Ciao and Sacred Sunday:
I hope this week finds you grounded in your body, heart tender, and drinking from the wellspring of intrinsic peace.
For years I used to laughingly say that I was a recovering Catholic. Then one day, it hit me how disrespectful it sounded, nor did it feel good in my body when I spoke the words out loud. So, I stopped.
And in fact, I began to consider and appreciate many gifts that I received from the religion of my youth.
😇I’m so happy that I did. Because now I’m able to have potent conversations with a dear friend who is a devout Catholic.
My friend and I also, sometimes, very often, stand on different sides of the political fence.
Yet, she and I consciously search to find the thread that binds us.
My friend and I have ridden this roller coaster of life for decades now. And that bond gets stronger as the years fly by.
👩❤️👩We’ve sobbed uncontrollably in each other’s arms from grief over the loss of loved ones. Cried tears of laughter until we nearly peed our pants. And speak to one another of our fears around aging, as well as the new possibilities this season of life brings.
She’s my anam cara; my soul friend.
In his gorgeous book, Anam Cara, the late poet philosopher John O’Donohue introduced the Celtic attitude and understanding of love and friendship; the ideology called soul-love.
Anam in the Gaelic language means soul. Cara is the word for friend.
🙏In days of old this concept of anam cara could mean a person who served as a mentor, teacher, spiritual advisor.
Originally anam cara was someone you “confessed” to, much like a priest. But not necessarily a clergyman.
What made the distinction is that your anam cara be that person with whom you trust whole-heartedly.
📘In her book, A Woman’s Journey to God, the author Joan Borysenko writes, “As we come to trust a friend, we reveal more of ourselves. Our idealized mask falls off as we realize she loves us warts and all. We can be ourselves.”
Your anam cara is that person you allow to see the shattered pieces of your broken heart. And trust they will care for it as the treasured gift you’ve given.
With your anam cara you’re able to reveal the cracks and fissures, the shadows. You’ve made a spoken or silent agreement with one another to shine the light of awareness into those places neither of you can see.
You also feel safe enough to express your most cherished dreams and desires, without fear of judgement, ridicule or competition and jealousy.
Simply love and friendship.
💯We all need an anam cara.
When I’m feeling like I’ve hit the wall, I know that I can pick up the phone and say, “Help, I’m losing it here.”
I trust explicitly, with every fiber of my being, that my friend will steadfastly hold the container of compassion until I’m ready to breathe out, “I’m OK now.”
I must have done something especially well because in my immediate inner circle I have more than one anam cara.
☘️Having one soul friend is a blessing. Having more than one is good fortune. Or as one of my teacher’s likes to say, “you got the good lucky”.
Kalyanamitra is the Sanskrit word for good friendship, or anam cara. Plus, it points to the idea that in fact you may have several soul friends.
In Tantra yoga we also have what’s called Kula, a community of the heart.
As we currently witness the dance of darkness and light being played out, many of us are feeling the loss of community and the warmth and love of an anam cara.
❣️If you’re blessed with a loving Kula, take refuge.
❣️If you’re blessed with an anam cara, give gratitude and be reciprocal.
❣️If you’re alternating feeling hopeful and discouraged, joyous and sad, held in friendship and lonely, clear, and confused, speak out.
Sometimes your anam cara arrives in the form of a therapist, mentor, coach. Whomever it may be for you don’t hesitate to ask for support and guidance.
We all need someone to…
✔️Be a mirror
✔️Help us to navigate the different junctures of our lives
✔️Remind us of our innate goodness and inner fortitude
✔️Someone who will love us “warts and all”
💖With love and appreciation, xoxo Paulette
“Paulette is a dynamic life coach. The guidance and skills from every session with Paulette has propelled me forward into the best version of myself.
I love how she integrates knowledge, perspective, and a spiritual healing essence in her coaching.
She helps me see things more clearly to make the best choices that are in alignment with what I want to achieve.
If you don’t want to be blind sided with life’s twists and turns, then I would highly recommend working with Paulette.”
Dunia, Owner of: Signature Brows and Skin Scottsdale