the “evidence” proving how unbalanced and wacky she is, I realised I was in serious trouble. Gwyneth’s outrageous list of ideas about health, nutrition and happiness all sounded perfectly reasonable to me, or, at the very least, something to consider….

 

Uh oh… Continue reading

50 Again!? The Art Of Growing Old Disgracefully….

A recent birthday card from a so-called friend....

A recent birthday card from a so-called friend….

 

“‘You are coming to my 50th of course?” asked my friend Tim.

I was having a meal at his place the other night.

“I wouldn’t miss it!”

I’ve been to a few of Tim’s 50th’s. They’re always a fun weekend. Maybe there was one of them where he actually turned 50 but I’m not sure…

The older I get the more noticeable it becomes that we all age differently and that the biggest difference is not about the wrinkles, grey hair or saggy bits we start to get. Instead it all boils down to how we see ourselves and the story we tell ourselves about ageing.

I’ve met young people who are “old.” Not in that wise “old-soul” spiritual sense but in a life-weary let’s-just-get-this-over-and-done-with sense. They have a picture of life and their duties and obligations in it and they put their head down and simply get on with the job of ploughing through it just like they’re supposed to. Ageing becomes a series of tick-the-boxes milestones. You feel worn out just talking to them and can’t believe it when you find out they’re only 22…

At the other end I’ve met a host of 90+ers who are younger than me. You know the ones who run around having all kinds of adventures and learning new things and when they tell you their age in numbers it’s almost impossible to believe. My 101 year-old Great Aunt whips her car through city traffic with a confidence that I’ll never have. Her Dad died in his sleep at 88…after a night out dancing.

 

So, what is it that creates such a vast difference.

What is it that makes us “old” or “young”? Continue reading

The Ultimate Personal Challenge Is Not What You Think…

 

(Source:Google Images)

(Source:Google Images)

 

 

If I were to tell a story of personal challenge I might choose to talk about those things I’ve ticked off the bucket list.

I’d tell you about flying a powered hang-glider or zipping down the world’s longest zip-wire.

I’d talk about diving with the great white sharks or the time I backpacked through China and ate something that may or may not have still been alive…

I might recount how I free-fell over a waterfall whilst white water rafting or rode thousands of kilometres on a motorbike…

 

But I won’t.

 

I wont because the most difficult personal challenge of all is not only about adventure sports or dangerous animals. It has to do with a simple choice – the choice to be yourself.

 

We live in a world tied up in knots. A world where we arrive full of hope only to become quickly enmeshed in a tangle of societal pressures and the expectations of others.

We are born pegs of all different shapes and sizes who soon learn that we’re supposed to fit neatly into the rows and rows of uniform round holes laid out before us. “Life” becomes a constant quest to knock off our corners and rough edges, to sand ourselves down, smooth ourselves out and make ourselves “fit”.

It is a desire to belong, a need for acceptance that motivates us.

 

It takes courage to be different. To step out of the mold and stand alone. It can be a scary experience standing vulnerable and exposed, being frowned upon for making the place look untidy with your non-conformity, sometimes looking longingly at the comfortable space you’ve vacated, knowing how easy it would be to slip back in and pretend….

 

Being yourself requires having space around you.

It requires being with yourself, knowing yourself, accepting yourself.

It requires stillness, honesty and the willingness to face the unknown.

It involves risk and the ability to embrace failure.

It requires letting go of worrying about the opinions of others or the shoulds or supposed to’s of life.

But most of all it requires the courage to make the choice.

The choice to be the person you were meant to be.

 

That is the ultimate personal challenge….

 

You may enjoy this story of personal challenge and adventure about my fear of heights :)

https://open.abc.net.au/contributions/bird-plane-or-supergirl-32pw4yg/in/contributors/telene+clarke

How will You Create Your Year?

trust

 

What will this year be for you?

Each January I have a word that comes to mind that sets the course of my year.

After it has revealed itself I write and paint it everywhere as a reminder. (Yep, even in the toilet…!)

Then I make it part of my everyday life.

Today I found my theme for 2014.

 

In preparing for my new year I reflected on the past 12 months.

 

For me 2013 was the year of trust.

It was the year to open my heart and be vulnerable. To let go of old conventions and fears around work and money and society’s expectations. A year of letting go of the notion of “work” and “income”. Of letting go of monetary measurements around value and self-worth. Continue reading

What Is Wealth?

footprint

Is wealth about the number of plasma television sets you have hanging on your walls or about the logo on the back of your t-shirt?

Is it the type of car you drive or the size of the diamond on your finger?

Is your wealth measured by the bulge of your pay packet or by which luxury island you go to for your annual holiday?

Maybe true wealth is what you are left with when all of your money has gone….

Continue reading

The World Is Full Of People Who Will Tell You That You Can’t….

you-must-quote

 

I once found myself, through no fault of my own, in the way of a giant corporate organisation.

They told me to run.

I refused.

They were so big and powerful that they knew they could intimidate and bully – and get away with it.

They told me to give in or they would crush me like a walnut.

I said no, I was prepared to fight them.

They laughed and threatened to destroy me.

 

I sought help from a lawyer.

He laughed too, told me I was insane, charged me for the advice and went sailing….

 

I went searching. Everyone told me the same thing – give in, you can’t win.

I had to make a decision – to believe the “truth” that everyone knew as fact or to believe that I could do this.

One choice would make me a victim and the other would honour my integrity.

There was only one option for me.

 

I stood in front of them and called their bluff.

When they realised that I was serious they became irritated and began to push and shove.

The harder they pushed the firmer I stood.

Was I willing to lose everything I had? they shouted angrily.

You bet, I replied.

I was.

 

I kept searching and, with help, found the right people.

They were at the top of their field. I would have to borrow (lots) to pay their bill.

They heard me and believed in me.

I hired them.

 

The bully was most annoyed and very surprised. It brought in the big guns. It had to be very sure of itself now. I had become more than a simple irritation.

It offered a deal- the chance to walk away with something rather than risk it all.

I’ll take the risk, I said.

At the courtroom door they towered over me and said:

You may win the battle but you’ll never win the war….

 

I won the war.

 

The world is full of people who will tell you that you can’t.

They are wrong……

When you believe in yourself anything is possible.

 

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6 Reasons Why We Should Celebrate The Good Things That Happen To Other People

good job

 

Are you one of those people who celebrates the successes of others?

Do you get a thrill of excitement and joy watching a lucky lottery winner claiming their prize?

Do you get goosebumps and a lump in your throat when someone achieves their dreams- even if you don’t know them?

Are you overwhelmed with emotion watching someone being presented an award or a prize?

Do you feel genuine happiness when a friend excitedly tells you about their pay rise/ their fabulous new house/ the trip to Europe they just won with the ticket you gave them for their birthday / or their gorgeously perfect new girl/boyfriend?

You do?

Well guess what?

You’ve just become part of a minority group. Continue reading

Listen Up! I’m Busy Telling You What I Most Need To Hear…

The Expert

The Expert

 

Have you ever taken the time to listen to the words that come out of your own mouth?

The advice you’re always giving others?

The pearls of wisdom that fall from your lips to be eagerly seized and added to someone else’s jewel collection and treasured forever?

 

How much of it did you actually hear?

 

I’ve spent years handing out “good” advice to others. (Sincere apologies to those who received some they didn’t actually ask for!)

Shortly after I entered the therapy field I realised something important:

The suggestions I was handing out to others at any given time, were exactly the suggestions I needed to be hearing myself. Continue reading