We've just returned from another amazing and rejuvenating five day spiritual intensive in Morillon France led by our good friends and mentors. The setting was idyllic, nestled in the French Alps we stayed a week in what looks more like a postcard than an actual place where people live.
Aaron and I kept marveling (jealously) at the fact that people actually live in this magical place...seriously though, who lives in these magical mountain villages?! That picture...a real picture (not a postcard) taken from the balcony of the chalet we stayed in all week. Ridiculous.
But more magnificent than the mountains, streams, wild flowers and breathtaking panoramas was the feeling of being with our soul family.
Okay, at first glance soul family seems like more new age jargon, but for the past two years we've come to recognize that the concept is not just more Hippie hocus pocus but rather a very real energetic resonance you can feel with people you'd never imagine you would come to know.
Our group was a diverse crossection of people from places from all over the map: Belgium, Denmark, Malaysia, Malta, New York City, Germany, and Russia to name a few. We came from all walks of life with very different philosophical and spiritual backgrounds, economic experiences, races, creeds and belief systems but decided (likely long before incarnating in these bodies) we would meet up in Morillion in June of 2013. Since this was our second retreat we had met some of our family last year, some were unable to return this year (we felt them with us nonetheless) and the "new people" folded into our family as though they were always there.
Our soul families are a network of people with whom we "know" without knowing. You feel at ease fairly quickly and find that once you begin talking there's a feeling of having been there before with that person. We opened to this truth using a beautiful exercise called the "sufi greeting". We sat with our hand on another persons heart and theirs on our heart and stared into each others eyes for 2-3 minutes. We did this with each member of our 20 person group and within seconds with each person you begin to have vague (or sometimes very strong) impressions of the other person form.
Some people got flashes of what could be past lives with the person that evoked emotional responses, while some simply felt a sympathetic resonance with the other person that quickly dissolved ego borders and preconceptions. And this was only the second day.
Having studied group dynamics and group counseling, we can tell you that in our experience soul groups form rapport and confluence in a rapidly accelerated rate with much less drama and power struggles than typical group, even faster than those groups that meet to focus on purely emotional or psychological healing.
Our group was rare in that all members present were "part of the family", but this is likely due to an agreement made to work specifically together for the purpose of continuing to wake up to our true selves.
Many of us have had the experience in our families of origins where we feel we cannot fully be ourselves. This is because while we may love those people and care for them (or not as the case may be) they do not share the same spiritual resonance.
The Soul Family reaches beyond blood and in the instance of the soul family the relationships point us to our essence much faster than our average family relationship does. With soul family members there is a sense that, despite our individual life experiences, there is a common energetic pulse that you share with the other that is not explained through experiences in physical time.
Sometimes, you'll meet soul family members in your family but often we find our soul families elsewhere, and often not until we would be able to recognize them through a desire to search for who we really are.
Many people experience a heightened sense of longing when leaving their soul families behind. We experienced this last year when we left France after our first intensive. Aaron and I both experienced a feeling of contraction and sadness that went on for some days after returning home.
This is because when you are with your soul family your heart expands and you feel supported on multiple emotional and energetic levels. So when you leave it can be a bit sobering to return to "regular life". I prepared myself for the departure this time because I know that I can plug into the experience and energy of that group whenever I need to feel supported.
Soul family members show up to remind us of who we really are. They can provide a gentle shake or an intense jolt. You can be sure that whatever the nature of the relationship dynamics that it will be incredibly spiritually cathartic. It's as though everything is "sped up" and the lessons you need to learn are taught and integrated at a much deeper level.
Sometimes the work done with soul family members is hard and not all members will get along, and just like any family there are plenty of interesting dynamics.
We are truly grateful to have attended our "family reunion", and we spent most of the week learning to "speak the same language" so that we can more effectively do the work we all want to do on a personal and spiritual level.
There is a charge to working deeply and compassionately with a group of people you resonate with on this level. And for someone like me who has typically steered clear of any kind of group, that's a significant statement. Lets just say "homey don't play well with others." Yet I would gladly play with my soul family group any day of the week.
Recognizing your soul family members requires awareness and sensitivity to the mysteries of life.
In essence we're all in the same soul family....everyone is undeniably "related" to everyone else, but our close soul family group reminds us of this universal principle and can be a port in a storm.
It reminds us that even if our families aren't as supportive, kind, interested, or interesting as we may want them to be we can appreciate them for what they are because we know that somewhere out there there are people who resonate with us on a deeper more integral level. We can stop expecting to get everything we need in one place.
So while your family may be great for blowing off steam, watching a football game, eating a great meal and reminiscing about the old days, they may not be the people we want to swap spiritual experiences with, delve deep into the essence of our beings or discuss concepts like karma or past lives. In fact they may look at you like you're a little crazy.
What's the secret to finding you soul family? Begin to wake up to who you really are. Recognize that things may not be as they seem and ask the universe to show you to those who can take you into a deeper relationship with what is.
I guarantee you the proverbial doorbell will begin to ring before you know it, and you may only collect one or two at first but the more you wake up, the more people will show up for the reunion.