I am a very lucky person in very many ways. I am aware of that and I thank my lucky stars every single day. Not only was I born into a very loving and large and connected family but I have, in my 40+ years on this earth, gathered up a goodly amount of amazing friends. And believe me when I say this network of family and friends is definitely not something I take for granted. Ever.

And the fact that I continuously meet new people on this life’s journey is one of the biggest surprises of my adult experience. And the very thing I tell teens when asked about life’s great surprises. Really? Amazing people just keep showing up? Yup.

This weekend was a great example of that. A couple of hundred women all gathered in one room to listen, learn and share ideas at the bi-annual MomCom Austin event.  I was invited to share the stage with my dear friend Carrie Contey and together we spoke on the subject of Building Your Tribe. We told the story of how our group of 7 women came together to work, share, learn, inspire and support each other through this thing called life. Though we initially came together to find more ways to stay in our creative flow in the midst of early parenting, what we’ve become to each other over the past 8 years has been more than we could ever have imagined. And though we came together intentionally, with our work as our focus, we had no idea we were forming a group that would still be together this many years later. And  we had no idea we were forming a group that has been and continues to be so instrumental to all of us personally and professionally and that we see now will likely last our whole lives long.

Lucky us for sure.

With hindsight as our guide, Carrie and I prepared for our talk by pondering the things that made the group work. The things that continuously bond and inspire us, not only as a connected group, but, individually, the things that bring us to our very best selves.  Everyday. And the things that make us feel lucky. Everyday. And the things that have made it work and last and be the very essence of goodness that we all have come to count on.

So here in 10 easy steps are some ideas for creating your own Goodness. To inspire you and make your life even luckier than it currently is…

10 Ways to Create Your Own Tribe…

  1. Start small and stay small – too many people and you won’t feel obliged to show up because you’ll feel you won’t be missed if you’re not there. Though it feels strange to keep it tight, if you open it too big, it won’t be sustainable.
  2. Find a couple of women you love and ask them to find one more person – this creates an immediate circle of women who will probably get along.
  3. Find a common thread and work from there – maybe you’re all mamas or artists or marathon runners or some such. A common ground is a great starting point
  4. Start with a clear intention – workshop, retreat, etc. Especially if you start off with something that you pay for which will make you more likely to commit fully to it.
  5. Keep it purposeful – the social is fun but the purposeful intention and commitment to a book or exercise or something definitive gives you reason to show up fully and regularly.
  6. Hire someone every now and again to bring you to a new level – when the group needs a bump up, hire out to reignite the commitment.
  7. Make a regular meeting time – rather than having to discuss it each week or each month, make it the same – Tuesday nights or First Thursday or something to give it it’s rightful place.
  8. Find a sustainable time slot – something that won’t be easily pre-empted by some other meeting or family need.
  9. Name it -by naming it you can call it and by calling it you are acknowledging it’s powerful existence.
  10. Ask your family for support. Even your kids. Ask them to joyfully give you the space and ask them to encourage you to meet up regularly. Remind them of all you get from it, which in turn will mean they too will get something from it.

So go on. Make your own Tribe. Your world will be better off for it. That I guarantee.