Dr. Michelle Robin discusses the power of finding your tribe, whether you’re a Royals fan or on a journey toward wellness.
Story by Dr. Michelle Robin
Everywhere I have gone for the last few weeks of the baseball postseason, I’ve seen Royal Blue. The entire metropolitan area and pockets across the U.S. have been abuzz about the Royals. You hear it while waiting in line at the grocery store. You see Kansas City Royals T-shirts, caps and sweatshirts donned by, what seems like, every third person no matter where you are. Even people that aren’t really baseball fans gathered with friends in their homes or at a local pub to watch the games. Why?
I’m not questioning why one would support the Royals. (Woohoo! World Series Champs!) I’m a HUGE fan myself and get all decked out in Royals gear to cheer on the team too. Why do we do it? In particular, why is there a swell of support and interest by people who haven’t really been interested before?
We do it because we’re drawn to the connection and camaraderie of shared experience.
There is power in connection. We have an innate need to connect, to bond, to feel togetherness, to feel love. When we have connection with others we are able to break bad patterns and create good habits more easily. We’re able to see possibilities at a higher, bigger, broader, bolder level than we often can do on our own. Connection helps us push past our fears and believe we can and will make it (whatever it is).
A few years ago I met an incredible soul who is now a dear friend, Frank Ferrante. Frank’s life had become one of addiction, depression, obesity, and illness. He went through an amazing transformation of healing which was captured in the film “May I Be Frank.” That transformation was sparked by a heart to heart connection he had with three young men at Café Gratitude (the original in Califronia, but the one in KC is a great place to eat). It was Frank’s connection with these men that moved him along a journey to wellbeing. During that journey, Frank began healing his connections with his family and his connection to his own heart.
Talking with Frank about his history with addiction to drugs and alcohol I remember him specifically saying that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it is connection. Indeed, part of why programs like Alcoholics Anonymous work is the connections they create—connection to others, to God, to self.
Finding your tribe is one of the most important parts of a wellness journey. Your tribe may include your healthcare providers, your fitness trainer, your best friend that bikes with you, the other people that show up for yoga class, or your dog that appreciates your evening walk. Each and every one of those people (or furry friends) is part of your wellness tribe. They are connections that push you, believe in you, and are there alongside you. They make all this effort seem possible, fun, and worth it…even when you doubt yourself or the process.
There truly is power in connection—with others, with nature, with a higher power and with self. But it is our connection with others that embraces us, holds us up, and pushes us forward. It is that human-to-human connection (ideally in person, at least every now and then) that lets us know we’re not alone, and indeed are loved. I encourage you to explore your connections in every part of your life. If you’re feeling unsure, down and out, or unmotivated in a part of your life and you want something different, look at how you can create new or shift your current connections related to it. You will be surprised at how this one small change can create a big shift.
Dr. Michelle Robin is an author, international speaker, and Founder and CWO of Your Wellness Connection, P.A. She is the author of The E Factor: Engage, Energize, Enrich – Three Steps to Vibrant Health, Wellness on a Shoestring: Seven Habits for a Healthy Life, and co-author of the #1 bestseller Succeeding In Spite of Everything. Dr. Robin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.drmichellerobin.com, and as Dr. Michelle Robin on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.