What image does the word tribe conjure up for you? Is it of a human social group associated with kinship? Is it of groups of Native American Indians camped out around a fire with their tipis or the Maasai of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, with their striking clothes and incredible ceremonies? I must confess that this was my image (of a tribe) up until four years ago when I read a book (several times) called the Chimp Paradox.
This book has helped me to see the world, those around me and more importantly, myself, in a completely new way. It explains how our brains haven’t evolved much, if at all, since humans first walked the planet 1.8 million years ago and how our sympathetic nervous system or our fight or flight mechanism still comes into play in the modern world, whether or not we are going to be eaten by a bear. It is commonly recognised these days that it is this mechanism that pushes our stress buttons and that by calming it we can become much less stressed and anxious. The Chimp Paradox talks about the brain in three parts: Part one is the human -this is our logical voice, the I in me. Part two is the computer, which runs all the day-to-day stuff we don’t even think about like breathing and runs our auto pilots, when we do things automatically without thinking like making a cup of tea. It also creates the emotional responses we have to situations. These responses are deeply ingrained, sometimes over several lifetimes, and to change them we have to work hard to reprogramme the computer. The third element of the brain is referred to as the chimp; this is our primeval brain, the fight or flight response. The book goes into great detail about how to keep our chimp happy, avoiding setting off our fight and flight mechanism but enhancing our feelings of well-being and happiness.
One of the ways to keep our chimp happy is to work out who our tribe is. To do this, think about the people who resonate with you the most. Who do you feel most at home with? Who do you miss and long to see if you haven’t seen them for hours or days? Typically, your tribe will be 12-15 people and whilst the names on this list are changeable, the change is generally slow and takes place over years. I recently found my tribe list from four years ago and it has changed but only with a couple of people who I’m less close to now and a couple who I’m more close to. Of course, this is perfectly natural. We experience every soul we meet for a reason and some stay for a season whilst others stay a lifetime. We are grateful for them all and the lessons we learn together.
Recently I’ve become part of a new tribe - the Soul Happy tribe - and what a wonderful group of people they are. It’s quite a privilege to meet and be part of a group of heart-centred people who genuinely love and support one and other. It makes me light up when I’m with them. Their brand of open spirituality and positive vibes is helping to reconnect me to my spiritual roots and transform feelings from dark to light.
I want to mention another tribe of beautiful people who have incarnated at this time and chosen to be connected to Peterborough. It seems to me that there is an abundance of souls who help light up others around them and over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to get to know many of them. These are people who may not be in my direct tribe but are part of a wider community of activists, creatives and healers who are making a difference in this place and time, who choose to shine their light in a special way and brighten the lives of others around them.
It’s been an amazing journey of awareness since reading the Chimp Paradox. Discovering and valuing my tribe has helped me to build and value my relationships and the wider tribe of community helps me and the place I live be strong and vibrant.
Some of the members of my tribe (below), I'm blessed to have such beautiful people in my life:-)
In my role as the Communities Team Manager at PECT I’ve written a lot of blogs in the past, I don’t find it difficult, it's usually in the context of an environmental issue that's close to my heart and linked to the charities goals of creating sustainable places - this is different! How? Its about me, and not just the image I want to project in my day job, but about my heart and soul, it's about peeling back the layers and revealing things that ordinarily I don’t show anyone except the closest members of my tribe, and sometimes not even to them, I guess in this process I might even find layers I hadn’t shown myself and that's scary!!!
So (I ask myself) if this is so frightening why do it? Why risk bringing up all sorts of nasty past life wreckage and risk alienating people who might think differently about me, why rock the boat when it might tip over? Well, as Tim Booth says in his song Sound we should ‘do everything we fear, in this there’s power, fear is not to be afraid of’ this is something I try to live my life by, not always successfully, but its good to have a mantra when your facing a tricky situation, it reminds us we can actually do anything we put our mind, body and spirit into and allows us to take confidence from all the times we’ve taken the leap of faith, just like the fool in the tarot deck who tells us we have all we need, just step over the cliff and all will be well.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, well back in the early nineties (I know for some of us it's still the 90’s) I experienced a spiritual awakening which led me on a path towards enlightenment which is all about the experience, its not about the destination, it about the journey, and I’m sorry if that sounds clichéd but it's true:-)
Anyway, I digress, a topic for another time methinks.
The reason I mentioned my spiritual awakening is because this is the time that my interest in divination really peaked, it had always been there, a family trait, my Nanna used to read the tea leaves with me when I was small and I’d been fascinated with palm reading since I’d had mine read at a school fete in the summer of 76 with a prediction of living into my 80’s (which doesn’t seem so far off these days!).
It was around twenty five years ago that I picked up my first tarot deck and discovered just how much the cards resonated with me. Unlike other methods of divination I’d tried like the runes or staring into a crystal ball the cards spoke to me, they told me a story, this story takes me and the querent on a journey (yes there’s that word again) into the past, present and future, it tells of of hopes and dreams, of love and light and where sadness and drama lays, it helps us to clarify which way we turn when we take our next steps and can help us to remember the blueprint we wrote for this life and aid us in remembering our path.
Not just a tarot reading
Over the past year or so I have been experiencing what I like to think of as my second spiritual awakening, I took my complementary therapy qualifications back in the late nineties and early noughties but these more recognised disciplines (Massage/Aromatherapy/Indian Head Massage/Reflexology/Sports Massage) have always sat alongside intuitive guidance to use other forms of more ancient therapies which perhaps aren't as easy to explain through our modern day eyes, nonetheless they are sited throughout history, they exist and for me they are as powerful as any pill you can get from a doctor or pharmacist, and really importantly they work to really alleviate the disease not just take away the symptoms.
I have found that using methods such as crystal healing, chakra balancing , working with a pendulum or using energy work enhances a reading, it brings it to a full consciousness. When we get into the right meditative, almost trance like state, and open ourselves to our guides we breath prana into the reading, it becomes so much more than just a tarot reading, it helps us to find what we need to heal our whole-selves and to start to bring the missing pieces of us home.
So, I guess I’ve faced this fear, I’ve written my first Be the Light blog post, and quite enjoyed the process, if you’ve made it this far down the page thank you for listening and please do come back for more!
Bright Blessings - Namaste
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