What on Earth is a Soul Friend?

Anam Cara, Soul FriendsAnam Cara

A Celtic phrase meaning “the essence of true friendship.” Here’s a few that might sound familiar:

David and Jonathan—Bible (Samuel I and II )

Anne and Diane—Anne of Green Gables

Pooh and Piglet—Well, you know


According to Wikipedia (and other more scholarly sources):

Anam Cara or anamchara is an old Gaelic term for “soul friend”; anam meaning “soul” and cara meaning “friend”. The term was popularized by Irish author John O’Donohue….

(Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

Our friendships profoundly impact us. True ones that go deep are treasured, uncommon and can be as strong as or stronger than family ties. These are the souls we choose to share our lives with. While writing this I accidentally typed “livers” instead of “lives”. Yes, sometimes folks even share an organ with a friend in need. There’s more than one way to share life.


Give a gratitude shout-out to a dear friend! Just type their 1st name if you’re reading this on social media. Now, call, text, write and let them know one thing you love about them.


If you’re writing your memoir on or interviewing someone else, make sure to ask about their best friend growing up. You can dedicate an entire chapter to exploring this answer. In fact, while working on this section you’ll probably run the gamut from laughter to tears. I’ve done this exercise with young kids and adults, age doesn’t matter. The smiles, chuckles, eye twinkles and sighs show how much these memories shape our hearts and souls. Treasure them.


One of my favorite humor writers is Patrick McManus. His stories of adventures with his childhood best friend will delight you with a hefty dose of belly laughs. Try this one, The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw  (my favorite) for a great read and some “good medicine!”


A merry heart does good,  like medicine…

Proverbs 17:22


(Thank you, Abigail Eiceman, for the great discussion on Anam Cara)

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What was Your Detour to Destiny?

detours, destiny, life plansOk, time to get a little goofy here. I heard a thoughtful question the other day. What detours have led you to your destiny? We often think life’s roadblocks and detours have slowed us down in our mad mad flight to reach what we believe is our “destiny”. I can’t help but giggle whenever I hear this word though  as I remember that classic 80s movie Back to the Future—“You are my density!” I still get a kick out of it– Bwwhaaa! Sorry, entirely too amused at simple things.



All kidding aside—here’s the assignment:

Interview your relatives and friends and ask them two questions:


1-“What detour or roadblock did you experience in your life that took you down a different road?”

2- “What did you learn from this?”


Be forewarned, they will usually want to know YOUR answers to the same questions. You will learn so much about those you care about by doing this mini-interview and really listening to the answers.

The legendary Paul Harvey thrilled listeners for years with his radio show The Rest of the Story. The theme of these stories was the often strange turns of events and destinies that led people from one path to another.


The whole course of a life can be changed by a fork in the road.

What detour led to your “Rest of the Story?”

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How to Take the Tribute Challenge

Letter, life story, memory, healingI heard this idea from author Dennis Rainey and it’s so good I want to share it–writing a tribute to a parent. Maybe this will be a joyful, a moving gift from your heart. Then again, maybe it would be really tough for you. The interesting thing is, even if you didn’t have a stellar relationship with your parent, you can do this. Although many of us are blessed to have great, warm memories, our humanity leaks out in not so pretty ways sometimes and most relationships hit rough spots.


Rainey’s point is that writing a tribute to your parent and then reading it to them is extremely healing. Sometimes it can even help you turn the corner into a different dynamic in that relationship.



But listen up; this is amazing—

even if your parent has passed away

writing a tribute can bring healing and release.


If you’ve watched the movie I can only Imagine you saw a great illustration of the power of restoration in a difficult relationship. You have everything to gain by writing the tribute. At its best it could start a season of forgiveness, restoration and building new memories for the rest of your story together. At the worst, nothing will change except in your own heart–but YOU will be freer, lighter.


I don’t know about you

but I want to speak

encouragement, healing and life.


Are you up for it? Take the Tribute Challenge!Tribute, memory, life story, healing

Write and let me know what happened.



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Please contact me for more information or to to schedule a free consultation. I look forward to visiting with you.

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    Karen Ray

    Address: 331 Bristol Avenue, Las Cruces, NM, 88001

    Phone: 575-323-1048