I’ve mentioned before that I try to stay open to synchronicity. So I’ve noticed two interweaving patterns in my writing and life that I’d like to explore a little in this post.
Like is drawn to like
I read something, somewhere, years ago that noted that the energy we send out into the world is what is returned to us. That if we are behaving selfishly, we will be surrounded by selfish people. This doesn’t have to be conscious. When I had problems with expressing and feeling my anger (bottling it up, never showing it), I drew people into my life who excelled at being angry and showing it.
Adversely, the idea was that if we sought to change something in ourselves, that we should surround ourselves with people who reflect that change. (So, if we are seeking to be more creative, we should surround ourselves with creative people.)
This means that the people who are drawn into our lives are mirrors of what we’re sending out into the universe. I’m delighted by this concept. Primarily, I’m delighted because of all of the people who are in my life (particularly the newer ones). I’ve had more than one person comment that we’re riding on the same wavelength recently.
If all of the above is true, that means that I’m sending out creative, sexy, funny, smart, and even unexpectedly wise vibes. It means I’m open to wonder, ready for anything, and willing to dive headlong into the unknown.
The other trend I’m noticing in the great, swirling whatever is about the company we keep.
It started on Wednesday with Rachelle Gardner’s post about being discontented, in part, due to the people we’re around. She says that writers are primarily discontent when they are comparing themselves to others, when they are getting misinformation, or when they are stuck in a loop of “piling on” with complaints.
My writer friends and I are largely dewy-eyed optimists, and we all seem to focus on doing the work, rather than worrying about the next steps. I do think that we tend to lift one another up, overall. I wouldn’t tolerate someone who pooh-poohed my every idea. (I have been known to protect myself from dream-killers, pessimists and crazymakers.)
I do have to own the discontent that comes from comparing my situation and journey to another’s. I feel that like a rock in my belly. It has everything to do with friends and relatives who are published. It has to do with people who can lose weight more easily than I can. It has to do with people whose houses are always clean, or whose websites have pretty designs.
Packs Vs. Tribes
I exchanged a few notes with Jeffrey Davis the other day about this next bit. He had tweeted this article about “why seeking the tribe will destroy you“. As an artist, I see that this conformity with “the tribe” as Tom Morkes discusses it is lethal to new ideas, authenticity and exploration.
The popularity of the “tribe” as a desired community comes from Seth Godin’s book. Godin’s definition is a little less sinister than Morkes’: “A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea…. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
After a few weeks of seeking the solace of my mossy introvert cave, the concept of taking part in a community of any kind is off-putting. When I mentioned something about this to Jeffrey, his reply was that he preferred packs to tribes.
While I know it’s oversimplified, the picture of a tribe in my mind is a huge group of people chattering with one speaker with a microphone. There is a hierarchy and there are social rules, but it’s a mammoth organization. It would take hours to herd this group of people from a cocktail party into the auditorium. Once there, what would they accomplish? As a group? As individuals?
My mental wolf-pack imagery is much smaller, wilder, faster. There is still a leader and a hierarchy, but it’s a lithe and wily group. Everyone has a role. Everyone plays a part. My tendency to be a lone wolf would be seen as an asset rather than make me a suspicious outlier. If the pack determines the goal to circle, they will make the kill, and share the spoils.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear
Interesting to note that both tribes and packs have leaders.
Jeffrey has been a teacher of mine since I read his book in 2007. I had the joy of attending one of his retreats in the summer of 2008. I’m still connected to him. I still occasionally run with his pack. I plan to attend another of his workshops someday, and I’d love to get certified to teach Yoga as Muse classes.
This next leap – the next lesson – doesn’t feel like it’s going to be from him though. It feels like a new teacher might be headed my way. Soon.
Right now, I’m watching the dots connect. I’m watching the stars align. I’m alert to shifts in the wind. Observing synchronicities.