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Unraveling Mental Zip Codes and Cultivating Your Tribe

Updated: Jul 6

"When you make a choice, you change the future." ~ Deepak Chopra, MD


As I sit at a table in a coffee shop for the second day, my fingers glide over my laptop's keyboard; Ricky Martin's "La Mordidita" is playing in my ear, and, while my body is seemingly static and my face looks as if I am dutifully working on something, my feet under the table betray me. The dancer in me, and let's face it, the Puerto Rican in me, are having a blast.



It is raining copiously outside. I stepped out of the house as it was just drizzling, not thinking of reattaching the hoodie to my raincoat—a fact betrayed by the state of my hair. But that is of no consequencethis day is perfect for writing while sipping from a cup of hot coffee. I just did not know what to write about until I looked up from my laptop.


Knitting


Two women are sitting in front of me, having what seems like a lively conversation—not that I can hear anything over Pitbull's voice (yes, it is Pitbull now), but I can see that they are smiling, laughing out loud from time to time, and knitting.


When was the last time I knitted? Maybe when I was volunteering at the Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline** many moons ago. One of my shift partners taught me to knit between crisis calls. But I abandoned the craft when I completed my volunteering hours and lost contact with my teacher.


The Blessing of Female Friendships


When was the last time I sat across the table from a female friend? I do not remember.


It is timely to see these women knitting in front of me today while I am, in a way, knitting a new reality for myself. Their presence reminds me of my need for those threads that only female friends and their warm embrace can provide. My spool is missing some of those colorful threads today.


I used to be part of an in-person tribe that supported each other during the big life transitions. While I remain friends with all of them, those life transitions have taken us away from one another.


Nowadays, my tribe, while more expansive, are all over the world—not two of us are in the same time zone. We are all female entrepreneurs and healers seeking to make a difference in the world. Our connecting thread? Our work, love of service, a desire to expand our reach, and a Mastermind Alliance that serves to support our individual and collective efforts and that, let's be honest, I instigated because I wanted more friends.


This is the moment when you reserve your judgment and decide to be supportive. Ha!


Big Transition


If you have read my previous posts you know that my life has changed drastically in the past year. True to my website's introduction, I am working from wherever "I can find a good WiFi connection." It is ironic how I wrote those fateful words a few months ago while preparing to launch my website, sitting in the comfort and warmth of my house, and enjoying my trusted Internet connection.


This global community of women have become crucial as I navigate my current transition. At a time when I do not have a zip code, the work we do together and individually serves as a reminder of a more significant truth: we are citizens of the world. Together, we are knitting a blanket of support as real and significant as if we were sitting in front of one another.


Changing Zip Codes


I am not new to changing zip codes, but there is much more to the process than an address change.


A few years ago, a beloved friend of mine asked me to accompany her to see a psychic. Skeptical as I was, I accompanied her and decided to get a reading myself. During the conversation, I shared that I had been considering relocating to the mainland. Mind you, this conversation took place years before I had an actual reason and a plan to move.

I do not remember much about that reading except for the psychic's reply to my announcement that I was relocating. He asked, "Is the fever in the blanket, or do you carry it on you?"


Rats!


I remember that psychic guy often. His question has evolved in my experience to encompass geography, jobs, friendships, relationships, and everything that seems so uncomfortable that I want to walk away. The question itself has often prompted me to change my mental zip code instead.


Changing Our Mental Zip Code


What does it mean to change our mental zip code?


It means embarking on a journey of growth that is not just about changing habits—it's a profound exploration of our mental landscape. It means we recognize the need to move away from old paradigms and behavioral patterns. It is about embracing ourselves, recognizing our beauty, and making a choice that will create a different result. It is about remembering that our history is not our destiny.


To change our mental zip code we must:


Map Our Zip Code: Mental zip codes are symbolic representations of our ingrained thought patterns, habits, and behavioral responses. They are the neighborhoods of our mind where familiar routines and paradigms reside. Recognizing these mental zip codes is the first step in the journey towards growth and self-discovery.


Identify Old Paradigms: Old paradigms are like outdated maps that no longer serve us. They shape our beliefs, influencing our decisions and actions. Through introspection and self-awareness, we can pinpoint the paradigms that no longer align with our aspirations. This self-awareness is the compass guiding us toward new, unexplored territories.


Behavioral Patterns and Habits: Our daily habits and behavioral patterns are the threads that weave the tapestry of our lives. As we scrutinize these threads and discern the habits that propel us forward and those that hold us back, we consciously weave a new narrative by replacing limiting habits with empowering ones. This step is crucial for weaving a new, vibrant tapestry that supports our desired outcomes.


Crafting New Paradigms: With old paradigms identified and limiting habits under review, it's time to sketch the blueprint for new paradigms. We envision the life we want to lead, the career we aspire to, and the spiritual expression that resonates with our authentic self. We establish empowering beliefs and attitudes that align with our vision. This act of intentional creation is the foundation for transformative change.


Behavioral Modification through CBT Techniques: Cognitive Behavioral Techniques offer a toolbox of alternatives to reshape thoughts and behaviors. Implementing strategies such as cognitive restructuring, behavioral activation, and exposure therapy actively challenge and transform old habits. Consistent application of these techniques creates the conditions for lasting change.


Cultivate Our Tribe: While reshaping our mental landscape, it's equally important to surround ourselves with a supportive and like-minded tribe. Our tribe consists of individuals who share our values, aspirations, and commitment to growth. We are free to seek out communities, both online and offline, where we can exchange ideas, receive encouragement, and celebrate each other's victories.


Knitting the Threads: As we navigate the intricate process of change, we start to visualize the threads of our life weaving into a tapestry that not only supports personal, professional, and spiritual growth but also resonates with the energy of our tribe. The intertwining of these threads creates a dynamic and resilient fabric that sustains and uplifts us on our journey.


Conclusion


A rainy day, a cup of coffee, a playlist created for the commute in your ear, witnessing others cultivate their in-person friendships, understanding the importance of those relationships, and being proactive in creating a community when you feel that you lack one are all elements of knitting your social and spiritual blanket.


As you work on altering mental zip codes and embracing new paradigms, imagine the threads of your life intertwining purposefully and harmoniously. This process involves intentional actions that align with your goals, fostering personal, professional, and spiritual growth.


Cultivating a supportive tribe is integral to our journey of holistic growth. The path to a fulfilling life is not solitary; it is a shared adventure enriched by the collective energy of those who walk beside you.


Until we meet again on these pages, or a phone call, be safe, dear sojourner, but keep on moving.




Neidy Lozada, MATP, ATCC, CSIC, is an adaptive integrative and spiritual integration coach. She brings over twenty years of experience in transpersonal practices, coaching, and business to her work with individuals from all over the globe. She founded Soulful Sojourners following her long-held dream of building a company to provide top-notch coaching services to women, men, and organizations undergoing a profound transformational process. Neidy continues to serve non-profit organizations in the Bay Area through her work as a board member. She is a proud mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and devoted caretaker of furry companions.


** If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or suicide emergency, call or text 9-8-8 or go online to https://988lifeline.org to connect with a counselor.

3 comentarios

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Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

Beautiful words Neidy, thank you. Took me back in time to my 'cafe' days too where I would sit, like you working on my laptop pausing at times in observing as others were going about their lives ❤️ and wondering what my next zip code would be.

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Invitado
07 ene
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I've been realising lately, how important cultivating a supportive tribe is 😊

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Carol
Carol
02 ene
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Absolutely love this! Speaks to my heart in so many levels!!

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