Building Your Tribe
We are on Ujima today which we know to mean collective work and responsibility. Collective is one of the keys to this principle tying the idea of resource; we can say that the collective is the focus for today. Tribe building is a skill in putting people & the resources they bring together. Of course before we get into bringing different people together, we first have to take the inward journey of putting the parts of ourselves together. We have to recognize the resources we put on the table. Let’s once again take a look at the 5 parts of ourselves that make up the whole that we are, and be able to maximize their power so that we can pull the best out of our external tribe. Yep, we have an internal tribe that we will have to work with composed of our:
Intuition - This is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. This part of ourselves plugs us into a larger reality, and gives us access to information without having to go through the usual steps of learning. We just seem to know things. We can say this is where we get access to ancestral wisdom. When young people are able to tune into this we call them an “old soul”. When we are able to pull this part of our tribe into the fold we have access to information that it would typically take years to acquire. We have access to past knowledge gathered, and future things hidden.
Mental (mind) - This is the element of yourself that enables you to be aware (conscious) of the world. This part of your personal tribe is able to gather information from all the other parts of your being, and make decisions based on the information, and in most cases based on past experiences.
Emotional - A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships. This part of our personal tribe is about feeling, these feelings can provide energy, or take energy away. Until we become aware of this part of our personal tribe, it can cause large amounts of confusion in our lives. This part of our being is linked to all the other parts and until we get control of it we may be a servant of them.
Spiritual - This is the nonphysical part of our being that links us to the world of the spirit. By learning and using this part of our personal tribe we can not only accomplish many internal personal deeds, we can have an actual physical impact on those around us. I am going to group the imagination in with this part of our being.
Physical - Part of our tribe is how we interact with the world. This is the actual physical connection that we have to effect change in our lives. This part of our personal tribe is directly affected by all other parts and is the first place we can begin to actualize change in ourselves and the world.
Hopefully by now you have realized that the system that we use in GNJ all starts with you aligning your five parts of being first before you are able to have any balanced effect in the world. This is important for you to grasp, because we have to be the catalyst for the change that we want to bring to the world. I can bring change and be out of alignment, but what usually results is that all that is built is done on a faulty foundation, and is doom to collapse in time. So by aligning myself with my personal power, and directing my 5 parts of being (my internal tribe) it makes me better able to control those things, or influence those things around me.
Now let’s move to my external tribe and build something that can stand the test of time, and the continuous movement of life. We have to understand that life is constantly in motion, and the things that we laid down yesterday may need to be firmed up, pulled down and re-erected, or totally destroyed and rebuilt. This requires us to remain in a balanced state. If we become too attached to any part of what we are trying to build it allows for those unbalanced passions to throw us out of internal alignment. To erect my collective or build my tribe I have to help get each individual to seek their personal alignment, and then help them direct their resources (skills, and talents) toward the goal of the tribe. We have to help our members get in touch with who they really are. Remember the lesson from yesterday that as African people we have always realized that true wealth lies in the people. If you are part of a tribe or building a tribe this needs to be your mantra. We need to change our perception of the world from what we have been taught in this system, that has been designed to perpetuate itself to our ancient view. Once we are able to get this as a tribal goal, we can really begin to focus on the resources within the tribe to do serious work, with people at the center.
The steps to building a tribe are the same steps for initiating a person into the tribe. This process is based on what outsiders call a rites of passage (ROP), or what mythologists would call the hero's journey. Here is the process:
The Call - There is some type of call that goes out for the member. This can be an actual call from you or a member of the tribe. This can also be some type of metaphysical call that they received and they ended up at the right place at the right time etc.. The bottom line is something has reached out to the person and what they hear and see attracts them to your group (unless they were born into the tribe, which is a whole nother story).
Separation - in this phase the tribe needs to separate itself from the world. They need to go somewhere private to bond and really get to know each other, and know the tribe. In this sacred space that is financed by the group so that they can truly be immersed in the space, the tribe needs to take care that all of the needs of the members or prospective members are met. This is not a place for tourists or outsiders. Here the group will engage in their sacred rites, and ceremonies. If your group doesn't have them they need to develop them. In this place individuals dedicate or rededicate themselves to the mission of the tribe, or are prepared for initiation into the tribe.
Initiation - At this point those that are new to the tribe show their dedication through tests, rituals and ceremonies. They learn the lore of the tribe and all pertinent information for the tribe.
Members show their dedication by guiding the new members through the rituals, as well in the down time discuss the future goals of the tribe. Here bonds are strengthened by the stress and the strain that this time puts on the whole organization. In this space if there are no new initiates to the tribe business is dived into, and new goals are set and some members receive new responsibilities or new tasks to accomplish before the next period.
Re-introduction - Here the new initiates are introduced to the tribe and the larger community also here is where members who have been promoted, moved to new positions, and received new assignments are introduced. The tribe also announces any new challenges that they will take up in the next period of time.
Now don’t be freaked out by the language whether you know it or not many of you have gone through these types of rituals, ceremonies, and this whole process. It just has been called different names. These processes can be found in the larger world, because they help keep organization together and strong. So those of you trying to build your tribe remember the cardinal rule. If your inner tribe is not together no matter what you do your external tribe will fail.