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The Way of St. James, Camino de Santiago, in Fall of 2013.

Re-Frames That Mattered

The concept of AnamCara, Celtic for “soul friend,” has become a central thread in my life. It began with a pilgrimage to Iona (Scotland) in 1995. Since then I have turned to AnamCara as the name for our home, a book, a form of clergy peer community, and this website. AnamCara, soul friend, captures the quality of relationship that I intend with others; namely, a friendship that is playful, thought-provoking and sourced by a common reach for the grace within all that lives. While the thread, AnamCara, remains unchanged, in this re-visioning of the blog, I am placing another bead on the thread.

I am naming this new bead Re-frames That Mattered. You and I share this experience: Sometimes we look at a situation one way, likely a familiar way, when suddenly we shift, seeing the situation in a fresh way that opens new options. We call it Re-framing. Re-framing is a breakthrough that occurs when our usual way of thinking unexpectedly collides with a new way of framing. Such re-framing will be my new focus.

As I enter my ninth decade it’s time to close out my practice. “About time!” I hear from somewhere in myself. As a closing gesture of gratitude for a vocation I have loved, I will revisit my ministry, pick up some garden tools useful along the way, place them orderly in a box, and make them available to those interested via this blog.

I watched my friend do that very thing. Being diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s, he went through his garage, collecting together his tools, put them in order and then went to friends, nieces and nephews asking, “Do any of you want these tools?” The spirit of his offer is the spirit of my offer.

I’m calling these tools re-frames. They will show up on the blog every two or three weeks. Each one mattered to me. I hope some will matter to you in the practice of this vocation we share.

–Mahan Siler

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