Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

"We are like waves on the Ocean of Belonging. We may think that we are separate, but it is really all we are." ~Postcards from the Landscape of Joy

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"Befriending the Soul will grow your heart
 open, spacious and free."

 Befriending the Soul offers a rich and inspiring collection of poetry, prose, quotations and world wisdom for living in oneness with the essence of your being.  The loving and gentle inquiry of these beautiful, inter-faith passages is what makes them favorite readings for spiritual gatherings, yoga classes, and for deepening personal reflection.  The perfect gift for soul friends, this is a book for the bedside table, the retreat bag, or to keep beside your altar for centering meditation. Befriending the Soul is an exciting, harmonizing & heart-opening book!

90 Pages, Trade Paper, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches 

Cover Art by Beldan K Radcliffe,

I offer bulk purchase discounts for Retreat Leaders, Ministers, Soul Friends &Healers  10 books for $140, 20 Books for $240

How Many? There's a Soul Friend Bundle Discount:


Our soul is the illuminating essence within us: our inner lover, loveliness, and divine identity.  Our soul is the part of us that moves between the seen world and the eternal, unseen world~ the part of us that lives in oneness always. To befriend the soul is to befriend this infinite and inner self ~ our most co-creative and loving awareness, and to keep its holy fire alive within our heart.   This friendship bestows the richness of good company, contentment, and compassion to our lives. To live in the soul is to channel and trust the wide and timeless awareness of being, feeling a vital connection to its eternal energy and wisdom. 

This book is offered from my soul to yours, 
that we may live in awareness of the light within us,
 and never lose sight of the oneness we are part of.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff 

"I just wanted to let you know my beautiful book just arrived and I'm in heaven!! :-) This past spring I led a women's retreat on Joy for the women of the church I grew up in over 50 years ago! Your book on Joy made my job so much easier. These women were my church mothers and was such a gift. They have asked me back - while I think we all need a little more time I have a feeling your new book will be equally valuable. Anyway, many thanks for the sharing of your joy and your soul!!!" - J.C.

"I opened my retreat by reading to the group Ingrid’s poem A Boat.  It set a welcoming tone of gentle beauty, calm and spacious possibilities.   Each bit of this book, with its poetry, thoughts and journaling reflections, expands my heart and fills me up.  But it is Ingrid’s poetry that shines the light.   Ahhhhh." ~ Lori Stone 

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SAMPLE POEMS AND PASSAGES from Befriending the Soul

How is it that we might reach a time in our life, indeed in our culture, when we begin to feel the nagging sense that we have lost touch with some essential part of ourselves ~ something beautiful, lively, sacred and forgotten?  When we look into the mirror, what do we see?  When we look out at the world, how do we perceive it?  How might we move from the limitations of judgment and despair to a wider, more luminous and loving view?  A subtle shift in identity is required.  We begin by cultivating intimacy with our own essence, our own soul ~ our soul which lives in intimacy with the essence of the world. 


"Soul" is not a thing, but a quality or dimension
of experiencing life and ourselves.
~Thomas Moore


Half of any person is wrong and weak
 and off the beaten path. Half!
The other half is dancing and swimming
 and flying in the invisible joy.



     I think that we are, all of us, both human and holy~ busy, lovable, beautifully made.  I have an inkling, even, that if we were to discover that we were, in balance, half human, half spirit, or perhaps even essentially 90% spirit, our lives would infinitely expand.  The human identity would not become any smaller, necessarily, but our divine identity- our relationship with spirit, would be felt in a much greater proportion, and on a much larger scale.  To befriend the soul is to live in awareness of our divine identity; Infinite Consciousness; Unconditional Love; the energetic essence of life and living.
journal notes


Two birds, inseparable friends,
cling to the same tree.
One of them eats the sweet fruit.
The other looks on without eating.
On the same tree, man sits grieving,
immersed, bewildered by his own impotence.
But when he sees the other lord contented,
and knows his glory, then his grief passes away.
~Shvetashvatara Upanishad


Imagine this:

Your soul is the aware part of you
that is looking on.
The soul is eternal ~ free of time, space,
bewilderment or grievances.
Your soul is the loving essence of your being.
You are 1% human, 99% soul.


My soul smiles
and loves this world,
loves the way it tastes~
even loves the pain of it.

My soul opens her arms
and holds eternity.
I belong to her~
she does not belong to me.

The soul is like a wild bird,
filled with song,
boundless and free.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff



You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul.
You have a body.
~Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Our soul is the eternal presence within us that is not touched by time or space- which never dies, but leaves the body when the body dies.  Many reports from those who have had near-death experiences point to the soul.  I have a friend who tells a sacred story of the moment when her father’s soul left his body- the room shimmered with light.  The more aware we are of our own soul, that conscious awareness that lives beyond the body, behind the thinking mind- the less difficult it is accept that the body will someday die. 

What happens, then, to the soul?
 We shall find out, won’t we?



When you do things from the soul,
you feel a river moving in you, a joy.


Above all, practice
 being loyal to your soul.
~John Roger


Put your ear down close to your soul
and listen hard.
 ~Anne Sexton




Trust the secrets soul whispers in your ear.





May you craft a life that honors
the deep longing for love and meaning
with delight in the human, the holy,
and spacious friendship with your soul.

May you remain open to the secret ways
that come to you in dreams,
with a keen ear for the soul's wisdom
and a heart that trusts the unknown.

And if your life ever darkens or narrows,
allow your soul's grace to guide you
and remind you in times of sorrow
to breathe kindness into your days.

May you receive the gifts your soul gives you,
and share them in love and oneness,
knowing the sweet joy of living
from the essence of your being.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff 

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