It's been almost six months since we all first met. Since we cautiously shared our intentions for joining the first Alps to Alaska event. Since we met, and shared something truly impacting.
But it wasn't instantaneous.
We didn't just turn up at the house in France and become immediate friends.
First we had to be curious.
And, ultimately - compassionate.
No one really knew what would happen. This was the first time this event was to take place - a test of sorts. How would we get along? What would we be doing? Why were others joining? It was all a bit unclear, and yet - we showed up. Mostly because each of us was curious. Drawn to the unknown, to nature, but especially the allure of finding people like us. Other people who worked day jobs, and yet had a creative side. Others who dreamed of impacting the world beyond the 9 to 5 of office politics. Others who were searching for new energy and insight beyond their usual circles.
There was a longer virtual call before the event, where we got to meet each other for the first time. We were all full of nervous laughter and excitement. Who were these other curious souls? When we met in person, it was fun to put together the puzzle pieces from our Whatsapp chats - who liked cats again? Who was musical? Who liked spicy food? When it was time to stand up and add our piece to the tribe alter, to take that first step towards being together, it took some courage. We didn't really know yet, if these people would accept us. And yet, we each stepped up and shared our hopes and our intentions for the next few days.
And that was only the first opportunity to be courageous. More came. On the big hike. At the Open Space sessions. At the closing circle.
And many small moments in between. Every time we needed to be vulnerable, imperfect, or weak - and to trust that the others had our back.
Perhaps this was the most surprising aspect of all. This whole adventure could not have been as inspiring and impactful without compassion. The delayed trains and flights. The late start. The hike that stretched lots of physical and emotional boundaries. The meals we made together. The tears we cried at the closure of the event. None of it would have been possible without a loving acceptance of our limits, our imperfections, and of the true nature of forgiveness. Sometimes we had to forgive circumstances. Sometimes each other. And sometimes - ourselves.
The result of this initial curiosity, courageousness and compassion is that in just 3 short and very intense days, we left feeling truly connected. This was not just a retreat where we met and then disbanded. It truly felt as if it was the beginning of a longer journey. And it's continued. We talk once a month and share our successes, ask each other for help, and even figure out ways to see each other, even if we live all over Europe and the U.S.
What is a Tribe? It's feeling like you belong. Feeling like you are seen and heard and understood. That there is a sense of like-mindedness - of family and friendship - and having a place in the world. A place where we feel we matter.
We need more of this in the world. There's plenty of room in our Tribe.
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