A Woman with Soul: Deb O’Brien
Tell us about a deep soul connection that you’ve experienced. Eighteen years ago while attending my 20-year high school reunion, I reunited with my friend Laura. We had not seen each other or spoke to each since high school. Back then we were pals but not what I would call “best friends,” but that would soon change. When we saw each other at the reunion, we instantly connected as though we were long lost “best friends.” We talked the entire night. Our soulful connection was instant.
We have been the very dearest and best of friends ever since. We talk almost every day. We have seen each other through the tough times and have shared many happy moments together over the last two decades even though we live miles apart. She is always there for me, she is my rock, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my sounding board, my inspiration and the person that tells me everything is going to be okay. My father use to tell me all the time that he was proud of me; when he passed away 10 years ago I really missed hearing that. Well now Laura is the one that says, “I am proud of you.” Our soulful connection is like none I have yet to know, it is for life and beyond. I am ever so grateful for her presence in my life and proud to call her my “best soul friend.”
Describe one of the most soul-opening moments of your life. In 2008 I was in a very abusive relationship. Although it only last a short period of time, it seemed like a lifetime. Prior to this relationship I had lost someone I loved very much and was in a lot of pain over that loss. So I looked at this relationship as being with someone who made me feel worse than I had been feeling. His inflicted pain made me forget about the real pain I was feeling in my heart. I knew this wasn’t right and that it was unhealthy, but for some reason I didn’t know how to get out. I didn’t feel strong enough to leave. I had abandoned my meditation practices, my praying and worst of all myself.
One night while lying in bed ready to drift off, I just started praying again. I had asked God and the Universe to show me the way out of this madness and give me the strength to get up and get out. With my eyes closed and the lights off, the room lit up so bright I couldn’t open my eyes nor did I want to. Then suddenly I felt wrapped in this warm, soft embrace with what I would imagine it feeling like if you where embraced by angels. Tears poured down my face, I felt my soul and spirit wake up again. I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of love like I have never felt before. For the first time in a very long time I felt connected to spirit and to my soul. Then I heard a voice in my head that said, “We are here, it is okay but now it is time for you to leave.” A sense of peace and calm washed over me and I fell asleep.
When I woke up, I did not know whether this was real or just a dream. All I know is that I got up that morning and walked out the door without a word, never looked back and never let it happen again.
When do you feel your most soulful? This is oh so easy. I have a 13½ year old yellow lab named Lucy. I have had her since she was a baby. The moment we met we knew we were destined to be together. We have had many adventures and she has helped comfort me through some rough times. She is my constant companion and love of my life. Every night before we go to sleep, I place her bed next mine and I lay down on the floor with her. We just lay there looking into each other’s eyes, I, of course am rubbing her ears (she loves that most) and kissing her wet nose. She kisses (licks) my checks and nuzzles in my neck. Then I sing “You are my sunshine” as she just stares at me so sweetly. It never fails, I get a little teary eyed because this is the moment when I truly feel the most soulful with the most soulful creature I have ever known. She opens my heart every day to unconditional love.
Where have you felt the most in touch with your own soul? I have lived in the Lake Tahoe, CA area for over 30 years and there are so many beautiful places there but none so beautiful as a place called “Hope Valley.” It is this amazing valley surrounded by mountains and trees, wildlife and a river running through it. I love just walking along the river and listening to nature. Then I will find a nice spot to do my meditation or just a place to lie in the grass and take in the beauty. It is just so peaceful, it is where I feel closest to Spirit, the Universe and my inner true self. It is my temple.
Who is one of the most soulful people you’ve ever known? I have been blessed to know a lot of soulful people in my life. However, the most soulful person I know is my younger sister Cassie. She is this amazing woman. She has 5 children and 2 grandchildren. They range in ages from early thirties to teenagers. She has raised them all to be these incredible souls filled with love and joy. Cassie has faced many adversities in her life. From having a son who is handicapped, who they were told would not live past 5 (but I believe it was Cassie’s faith that he is now 18), to surviving cancer, living with lupus, watching her husband suffer from one neck surgery after another and all the while still having faith in God. Cassie wakes up each and every day with such strength and courage to face another day of whatever life has to bring on. She watches Super Soul Sunday religiously and journals all that she takes away from it, then she shares it with those around her. She tends to other people’s needs way before her own. She takes in those who need a place to stay, a hot meal or just a big hug even if she is struggling herself. She is selfless, loving and kind. She is “my” spiritual teacher with a soul that I am blessed to call her not only my sister but my friend.
What qualities do you feel a soulful relationship has? A deep understanding that our partners have the same feelings and emotions that we, so handle with care. Respect each other’s uniqueness, individualistic ways and perfect imperfections. Trust in one another that each will always do their very best to give love, show love and be open to receiving love. A strong knowing that it takes to make it love work and grow. Loving kindness, treat your partner as if you would like them to treat you. My favorite: be open just being wildly and passionately in love and don’t sweat the small stuff.
What do you feel your soul’s purpose is? It took me many years to discover this, but apparently years is what I needed to find out. It was what gave me the experience and knowledge I needed to fulfill my soul’s purpose. After many relationships, good and bad I realized that the one thing that I wanted to do and felt good doing was teaching others about loving relationships. So, I became a relationship coach. Now I teach others how to be in healthy, loving, soulful relationships, showing them just how important it is to start by loving themselves. I give many free sessions, from family, friends, and strangers. Even though I am still building my practice I feel that the more I give freely, the more I learn myself. I love what I do and soon I hope to be working with the local woman’s shelters and teaching them how to “not” be in abusive relationships and course by showing them that healthy love starts from within.
If you’ve read The Soulmate Experience, what ideas or suggestions have been most useful to you? I have not only read this book but I use it in my coaching. I recommend it to my clients and my copy is so highlighted and side noted you wouldn’t believe it. However, my favorite suggestion from your book was this: “One sure way to start the shift from conventional relationship to soulmate relationship is to begin to treat your partner as guest in your life.” I love this and I share this with all my clients. Did I mention that I love this book? lol
Thank you both so very much for allowing me to share my soulful experiences with you and your readers. I am honored and grateful.
I am a certified relationship coach and, after owning a fitness club for 8 years, I am a health and wellness coach as well. Although certified, most of my coaching comes from my own experiences in relationships, good and bad. Life is truly the best teacher. I love doing what I do more than anything. I look forward every day to sharing with others what I have learned about love. Get in touch with me:
Thank you, Deb, for sharing these very soulful moments with us. ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships, 52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love