Anamchara – Soul Friend

I read a recent article here that introduced me to a new, amazing word: “Anamchara.” It’s an Irish word that means “Soul Friend” and describes exactly that.

This friend might be a coach, a teacher, a mentor, a spiritual director that one feels comfortable enough to open one’s heart and shared the vulnerability of one’s life. This is defined by mutual love for one another (not necessarily a romantic love).  An Irish writer and poet, John O D’onoghue in his book ‘Anam-Chara’: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World (1997) believed that “love alone can awaken what is divine within you.”

I wish we had an English word that describes the same thing. However, whether we can describe it or not, I believe it’s essential for everyone to have at least one Anamchara. Each of us needs someone with whom we can be completely open and vulnerable. One who will encourage us and challenge us, weep with us and celebrate with us, learn with us and grow with us. We seem to all have this innate need inside us.

What about you? Do you have an Anamchara? If so, who? Sound off in the comments!

Snow Piles and Stress!

They’re predicting that we’re going to get another 12 inches or so of snow starting tomorrow night. Some of you read that and think, “No biggie… we don’t even close school for that,” while others are thinking, “I haven’t seen that much snow in my entire life… total!” Generally, it’s a pretty big storm for our area, but certainly nothing huge.

What makes it a big deal is that we’ve gotten SO MUCH SNOW this winter already, and it’s been so cold that it’s not melting. We’ve been getting storms at least once a week for the past two months or so. Normally, a storm like this wouldn’t be all that bad, but when the snow comes on top of the other 20 inches laying on the ground, it becomes a bigger deal.

Sometimes, there are things in my life like that. Things that come along that wouldn’t normally be a big deal. Sure, they’d be a pain in the butt, but nothing major. However, when I allow other stresses to build up (like growing snow piles) then that extra challenge becomes more difficult.

The key to keeping this from happening is to make sure that I deal with things completely and right away. If I let stresses build up in my life, then I’m less prepared for new struggles that may arise. Instead, if I take care of the things that are sapping my emotions, then I can handle whatever comes my way.

What do you do to help you deal with stress? Sound off in the comments!

Learning from Diapers

A while ago, my son has began fighting the changing of his diaper. He used to do fine when he needed changed. You would think that he’d be excited about getting out of his own feces and into something clean, but no. As soon as we start to lay him down on the changing table, he knows what’s coming and begins to scream. It becomes like a WWE match as we wrestle with him to keep him from rolling over, kicking his legs, or worse – getting his hands down in the “dirt.”

I’m not sure why the switch. Why did he go from enjoying, or at least tolerating, the change of diapers to someone who would rather do anything other than get clean?

It reminds me of myself sometimes. Not that I still wear diapers, (although that would cut down on bathroom breaks) but there are things in my life that definitely need changing. Things that I want to improve or remove from my daily existence. However, I often fight against that need. I’ve become comfortable with the way things are. Changing is difficult and time-consuming and maybe even strenuous.

What about you? What’s keeping you from being the best YOU, you can be? Are there things that you know you need to change? What’s one step you can take today that will push you towards that goal?