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Soul Family

In my book Love Being Me I write about Soul Family and Tribal Elders and how crucial they have been in my life and how grateful I am for them.

So what do I mean by Soul Family? Soul Family are the people you connect with on a soul level. You can be utterly yourself with them and know that they will accept you just the way that you are.  Soul Family need not be people you see every day and many of mine live in different parts of the country and the world. I might not see them very often but I know that when we speak or write or spend time together, I come away from time spent with them feeling loved and secure and valued.

Soul Family allow you to be all of yourself. They are not jealous or competitive, they want you to fly, to expand and to walk your own path. Soul Family are generous in their listening and compassion and keep judgement and lecturing firmly in check. They point out your strengths and your abilities and encourage you to develop and use them.  In short, Soul Family celebrates you being you.

In many of our relationships, we are monitoring how we present ourselves to the world in order to fit in and be accepted. We wear masks; “The good employee”, “The good parent”, “The good sibling” and these masks do in one way keep us safe. They allow us to fit in and to feel approved of. However, on another level these masks keep us hidden from each other and from ourselves. If I live a life entirely behind a mask, at some point I start to live as if the masks and real and I even forget who I really am.

When we feel seen, really seen, for all that we are, there is an immense relief, a setting down of the masks safe in the knowledge that we are still loved and accepted. With some people, this happens instantly, with others, it takes time, and yet for everyone, it happens because we are human  beings, not human doings and we want to be seen for who we are and not what we have, or what we achieve or what we collect.

When I did my PhD research into why some children, particularly boys, got excluded from school, one of the things that the children valued, was a teacher who was ‘real’. When I asked them what ‘real’ meant to them, they said that it was a teacher who wasn’t a teacher, but a person, someone who was interested in them as a person and not a student. When they were they were able to meet human to human, without the student/teacher roles…relationships were built which allowed the young people to flourish.

We all have need of connection to other people and when the connection is based on who we really are, rather than who we think we should be, we relax into ourselves, we are more able to accept ourselves and in so doing, as more able to accept other people too.  Not all of the people in our lives will be Soul Family, but everyone needs some Soul Family.

  • Who is your Soul Family?
  • Who are the people who celebrate you and who you feel good with?
  • Are you seeing enough of them?
  • How could you make time to see them more?
  • Do you have any/enough Soul Family if not, how could you meet them?

You find Soul Family by doing what you love. If medieval re-enactment is your thing, then that’s where you’ll find your Soul Family. If you love art, join art societies or drawing classes, if you love nature, join the Ramblers or set up a conservation group. The thing is, when you do what you really want to do, you  can’t fail to meet people who you connect soul to soul, and frankly, one can never have too large a  Soul Family!

Enjoy finding them.


If you enjoyed reading this please share it with friends. You might also be interested in talking to me about coaching , or maybe try some of my online courses (some are free).

Thanks for being here.

Julie Leoni

Julie Leoni

Coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Yoga and psychology teacher, learner

I have over 30 years of experience and qualification in various therapeutic and meditation/mindfulness based approaches. I work with change. Some changes we chose, others happen to us.  Sometimes we know we want to change but don't know how. Sometimes we don't want to change but external events or people are forcing us to change. The menopause, children leaving home, the end of a relationship or job, becoming a parent, coming out, bereavement are just some of the personal changes I support people with. I also work with people who want to make changes to their life and wider world in response to social issues such as Covid, the climate crisis and racial, sexual and gender inequalities. Times are changing whether we want them to or not and we need to be nimble, agile, curious and open in order to part of the new story emerging. Work with me to get clear on what matters to you, what makes your heart sing and what kind of future you want for yourself and those you love. It is possible to live differently, get in touch to explore how.

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