“Kindred spirits are like-minded and like-souled people with whom an instant connection of love and understanding is mutually experienced,”
Milledge and Patti Hart invite us to look for kindred spirits when considering post career transitions. Their unretirement movement encourages readers to find kindred spirits who are also on the unretirement journey. This invitation made me wonder, how do you find kindred spirits? Who are your kindred spirits?
Psychologist Carla Manly writes that a “kindred spirit might be a friend you instantly bonded with in college, then stayed close with despite moving to opposite sides of the country afterward. It could be a family member you have a deep friendship with. Or it could be a stranger you meet at an event and instantly feel drawn to.”
Research on kindred spirits reveals quotes, poetry, research and even a list of five signs of a kindred spirit:
You feel at peace around them.
You have an unusual amount in common.
You learn about yourself through them
You tend to see things the same way.
You feel like you know them right away.
Do you agree with this list? What else would you add? I notice some key things missing in this list.
I would add kindred spirits are multi-generational. I’m attracted to kindred spirits in different stages of life. My kindred spirits include a recent college graduate to think and laugh with, a young child to share a picture book with, a high school student to explore new insights, and an elderly wise friend anchoring me with steady love. I am attracted to a wide range of age groups as kindred spirits. Are you?
One of my favorite projects that I designed for a Women’s Studies class was a multi generational service learning project. I brought elementary school art students together with the Women Studies students with older women leaders at a place of worship. The college students interviewed the older women about their stories and the elementary students listened and illustrated their conversations. The college students wrote essays and the elementary students created final pieces of art. When we celebrated the final essays and art as an intergenerational community you could see there were now many kindred spirits. Their stories had woven together into a tapestry of ideas, hearts, minds and spirits from 8 year olds to 85 year olds. Do you have intergenerational kindred spirits?
Martha Beck in her new book The Way of Integrity might even call these kindred spirits “soul teachers”. She writes that soul teachers capture our attention, they come with a dash of magic, they offer genuine love, and don’t always share our culture’s values, and they help us think about the unthinkable.
One has to wonder if Kindred Spirits are Soul Teachers?
How have you found Kindred Spirits?