Anam Cara…Soul Friend

A very dear friend of mine gave me the book titled, Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. In short it is a book of Celtic wisdom. As described on the jacket of the book, “In Anam Cara, Gaelic for ‘soul friend’, the ancient teachings, stories, and blessings of Celtic wisdom provide such profound insights on the universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death.”

The decision for me to receive this book came about on an afternoon gathering with very dear friends of ours and a discussion of me trying to discover my purpose in life. I hadn’t decided to leave my job yet and it was a constant daily struggle to determine what it was I wanted to do with my future. We chatted about life and my metaphysics course, when my friend said, “You must read Anam Cara.”

Shortly thereafter, I received this book in the mail and as soon as I began to read the prologue I was hooked. It fit right into my thoughts and curiosity about myself and life. John O’Donohue brilliantly weaves humor, poetry, and Celtic wisdom into a fantastic read.

He writes about the mystery of friendship, spirituality of the senses, solitude is luminous, the poetics of growth, the beauty of aging, and death. It captures the essence of how the soul is born, grows, and then dies. The importance of being quiet and listening to our inner voice…our intuition.

He says, “To be natural is to be at home with your own nature. If you are outside of yourself, always reaching beyond yourself, you avoid the call of your own mystery. When you acknowledge the integrity of your solitude and settle into its mystery, your relationships with others take on a new warmth, adventure, and wonder.”

I love his poetic description on the law of attraction, “Natural wisdom seems to suggest that the way you are toward your life is the way that your life will be toward you. To have an attitude that is compassionate and hopeful brings home to you the things you really need.”

In the last chapter on death, he elegantly defines the misuse in wasting our time in life. “The waste of time is one of the greatest areas of loss in life. So many people are, as Patrick Kavanagh put it, ‘preparing for life rather than living it.’ You only get one chance. You have one journey through life; you cannot repeat even one moment or retrace one footstep.”

I loved this book! It is what helped me to make the decisions that have brought me to where I am now. Working from home. Learning and discovering new things about myself. Living life to the fullest. Experiencing, for myself, all the cliche’s I’ve read from other peoples discoveries.

If you want a great book to read as this fall weather begins to push you into your warm home causing you to snuggle under a blanket, read Anam Cara. You’ll be glad you did. Who knows, you may even discover something new about yourself and begin living the dreams you have in your heart!

Soul Friend…and so it is!


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