So Dave, also known as “Mr Cupcake” – and who couldn’t love a man who is named Mr. Cupcake? – challenged me to name what the first 30 days of the tribe did for me. Actually, he challenged ALL of us to put into words what our experience has been thus far, in a practical, tangible way.
So, Mr. Cupcake, here you go.
I’m going to call this story START WHERE YOU ARE.
I noticed one day that some of my own muses, the women who stir my soul, whose messages are my own in so many ways, have one thing in common: they flaunt conformity and do things their own way. And they always attract a tribe because of it. In fact, the only way they’ve been able to support their life and pay their bills is they wear their heart on their sleeves, and rely on their tribes to support them. Aside from Lady Gaga (who exploded with mainstream support) all these women relied on small, passionate, rabidly devoted fans who formed a tribe of belief and support around them.
Tori Amos, Storm Large, Amanda Palmer…even Clarissa Pinkola Estes who didn’t write Women Who Run With The Wolves until she was in her 40s and took rejection after rejection before it was accepted and went onto international success…these women color outside the lines and have created their own world.
They have have wildly passionate tribes that thrive outside of mainstream machines. Me? I’ve been in and out of hiding for a long time. I’ve been successful; I’ve been devastated. But mostly I’ve done it without a tribe. I know there are many fans out there, especially fans of A Knock at the Door and other films I’ve made, along with peeps who loved my blog and books, who are passionate about the message of practical magic that I tout. But I really haven’t ever made myself consistently available to be known, had, used (haha) by my peeps. I created in a sacred space, showed up on my own whim, and hid out a lot.
So a couple months ago I just thought, “Why not try?” I care less about success (though we all can admit right here that success is important if you wanna keep making art and keep the lights on!) and more about connection and maybe there are other people out there like me who ache for this kind of belonging. So I started this tribe, and it exploded.
Silas and I had been reviewing our creative and financial options since January. We both knew when Izzy died in December that an end of an era had come. Also, with some of our creative endeavors, there needs to be change. We’d reached a critical mass of sorts, letting us know that our avenues of art and business needed to shift. We used January and February to review our options, but had not decided quite the right path. And half way through this tribe experiment we knew this…THIS…is where I need to be. THIS THING RIGHT HERE, this is where the juice is.
Let’s be clear: we have some barking dogs in the form of bills, responsibilities, pressures. We’ve got a few things that have to take place this year that are big spendy needs. We have some responsibilities to answer to that require a good bit of energy this year. And the tribe is not a financial endeavor. It’s a heart endeavor. So while neither Silas nor I can justify the energy I spend with the tribe on a profit/loss statement, we know. WE KNOW. This is where the juice is. This is what is calling. It’s like Spirit is waving a giant flag “right here, right here, this is it!”
So many of you know what this is like. It can feel like looking down a canyon rim with no end in sight and hearing a voice shout “JUMP!” Your impulse is to shout back “NO WAY! I’m not going down there without a freakin’ parachute…and even then, not so much…!”
But sometimes, a lot of times, the way up, the way to your most glorious callings, is in free fall, and in the unknown.
So, what has the tribe done for me?
If you haven’t read my post from Day 30, go read it. Cuz you need it as back story to what I’m about to tell you. No, really. Go read it. I’m not continuing until you do. —-> The Tribe Gathering – Day 30
Ok, so Father Doug? After meeting him at the print shop, we make plans to meet him the next morning for brunch. On the way to that meeting, Silas and I are discussing that it’s time for a new printer. Our old printer bit the dust a few years ago and ever since we’ve been driving to Santa Fe to get our prints made. It’s a giant time suck, and a gaping energy hole, to boot. We’re in this weird in-between place, where we can’t justify $3000 for the printer we want, but it really is the printer we need. We don’t want to drive to Santa Fe once a month any more, and can’t really afford that kind of time or energy any more, but it’s more affordable than a big $3,000 outlay. So one isn’t the solution and neither is the other. What to do?
We no sooner finish that contemplative conversation than we pull up into Harry’s Roadhouse to meet Father Doug for brunch. I’m thinking we’re going to discuss soul paths and enlightenment and wild inclusion, when Father Doug pipes up with, “So, do you guys print much?”
And four sentences later he’s offering us his Canon6100 – the $3,000 printer we can’t afford. It’s been sitting in his garage, unused, brand new, for a year. He’s offering it to us, for, like, free. Or almost free.
It doesn’t matter where you are. You know where you’re going, what you want. And if you don’t? Well, you know what you DON’T want, and any time we know what we don’t want, we know more fully what we do want.
We don’t need to know how we’re going to get it. What we have to simply follow the JUICE of our bliss. What feels so good to you that you’d want to do it even if you’re not being paid? What do you love? What is fun? Happy? Juicy?
Don’t get lost in the hub-bub of the HOW. And if you don’t have a solid picture of the WHAT, start with an inkling.
Just start with the juice.
Then show up, daily, and keep moving towards that juicy thing. One step at a time. You don’t need to see the whole path, just the next few steps.
You don’t have to get it right, map it out, have a five year plan. You don’t have to go back to school, get certified, fix all the broken places and mend everything that’s “wrong.” You just have to point yourself in the direction of your juice and move.
I mean, if you’re in Minneapolis and you decide to drive to Bangor, Maine, you can’t see all the way to Bangor, can you? No, you just have a general idea in which direction to point your car. And at night, driving home from a restaurant, you can’t see the whole path in front of you, nor the end destination. You can only see the 200 feet in front of you that your headlights illuminate. And little by little, light by light, you arrive.
As soon as I started this tribe, my world exploded with juice. YOU, and your voracious appetite for soul, are my juice. Your conversations with me, and with each other, are alchemical and artful and addictive. I didn’t know where this tribe was going. I still don’t. But as the tribe began taking on a life force of its own, I knew enough to be certain my time didn’t need to be spent making new greeting cards or looking for new licensing opportunities. I knew my place was with this tribe, step by step, pace by pace, 200 feet of illumination at a time as we drive our way home.
So thank you. I may be behind the wheel, but we are all, collectively, steering this baby.
I love every minute, and am here, cheering you on, as you point your life in the direction of your dreams.