Friendship as a Spiritual Practice

How might your life be different if there had been a place for you ... a place of women, where you were received and affirmed? A place where women—perhaps somewhat older, had been affirmed before you, each in her time, affirmed as she struggled to become more truly herself.
— Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones

Kathleen Quinlan and me.

Hello beautiful women,

In my twenties I met a wonderful woman who is a few years older than me. She is an actress and a mother and one of my greatest teachers. She shared herself with me and offered her experience, her heart, and her time.

I remember going to visit her one evening in her beautiful, artistic home. Her son, who was five years old at the time, was hiding behind the wall, checking me out in his cute kiddo PJs. It was his bedtime and my friend, who was supporting me through some heartache, welcomed me into her intricate dance of mother. 

She brought me to her balcony overlooking the hills in Malibu and there I sat. She left me under the beauty moon and her stars. She placed me in the space of my own healing while she tended to the needs of her beloved son. 

Once he was safely tucked into bed, she joined me in the moonlight and, with her beautiful wisdom, guided me to light a candle. She suggested that I didn't need to figure anything out. Gently, she suggested that I let go and have some faith.

Only now do I know how thoughtful and kind this was. Only now do I know the figuring out and planning this took on her part. 

On another occasion, in my tiny cottage in Hollywood, I called her crying and asked if she could help me. With my cordless phone in hand, I listened as she suggested I run a bath.

I did.

She said, “Now put your kettle on.”

I did.

With tenderness she instructed, “Get in the bath and drink your tea and call me back.”

I did.

Only now do I see that she was teaching me to care for myself.

Only now do I see what a teacher she was and is in my life.

She is the one who, when I struggled with “Will I ever get another acting job?” suggested I do something for someone in need. I did.

She is the one who made a box of treasures with sacred offerings for my second child when I shared he didn't have one like my first born, who received a box of sacred treasures at his baby blessing.

My friend was always so giving without overextending; she never told me what to do but listened, offered her experience, and lavished me with her love.

To say I'm grateful is an understatement.

She still gives me this, and I am grateful that at times I can offer it to her as well.

Annapurna Living is my attempt at paying this forward. May we support each other. May we remember that in simple ways we can uplift each other. 

When we do this, we create a new world—a world built in love.

Let's build it.

With love,