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Finding Your TRIBE

September 30, 2016

Hi, hi my loveliest humans! There is one question I tend to get asked over and over again, and that is: “You seem to be surrounded by such great people — people that lift you up and that you share passions and interests with, and it always looks like you’re having so much fun. How did you meet those people and what are your tips for finding your tribe?”

SERIOUSLY. The best question in the WORLD because I could talk about my best humans all day everyday, and also because there is no better feeling on this earth than to be seen, heard, felt & accepted by people who GET you.

My lifelong crew right hurr! <3

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Conversely, there is probably no worse feeling than feeling misunderstood, lonely or out of place. Life is meant to be shared with people we love, no matter how much alone time we like to have or how much work there is to be done — at the end of the day, it’s the people we surround ourselves with who make life worth living.

Also, I think those of us in the wellness world can have a particularly hard time connecting sometimes because we don’t necessarily fit the status quo — staying out late, drinking a lot, rolling our eyes about workouts, living for the weekends, you know the drill.

That’s not us — but we are also not necessarily picking flowers in a field somewhere or boycotting restaurants that sell meat. We just wanna hang and have a good time and also take care of ourselves and feel good! Am I right?

This human tho.

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Story time.

I have definitely been on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve always been a social person and have had a lot of close friends (many of them I’ve had in my life since I was 5 years old — so I have been lucky to have my genuine ride or dies for what feels like always) — but I have surely gone through phases where I have felt misunderstood and like it’s been hard to connect about the things love to do and want to spend my time doing.

Mainly when I was at the end of my college career I found it very hard to find people who enjoyed what I loved doing. There were one or two, but most of my best friends were not into the same things that I was. I was kind of over the partying, going out scene, and I was VERY into yoga, healthy eating, travel / adventuring the world, cooking, writing and being creative, early nights and full days, that kinda thing.

And may I add, not in a boring way — I was just kind of ready for the next phase of life! I still liked going out and having fun, but surface-level conversations, being around people who were complaining about their lives or their friends or their jobs, and talking to people who just didn’t GET me or my deep-rooted desire for living an inspired life — it became stale. And unbearable. And very difficult to force.

Luckily, three years later, I have very much gotten over that hump. (But I’ll never forget it — and I still face that issue with going out sometimes.) Overall, I know where to find my people, and I also know how to connect with my true and genuine friends regardless of our interests being the same or wildly different.

Also, some of my nearest and dearest life long friends don’t live in my city. Many live in Nor Cal, many live in New York, and some are all over the place. I live in L.A. now and my closest friends here come from a wide range of places– from college, from the blogging world, from the fitness / workout / yoga world, family friends, and people I’ve gotten close to basically by happenstance.

And I FIRMLY believe that I have cultivated such a rad group of close friends because am doing what I am meant to be doing. I am where I am supposed to be, and I fill my time with things that I LOVE.

My ride. or. dies.

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Let’s talk tips.

  1. If you feel like you’re not surrounded by the people who you are meant to be friends with, and by people that share YOUR genuine interests and passions, then examine the way that you spend your time. Where do you go on the weekends? What do you do on the weeknights? Start filling your time with things that make you feel alive — and it’s very likely that you’ll meet other people in those same places. I’ve met some of my closest friends on yoga retreats, at OrangeTheory Fitness (workout studio), through my BLOG (consider blogging about something you’re passionate about!), and by frequenting certain places in my neighborhood that align with my lifestyle… Like Alfred Coffee, Lululemon, Juice Crafters, etc.
  2. Say “YES” when you want to say YES, and say “NO” when you want to say NO. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that, if you’re doing something just because you FEEL like you should, you shouldn’t be there at all. Saying “NO” to one plan can actually be a “YES” to another plan (or to yourself!) — one that’s better suited for you and what you feel like doing in that moment. I’m not saying to be flakey… Definitely not that. Just don’t say YES in the first place if you don’t want to be there. Stay home and journal instead of going out if that’s what you feel like doing — sometimes doing that self-work WILL connect you to your core, and then you will be more likely to begin doing things that feed your soul, and surround yourself with people who do also.
  3. Quality over quantity. When you feel lonely, I know it feels comforting to imagine gathering all the friends that you can and make plans with everyone you know. But really, that’s not the case. A lot of relationships and friendships can leave us feeling drained rather than recharged. Choose your close friends based on QUALITY… someone you can tell anything to, who you can have a blast with always, who will listen to you on your toughest days and celebrate with you on your best (and that you want to reciprocate that with!). It’s not about having a million friends — it’s about having TRUE friendships.
  4. Put yourself out there! This one is hard, but true. You won’t meet new people if you don’t put yourself out there to make it happen. Be OPEN to the universe and the people it wants to bring into your life. I met one of my best friends (YO DANIKA!) because she put herself OUT THERE and asked to be my intern. I put myself out there and met her for coffee, and put myself out there again when I hired her. Over the course of almost two years, a full-blown blossoming photography career (of hers!), and countless ways to collaborate and have fun together… She became a best best friend. Someone I could tell ANYTHING to, and could literally travel the universe with and never get sick of. She gets me. We laugh our heads off together. Also, sometimes all you have to do is ask to hang out with someone. Make plans. Especially with social media these days, I’m sure you stalk people who you think you’d be BFF’s with. Make a plan! More people say yes than you’d think.My Soph!! We put ourselves out there and met up at the Beverly Hill’s farmer’s market 3 yrs ago… And the rest was history!
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  5. Be confident that who is meant to be in your life will never miss you, and what was never meant to be will always pass you by. This is very true. There are people I’ve been close to for a period of time that I’m not anymore. People who I wanted to develop genuine, lasting, lifelong friendships with. We either drifted apart or they weren’t who I thought they were (or maybe I wasn’t who they thought I was), and that’s okay. I don’t waste my time wondering “Why?” and “What if?” about people who don’t make an effort to be close to me. That just sets myself up for false perceptions (“Do they hate me? Am I weird? Did I do something wrong?”) and wastes my energy that can be spent on my GREAT friendships that are seamless, easy and true.
  6. On the note of confidence, be confident in who YOU are and know that you are worth it. People pick up on your vibes. If you are in a stage of your life where you’re not feeling so stable or confident, you will likely drift toward and attach to people who are in a similar boat. This might create an unhealthy friendship or destructive habits… I.e. talking with each other about how much life sucks, how nothing good ever happens for you, how you hate the way you look, something like that. You want people in your life who are working on themselves in GOOD ways — they don’t have to have it all together (Lord knows that we all have a ways to go!) but they definitely should have a positive outlook. You want positivity — it’s energy-enhancing, rather than energy-sucking!
  7. Know yourself!!! Man, this one requires a lot of work and openness. GET to know yourself. You may never know how you like to spend your time, what you’re most passionate about, who you want to surround yourself with, etc. if you don’t take the time to get to know yourself. Guys, I’m in therapy, I have an Ayurvedic practitioner, I journal and meditate, I get facials / massages / spend time alone, read all sorts of books, WRITE, do everything I need to do to get to KNOW myself. I listen to myself. I am able to tune in and recognize when a friendship or relationship is no longer serving me — it’s not always easy to act on, but man is it worth it.
  8. Make an effort. This goes beyond putting yourself out there. Once you’ve put yourself out there and started to cultivate good relationships, keep them going! Make plans. Have weekly workout dates if it fits your schedule. Develop routines with people… For example, my BFF and I go to the farmer’s market together every Sunday morning. I usually see her plenty more than that, but if the week is busy or we are both all over the place — we know we have that time together. We both love it, it’s a good routine and it fits into our lives seamlessly. If I haven’t seen someone for a while, I reach out to make dinner plans or go on a walk or get a manicure. It’s not hard to do, but it certainly takes effort and prioritizing those people who matter. With my long-distance friends, it’s phone calls and texts and checking in and making sure to stay up on their lives!
  9. Be inspired by other people, rather than comparative. You’ve gotta be able to be happy for your friends. People want friends in their lives who can celebrate their accomplishments genuinely and be excited for them when things are going well. Don’t be a friend who tears others down (even if it’s subconscious) or forgets to congratulate them on a big accomplishment. Set calendar reminders if you have to. There have been HUGE things in my life — like running the LA Marathon, my book coming out, starting my yoga teacher training, etc. and certain very close friends of mine legitimately forgot or didn’t ask how it went or congratulate me. It was very hurtful and opened my eyes quite a bit to do who DID reach out! Sometimes people truly forget, you’ve gotta forgive and not harp on it, but sometimes it’s rooted in jealousy and that’s when you might have to distance yourself a bit.Lex & I run / workout / do a mill things together. This girl is my life.
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  10. If you blog, remember that this blogging world is a COMMUNITY — so support others & that’s how you will make friends! I have a ton of friends who are bloggers. We met because we mutually support each other. Maybe we even mutually stalk each other. Never start thinking you’re better than someone else because you have more readers or because you have been doing this longer… The MOST successful bloggers are the ones who are supportive of others in the field, communicative with their readers, and open and humble about what they do. Point blank!

AHHH there we have it! I hope this helps. Finding my tribe has been a life changing and WONDERFUL thing. I have my old friends, my new friends, my soul sister humans, the loves of my lives, my family… And I feel VERY full. Very full. I am lucky AF. And I want you guys to have the same feeling!

PS lots of amazing peeps un-pictured in this post, but DEAR to my heart and in lots of other blog posts, hehe. 😉
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