At the end of last year, I decided to book a one-way flight to Nicaragua, not quite sure of what I’d find but willing to trust my intuitive guidance for more adventure and travel.
I’ve been a solo nomadic traveler for a good portion of my life, having lived in a total of 7 countries before returning to the U.S. to find a sense of community and connection. I spent the last 4 years in L.A. with the intention of growing my Life Coaching practice and finding my tribe.
After 4 years in a big city however, I became a bit exhausted with the daily hustle and grind of living in such a fast-moving, hyper-creative city. I had found a men’s group, a dance community, and a wealth of high-vibrational events all around town, but I still yearned for a deeper sense of community and richer connection.
Once I honored this calling for more adventure, life began to unfold in a magical way and after several weeks traveling around the country, I became aware of Momentom Collective through word of mouth.
As I checked out the website, I immediately connected to the mission of the organization: “to inspire artists and travelers to become the fullest expression of themselves.”
I’d been yearning for my tribe and this calling to explore the intentional community at Momentom Collective intrigued me, and also made me aware of my own fears around fitting into the group and feeling at home.
Being a solo traveler and a bit of a solitary person these past several years, I knew it’d be an adjustment, but I’d prepared myself by staying 7 full days on the neighboring island of Ometepe over the New Year at an intentional community called Inanitah.
I’ve begun to relax into communal living and have learned to be open to receive what this experience is teaching me.
Here are 5 Ways that will help you to Integrate into the Tribe…
1. GET CURIOUS
When you arrive to a new community, the first thing to realize is that this creation is the result of a lot of collective thought, vision, willpower, and effort. With a sense of awe & appreciation, it may allow you to get curious about the core values, philosophy and intentions that exist behind this intentional community that you are helping to co-create.
It takes a village, as the saying goes, to make community living possible. And it’s the people that contribute to the experience. Being welcomed upon your arrival as well the personal connections you make with each person in the tribe, help create your experience. Bonding may happen when it’s your turn to cook dinner with your housemates or when you’re training on the lyra. However it unfolds, just be open to new conversations and see where it leads.
Get curious about who these people are who’ve come to this unique place at the very same time as you, probably with similar goals and dreams. Everyone has a story and many are pretty darn interesting if you take the time to listen.
As my mentor once said, “you’re only as powerful as you are open.”
You can learn a lot about people by simply asking questions and creating some space to receive their responses. You’ll of course find things in common — after all, it’s a community of like-minded artists — but the most interesting thing is being able to expand your knowledge and skills from the sharing that happens in the collective.
Can you be open during your experience in the community?
Can you subdue the know-it-all voice in your head and just hear another person’s perspective?
Practicing the zen principle of Beginner’s Mind ensures you arrive to learn, expand, and contribute…from curiosity and innocence.
2. BE WILLING TO ADAPT
Maybe you’ve lived alone or have become set in your ways, putting a lot of value on your personal preferences. We can all be pretty quirky sometimes, so being able to adapt is going to play a big part in your ability to find harmony within the tribe.
Collectives or communal living usually operates with a core philosophy that can include respectfully listening to one another’s perspectives, holding gratitude circles or sharing circles, and even honoring one another’s dietary restrictions. Some things like allergies or lifestyle choices cannot be argued with.
No one demands that you change. Adapting usually happens in one’s attitude and at one’s own pace. It doesn’t mean conformity, either. It’s simply recognizing that harmony is achieved when one’s personal choices also consider how they affect the whole.
It might serve you to remember that the collective is a co-creation, and while the experience has been designed and curated to a certain degree, it involves your active participation.
And, as they say, ‘you get out what you put in.’
So, are you willing to learn how to flow, how to live with respect for others, and find your own rhythm while fitting into the larger group dynamic?
It will be the difference between forcing and allowing. Which do you think would create more harmony?
3. BRING COMPASSION TO YOUR INTERACTIONS
The reason communities thrive or falter, from my perspective, is usually because of egos. Sure, sometimes not everyone will resonate with the core values or philosophy, and others will have different intentions for what they want out of the experience. But here’s the thing, it’s a community, after all, and the lifeblood of a healthy community is healthy communication.
When you bring compassion to your interactions, you might get some insight into those quirks that you see in others. Judgment is our first reaction, and often times our default way of being.
Compassion means coming from the heart, acknowledging that this person in front of you has a heart too. They have hopes and dreams and so many life experiences that have made them who they are.
Sometimes that person who’s temperamental and a bit impatient could actually be going through some tough life changes, some personal problems, or just received some bad news from home.
As the quote goes: “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
If you, too, have suffered, then it’s easier to have compassion when you see your fellow artist residents going through something. Instead of expecting them to be different, simply ask them what they need.
What do you need?
This question can shift everything.
4. HAVE AN INTENTION TO CONTRIBUTE
When you’re integrating into a new tribe, the easiest way to make an impact and a good impression is to ask how you can contribute. If you’re being naturally curious, you’ll notice where you can lend a hand, offer support, or even teach a class.
Notice what the community is in need of and create an offering around that. At Momentom Collective, a weekly schedule features classes, talks, and workshops by resident artists who wish to share their knowledge and expertise with others, following the adages that together we rise and everyone has something to offer.
When you find yourself maybe giving too much, it’s ok to pare back a bit and receive as well. Sometimes your presence and attention is a contribution.
5. PRACTICE YOUR ART
There’s a time to play, there’s a time to rest, and then there’s time to practice, train and create your art. In an artists’ community, obviously it thrives from people engaging in their artistry and honing their craft.
Sometimes, what people need is to witness the kind of dedication and discipline needed to make one’s art their livelihood. Work ethic is something each one of us develops independently. But it always helps to model our work ethic after someone successful or someone we aspire to be like.
If you’re here to train and master your craft, then your intention will propel you into action. The structure provided with a daily schedule and classes offered give you the ability to plan your day, making your practice more efficient and effective.
The whole is affected by how you show up. When you bring your energy to the collective and give your gifts, everyone benefits. And you may find that there’s a huge sense of accomplishment in supporting others to find their greatness.
The best advice I ever got was to find a supportive community. And when you’re following your intuitive guidance, you may begin to perceive that you share “heart agreements” with others in the tribe and have similar visions and aspirations. This is where high-level creation can happen and where conversations of collaboration open up.
As you come back into relationship with the tribe, notice what changes within you. Perhaps a more easy-going nature comes over you. Maybe you’re triggered at first and slowly learn acceptance through the initial adjustment period. Either way, it’s all good. The tribe is designed for you to thrive and grow!
So follow your bliss and commit to living life as an adventure. Your contribution is needed and your community awaits your arrival!