In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.  That alert attention is Presence.  It is the prerequisite for any authentic relationship.“  ~Eckhart Tolle

If I were to ask you, “What is your definition of family?” how would you answer?  Is family to you blood relatives only or does it encompass something larger such as people who are there for you through thick and thin?

Chris and Zorieda

I just recently returned from Peru where I became part of a new family.  As many of you know, Peru is very sacred to me and every year I journey to Peru with a group and we hike the Inca Trail as well as spend time in other sacred parts of this amazingly spiritual country (click here for information on my next journey).  When I arrived in Peru, I was asked by my dear friend Edgar to be the Godmother of his sister who was making her confirmation.  I, of course, accepted and upon my acceptance was invited to a dinner where I was fed locally grown potatoes from their local town and whole, roasted guinea pig (which is only served on the most special of occasions).  I spent time with the head blessed mother nun of the church the family attends to get “briefed” in the responsibilities of being a Godmother and then felt blessed after the ceremony that I had a new “daughter,” Zorieda, who is 14 years old.

Edgar and Chris

After the celebration, Edgar performed two very healing ceremonies with us on top of the mountain in the village and then we spent more time with the family back at the house eating fresh bread, cheese and potatoes (with chickens and guinea pigs running at our feet!).

I was made to feel like part of the family because to them, I was now part of the family.  I am now referred to as con Madre, which is a term used to represent an additional mother in the family.  The compassion and unconditional acceptance I felt brought tears to my eyes and really made me think about my own definition of family.

Ask yourself the following questions:

The relationships you have in your life, especially those with your family, are sacred.  These relationships need nurturing, attention and a balance of giving and receiving.  If you do not like your answers to some of the questions above, what can you do to change?  Is it a conversation that needs to be had?  An apology that is long overdue?  Or is it simply a hug to let someone know how much you love them?

One thing I have learned in life is that there is nothing as important as “family,” whatever your definition of that is.  When all else falls away, it is your relationships that you turn to for support, comfort and love.  Every relationship we find ourselves in becomes a tool for the evolution of our consciousness and our soul.  Every person is a teacher.  What are you learning from your most difficult relationships?  What are you learning from the best ones?

Take some time today to acknowledge your “family.”  Love them, honor them and give them the attention they deserve.  They are worth it…and so are you!

Nurturing relationships is the most important activity in life.  When you look around, everything you see is an expression of yourself.
~Deepak Chopra, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire

Thank you for being my “family,”


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .