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An invitation to gather

An invitation to gather

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Our ability to tell stories is a uniquely human trait and has always been present in humanity, from cave paintings to podcasts. It is one of the oldest forms of communication and has been used to teach, entertain and influence people for centuries. Sharing stories has always had connection at its core with the unique power to inspire and influence our emotions. 

In the modern world storytelling has perhaps lost one of its superpowers which is to gather us, together, in person. Storytelling in Marrakech has rich and ancient roots, there is an old saying,when a storyteller dies, the library burns”. The stories told in Marrakech only exist in the minds of their narrators who share them at gatherings and take their repertoire to the grave. I keep thinking back to this phrase, it has such depth and meaning but also captures the missing piece to the modern storytelling puzzle.

 

HUNGER

Stories are used to share our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Ultimately, we make sense of the world through the receiving and giving of stories. However, due to modern technology and the rise of social media apps we are now swamped with stories. At their core, this particular type of story strives to sell you another product, desire or lifestyle. We are in the breadth of an era of quick content, another flash of a story with each swipe. Nothing nourishing, just time spent. The outcome of this is that we are both desensitized and bored. Not only have we become over informed but the substance is missing. 

We’re all hungry for authentic connection. 

 

GATHER

Most of the stories we consume in the modern day are recorded and can be listened to anytime, anywhere. They are often rehearsed and edited, this removes the reason or necessity to gather. A story told in person is in itself alive. The story will change from one telling to the next depending on the presence and mood of the storyteller.

“The presence of teller and audience, and the immediacy of the moment, are not fully captured by any form of technology”-Joseph Bruchac

We have had the pleasure of hosting poetry evenings here at Tribe. I am always struck by the mood and presence of the room. How the shared feeling and tension can quickly shift from laughter, to sorrow, to joy and hope. There is a direct and respectful spotlight on the reader with no distractions. There’s no elaborate scenery or props, just a room of like minded people. What we are left with is a collective experience. An experience that cannot be replicated or shared outside of the space. Telling stories leaves the audience with the gift of an empathetic and shared emotional response. The teller and the listener share and experience emotion in real time, a give and take of energy.

Sacred spaces for telling stories in person are rare and more important than ever. Live storytelling gives you the power to cut through the noise and make meaningful connections to both inspire and influence. Let’s slow down. Take some time to sit with us and share stories. 

“We tell stories because we are human. But we are also made more human because we tell stories”. –Amanda Gormon

 

The invitation

Tribe Porty is collaborating with Soapbox to bring you an evening of storytelling. The first of these evenings is in partnership with Porty Pride with the theme of love. Join us at Tribe Porty on June 28th to gather, be inspired, to be heard, to tell (and to listen) to stories. 

You can find out more and book your space by clicking here. Tickets will be pay what you can with proceeds going to Porty Pride. 

If you’re interested in telling and sharing a story, or know someone who might be, please email soapboxforcreatives@gmail.com with the title ‘The Story Sessions’.

 

Thanks for reading,

Alice


 

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Discover the joy of coworking

Tribe Porty brings good people together and makes good things happen. This year for European Coworking day we want to shout about our Tribe, celebrate the joy of coworking and invite you to join our Tribe. 

Why coworking?

Do you remember the first coworking space you entered? How many coworking spaces have you tried or been a part of? What makes you stay? A question we ask every year to our coworkers is why do you choose Tribe? A simple question, but it always proves that we are achieving our mission as a community coworking space. 

Coworking spaces are fantastic at joining communities together. Personal and professional growth is closely linked to coworking. One thing that coworking spaces all have in common is the desire to bring people together and create a community of like-minded people. Furthermore, when spaces are great at doing this, it can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. 

Surround yourself with good people

Don’t get us wrong, we can’t beat a day in your PJS in the comfort of your own home on a rainy, windy Scottish day. But at times working from home can feel lonely and isolating. Coworking statistics show that 89% of independently employed people feel happier after joining a coworking space and 83% of people feel less lonely. 

Not to mention, you’ll be surrounded by the best and most interesting people that you’ve ever met. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve said and thought “what, I had no idea that job existed!”. Studies found that 69% of coworkers say that they have acquired new skills or upgraded their current skills due to the people they have worked alongside in a coworking space. It also gives the opportunity to share and develop your work with a fresh set of eyes and ears.

Boost your productivity

As well as the extra social contact, coworking spaces offer a more productive and focused space to work. The same study found that 84% of people feel more motivated and engaged with their work whilst at a coworking space.

Community is important to the way we work. At the heart of our ethos lies a deep commitment to community values, shaping the environment of our coworking space. Tribe’s design is thoughtfully crafted to foster creativity, promoting the collision of diverse individuals and ideas that spur innovation, knowledge exchange, and meaningful connections.

All of this makes coworking spaces an indispensable environment that allows you to balance work, wellbeing, productivity and socialization. Did we miss anything? Not convinced yet? Here’s what our coworkers have to say about coming to Tribe:

 

“Tribe feels like such a community and it was a really easy environment to get to know people. The vibes were always good and the added social events (Thursday lunch, coffee mornings etc) actively encouraged people to get to know each other. I’ll be honest, a shared office I went to twice a week was the last place I thought I would make friends when I moved to Edinburgh. Upon leaving I can say that I’ve made some excellent pals! I don’t think there’s a single co-working space out there that could hold a candle to Tribe”

 

“I’ve worked remote for 7 years and coworking spaces keep me sane – and productive! When we moved to Porty, I ditched my place in town within the week and haven’t looked back. It’s just a lovely place to work. Everyone’s super nice and getting to see loads of different jobs, companies and perspectives is inspiring.”

 

“I moved up to Portobello from London and was looking for a place to work as my new role is fully remote. I followed Tribe’s instagram page before I moved and heard only great things about Tribe from everyone I met here. I love the people, the working space (especially the garden), the sense of community, the opportunity to chat to people with interesting work and lives while hanging out with the many cute dogs. It is a joy to work here!”

 

Choose Tribe

Beyond the workspace, we remain deeply connected with our community through various activities such as coffee mornings, social lunches and our monthly free Tribe Talks. At Tribe Porty, community is not just a concept; it’s a lived experience. We look forward to the continued growth and vibrancy of our community.

To our current coworkers, you guys rock and make this place what it is. Thank you for being a part of our Tribe. To those who are yet to visit us, hello! Pop in for a tour and meet our team. You can keep up to date with all of our social events and Tribe Talks by subscribing to our newsletter.

You can view our day pass options and membership packages by clicking here. 

We can’t wait to meet you.

Thanks for reading,

Alice


 

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A warm welcome to Ellie

Exciting news, our team has grown! We are welcoming Ellie to our team and we wanted to take the time to give her a warm welcome and introduction.

 

Hey, I’m Ellie!

I first came across Tribe when Dani hosted TedxPorty here in 2016 and I volunteered to capture the event. I’d recently moved back to Edinburgh after living in London and it was one of the first community events I was involved with and I loved it. Since then I’ve attended other Tribe events and spent some time co-working. The community at Tribe is so welcoming and inviting that when a role came up it felt serendipitous. 

Things that make me smile are a good cup of coffee, spending time with friends and family, hosting Soapbox events, time spent on the beach, dogs in clothes, working at Tribe! I love the community and the environment at Tribe. The way Tribe feels when you come in – everyone is friendly, I really enjoy the art on the walls, it’s a space that breeds belonging and my creativity flows here.

 

My working life & creative practice

Most of my working life has revolved around connecting with people; as a photographer having the opportunity to meet new people and discover what drives them, what their story is and how they express themselves is what I find endlessly fascinating. 

I love, and have spent many seasons, capturing street style at London Fashion Week because I love seeing how people express themselves through personal style. My favourite personal project was one I undertook in 2021 called Love Stories; where I spoke to, and captured, over 100 people about someone, or something, they loved. 

I’m currently in the planning stages of my next personal photography project, which I think will revolve around kitchen tables, dinner parties and portraits.

Creating community

My connection to the creative scene led me to CreativeMornings, where I volunteered with the Edinburgh Chapter for a number of years before starting my own event, called Soapbox, last year. We gather on the last Wednesday of every month to blether and meet like minded folk who freelance and are employed in the creative, cultural, tech and digital industries. It’s so lovely to see people come along who are brand new to the creative scene but also have attendees who have been doing it for 20 years. Everyone has something to offer and are there to connect. 

Knowing how much being part of a community helped both my personal and professional life was the driving factor in starting Soapbox. Bringing other people together and helping them with their own journey is something that brings me a lot of joy.  I’m currently working on the evolution of Soapbox and developing what events, along with our current monthly event, we might host.

I’m really looking forward to hopefully hosting some Soapbox events in collaboration with Tribe, but mostly I’m really happy to be part of Team Tribe and the community that exists here. I really like being part of organisations that are bigger than myself, and that seek to bring community together.

 

A quote that I love:

 

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”- Brené Brown

 

Thanks for reading,

Ellie

 

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International Women’s Day 2024

 As International Women’s day approaches we wanted to dedicate a blog post to all the fantastic and accomplished women here at Tribe.

 

Women’s work whether it is paid or voluntary is often hidden or at best undervalued. Not to mention that we are simply far too humble to even consider self promotion. We wanted to take a moment to share and shout about some amazing achievements and work produced by some of our members over the past year. 

 

International Womens Day 2024-Anna MoffatAnna Moffat- Photographer

Anna Moffat is a photographer based in Edinburgh (and beyond). Her style revolves around capturing authentic moments with creativity and attention to detail and providing emotive and engaging images. Recently, Anna has photographed amazing individuals such as Dr. Merritt Moore who recently conquered her dream of being both a Quantum Physicist and a professional ballet dancer.

Anna has worked with Holyrood Magazine and recently picked up an award from PPA Scotland for her portrait of Labour MSP Pam Duncan.

 

“Thank you PPA Scotland for the award – I still can’t quite believe it! Also thanks to @holyroodmagazine for the opportunity”

 


Olivia Furness- Executive Director, Oi Musica International Womens Day 2024- Olivia Furness

Olivia Furness is a firm believer in music’s power to make change.  She has designed and delivered a wide variety of projects and programmes that have brought benefits to both the community and people involved. In April 2023 Oli was awarded professional development funding to spend 2.5 weeks in Cuba studying various styles of Aforcuban percussion.

In 2023 Brass Blast took home the Community Award from Creative Edinburgh.

“We’re still buzzing after scooping the Community Award for our youth project Brass Blast at the Creative Edinburgh Awards in November! The project is a proactive response to the disproportionately low numbers of disadvantaged young people taking up instruments in East Edinburgh, so we are over the moon to be recognised for the change that Brass Blast is making in our community.”

 


 

International Womens Day 2024- Jo Tennant

Jo Tennant-Photographer & Founder, 20 photos

Jo Tennant is an award-winning photographer and founder of 20 Photos, a creative service that curates hundreds of digital photos into 20 beautiful fine-art prints.

In 2023 Jo had two family photographs shortlisted for the Scottish Portrait Awards:

“One photo was shot on my phone and the other on a 1980s film camera. Our own personal photos have importance  and meaning and should be seen. We should photograph those we love and their idiosyncrasies which we want to remember. This is why I took those photos. Not for the awards- I just submitted the two photos I took this year that I loved the most”

Last year, Jo also had a feature in Stylist magazine about launching her business 20 Photos during the pandemic. She spoke to them about upskilling and taking the next steps. Read the full article here.

 


 

Rachel Mulrenan- Scotland Director, Wild fish

Rachel is the Scotland Director of WildFish, an independent charity in the UK campaigning for wild fish and their environment.

A significant area of focus for Rachel is the environmental degradation caused by open-net salmon farming. In collaboration with other like-minded organisations, WildFish calls for an end to this destructive industry. Open-net salmon farming has a hugely detrimental impact on wild fish and their habitats – from the spread of sea lice and disease to the environmental effects of the chemicals and antibiotics used on aquaculture farms.

Rachels work has featured in The Guardian and you can listen to a podcast she featured on about the damaging effects of Salmon Farming here.

 


 

Briana PegadoBriana Pegado- Author

It would be wrong of us to not mention our host for our International Women’s Day event, Briana Pegado. 

Briana Pegado FRSA is an author, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and festival founder. With nearly a decade’s experience as an award- winning social entrepreneur in the creative industries in Scotland. She works as an anti-racism, governance, and strategy consultant particularly in the creative industries.

Briana acted as a trustee, vice, chair and Chair of the Young Women’s Movement from 2018-2023, then Interim Chief Executive. The organisation supports young women, migrant women, and other marginalised women by providing skills and employability services, advocacy and campaigning, as well as research on the lived experience of young women in Scotland

A central theme in her work is how disrupting systems, processes, sectors, and ways of thinking can facilitate positive change. Her new book Make Good Trouble: A Guide to the Energetics of Disruption launches on 09 April 2024 and is available for pre-order now. Find out more about Briana by clicking here.

 

 


Sandy Brindley, Kathryn Dawson and Niamh Kerr 

Sandy is the Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn is the Director of Prevention & Training and Niamh Kerr is the Prevention Manager at Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS), Scotland’s leading organisation working to transform attitudes, improve responses and ultimately to end rape and sexual violence in all its forms.

RCS works with a network of 17 independent local Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland who provide trauma-informed support to more than 6000 survivors annually. It runs a national helpline with support and information for anyone affected by sexual violence open daily from 5pm – midnight, 365 days a year. They also support the National Advocacy Project to support anyone thinking of reporting or engaged in the system to navigate the justice process from start to finish. Its Prevention work takes an evidence-based approach. Working with young people in schools and communities across Scotland looking at issues like consent and healthy relationships. It also campaigns to change and challenge the attitudes that underpin sexual violence as well as on specific issues like funding for services and access to justice.

The support Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland offer can be truly lifesaving. When a survivor reaches out for that support, they need to receive it then. Not weeks or months later. But this is the reality facing too many survivors across Scotland. In 2021, the Scottish Government delivered emergency funding to tackle waiting lists. But even with this funding, demand for lifesaving Rape Crisis support is outstripping the resources available to Rape Crisis Centres to serve survivors. This emergency funding is due to run out in March 2024. If it isn’t extended, 28 specialist Rape Crisis support workers will lose their jobs meaning survivors will be forced to wait even longer for support. To support their campaign and find out more click here.

 


Reema Vadoliya-Founder,  people of dataInternational Womens Day 2024- Reema Vadoliya

This year Reema joined Tribe as part of the Creative Informatics inclusive innovation working spaces fund. Reema is a tireless advocate for inclusion in data with expertise gained through multiple roles within the data industry and the founder of People of Data. Their mission is to challenge how organisations think about data in order to maximise impact and centralise inclusion. 

You can listen to a podcast with Reema where she discusses the importance of looking at data inclusively. Reema emphasises the power of data by telling impactful stories .Click here to listen.

Reema will also be hosting our March Tribe Talks, this is a free workshop and is open to all. Click here to find out more.

 

 


 

Louise MasonLouise Mason- Presenter, producer & Journalist

Louise Mason is a radio presenter, music journalist and producer. She produces the weekly podcast Changes with Annie Macmanus and regularly hosts music radio.

Last year with her cousin Fran she took on a Tuk Tuk challenge where they raced across Sri Lanka to raise money for Childrens Adventure Farm Trust.

“Between all the teams the donations so far have helped over 5500 families and counting”

Louise regularly interviews musicians and artists for radio and at music festivals. You can have watch some of her work by clicking here.

Recently, Louise also presented a show for a project called Peace Frequencies which she co-produced in a small team with broadcaster Gemma Cairney. It was a 24hr broadcast to mark International Human Rights Day. Louise’s own show gave voices to poets and artists who have contributed to the Manchester to Palestine compilation which raised money for Gaza.

You can find out more about Louise, listen to all her shows and donate to her charitable causes by clicking here.

 


 

Whilst International Women’s Day serves as an important day to celebrate women’s achievements, it is also a reminder that we must all still strive for gender equity in society. We must not settle. In doing so, workplaces and society at large can gain new perspectives, ideas and inspire inclusion. 

 

Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th 2024. We are hosting an evening of poetry and discussion with Briana Pegado. Click here for more information and book your ticket. All proceeds will be donated to Edinburgh Women’s Aid.

 

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Collecting Moments

Moments pass, or rather moments fly by without us even noticing. Should we consciously collect moments to find calmness and fulfillment?

 

In a recent blog post, Controlling Distractions, we explored our relationships with phones and how we can use them in a more meaningful way. Phones are often used to pass time and perhaps lead us to ignoring the world around us. Hannah recently shared a Mary Oliver quote on a post it note and stuck it to reception where it still lives now. The quote is as follows:

 

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

Sometimes, Mary Oliver

 

Mary Oliver’s work can teach us how to find comfort in the quiet occurrences of the everyday. In a world where we are surrounded by white noise it’s all too easy to stop paying attention. Days blur by as we fall into the rhythms of life. As a result of this, we forget how to appreciate the small delicate intricacies of living. I can’t help but feel that we have lost our awe in the everyday.  It often feels as though that in a busy world, we try to keep busy and amongst the hustle and that we are tricked into thinking this is how to feel accomplished or satisfied.  

Our obsessions with doing and comparing our productivity and accomplishments to others bares us with a neverending weight of dissatisfaction, eventually we burn ourselves out. We forget to notice the pleasure in the everyday. The pursuit of productivity leaves us feeling unfulfilled, like we’ve never quite done enough with our days, but what’s wrong with enjoying a day for exactly what it is? Start to allow your days to unfold as they are and try to stop with our tendency to constantly optimise our time. Allow our free time to be exactly that, free time and time to rest. I think that collecting moments it’s a nice way to nurture this growth.

 

“Our days don’t need to be optimised, but simply occupied-that is, lived in, tended to, renewed.”- Madeleine Dore, I Didn’t do the thing today.

 

Slowing down, paying attention, collecting moments. 

On our podcast, Working For Progress, we ask our guests for five simple pleasures. We have noticed over time that these simple pleasures are simply that, a collection of small moments. A morning coffee, the falling of cherry blossoms, a bike ride to work. They are never overly complex, nor do they tell an astonishing story. Most of these pleasures may not have been shared with others or spoken aloud. But what they do reflect is the fundamental beauty in the everyday. Free passings of time that we should consciously indulge in more often. 

Let’s practice collecting moments that bring a feeling of joy and focus on them. It’s one thing to keep a log of these small moments privately on your phone but to tell others about it spreads the joy, broadens your attention and ultimately makes us more connected to the world around us. When we look without noticing, we lose our sense of belonging.

It’s time to start to enjoy those moments of nothing… Spend your time noticing the free sounds, sights, tastes of life. I shared this thought with Hannah and Dani, I asked them to collect moments in their days so that we could reflect on them. We invite you to do the same.

 

“A mind narrows when it has too much to bear. Art is not born of unwanted constriction. Art wants formless and spacious quiet, anti-social daydreaming, time away from the consumptive volume of everyday life.”-Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation

We wanted to share some moments our team collected over the past week.

 

Moments Hannah Collected:

Moments Alice Collected:

Moments Dani Collected:

 

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Working For Progress

We recently took the time to record a season wrap up episode of our podcast, Working For Progress.

 

Reflecting on Working For Progress

Working For Progress was launched with the intention of clebrating our communities and sharing their individual journeys. We are lucky to have a community of creative people, all doing interesting work and who are also interested in the bigger picture. Their health, their communities, their impact on the world. It is important for us to connect through conversations about how we craft our working life and make progress. Each episode sees us ask our communities questions about their working life, the challenges they’ve faced and the progress they’ve made.

It was funny to think back to the initial awkward fears that producing and recording a podcast brings. We are forever grateful to our pals over at Glocast for allowing us to record our trailer episode with them. Perhaps without this as a date in the diary to record we would not now be reflecting on our eleven published episodes! 

We spoke at length about what stood out to us in season one and we really wanted to thank our guests for their honesty and vulnerability. Even recording a conversation with people that you know in a place that you are familiar with can bring nerves. Not to mention that using a mic can initially feel very intimidating. It has been a joy to listen to the intricacies of people’s journeys and without creating the space to reflect there’s so much we may have never known! The podcast has made both myself and Dani feel ever more connected to you all. Taking the time to interview each person has served as a valuable reminder of how important connection and conversation is. 

 

Dani reflects: “Each person brought their unique story to the conversation, a bit of where they have come from in terms of significant life moments which have impacted on what they are doing today. Thinking back, it was often a person or an interaction which profoundly impacted a decision or direction. Sometimes only with hindsight do you notice such influences.”

 

Working at the speed of trust

We also spoke about what we wanted out of the podcast. I really wanted to showcase all of the possibilities your working life can bring and highlight the turning points in people’s career journeys. For myself, I am very early doors. I have spent most of my working life in hospitality. I adore the world of hospitality but always desired something more stable without losing what I value. Before Tribe, I remember having this weird sensation that I was failing or doing things wrong and that I simply wanted more out of my working life. 

Coming to Tribe gave me the term value based work. It’s a privilege to work alongside so many people where value is at the heart of their working lives. At points in my own journey, value based work felt out of reach and at times it just felt like ‘a nice idea’. I wanted this podcast to highlight how many different avenues and directions life could take you. Career journeys are not always a linear path like you are told at school. For me, each episode really encapsulates this as each guest highlighted the journey and risks that they have taken themselves.

It was interesting to note how the support of communities and the right people at the right time came up alot in each person’s journey. Alongside this came trust and putting yourself in the relationship of trust to find trust. These seem to be vital ingredients in both navigating working lives and in taking risks. Here’s what Nasim Forootan said about the importance of trust: 

 

“It’s okay to trust and to open yourself up and be vulnerable sometimes with how you are feeling and what you’re seeing. Sometimes you need to have difficult conversations to explore the nuisance of things. Have faith that things will come out right. If you go into a situation with doubt, you won’t let yourself explore the relationship that could be. Trust is a really strong value for me. Trust is embedded in everything I do. When we work in organizations or when we look at community spaces and governments, it’s one element that is constantly broken. If we had a tiny bit more trust in each other the world would be a better place”-Nasim Forootan

 

The importance of community

Trust and honesty certainly became an overarching theme, both in trusting in yourself and the people around you. This is why coworking is so incredibly important. It’s not often in life you get to choose the people around you and people are such a strong and beautiful part of Tribe. Tribe is not just a desk to work from, it is the people that you’re sitting next to, have lunch with and stop for a tea break and a chat with. Coworking perfectly encapsulates the human need and want for both community and connection. 

During our chat, Dani reflected: “Think of Brene Brown’s saying, ‘It’s hard to hate people when you see them up close and know their story’,  it’s true. Bear with me, I am so far from hating anyone, especially this crew. But in a similar vein, the care and love I now have for each guest has expanded. To know them a bit more, to be trusted enough that they share themselves with us (and everyone who listens) is not taken lightly. We could easily brush it off, quite normal to be on a podcast and chat about your working life. But when people share their values, why they do what they do, what brings them a sense of belonging and awe, it connects us in generative ways.”

Bob Cummins of SODAK amply said during his interview that “Emotional safety is formed with people. If you’ve got others you can take the journey with, it makes risks easier”.  We hope that in listening to each of these stories you may find more confidence in navigating your own journey and not to feel scared of taking the necessary risks. Founder of Good Life School, Lorna Lythgoe spoke of this in such a beautiful way whilst reflecting on her on career journey :

 

“I felt like I had leapt off a cliff, I was falling and would occasionally land on a shelf. It was painful and scary and uncomfortable, which sounds like I’m saying don’t do it. In retrospect, now I know that was the growth and the career path, I started to gleefully leap off as I understood It wasn’t an abyss”- Lorna Lythgoe 

 

Keep working for progress

Most of all, our podcast makes us feel so very grateful for the communities of Tribe Porty and Keystone. We are so lucky to meet so many incredible people through these communities. It is an honour to share your stories. We want to keep showcasing you as the brilliant, incredible and completely normal people that you are. People who are real and care deeply about others and this planet. We hope that our little podcast helps you to stay surrounded by good people, keep true to your values and to keep working for progress. (Too cringe? Nah, we love it!). You can listen to all of our episodes, including our season wrap up by clicking here. Fancy joining myself and Dani in an episode? Drop us a line at: more@tribeporty.org


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Controlling Distractions

How distracted are you by your phone and is it worth your time?

 

A frequent conversation around the coworking table is the nuisance and distraction that technology, phones and social media brings. This stems from doom scrolling, to issues spurred on from social media and questions on how to ‘correctly’ parent technology. It’s a big multilayered problem and it seems the thread of desire is to find a way to detach. We want to remove ourselves from passive connection and stop being distracted by our phones.

Why have phones become such a distraction?

When we use our phones we are selling only our time, it’s often the moments where we want the time to pass that we fall into the trap. We are always wanting to be busy, we always want to be consuming, maybe it’s time to step back and let yourself be bored. Let yourself day dream and be alone with your thoughts. 

 

“Solitude Deprivation. A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.”Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

 

So what are the real problems we cause ourselves when we take to our phones for light entertainment or to pass some time? A study in 2007 by Dr Martin Hilbert and Dr Priscila Lopez found that the average person is drowned in 174 newspapers worth of information everyday, across TV, radio and reading. It’s easy to assume that this figure is even greater today. When you consider how much information we receive everytime we pick up our phones you soon realise why it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the doom and gloom in the world. Or more likely, you feel yourself becoming ever more detached and unresponsive. We have no time to form any true compassion or understanding as we are always onto the next big news story. 

Time to break from the distraction?

Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics, found that on average an adult working in an office stays on a singular task for no more than three minutes before switching tasks. We are tricked into thinking that we are great multitaskers, we are not- we are however very good at getting distracted and losing focus. Mark argues that especially during computer based work, instead of seeing a new tab, email reply or doom scroll as adding a new task, see it as adding a new distraction. This sounds easy but we have already programmed our brains to shift focus constantly, this is why we always are reaching for our phones. 

After 14 years, I deleted my Twitter account and removed the app from my phone. This was spurred on by the change to X, in a weird way the visual change prompted discomfort but also made it easier to delete and let go, so thanks for that Elon! Since then, I notice myself whilst routinely checking Facebook and Instagram my thumb automatically going to tap the Twitter app. My brain is fully in a trance, it’s terrifying! Another thing I noticed, whenever I think of something funny my brain frames the thought as a tweet. It’s like an ingrained desire and need to tweet it, again…terrifying! 

Make it worth your time

I feel like I do not need to delve into the problems around phones too much as we all experience it daily. I did consider counting how many times I picked up my phone whilst writing this piece but I feared it would be too shameful of a number. However, I do not believe that a complete detox, hiatus or banishment is the answer. Nor is blaming or shaming ourselves. I think it’s more important to consider the good things phones and tech can bring to our lives. Think of how much time has been saved through emails, online banking, google and life admin. We just need to be more aware and purposeful of how we use this tech. 

For me, it’s the small impromptu moments of time where picking up my phone is becoming a problem. The automatic reflex to have a quick look always turns into at least ten minutes of scrolling. It is entirely passive consumption and is the definition of needless. I’m really good at misplacing my phone, something I’m weirdly proud of. It means that it’s not constantly on my mind or in my hand. Now when I lose track of it, instead of hunting it down straight away I purposefully question why I need to find it? What do I need it for? Unless the reason is valid, like calling my nan or if there’s a fire that needs tending to, I do not bother looking for it.

Find the balance

 

‘You want to read a book, but you are pulled away by the pings and paranoia of social media. You want to spend a few uninterrupted hours with your child, but you keep anxiously checking your work email. You want to set up a business, but your life dissolves into a blur of facebook posts that only make you feel envious and anxious. Through no fault of your own, there never seems to be enough stillness.’-Johann Hari, Stolen Focus

 

By detaching from our phones, time alone can become more nourishing, remove the need to compare and focus solely on ourselves. Instead of taking to social media for a ‘break’ try out some meditation, a little day dream, a quick stretch or a wee stroll around. Maybe what you’re craving is in fact a quick brain reset! Choose to feast on your own life, instead of small snippets of others. Rember, tech is designed to be addictive but we can choose to have a more purposeful relationship with it.

 

HERE ARE OUR COWORKERS THOUGHTS, TIPS AND TRICKS! 

 

Don’t forget, habit is key and habits are harder to break than they are to form.

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As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Seasonal approaches to wellbeing

How to use the seasons to identify your needs and honour rest

 

A constant battle I have always had with myself is allowing rest. Even when I can acknowledge that I am tired, giving in to rest causes me to believe that I am being (the dreaded word) ‘lazy’. I’ve always been scared of the word lazy, it is a fear I battle mainly in the warmer months of summer. How many times have you denied yourself needed rest because the sun’s out? Or maybe I should adjust that question to Scotland and say ‘because it’s not raining’…

Acknowledging your inner seasons

We recently had the wonderful Hannah Swift of Yellow Empress Acupuncture join us for Tribe Talks. Her session covered a range of topics around menopause but all stemmed back to how to look after yourself in both mind and body. I was particularly fond of the analogy of the seasons and how we can identify our bodies’ needs by assigning seasons to our cycles (you can read more about this here). I’ve come to realise that this can not only be used as a powerful tool in understanding menstrual cycles but a tool to help honour rest and remove the self perpetuated notion of being ‘lazy’.   

Rest is not a passive action, nor is it a negative. Rest can be just as, if not more imperative to our wellbeing than that quick run around the block or 30 minute yoga session. When thinking about the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang it becomes easier to apply the concept of dualism. All things have two facets, nothing is purely good nor is it purely bad. 

 

When life-force energy is appropriately balanced between Yin and Yang, it flows smoothly maintaining and promoting a good state of physical and emotional health”-Elina Zagkorontskagia

 

By applying the seasons to aid in understanding yourself, your moods and your energy you can help to pace your energy, calm your nervous system and gain insights into your overall wellbeing. Think about the seasons and what moods you attach to these. What things can you supply yourself with during your winters to bring yourself back into spring and summer?

How to identify your inner seasons

Here are some examples of how to apply the seasons to yourself and your wellbeing:

WINTER:

Surrender and let go. Stopping and digesting may expose us to what we have been keeping at bay by keeping busy. Now is the time to give in to your tired and weary self, let go of expectations and simply rest. 

SPRING:

Time to take stock and hype yourself up. Your inner spring is a time of becoming. It’s time to feel at home with yourself and celebrate being you, say yes to yourself.

SUMMER:

Liberation and express your power. Manifest your calling, fulfill yourself and your spirit, dare to be your truest fullest self.

AUTUMN:

Here is where your inner critic rests. This will cause disruption and disturbance internally and deflate your ego. The challenge here is to sit in discomfort long enough to learn and grow but still hold onto your goodness. 

 

“Plants store up resources through their root systems, waiting for spring for their next burst of growth. Nature shows us the wise way to be: we should follow a period of busyness with a time for deep rest”-Mimi Kuo Deemer

 

Once you have observed and visualised your seasons of emotions ask yourself how you tend to deal with them. How can you nurture your needs and come back into summer? By observing natures cycles, respecting that emotions come and go in seasonal shifts and applying this to our own lifestyles we can understand that rest is not a shortcoming, nor is it lazy. By resting we can take stock and nourish our bodies. Let’s value and respect intentional quiet time and let go of the need to be busy.

 

Not sure where to start? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What types of rest practices do you make time for on a regular basis?
  2. What are the warning signs you need to prioritise rest?
  3. What are the barriers that can get in the way of getting enough rest?
  4. What types of rest can you weave into your week?
  5. What might be some of the boundaries you need to set so you can honour your need for rest?

 

“Instead of asking, ‘Have I worked hard enough to deserve rest?’ ask, ‘Have I rested enough to do my most loving, meaningful work?”-Nicola Jane Hobbs 

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As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Step up for Pride

Pride is more than a party, for allies of the community it’s an important time to step up and create inclusive change.

Pride March Edinburgh

 

I found it hard at times to write this year’s pride blog post. I knew I wanted to write a piece about creating inclusive culture and finding strength in community, but it’s hard to write about something that you feel should be an obvious and rightful norm. I’ve always been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, even as a youngster before the concept of an ally existed to me. So sometimes when I speak of allyship, it frustrates me because my brain can’t see it any other way.

But I have also seen friends targeted by bigotry and hate, I’ve seen friends struggle to defend their identity, I’ve seen the consequences of an innocent person being forced to be someone they are not. Sometimes it is important to remember that you as a person are shaped by the world around you. It can become hard at times to sympathise with the ‘it was different in my day’ notion. That’s why Pride is important and that’s why spreading this message is important. 

 

“I was not and had never been a part of a queer community, how to access such a thing was not just a mystery but an impossibility. The loss of which was sizable. Agony in isolation, the shame and pain that I thought was mine alone.” Elliot Page: Pageboy 

How to contribute to Pride

Pride is a time to celebrate, congregate and highlight the progress that society still needs to make. Pride is a time to spark conversations, collaborations and bring attention to both achievements and injustices all over the world. As businesses, it’s time for us to step up, contribute in meaningful ways and show our communities that we are always a safe space.

To truly be involved with pride celebrations is to contribute in meaningful ways and further the cause of LGBTQ+ rights and equality. The corporate world sees far too many important issues ‘washed’ and pride is not exempt to this. Highlighting issues around consumerism and ‘washing’ shows the growing recognition that businesses have towards actively cultivating inclusion and diversity. Every person deserves to feel safe and whilst progress has been made it’s still not enough. The past decade has seen an ever growing rise in reported hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. We must remember that inequalities and barriers still exist and we must do what is in our own reach to help. 

 

One in five LGBTQ+ people were the target of negative comments at work.

Over a third of LGBTQ+ people feel they need to hide who they are at work.

One in five feel that being LGBTQ+ limits their job opportunities.
-Britain in Work Report

What it means to be an ally

Being an ally is an ongoing mission and is more than putting up a flag once a month, this is at best tokenistic. We often believe in the myth of individualism, that we are independent from each other and the natural world. Whilst we do have individual agency, we show our true strengths when we collaborate and we become stronger when we act together. To move past tokenistic gestures, let’s work together to build stronger communities, safer spaces and secure workplaces. 

Even when you as an individual, an employee or an employer have good intentions, unfortunately there isn’t a button for instant inclusion. Instead it is an ongoing, ever evolving journey. Much the same, there is not a singular template that forms an inclusive workplace. Inclusivity should be seen as a process, not a quick fix. 

The best employers recognise the value in taking proactive steps to create inclusive culture and there is a wealth of information out there, the internet can be a magical place! Starting points can be as simple as developing clear policies against discrimination, diversity training and the most obvious, taking action on LGBTQ+ employee and customer feedback. As an employee, it may at times feel like an impossible task to generate change. As an ally, use your privilege to speak up and have difficult conversations with managers and bosses.

Step up and use your privilege

Being asked to understand your privilege is not an attack, it is simply acknowledging that you feel safe and valued in everyday life and recognizing that not everyone has the same experience. You can put this to work by being an effective ally and advocate for others. 

I often hear people talking around inclusive culture like it’s an impossible and bewildering task. It is okay to feel lost at times in an ever changing world, but do not stand idly by and become part of the problem. It is up to you to educate yourself, it is not someone else’s job to give you a lesson on gender identity. Engage with the LGBTQ+ community, work with other businesses that do it well and stand up for what is right. By networking with other members of the community you will not only show strong allyship, but gain invaluable experience and knowledge. 

 

Not sure how to step up? Start here: 

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Each month, we offer Tribe Talks. A free evening hosted by a Tribe member or friend of Tribe. We are so excited to share that our next Tribe Talk is to celebrate Porty Pride! Our Porty Pride poetry evening will be hosted by the wonderful author and poet, Anne Pia. Click here to find out more and book your free ticket. 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Let’s talk about Menopause

 

“Around one in five women report experiencing health challenges relating to menstruation or menopause. Among the 15% of women who report experiencing health challenges related to menstruation, over 40% say they work through the pain and discomfort.”-Women at Work

 

If not now, when?

I am 26, I was not educated about menopause at school. I feel as though I was barely educated about periods at school. And here I am now, writing a blog post about menopause, some of you are thinking, ‘little young to be writing this’. But therein lies the problem. And whilst we’re talking directly, men, you should keep reading too. The only information I have been exposed to about menopause is through mainstream media. Even then, it is at most a joke about a character going through the change and experiencing hot flushes and dryness…

By not educating people from a younger age about menopause, it neglects the notion that it even happens. Like it’s make believe or that you will somehow naturally have the resources to hand when the time comes. I remember hitting puberty and my mum panic throwing books my way titled ‘have you started yet?’ and ‘girls only’. The illustrations on the covers would have teen girls whispering between themselves, this only reinforced the stigma of periods needing to be an uncomfortable secret, never to be spoken openly about. 

Thankfully (hopefully?), we have come away from this. Which as I grow older I see growing importance in. By gendering menstruation and menopause we only gate-keep vital and important information and care from the LGBTQ+ community. It has taken a long time, and I am still in the process of understanding my ever changing menstrual cycle. Thankfully, I’ve always felt a strong attachment to understanding my body’s natural process and hormone fluctuation. I only started to meet and converse with others that felt this way in my twenties. 

I guess the point I am trying to make is that if it has taken 13 years (that’s 156 cycles!) to get to grips with periods, I can only imagine the loss of control one would feel during perimenopause. When we think about menopause, we should think in terms of the time taken to complete the whole process, much like we do with puberty.

 

“The Change” unfortunately still generally remains a taboo subject, even amongst many women. That’s why we need to talk about it, to your mums, dads, brothers, sisters, children – anyone. And for those dealing with this, or about to, it’s so important to learn about it. Do your research and approach your GP armed with the facts and knowledge.”-Menopause Mandate

 

Finding yourself in Community.

The most powerful conversations I have had with friends and confidants have sparked from one person saying to the other an honest or uncomfortable truth. No matter the subject, be it partners, periods or mental health, a friend saying I’ve felt that or I’ve experienced that too can completely shift your mindset. You are no longer alone or alienated in your feelings and experiences. It’s in this scary sweet spot that experiences and knowledge can be shared.

This is also why menstrual health should not become a gendered conversation. How can we gain vital support from our partners and loved ones if they also have no clue or understanding over what’s going on? Being in touch with yourself, at all stages of life is a crucial ally to your wellbeing. Even when looking into the future is a scary prospect, understanding your body’s natural processes and forming a connection ultimately influences your comfort and welfare.

 

“A strong theme coming through from research on this issue is that perimenopausal symptoms ‘can be quite disruptive and distressing, particularly when women do not know why these things are happening to them in the first place’. If their partners do not know either, we have the seeds for an inauthentic challenge to even the most healthy of relationships.” -Richard Hull

 

When we can’t rely on governments and policies to support and educate us, this is when community and allyship becomes a necessity. With that in mind, we took to our community to ask questions about menopause, here’s what they had to say:

 

“When I think about menopause I feel old. I know so little about menopause I cannot answer the question of how we can improve workplaces to support those going through the menopause. I feel that education about menopause should happen at an early age, and we need to integrate healthy conversations into popular culture, to all sexes.”

 

“When I think about menopause I feel unprepared and in denial despite it being inevitable. We need to fully recognise that women’s normal health is very different from mens. In terms of changes that need to be made in the workplace, I have no idea where to start. I am not sure if I would have been open to being taught about menopause when still under the influence of teachers at school. That said, reproductive health education at school (in the 90’s) felt abstract and surface. For fertility and pregnancy there is no end of advice and information backed up from the NHS with information and appointments with health professionals, and even then there are still gaps. I am also not sure medicalising menopause or any aspect of a woman’s reproductive health is empowering. Being able to notice, examine and interpret the clues of one’s own body is probably the best. So how do we teach that? And if so, starting as young as possible is best… a useful tool for both sexes.”

 

“I have lots of feelings about menopause, but ultimately I am trying to rethink menopause like I tried to rethink birthing. It can be a wonderful thing yet mostly what we see are the horrors, the blood, the screaming women. What about the other side? The euphoria, the baby bliss, the overwhelming feeling of awe and love. So although I’m not there yet, I’m trying to think about the potential new wisdom that comes with menopause. The freedom to have some painless and bloodless months. The change in hormones that lead to changes in your body and mind. I’m not entertaining the old, dried up, wrinkled, useless characters of a postmenopausal woman. We need more awareness and research in the same way impotence is given.  There is five times more research into erectile dysfunction, which affects 19% of men, than into premenstrual syndrome, which affects 90% of women. And menopause happens to 50% of the population and 100% of women! We also need more research to combat the Women’s Health Initiative Study confusion over HRT.”

 


 

Each month, we offer a free talk open to the public. Our next Tribe Talk will be delivered by Yellow Empress Acupuncture. Hannah will be offering an evening around self-care for perimenopause with holistic perspectives for a healthy transition. To find out more and to book your free space, click here. 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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