Today my friend Fran Sorin of is our Encourager for the month of July.  Our true friends are those who manage to inspire us to be what we know we can be, which makes Fran an inspirer as well as an encourager and I’m grateful for her presence here today.


[success]Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.  Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend. ~ Albert Camus[/success]

Friendships are gifts. We live in a daily gift exchange, between us and life between us and others and sharing the gift of friendship is one of the creative acts we perform, one of the blessings of the universe.  Our willingness to share our love, our joy, our ups, our downs with others is a means to living and expressing life fully.

Friendships through circumstances

Throughout your lifetime, you develop friends for different reasons – to laugh, to hang out with, because of similar interests, work or parent related, neighbors, religious or political affiliations, or ‘soul’ connections. As an adult, until my kids were in middle school, most of my friendships developed due to circumstances.

When I was a Broadcast Executive, I became fast friends with a group of guys – some of who to this day are in my life. I consider them to be dear, old friends.

When my children started school, other Moms and I became friendly but not friends. As a matter of fact, I felt that I was never accepted. And once I started home schooling my kids, I was really ‘way out’ there. Initially I was hurt but eventually being an ‘outsider’ in this culture became my badge of creativity and individuality.

Friends to encourage and nourish your soul

If you listen closely to what your instincts are telling you – no matter what age you are – you will cross paths with someone with whom you can have a deep friendship. Have you ever had that feeling inside of you – a sweet spot- where you know that this friendship sustains you – that your life wouldn’t be the same if this person wasn’t in it? This could be both a romantic or non-romantic relationship.

[success]A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. Heather Pryor[/success]

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-30s, when I was committed to my spiritual journey, that I was ready to create relationships and allow individuals into my life who fed and nourished my soul. They encouraged my authentic, creative self to take center stage.

Unique friends

Three close friends of mine and the gifts they bring

Authenticity, laughter, trust, and creativity

I was introduced to Romy when I was at an improvisational theatre weekend in Upstate New York. When she turned around and said ‘Hi, my name is Romy’ with her pointed sunglasses and huge smile, my instincts told me that we were going to become close friends. Today, 18 years later, our friendship has developed into one of trust, vulnerability, support, and weekly spiritual coaching sessions.

It’s no accident that she went from acting to becoming a therapist and has become renowned in the field of Voice Dialogue. Both of us are passionate about creativity and our soul work – in both our professional and personal lives. I couldn’t think of a better match for a trusting and creative friendship.

Community organizer, generosity, laughter, and God

Betty’s laugh and silent ‘good deeds’ (too many to even begin to mention inspired me to become involved in inner city and refugee projects. She became my spiritual guide for several years before morphing into what I can only call a ‘mystical friendship.’ She was a cross between Mother Theresa and the laughing Buddha – When I came to visit, after flying in from half way around the world, I would walk into her living room, take some pillows, plop on the floor and spend hours talking and giggling with her. We could discuss anything about God, spirituality, and life without reservation. When she died last year, I knew that she was ready to drop her physical body. I didn’t mourn her passing but I do miss her.

Music Teacher, encouraging and prompting creativity, and filled with soulfulness

Don (a classical pianist since childhood) was my music theory teacher who taught me how to hear musical notes (I was in my 30s by then). Not only that, he opened me up and encouraged me to compose original music and write an opera…something I never thought possible or even dreamt of.

When I reflect on him, I laugh and wonder how the heck did he get me to do that? He had the ability to suggest, guide, and encourage me to become the best of who I am. He believed that everybody had the ability to be musical and be creative – that they just need to tap into it.

And friend he did become – we shared our deepest feelings about God, the universe, and music. The week that he died, he sat on the couch with me and for the first and only time told me that he loved me. Little did I realize that he had stomach cancer and knew that his time was limited.

Appreciate what you give in a friendship

Have you ever though about what you bring to the table in each friendship. Maybe it’s time to consider it, you’re probably a better friend than you know.

In one friendship, you may take on a supportive, ‘you can do it role’. Or it could be a relationship of ‘deep spiritual work’ or solely filled with laughter and fun.

How about those where you take on the role of a problem solver and help the friend become ‘unstuck’?

Take the time to sink into the beauty of your love and support for each other. This is the stuff that matters in life.

We’d love to hear about your fabulous friendships in the comments below. Have you had or have friends who’ve made a difference in your life?

Do spill.

[success]About Fran


Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality and transformation.

Fran is also the founder of, a broadcaster, journalist and an ordained Interfaith Minister.[/success]


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. 🙂 What a coincidence, my latest post is about friendship too. I am blessed and lucky to have fantastic people who fill my life with happiness.

    Thank you for a beautiful post, Fran. Thank you for being my friend.
    Big hugs to you, dear Elle. I am grateful for our interaction.

    Love to you both, Vidya

    • Elle

      No surprise there Vidya…all soul sisters together and many e-hugs to you too. 🙂

    • Dear Vidya-
      Your post this past week is the epitome of the magnificence of a vibrant, trusting friendship. Having you as a friend is -for lack of a better word – pure happiness. xxoo-Fran

      • Happiness is a beautiful word, Fran!
        E-hugs to you, Elle! And informing the Universe my wish for a real warm hug!

  2. Hi Fran , enjoyed the tour of your garden on your website. Yes friends are deeply important and I have some great pals. I find that the more I get into my spirituality the more I realise that it is so important to cherish them and nurture them, like your garden. The frost of negativity can harm them, and then they can be gone.

    • Karen –
      Thanks for your comments about my garden.
      How true that as you may become more spiritual, the awesome nature of friendships are appreciated at a deeper level. Nurturing them is not only enriching for them but for you as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Fran

  3. Thank you for the beautiful post. My number one value in life is family, and this includes friends because when I have a true friend, I consider them family as well. I have a core group of girlfriends from childhood and we still remain close today. I can’t imagine my life without them. What I find so interesting about us is that we are all SO different but together we form the perfect circle. We know each other inside and out and are there for each other no matter what.
    This post has inspired me to reflect on my deep friendships and on how mucky I am to have them in my life. Thank you for that!

  4. Thank you for this great reminder about friendships Fran. I agree that it is so important to recognize and honor the gifts that our friends provide us on a regular basis–my VERY best friend happens to be my life partner Thom–while I enjoy several close relationships with other women–Thom connects to me on most ways, is my best teacher as well as my best supported–and he lives with me too 🙂 Thanks for reminding me how valuable he is to me and how important that relationship is to my wellbeing. ~Kathy

    P.S. I am also using this comment to let Elle know that I consider her a new and valuable blogging friend–so much so that I’m nominating her for the “I Am Part of A WordPress Family” award. She (and everyone else) can see what it’s about by following the link to the blog post below. Thanks Elle for connecting with me and for your inspiring and encouraging website–now that a friend!

    • Elle

      Wow Kathy, thank you so much I’m glad we’ve connected too…love the connection we all get to have via the www. 🙂

    • Dear Tamera-
      I totally agree that close friends are like family. How lucky for you that you have a circle of girlfriends from childhood. That each of you are so different may be why the gestalt of the group is solid and rich. I love your term ‘perfect circle’ – thanks for sharing. Fran

    • Kathy-
      What a gift that your life partner is your very best friend. Your connection sounds profound. Your gratefulness for his presence in your life is beautiful.

      I think Elle is a pretty terrific woman – and blogger. You are ‘right on’ for nominating her for the ‘I Am Part of A WordPress Family’ Award..

  5. Definitely have! One of my best friends serves as a mentor in life for me and I return the favor by being his mentor. We both know a lot about different things and share common interests so it’s amazing to see how our minds come together.

    • Vincent-
      What we call ‘synchronicity’ is simply proof that life is magical. it is by no accident that one of your best friends is your mentor and vice versa.
      How beautiful! Fran

  6. Isn’t it funny how sometimes we meet someone and we just “feel” we’ll be friends? Your story about Romy reminds me of interactions I have had with friends I have made and kept over the years, Fran. Great read. Thanks!

    • Victor-
      Meeting someone and immediately feeling that you have known them in another world and that you’re going to become fast friends is a phenomenal experience….one filled with mystery and magic. It is a credit to you that you have these moments in your life..Fran

  7. Dore Patlian

    Great guest post! Much of the texture and richness of life is the great, enduring friendships that we are blessed with.

    • Dore-
      Enduring friendships – what I call ‘lifers’ – are something extraordinary. How right you are that we are blessed to have them. Fran

  8. Lovely post Fran. Friendships are to be cherished. They can come very different walks of life. Some are meant to be keepers and so glad that you have had these very special relationships. Thanks for sharing.

    • Cathy-
      I have no doubt that you have friendships from all walks of life – you vibrate acceptance, trustworthiness, and a knowing quality. It’s interesting that you mention the length of friendships . I used to think that it was the most important thing to have friendships for life. With enough experience under my belt, I now understand that certain people come into your life for a reason, fulfill it, and then leave. It allowed me to perceived friendships in an entirely new light. Fran

  9. Dear Elle-
    A big thank you for hosting me on your site. I love your writing…and you! xxoo-Fran

    • Elle

      Thank you Fran for being our encourager of the month…your friendship lights up my life. 🙂

  10. Loved the spirit behind the post.
    In fact friendship is an invaluable asset for human beings,cutting across cultures and continents.While i am a great believer in nurturing lasting relationships i also mtend to think that friendship has another connotation;extending a caring and helping hand to a wider swath of our co-passengers on planet Earth on this journey of a lifetime.
    Remember the confidence you engender in others by lending a helping hand will invariably get back to you,sooner than later.You bring confidence to others by staying true to your word, lending a helping hand in need,doing something selflessly-beyond your call of duty.
    They say everyone needs at least four hugs a day to survive and eight hugs a day to grow.”Hugs” are selfless acts which cost you nothing.You can smile at someone, you can open the door for someone, you can allow the speeding car to overtake you .You can help the old lady cross the street, you can pick up a fallen packet and replace it on the rack in the supermarket. The beauty is; hugs are best given without expecting reward or applause.

    Even when no one is looking.

    Bing E Hugs to all

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