Julie Magers Soulen is one of the featured artists in our upcoming book 52 Prescriptions for Happiness: A Year of Inspiration for the Body, Mind, and Soul. See her beautiful work at julie-soulen.artistwebsites.com and www.JulieMagersSoulen.etsy.com, and read her blog at juliemagerssoulen.blogspot.com.

We grew up in small towns not more than 20 miles apart but did not meet until college. Ric remembers seeing Julie for the first time walking to class. She was in the company of two friends from high school and, although there were other girls in the group, she was the one he noticed. She told him later that she had seen him at orientation and felt an attraction that was different than simply physical.

Time passed. We became part of a tight group of friends that shared the college experience in all those ways that make you grow and begin to shape your adult life. We were both eager to explore and discover our new lives and new friendships. By the end of that first year, casual dating turned into a relationship. We had become, somehow, inseparable. The next year we were married.

We have both reflected on the first time we saw each other—how we can still remember the moment and how we both recognized that the brief glimpse was somehow special, how it came to define the path we would share together. It wasn't fireworks or electricity or, even, very noteworthy, at least on a conscious level. But something inside each of us knew that this person was not like all the others.

If you accept that there are three levels to human consciousness—the subconscious, the conscious and the superconscious, or, to use different terms, the id, the mind and the soul—then it must have been our souls that were seeing each other. They still do. Perhaps soulmates are two people who surrender to the voice of their spirits and follow that entreaty. Two souls that know they can complete each other without diminishing the other.

Perhaps some relationships fail because one feels they are giving up too much or the other is demanding too much. Perhaps their paths simply diverge and they recognize that life has planned something else for them. All we know is that we have given each other far more than either has asked. Ric would be less if not for her. Julie is more because of him. But that does not mean that we are all that similar. We have very different personalities. Julie is a seeker. Ric is an explorer. Julie looks inward for solutions to life's questions while Ric travels outward to find them. On the same day, she may be practicing her yoga while he is outside working with his hands. But when we come together later, taking a walk hand in hand, we have both miraculously arrived at the same place with the same destinations and dreams.

The one experience that has defined our relationship more than any other is our first adventure in the American West. Yes, for us as for many others, events such as marriage, the birth of a child, careers and friendships and family have all been important parts of what we hold most dear. But the first time we saw the Rocky Mountains changed us forever. We left our ancestral home in the East and made a new one in Colorado. But, in the end, it was not so much the geography that changed us. It was the sharing of the adventure, the yearning to find a new life, and the willingness to travel together into unknown realms bravely.

Like all marriages, we have had good times and bad times. Some of these rough patches were very challenging, but instead of pulling us apart we found ourselves drawn even tighter together, unwilling to give ground to life’s trials. Somehow those events that could bring another marriage to ruin showed us how strong and special ours is. And in the end it was probably those trials that have made us realize, with gratitude, how unique a marriage we have. How rare to have found each other in all the world and see that other soul in all their beautiful imperfection.


Thank you for reading this beautiful love story!
~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships (in paperbackebook, and audio), the upcoming books 52 Prescriptions for Happiness and The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love and Overcoming Jealousy