The Greensboro Downtown Yoga Manifesto states "Connection is the meaning of this journey". When was the last time you truly felt wholeness and connection? You felt like you were a part of something and belonged, the feeling of being with the people you were supposed to be with? I'm not asking you to imagine a time where everything was perfect, but imagine a time you felt like you fit. Can you? For much of my life especially in my grade school years, I viewed myself as separate. It felt like I was different from most of the kids my age. It's true that I could be a bit of an odd ball, I liked things that weren't mainstream. It never felt like I'd found my tribe. Looking back, I think a lot of that was purely a point of view. I viewed myself as separate therefore I was separate. My state of mind is what was causing the suffering, maybe not so much reality. What would have happened if I had shifted my perspective to one of viewing myself as whole and connected? This is a regret of mine, and only the regret you get with the luxury of aging.
As I've gotten older, I've definitely found my tribe, a place where I belong without question. Still I often carry with me feelings of separateness and disconnection that have lingered from my younger years. Is this a feeling that's familiar to you? It's taken me a very long time and a lot of yoga to realize those feelings are not reality. When I'm feeling particularly mindful if I notice the feeling of disconnection in my body I'm able to pause and reframe the feeling and ask myself "how am I the same to this scenario, how am I the same as these folks?" Reframing to see the connection is not always easy, but most of the time people and situations are mirrors of ourselves and the quicker I can find myself within the picture the quicker I can learn from the people and places I might initially feel separate or disconnected from.
Luckily for me I do have a tribe, but it's not just there that I fit in, I'm connected to so many different groups of people and the only thing that will keep me separate is my state of mind.
Where have you found your tribe? Has having a tribe of people like you made you feel more connected to those that are different or less connected?