Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Find Your Tribe, Create Your Art

Seth Godin has several great books about business and marketing but two of his most important messages are about the broader concept of living our lives: Find Your Tribe & Create Your Art. Here's how I started to do both...

In the Spring of 2002- or as I've come to call it... my time of discombobulation- through the Summer of 2003 I had parted with 1/3 of my friends, 1/3 of my stuff, and almost all of what I thought I'd known for sure. It was disorientating.

Fast-forward to the Spring of 2013 and I'm hosting workshops about what I've learned and the philosophy I've created for myself and my life. One of the key lessons I learned was to declutter the things that aren't working in our life and replace them with aspects that will light us up- this includes the people we choose to spend out precious time with.

I use Seth's book Tribes as the lead-in to this conversation. I talk about how many of us have collected friends by as flimsy of criteria as we went to school, worked, or lived by each other. It's time to stop and ask ourselves if these are the folks we want to continue to invest our energy and time in or are we ready to go find our tribe? The folks we admire, are fascinated by, that value us and make us better at who we are: these folks make up our Tribes.

We don't need to be asked, to be picked, or invited into a tribe- we just join in or begin to lead our own.

I tell the story of how I became a published author, how I was mentioned in pal Amy's book Bright Side Up, and how coming from no background in writing what-so-ever I now have a bunch of writer friends that I consider my tribe. As I explain Seth's point of finding our tribes I open to the inside jacket cover of his book where there is a picture of me in the top corner. Then I deliver the line:
I went from loving books and admiring writers... to being in books and becoming a writer. 
Seth and I are not friends, I made the cover jacket because as an admirer of his work I had gladly sent in a photo when he had asked (not knowing what it was for but trusting it was something fun and worthwhile)- but that's where everyone can start. Find people we are inspired by, marinate in their wisdom, and then go and create our own path with our own message.

Seth's current book The Icarus Deception is all about how now is the time to create our art and get it out into the world.

This is what I am doing with my work and my workshop. And how do I know it is working? Because a friend who took the workshop recently thanked me for some help and ended with: ... you are part of my tribe! 

Seth's brilliance is he observes things, names them, and then expands that concept with his writings so we can participate if the message speaks to us. Finding our tribes and sending our art in to the world... I can't think of two more important things for us to focus on. So thanks Seth, you've made a difference in my world, inspired me to get my art shipped, and helped me explain the importance of finding people we connect with and then creating even more possibilities of art from there.


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