Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Archive for the ‘Soul’ Category

Perhaps I’ll Be Less Quiet Soon…


I set out tonight on the wood trail
along the stone wall, across the bridge,
and up the sky topped hill.

The sun poured down
a silky sovereignty,
making honey of the fields…

Pausing there
in the evening air,
I allowed my thoughts to still.

I do not need
to list right here
the dark cries of the world…

Yet the wild bird of the soul
still sings- softly,
fierce and sweet.

And the birds in the thicket,
too, have not given up
their song.

And you, my friend,
how are you?
We’ve been quiet far too long.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff
(from a new collection in the works, A Book of Love & Wonder)

There is a line from a poem by Odysseus Elytis which made me gasp with recognition when I first read it.  I can’t even count the number of times I have rewritten it in my journal. It captures how tongue-tied I’ve felt of late, and yet how I have longed to keep pouring my love into the world. It is this:

“I have something incomprehensible to say,
like birdsong in the time of war.”
-Odysseus Elytis

I wonder how many of us have been feeling this- this longing to continue to live our love; to live in Love; to pour love into the world, and yet the news of the day, the atmosphere of the day, almost makes an expression of love seem incomprehensible.

I was mugged once.  I was in my twenties, walking alone down a dark city street.  Suddenly I was surrounded by three very hostile women who kicked me, pulled me all around, and stole whatever they could from me.  And I just watched it happening.  I went absolutely quiet.  It was so astonishing to my innocence that I didn’t have a response.

I think of this now because I’ve been feeling mugged in one way or another fairly often these past few years… going along cheerfully and then finding myself shocked and astonished when presented with another facet of reality.  Sometimes it knocks me sideways, and I go very quiet.

I don’t want to react with cynicism or fear.  I still want to live with the vision and the conviction that Love is the best energy we have for addressing the world’s problems.  And I want to keep finding the ways that are the truest and most effective ways for me to serve through this love.  We each have our own particular ways of doing this.  Incomprehensible, perhaps, but neccessary- like birdsong in the time of war.



beautiful, fresh, magical


Saraswati, Goddess of poetry, the River of Eloquence, generosity of spirit…roses, honeysuckle, strawberries in a bowl…

A few friends have been gathering with me on Thursday mornings to write; to share reflections on what it feels like to be a channel- to open up for something that wants to come through.

This morning, Kimberly talked about a retreat she recently led- how people came, dropped their bags of daily tasks, and dove gently into the sacred.  She reflected, smiling a big smile- sparks of joy in her eyes, “Everyone has such a beautiful, fresh, magical spirit inside.”

Yes. Indeed. Yes. Yes. Yes.


Who are you when you put down your bag of daily tasks?  Have you felt your own beautiful, fresh, magical spirit lately?



Stay With this…


There is a trail just beyond my home that I wish I could share- to invite others to come and walk with me, to be transported by its beauty.


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
from the new book, Befriending the Soul


To Live in the Soul

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.
~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff,  BEFRIENDING THE SOUL 

New Book! Befriending the Soul

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



I’m very happy to announce the arrival of Befriending the Soul.   It is my deepest joy to create books that contribute to the practice of Lectio Divina: spiritual reading ~ both for personal reflection and for retreat settings.  With Befriending the Soul, I’ve compiled 90 pages of inter-faith contemplative passages:  imaginative poetry, journal notes, windows and words that celebrate a life of oneness with the soul.  I offer them to warm and encourage your journey into the deep presence of your life, and I hope they instill a rich sense of love, blessedness, belonging, divine imagination, and joy.

Below, and on the product detail page, are just a few excerpts- but they just aren’t the same as holding the book in your hands.  All unattributed passages are written by me.  I’m so excited to send you this book!  There is a discount for multiple copies- this is a lovely gift for students and friends.

Oh, and the beautiful art on the cover is a bluebird etching by Beldan K Radcliffe- a friend and fellow Night Heron Gallery partner.  To see more of her art, you may visit her website here.

Joy is the realization of the truth of our oneness –
the oneness of our soul with the world soul,
and of the world soul with supreme Love.

~Rabindranath Tagore

  When I allow myself to live from the soul, it feels as if I am returning home to the most natural way of being- a relaxed state of love, spaciousness, and infinite belonging~of oneness with all.  By oneness I mean that I keep receiving the sense that we are all part of one great family, and yet something so much more: we are part of one great everything, like cells in an infinite body, waves in an eternal sea.  In these moments of soul realization, nothing else matters. The longer I remain within them, the greater they become, sometimes stretching for hours or even days.  The lonely mental discourse of plotting, pushing and judging ceases, and I feel the inkling of a warm and trusting energy subtly radiating and expanding beyond all bounds~ the bounds of the body, the bounds of thought… the bounds of how I’ve imagined myself and the universe to be.

~Journal notes


This soul, or life within us,
by no means agrees with the life outside us.
If one has the courage to ask her what she thinks,
she is always saying the very opposite
of what other people say.
~Virginia Woolf


The more we invoke, converse with, bless ~
become intimate with the soul, the more our soul becomes a close friend ~
not simply a far-away, lost, or chance encounter.
This requires a life full of spaciousness ~
with uncluttered times and places.
Within this spaciousness, we develop personal
daily practices of communication and caring,
remembrance, awareness, intimacy, and friendship
with the indefinable, animating part of us which
is engaged with ~ and one with ~ the deep, wide, infinite,
divine mystery that is life, our life, all of life.


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


… Your soul knows you best…loves you….forgives you….judges not…. Waits patiently…. Cheers you on…. Sees where you are going…. Knows where you have been… knows your gifts and talents, even before you do… loves you to feel joy… thrives on your deepest joy… radiates divine presence right through the essence of your being…. Soul holds your laughter and your weeping, your beauty and belonging, and waits for you to awaken to
the truth of who you are.


The best soul-mate you will ever find is to be
in friendship with your own soul.


Trust the secrets soul whispers in your ear.

It’s not the earthquake
that controls the advent
of a different life
but storms of generosity
and visions of incandescent souls.

~Boris Pasternak


Put your ear down close to your soul
and listen hard.

~Anne Sexton

We are all wanderers on this earth~
our hearts are full of wonder
and our souls are deep with dreams.
~Gypsy proverb

Soul Friends

“In everyone’s life, there is a great need for an anam cara, a soul friend. In this love, you are understood as you are without mask or pretension. The superficial and functional lies and half-truths of social acquaintance fall away, you can be as you really are. Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person’s soul.” From John O’Donohue’s book Anam Cara

One of my favorite people passed away this weekend.  She was a soul friend, an anam cara- she was someone I could talk with about anything without feeling judged.  And we could speak together on topics that might have other’s eyes glaze over. We could also sit together in silence.   We “got” each other.  It’s tempting to say that this kind of friendship is rare, but I suspect that many people felt this way about her.  I once called her up, saying “I’ve been thinking of you.”  She said, “I know.”

Just last week we had bumped into each other at a cafe, her bright eyes were smiling, and we promised to catch up with a walk very soon.  I took that walk by myself this morning, and all day have felt such appreciation for all that she taught me.  I’m going to miss her.  She was the first local friend I planned to give my new book to, called “Befriending the Soul.”  I’ve just been waiting for copies to arrive in the mail.  I had been looking forward to giving it to her- because she loved to speak on the soul, and teach of the soul, and be in the soul.
She lived well, and I do not think she feared dying.  I feel shock, but not sadness- at least not for her, perhaps for my own sense of loss.   I will miss her, (did I mention that?) and yet I feel her continuing to inspire me in many ways.

If you are blessed to have a soul friend- call them up and make a date!  If you do not have a soul friend, ask the universe to bring you one.

New!!! Soul Blessings Gift Bags

Soul Blessings Gift Bag

This collection of blessings and gifts has been waiting patiently to be born, ever since I imagined how lovely it would be over a year ago.  There are Seven beautiful tokens/talismans/treasures, and each has a fortune sized blessing.  There is also a  parchment sheet of soul wisdom.  GO HERE TO ORDER.

This is a sweet, delightful celebration of soul – perfect to gift to one person, or to enjoy as a soulful group of friends.  WAY better than crackerjacks!