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For as long as I can remember, my brothers and sisters have been a huge part of my life. Growing up in a family where three families lived on three different levels of the same house, I was always surrounded by my cousins. Every year, in the month of August, the house would come alive to celebrate a beautiful brother-sister festival. Sisters and brothers would honor each other with a renewal of their bonds of friendship, of “being there for each other”, of “answering each other’s call”, and more.

As often happens, time and distance can fray the bonds of the best of relationships. The flow of direct communication sputters as we grow older and assume more life roles as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, bosses, employees… Our life role of brother or sister can seem to wax and wane like the phases of the moon… And then, as August arrives, and the moon waxes to its full, I open the mailbox one day, and there it is – a card or letter from my sisters, enclosing a thread of love – a reminder that it is time to renew the bond.

We have the bonds that are bound by time and space, and we have the spiritual bonds that are beyond time and space. We have the bonds that are borne of flesh and blood, but there are many bonds that go beyond that. In our life journey, in our different life roles, we develop friendships, often with people we have never met face to face, which become like brother-sister relationships. Some of these brothers and sisters may even become our spiritual companions, who connect with us on a level beyond the physical, the mental and the emotional.

Rakhi 2014 sc

As I reflect on the joyous relationships that exist between my brothers and sisters and me, it is not lost on me that some of my readers may not enjoy the same with their siblings. I am also aware that some may be struggling to reestablish, renew and revive these relationships – but they are wondering about how to take the first step. What is the state of your relationship with your siblings? What does it take for a spiritual sibling relationship to develop? Who do you consider to be your spiritual brothers and sisters? How are your flesh and blood siblings different from your spiritual brothers and sisters? Are they?

I invite you to share answers to some of these questions, and explore the dynamics of brother-sister relationships. Join our weekly twitter chat with hashtag #SpiritChat on Sunday, August 10th at 9am ET. Invite a brother or sister to share too…

And, to all my sisters who have sustained me through the years, I offer a deep bow of gratitude. Thank you, and Namaste!

Kumud

P.S. Sunday, August 10th is the annual day of brother-sister celebrated across the world by those in India, and those of Indian origin. To those celebrating (I know my sisters and I will be :)), Happy Rakhi!

Postscript and Summaries

Q1. As you reflect on the phrase, “spirit of a sister”, what do you see/hear/feel? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498454887823589376

Q2. Is the “spirit of a sister” really different from “spirit of a brother”? How so? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498456472893014017

Q3. What needs to transpire, for a spiritual bond to be created and sustained between brothers/sisters? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498458326456631296

Q4. How would your spiritual journey be different without your spiritual siblings? Would it? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498459991356239872

Q5. Sibling rivalry – does it extend to ‘spiritual’ siblings? Why or why not? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498461529885638657

Q6. Those who have siblings. What would you say to an “only child”? And the reverse? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498462733931925504

Q7. What are some ways in which we can heal some frayed bonds between siblings? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498464145369743360

Q8. To those who may have “lost” a sister or a brother, you would say… http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498465413257494528

Q9. The fondest memory you may have of a sibling… spiritual or otherwise… Do share 🙂 http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498466423556276224

Q10. The best way(s) to celebrate sister(s)… and brother(s)? http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/498467628592398337

Full transcript and summary

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