By Maggie Lyon

Everyone wants to belong somewhere. A sense of belonging is what we all, for the most part, desire.

The funny and strange thing for me has been that though on some level I have this drive too, I have always and most profoundly been a rebel, or what I lovingly call a misfit.

It’s true. I’ve never really fit in anywhere. In high school, I had one or two intensely close friends, and then a really random mix of oddball friends, whom I never saw simultaneously and wouldn’t dream of putting together. I was definitely not one of those girls with a hip unified crew. I just seemed to naturally swim upstream from this with an innate anti-mob mentality, and fought hard against being in the herd.

Look, I’d also be flat-out lying to say that I haven’t at times wished that I could belong more easily. Yet over the past twenty years, my signature eclecticism has stuck. My friends and communities continue to vary dramatically, and I continue to live by the beat of my own drum. You know what? I have finally and intimately come to accept that I am a misfit in the most fabulous way.

In honor of all you other misfits out there, here are my tips for indulging and letting yourselves glow no matter how bizarre you are:

  1. Find a sense of belonging inside of you. Honor this place, this club of your own, with your living, vibrant spirit as its core and central member.
  2. Celebrate being different, off the beaten path, a little on the fringes, your own special creation. If you find yourself feeling like a fish out of water, by all means find a new stream, but DON’T change who you are. BE who you are.
  3. Weave together a delicious band of your own misfits. Build an organic community of like-minded people who value you just as you are and roll with you authentically as you roll.
  4. Reach out and connect. Rock Facebook and Twitter, and every other social outlet that suits, but not from a place of less-than or pretend. There are so many incredible beings who feel the same as you.
  5. Remember! Being a misfit is AWESOME. There is no need for pity, loneliness, or inadequacy in the equation of you as your fabulous misfit self. Don’t be shy! Let your true colors shine.

Once you connect in and genuinely flow with being a misfit, you will create the most divine tribe of spectacularly un-shy-about-who-they-are characters. You will also prove to be one of the coolest and unique citizens of this wildly diverse global community.

How’s that for belonging?

As always, I welcome your comments. Let me know your experience of being (or not being) a misfit and together we’ll create a network of our own!

Maggie Lyon is a writer on wellness and spirituality, a motivational speaker, and a holistic lifestyle consultant. A practitioner of Zen Buddhism and Iyengar yoga for the past twenty years, Maggie is committed to guiding others on their individual quests to awaken to the sweetness in life. For more on Maggie, check out her blog or on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

*Photo by jeffsmallwood.