Is the concept of “tribe” just a really clever marketing gimmick, or do we really need one?
I’ve always stood behind the need for community – whether specifically in your health or life in general. But after reading Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions, I’m even more convinced having a community (or “tribe”) is not only helpful, it’s necessary.
I’ll start by saying this: the entire book is thought provoking (add it to your list to read). He lays the research backed argument for what’s at the root of the rising rates of depression and the bottom line was this:
As a culture we are suffering from disconnection.
Disconnection from nature.
Disconnection from others.
Disconnection from ourselves.
Just to name a few (that spoke to me).
We’re surrounded by people. We are “connected” more than we’ve ever been – but loneliness is at epidemic highs.
According to the research Hari shares, the antidote to this disconnection is to re-connect in meaningful, genuine ways.
And one of the most profound steps we can take to re-connect in all areas of our life is to re-connect to one another. And not via the highlight reel of social media.
Here’s the challenge. In order to do genuinely and authentically connect, we also need to be deeply and authentically connect to ourselves. Our core values. Our priorities. Our hearts.
And that requires creating time and space for ourselves. Which requires….yup. A tribe. Does this feel a bit circular? Yeah. Which comes first? Community or self? The answer I came to is…it depends.
As a mom I often say, thank goodness for my tribe! Without them I couldn’t possibly manage to do all the things I do – and still have time for me in the mix. They say it takes a village to raise a child – and I agree. I couldn’t survive without my village.
But I don’t necessarily have deep meaningful relationships with everyone in my tribe. I certainly do with some of them. But we’re all so different – and we all connect on different levels on different things. Which is actually kind of awesome if you ask me!
This is why the concept of Tribe is so important – and relevant. Stay with me. I know this is getting a bit esoteric!
Why is a tribe so important?
Think about bees in a hive. They all have different jobs. They rely on one another to do their job – and only when everyone is doing their job does the hive flourish!
It also takes a village to be a grounded, healthy, happy human in the fast paced world we live in! If you look back in history we were designed to live in tribes. In units of people who work together to benefit the collective. But we’ve lost our way a bit, and we’re living in a disjointed, disconnected society as a result. We’ve lost our tribe mentality and it’s hurting our mental and physical health!



What does the modern day version of “tribe” even look like?
That’s up to each of us as individuals, but here’s my sense of it.
  1. We need to help one another physically. Whether it’s dropping a meal off at a neighbour who’s having a hard time or shovelling that neighbours walk. We need to show up for one another.
  2. We need to help one another mentally. We need to offer our kindness and compassion. We need to assume the best in one another and offer one another grace.
  3. We need to help one another spiritually. We need to hold space for one another. We each need to have people in our lives who “get” us and with whom we can safely let our guard down and have real conversations where we really feel heard.
I’m headed down a rabbit hole here, but it’s one I think we need to explore. There’s so much more I could say here, but my hope is this monthly letter simply brought you the opportunity to pause and reflect.
So, do you have a tribe?
The concept of “tribe” has gotten a bit hijacked by marketing machines, but in its essence in this metaphor it’s the concept of having people in your life that help you RISE. Those are the connections we want to nurture.
How will you foster these connections in your life?
How can you show up physically, mentally and spiritually for the people in your life?
How will you create space to connect to yourself?
Get curious. Maybe even journal, or hey, maybe connect with a colleague or friend. See what I did there? Connection!
If you’re looking for an awesome tribe to connect with, consider joining our amazing Super You StudioCrew. This group of amazing women are all members of the Super You Studio and they’ve got some serious connection happening. Not only are they connecting authentically online, they’re connecting in person too. Meeting for walks, stairs or going axe throwing (yes they are)! The core of the community is about leading change from a common philosophy of gratitude, appreciation and respect for our bodies. Using strategies and tools grounded in the science of health + fitness and wrapped in a self-compassionate, body positive approach. And a whole lot of JOY. Because if it’s not fun, we’re out! We’d love to have you join us! We’ve got pockets of members in Nanaimo, Vancouver and Calgary – and growing every day!