How to Find (and Become) a True Friend [SSL75]

How to Find (and Become) a True Friend [SSL75]

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery!

This is Soul School Lesson 75 [SSL75]

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(Feature photo is a Creative Common image by Clem Onojeghou. It was taken in Brighton, UK)

John O’Donohue – writes about “Anam Cara” (Soul Friend)

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Eps 70: Sexuality and Spiritual Formation, Guest Tara Owens

Eps 70: Sexuality and Spiritual Formation, Guest Tara Owens

Thanks for giving a one-time gift HERE.

Giving is Fast. Easy. And doing it makes you feel SO good.

Today, my guest is anam cara (soul friend), Tara Owens, of Anam Cara Ministries.

Tara’s ministry exists to provide a place dedicated to the practice of soul friendship and coming alongside others in order to facilitate healing, wholeness, holiness and spiritual formation.

• We cover topics about embodiment, sexuality, sensuality,  body shame, body and brain disconnect, fear, technology, the vow of “staying with”, spiritual direction, holy listening and attending to others, and using an adult coloring book as a spiritual practice.

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MIN 2:00
Conversations Journal – Spiritual Formation


In direction you receive the full attention of someone.

Holy listening and focused fully loving attention and being entirely listened to.

A long loving look at the real together.


Do homework to find a director that has the training to truly attend during your sessions.

The holy ground of the soul. Sacred space.


Who are the typical people who come for direction?


Working with Millenials


Crisis points in faith and needing a director.

Sexuality and Spiritual Formation

Embracing the Body: Finding God in our Flesh and Bones

part I Fears around the Body (we are our body)

part II Theology about the Body

part III Integrating our Body (shalom and the body)

God speaks to us in and through our body

-[Mistakenly] We relate to ourselves as “brains on sticks” –Twitter

Our beliefs about God come to supersede our experiences of God


We can be taught that the body is the entry point of danger and sin. (Lisa) This is the opposite of true.

Male and Female bodies and brains.

“Shame disintegrates us.”Twitter

(we are separated from ourselves.)

“Our bodies can’t lie.” 

MIN 18

“Our bodies will tell us what we believe.”Twitter

MIN 20 The brain and body disconnect. The silos we create.

MIN 21:30

Genesis 12

Vision and a word.

The fully-sensual nature and wholeness of being human and spiritual.


A walk being spiritual.


The Emmaus Walk and Prayer Walk

and other practices

Practicing really breathing

Attending to the “ruach” of God (Hebrew for breath)

We usually breath with just 20% of our lungs.

Blessing their body.

MIN 28:00

Body shame and self-loathing

“Being willing to look at yourself with kind eyes”Twitter

we participate in a degradation of our bodies and seeing what is wrong.

We are conduits of God’s blessing.Twitter

Bernard of Clairvaux

We are not a canal but a reservoir – give out of overflow after we have received from God


The truth about Selfies

[Selfies are] not vanity but a mask and fear.Twitter


It is not good for humans to be alone.


Staying connected with people once it gets messy.


The tool of technology.

Skills for connection if you have gaps.

The vows of “staying with” and not leaving when it gets hard.

The discipline of stability.


The challenge of Embodiment.

Liturgy should involve: God, creation, and other people.

Communion is a tangible way to be physical and incarnate. (meals together)

No more tiny bits of Jesus.


Tara’s latest project:

At Play in God’s Creation:

Contemplative Prayer Coloring Book

96 pages!



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Eps 59: Desire and Rhythm of Life – Return Guest Shane Tucker

Eps 59: Desire and Rhythm of Life – Return Guest Shane Tucker

On Sunday April 24 Spark My Muse will be 1 year old!
Thank you to everyone who has helped by listening, with encouragement, and with gifts to keep the Spark My Muse show going.bestcake

To celebrate there will be some very interesting things happening in the….
#weekofSPARKle —stay tuned!

Want to send a small birthday gift?
Click to give, the baby Spark a present.

 Today, I have a return guest!
My soul friend, Shane Tucker.
He has a new book and you can get it free.
Today we converse about it and Irish culture
–two fire-makers are sparking things…what’s not to love?

Scroll down for essential links and show notes.




Shane is an Anglican Priest and Soul Friend – a fire-maker of souls – sparking fire for souls!

“Being a best friend you’ve always wanted.”

• Link to my 1st episode with Shane (if you haven’t heard it yet)

Rhythm of Life book link

Intersection of Arts, Faith and Culture


Dreamers of the Day

MIN 6:30

Classic Principles (walk with me)

Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience

MIN 9:30

Distinctive Practices (work with me)

Two Distinct calls of Jesus:

Walk with me & Work with me

MIN 12:00

Photography in the book

and introspective questions within the book

Stirring desire which is fuel for the journey.

The good, the true, and the beautiful

MIN 15:30

Selfish or corrupted life practices

Dallas Willard


• Vision

• Intention

• Means (resources and tools -practices and disciplines/space makers for God to rush in)

The process of transformation.

MIN 19

Abundant life and freedom

MIN 20

Offering what little we have up to God and into the world.

MIN 22

Dream Out Loud (book)

…is about the 2nd call on our lives building for the Kingdom of God.

Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy


We are the music makers,

And we are the dreamer of dreams,

Wandering by lone sea-breakers,

And sitting by desolate streams;

World-losers and world-forsakers,


On whom the pale moon gleams:

Yet we are the movers and shakers

Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,

We build up the world’s great cities,


And out of a fabulous story

We fashion an empire’s glory:

One man with a dream, at pleasure,

Shall go forth and conquer a crown;

And three with a new song’s measure

Can trample an empire down.


We, in the ages lying

In the buried past of earth,

Built Nineveh with our sighing,

And Babel itself with our mirth;

And o’erthrew them with prophesying

To the old of the new world’s worth;

For each age is a dream that is dying,

Or one that is coming to birth.


A breath of our inspiration

Is the life of each generation;

A wondrous thing of our dreaming

Unearthly, impossible seeming —

The soldier, the king, and the peasant

Are working together in one,

Till our dream shall become their present,

And their work in the world be done.


They had no vision amazing

Of the goodly house they are raising;

They had no divine foreshowing

Of the land to which they are going:

But on one man’s soul it hath broken,

A light that doth not depart;

And his look, or a word he hath spoken,


Wrought flame in another man’s heart.

And therefore to-day is thrilling

With a past day’s late fulfilling;

And the multitudes are enlisted

In the faith that their fathers resisted,


And, scorning the dream of to-morrow,

Are bringing to pass, as they may,

In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,

The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,

Ceaseless and sorrowless we!

The glory about us clinging


Of the glorious futures we see,

Our souls with high music ringing:

O men! it must ever be

That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,

A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning


And the suns that are not yet high,

And out of the infinite morning

Intrepid you hear us cry —

How, spite of your human scorning,

Once more God’s future draws nigh,

And already goes forth the warning

That ye of the past must die.


Great hail! we cry to the comers

From the dazzling unknown shore;

Bring us hither your sun and your summers;

And renew our world as of yore;

You shall teach us your song’s new numbers,

And things that we dreamed not before:

Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,

And a singer who sings no more.


A wondrous thing of our dreaming,

Unearthly, impossible seeming-

The soldier, the king, and the peasant

Are working together in one,

Till our dream shall become their present,

And their work in the world be done.


And therefore today is thrilling,

With a past day’s late fulfilling.

And the multitudes are enlisted

In the faith that their fathers resisted,

And, scorning the dream of tomorrow,

Are bringing to pass, as they may,

In the world, for it’s joy or it’s sorrow,

The dream that was scorned yesterday.


For we are afar with the dawning

And the suns that are not yet high,

And out of the infinite morning

Intrepid you hear us cry-

How, spite of your human scorning,

Once more God’s future draws nigh,

And already goes forth the warning

That ye of the past must die.


Great hail! we cry to the corners

From the dazzling unknown shore;

Bring us hither your sun and your summers,

And renew our world as of yore;

You shall teach us your song’s new numbers,

And things that we dreamt not before;

Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,

And a singer who sings no more.


MIN 25:30

The book title’s connection to the band U2

Streets Have No Name


MIN 27

Hope in Irish culture and in the music. The folk music expresses sadness and joy together.

MIN 29:30



“ a good undoing”

a joy that brings tears–a sudden glimpse of truth.

MIN 32

The Trips Shane Guides to Ireland

Featuring ancients stories, heroes, and revered saints, landmarks, pubs, and historic features.

Find Shane on Twitter:


His website:

Episode 15 Shane Tucker and the listening art of “soul friendship”

Today: A conversation with Shane Tucker!

Shane is a Soul Friend (Spiritual Director) with a focus on artists and creatives, be they “yuccies”, “slashies”, painters, musicians, or any one in need of deeper and more sustaining, soul-level communing.


How we find spark:
Together, we make the Spark My Muse podcast happen.
I prepare something and you digest it.

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That’s all. :)


• If it’s worth nothing…um what? Are you serious? This just got more awkward..Aw…snap! I sincerely apologize. Let me know what I can improve and please come back and listen again soon!

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simply, tap into the river of gratitude in your heart and contribute what you can– HERE or use that Paypal button, over yonder.


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Thank you, listeners for making the show heard in 96 countries and a,l 50 of the United States!

With Love,

SHOWNOTES with links and highlights.

Wine Segment:
MINUTE 1:30 On meade and Irish wine

Snapshot of the segment:

• Meade is fermented honey and herbs added.

• Irish wine is (usually) white wine, with some honey and herbs.
• It is still often used during the wine toast in Irish wedding ceremonies.


Sparking your muse!

Shane-@-Ross-2012-MA conversation with Shane Tucker:

His website

His Twitter

Shane is…
• An ordained Anglican Preist

• A trained Anam Cara (soul friend in the Irish Tradition).

• He lived with his wife and family in Ireland for 11 years!

Conversation (podcast) notes:


How Shane and his wife and family happened to live in Ireland for 11 years.

How God begins to grow dreams in us

Working at the Willow Creek Church

People have long said that still seems true. When foreigners come that end up being more Irish than the Irish themselves.


One of the most potent lessons learned from the Irish was the necessity to put people first. They take time to connect with each other and share life.

9:00 A sense of call to minister to artist and creatives.

9:40 On why he feels a passion to serve the creative community: “I believe the creative of today is the prophet of old”. It is a prophetic call.


“Creatives are called to paint a picture of the future that God is calling us all into. His Kingdom coming.”


“When a creative (person) using their gift…it taps into something deep inside of us and reverberates…and it feels like echoes of home.”


Jesus invites us to “walk with me and work with me.”


answering: What is Spiritual Direction (or soul friendship) actually?


A soul friend is “the best friend you’ve always wanted.”

and the Saint Bridgette quote…


A good picture is in the New Testament of the friends walking to Emmaus and then Jesus come in their midst. Unpacking life.


“The Soul Friend is someone who helps us see how God has been at work in our lives…so we can (as St. Ignatius says) “to recklessly abandon ourselves to his loving care.”


The problem with the phrase “Spiritual Director” on two counts so I use “soul friend”.


How he was trained in soul care and soul friendship


On becoming an Anglican Priest…


What he find to be the deepest needs of the creative community he works with?

Affirmation and Presence


Living in a Creative Age (moving from head to heart)


There’s an affective moving in society leading with Beauty first and then Truth that leads to freedom.


Alan Crieder

Behave Belong Believe (in which order should be in what era)


“What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.”


The error of focusing too much on trying to convince people just intellectually.


Ignatian Spirituality

Celtic Spirituality

Soul Friendship
by Rev Ray Simpson (Church of England)

The Celtic Way of Prayer
by Ester De Waal

Holy Companions


on the hospitality and generosity of Irish spirituality.

The story of an Inn with 7 doors for the 7 roads.

Thank you so much for listening to the show!


To get alerts of the topics and the new and interesting folks coming to the podcast in future episode click HERE.

Here’s a tasting of who’s coming in the next few months:

Mako Fujimura

Nicole Unice

Shane Claiborne

and, yes, more!


Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

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Spark My Muse

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Show notes –
Spark My Muse podcast: Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.10.44 PM
Photo by Brett Bastello – Personal Creations (click for link)

Today’s episode covers the skinny on wine spritzers and also how friendship fuels our creative muse.

This episode is brought to you by
the book Dog in the Gap
10 essays inspired by the life lessons learned while befriending with the family canine. Heart warming, full of wonderful photography and good humor. Click the links to learn more to get a copy.

The Bonus Edition is just a $1 more and it contains lots of extras and goodies.


What is a wine spritzer exactly and why now is a good time to make one?

First, what’s up with the word “spritzer”?

The word “spritzer” comes from the German spritzen “spatter, squirt, spray, sprinkle”.

(additional note: just saying it involves some spritzing, right?)

The wine sprizter is just a simple drink combination of chilled wine and something that sparkles, such as sparkling mineral water, club soda, or seltzer water.

It’s consumed more for refreshment than anything else!

(It’s easy on the liver.)

• Drinking wine in warm weather or in the hot sun is always a bad idea. The spritzer is a good choice for summer because of its lower alcohol content, less calories, and being less inexpensive than straight wine consumption. Serving them is a great a way for you or your guests to not drink too much before the hambergers are ready at your cookout.

Too much wine (or any alcohol) during the summer will dehydrate you and you can quickly feel tired or ill.

Spritzers are mixed in various ratios and sometimes fruit juice is added.
The two most common are 50/50 or,
1/2 cup club soda to 1 cup of wine.

• The Spanish use red wine, fruit, and lemon soda. That sounds delicious!

I think wine or juice Spritzers are the go-to outdoor party beverage that provides a less expensive refreshing treat for outdoor entertaining and outdoor fun, sunny get-togethers, and bonding with friends. (They can be made without alcohol for teetotalers or children too–just skip the wine and add more fruit juice.)

• For parties, you can fill a punch bowl with the right ratios.

Some of my favorite wine spritzer recipes!

The Super Simple Spritzer

Just two ingredients:
6 ounces of a reasonably priced of white wine – or a blush wine–
plus 6 ounces of 7-Up (or try sprite or ginger ale).


Sublime Citrus Spritzer
2 lemon slices, 2 lime slices, 5 ice cubes.
4 ounces of your your favorite white wine and 2 ounces of lemon-lime seltzer.

Peach Dream Party Bowl Spritzer

6 quartered peaches and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Mix into a blender and puree. Place in a pitcher and chill for about two hours, then mix in a bottle of white wine, and stir well.

Finally, add a liter of cold sparkling water or seltzer.

Garnish with mint and extra slices of peach.


Citrus Ice Cube Party Pitcher Spritzer
2 lemons, zested
2 small oranges, zested (or 1 large orange, zested)
1 bottle white or blush wine
3 cups sparkling water
Place the zest as a mixture into an empty ice cube tray, add water and freeze for 3 to 5 hours.

In a large pitcher, combine the wine and the sparkling water and then the citrus zest ice cubes.

Stir and serve.


White Wine and Fruity Sweet Party Spritzer
1 bottle of sweet white wine
3/4 cup white grape juice or apple juice
1 liter bottle desired-flavor low-calorie sparkling water, chilled.

(optional and delicious Assorted fresh fruits (such as raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, sliced kiwifruit, blueberries, lemon slices, lime slices, halved strawberries, or red grapes)
1 In a large punch bowl combine wine and grape juice.

Just before serving, slowly pour in sparkling water.

If desired, garnish individual servings with fruit. Makes 10 (6-ounce) servings

SPARK MY MUSE: On friendship….

David Whyte:

Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.

Little Prince

(previous entry)

C.S. Lewis

Friendship, unlike cooperation, is unnecessary to human survival.
Friendship, like philosophy and art is one of the things that gives value to survival.
how friendship differs from the other three types of love by focusing on its central question: “Do you see the same truth.”

Anne Lamott

In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.

My essay:

Pertaining to sparking one’s muse. Good friends, that offer selflessly the balance of honesty and gentleness, toughness and acceptance, encouragement and motivation breath life into our lives and our art. Being social creatures, as humans, we crave social bonds even though they inevitably cause us pain at times. Isolated, for too long, we shrink into ourselves with self-delusion, self-absorption, unwarranted loathing and aggrandizement.

Aloneness is a dread for many or a craving for those misfit. And even those misfit hope, sometimes, to find someone else in the dark that might recognize him and name him and finally tell him he is well enough and valuable. Only in the mirror of friendship can we have solid footing and might be drawn out into our best selves. Erotic love has too much fire and entanglement for that. Agape love too much work and abdication. Brotherly love too much responsibility and duty. Only a soul friend can birth you into your actualization most purely.

Friends and confidants help us be continually born into the next stage of development. We risk with them and they with us and the synergy makes us stronger. At its best it is a fountain of grace sourced in Originator of Love and Goodness.

Do you have a question or do you have an idea for the show? Please let me know! :)


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