I was recently asked, “How can I better connect with my guides and channel my higher self?” Or something like that.
Quick refresher course: each of us has a spirit guide, there to help us stay on track with the life plan the two of you designed before we incarnated. You both set certain goals together to help you with your spiritual growth. Unfortunately, the minute we’re born, that plan gets fuzzy in our human brain. It’s like trying to recall a dream.
Working with your guide involves regular meditation. That’s the space between the worlds where the two of you can meet. Meditation helps you become aware of your guide’s unique presence. The energy changes; you may “feel” them, or hear their voice.
By regularly connecting with your guide, you make it easier to sense them in everyday life. It’s like when you call up a trusted friend to talk over a problem; you need to know their number first.
So make it a point to meditate on a regular basis, and to invite your guide to connect with you, just to hang out together.
This is also just common courtesy; don’t you hate those friends that only talk to you when they need something? Don’t be that person.
Your guide’s job is not to make troubles magically disappear; but they will give you the tools and inspiration to navigate them more effectively. They are a great resource when you’re struggling with a decision or problem.
Your guide’s help comes in the form of new ideas, helpful people, little intuitive “nudges,” information that you run across online, a dream. Your job is to pay attention and act on this wisdom. The more you do this, the easier it becomes to access this wonderful source of help. And the smoother your journey becomes.
The process of regularly connecting to your guide also strengthens your awareness of what lies beyond our everyday headaches. It provides an uber-reality check that puts it all in perspective and reminds us that we are all just souls having a human experience.
“Is my dead grandmother/father/beagle my guardian angel?” I get this question a lot during a session. And the answer is…
Basically, we have three kinds of spirit entities around us: spirit guides, angels and those who’ve crossed over. At different times, and in different ways, they are there for us. Let me break it down:
A spirit guide is someone who has been in human form at least once. They are assigned to us before we incarnate, sort of as a spiritual bodyguard. We sit with them, drawing on a big whiteboard all the things we hope to accomplish or experience in the upcoming life. Their role is to remain on the other side of the veil, helping us to stick to our plan.
Of course, once we’re physically born, we have a hard time remembering The Plan. We get distracted and diverted, but our guide is always there. We just need to ask them to help set us back on the right road. They will put a helpful person in our way, make us notice a particular job listing or an article about a new medical treatment. They want us to succeed; I think of them kind of as the Ultimate Life Coach.
Throughout our time on Earth, we have different guides who help us with many specific things – our health, our parenting skills, our job search. Those guides come and go, but there’s always one main guide who sticks with us from our slap-on-the-butt-and-bawling entry point to our return over the veil. Here’s a way to meet yours.
While spirit guides have had the human experience, a guardian angel hasn’t. Angels are a different breed altogether and possess some truly bad ass energies and powers.
In the Christian tradition, there are nine categories of angels. Seraphim are those closest to God, followed by Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and finally, Angels.
It’s a little like the military, with each category having specific purposes and roles. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll stick to garden variety angels.
Your basic Angel is the closest to humankind. Their role is to protect, guide and inspire us. The powers of a guardian angel are truly wondrous; they’re the ones you hear of showing up at crash scenes or natural disasters. So unless your grandma has super-powers, she’s not technically your guardian angel.
Grandma CAN, however, assist you, sort of like a spirit guide, by sending you information, people or other forms of assistance. Unlike a spirit guide, she’s not waiting around, filing her nails and waiting for your call; our loved ones are busy living their spirit life; they hear you when you need them, but aren’t investing all their time in what’s happening over here. I mean, when Nana was alive and moved to Florida, she spent her days playing canasta and working in her yard; she looked forward to your weekly call, but didn’t build her life around it, right? Well, hopefully not. Same with life on the Other Side.
Outside of serious danger, where a guardian angel will step in to help in whatever way they can, the one thing all invisible helpers generally require is…a request. As humans, we’ve been granted free will. If we need help, we need to ask for it. They can’t just butt in, uninvited.
And in that regard, that’s one thing that’s different from most living people we know, amIright?
I’d love to hear your experiences with angels, guides or someone on the Other Side. Share in the Comments. And head over to my website, whenevs.
The other night I dreamt I was about to go on stage in front of thousands of people, to play bass with the Stones. Only I don’t know how to play. And unlike flying or breathing underwater, I didn’t know how to do it in the dream, either. Here I was gonna be standing next to Charlie Watts, a frikkin’ awesome drummer and one of my heroes. And I’m clueless. Clue. Less. It still gives me the willies when I recall it.
I know where that particular dream came from: reading an article about the band in Rolling Stone earlier. But there are other dreams that offer up more than just a psychedelic rehash of the day.
Like those wonderful ones where you encounter someone you’ve lost and they look wonderful. They practically shine. And you know – you just know –that they’ve visited you from the Other Side. Or the one where you get a “preview” of something that’s about to happen. This is where dreams serve a really useful purpose, to “download” info from other dimensions. Our conscious brain is in “sleep” mode – literally – so we can access different channels.
You may not think you dream, but you do. It’s a vital physical function; in fact, I think I read somewhere that, when test subjects were prevented from dreaming (as in, being woken up repeatedly), they got really sick. Umm, for the record? I would cut a bitch if someone did that to me. Anyway, the point is you do indeed dream — you just aren’t so hot on remembering them.
Dreaming is where we work stuff out on the physical plane, but more importantly, its where we access higher dimensions. Training yourself to remember what you learn in Dreamland is not as hard as you might think.
First, keep a notebook and pen by your bed. Second, set your intention to start remembering your dreams As you drift off, tell yourself that you WILL recall what you’ve experienced in the dream state. If you wake up in the middle of the night from a dream, jot down what you remember. Do NOT tell yourself that you’ll do it in the morning. Trust me, you probably won’t. So roll over, turn on the light for 10 seconds and scrawl it down. Just like Jerry Seinfeld with his awesome idea for a joke…..which he then couldn’t read.
When you first wake up from a dream, try not to move. This will keep you in that state between the worlds where it will be easier to consciously recall what you’ve experienced. Once you’ve captured a theme, image, whatever jot it in your notebook.
If something really stands out, ask yourself what it means – then go with the first impression or thought that you get. Don’t overthink it. Stay in that muted place where things flow without a lot of intellect behind them. Dreams reach us on a very subtle level; use more of your gut to interpret them, and less your brain.
There are some great dream interpretation books ( I like Mary Summer Rain’s Guide to Dream Symbols) and sites out there, but don’t discount what your own bad self tells you.
Once you’ve built up your recall muscle, you can direct your dreams towards something specific. For example, you can invite a deceased loved one to visit you in the dream state. Don’t force this; they have things going on on the Other Side. They don’t sit around, flipping through Us magazine, waiting for your call. Make the invitation, then let it go. Trying too hard blocks the energy.
You can also ask your Spirit Guides to provide an answer to a question by way of your dreams. Even if you don’t know who your guide(s) is, simply throw up a request for information. You can assign them a name if you want, or just say, “Yo, Guides – I need some help here with (fill in the blank).” They don’t stand on formality. Then see what they send you. And don’t be surprised if the answer/info you get is different than what you expect. Receive it with grace and say “thank you.”
One note – don’t get frustrated if you don’t get anywhere in remembering your dreams. Keep setting the intention, and eventually you will.
There’s an old folk trick to help the dream recall process along. Place a glass of water by your bed. When you first wake up, drink it down to help remember. Or to get the stank morning breath out of your mouth. In the meantime, enjoy a blast from my 80s past. And the exquisite Annie Lennox. In my dreams, I have her voice. In real life, my singing voice is closer to Linda McCartney’s.
Quick review: before we incarnate, we make a deal with a fellow spirit. For our part, we agree to take on the hairy experience of human life – which is jampacked with experiences and relationships designed to help our soul evolve. For their part, they stay on the other side, keeping an eye on our progress and helping us stay on track.
Whether we know they’re there or not, they do their best to offer opportunities, new people, coincidences and info that — if we pay attention — can help us keep moving in the right direction. (This is a super-short overview of the subject. A couple of great books on the subject are Ask Your Guides by Sonia Choquette and Spirit Guides by Iris Belhayes and Molly Sullivan). Moving on.
This particular spirit guide is the big kahuna; there will be other guides whom you can call on when you need help with something specific. For example, a “doctor” guide can assist with a health issue, or a “parenting” guide with kids. They come and go, but your main guide is always there.
Of course, the process of working with guides is way easier if we can recognize them and consciously develop a relationship. Here’s a way to meet your guy…or gal.
MEDITATION TO MEET YOUR MAIN SPIRIT GUIDE
Start by placing a notepad nearby to jot down your experience afterwards. Close your eyes and take a few deep centering breaths. Envision yourself surrounded by protective white light. You are completely relaxed and safe in this space.
Now see a beautiful garden path. You’re surrounded by lush greenery and flowers. The path slopes gently downwards into a wood. Walk along this path, enjoying the scenery as you go down, down, down.
You see a cottage in the distance. Continue walking downwards on the path, drawing nearer to it.
You arrive at the cottage. Notice how it looks. Notice the doors and windows. There’s a charming brass knocker on the door. Lift it and hear it fall, announcing your arrival. Now open the door and step inside.
There’s a gentle fire burning in the fireplace. There are two comfy, overstuffed chairs in front of it. One is for you. And the other is for your guide. Who is sitting there? What do they look like? What are they wearing? Keep in mind, they may surprise you. You may expect them to be in long white robes, but be open. I had one guide show himself as a white man wearing buckskin — he had been a woodsman in a previous life, kind of a “Jeremiah Johnson.” The point is to go with what you first see.
Now ask your guide their name. Again, the name may surprise you. When I first did this exercise, my guide said his name was something like “Rael.” Well, that is just waaay too out there for me, so I asked if I could call him “Ray” instead. Now he shows up wearing a pair of sunglasses like Ray Charles. That works with my sense of humor.
OK, so now you’re sitting in your chair with your guide. Ask him if he has a message for you. It may be short. Ask him how he will identify himself in your daily life. With “Ray,” I know he’s around when any Ray Charles music comes up on my iPod. In your case, maybe your guide will let you know they’re there through a symbol, a feeling (like tingles or cold chills) even a smell. Again, stay open and go with the first thing that hits you.
Tell your guide that you appreciate them being there for you and that you want to work more closely with them as you move forward. This cottage will be a place you can meet in future meditations. This is also where you will be introduced by your guide to any other spirit helpers.
Now, its time to leave. Say goodbye to your guide and exit the cottage. The path stretches out before you, sloping gently upwards. Walk along this path, feeling the warmth and love you experienced being with your guide.
Continue walking upwards, gently upwards. You feel yourself coming back to the here and now. When you’re ready, open your eyes and return to the present. Jot down your impressions, messages and insights. And — this is important — stay alert for any sign of your guide in your everyday life, and thank them for their presence.
You don’t have to go into a meditation every time you need help (good if you happen to be driving)– just ask. But it’s a good practice to regularly spend time meditating and building a relationship with your spirit guide. It will make it easier to interact with them, but mostly, it’s just good manners. You know those “friends” who only call when they need something? Don’t be one of them.
To me, spirit guides are a wonderful resource for navigating the ups and downs of life. Like factory air conditioning and OnStar, they come standard with our life. Why not use them to make yours run smoother?
Ever have an encounter with a guide? Spill it in the comments!
During my meditation this morning, I got a message that went something like, “You don’t have to do it all yourself.” This is pretty much spot on, being the perky little control freak that I am. It put me in mind of this card:
When this card comes up in a reading, it indicates someone who’s taking on way too much or doing most of the work in the situation. And you can see that he’s in danger of tripping and dropping his bundle — which means, he has to pick them up again and he’s probably in a hurry and his back is hurting and he’s feeling like he has to do it all and wah wah wah….you get the idea.
The advice behind the 10 of Wands is to share the load — but for control freaks (like me), that can be tough. However, each of us has a team we can call on to help.
They’re always awake (even at 3:20 am). Their phone is always on and never goes to voicemail. They never get tired of hearing your problems. They don’t judge the size of your ass. They are assigned to you from the time you’re born and stay with you until you cross over. They’re not allowed to leave you, no matter how big a pain you may become.
They are your Spirit Team, made up of your spirit guides and a guardian angel. I wrote about spirit guides here –but one of the questions I repeatedly get asked is, “How do I work with them?” It’s really not that complicated: just tell them what you need. That’s it.
I’ll give you a way to meet your guide(s) later — but in the meantime, even if you don’t know their name or anything about them, just reach out. I suggest taking a moment before you go to sleep to send up your message, but you can do it anytime. They don’t stand on ceremony. Something like, “Hi Spirit Team– I could really use your help in knowing how I should handle the situation with Mark. Please send me a sign or some information. Thanks.”
Then keep your radar up. Your Team will always deliver, but it may be subtle and it may not show up the way you expect. The point is to offload some of your burdens on to them. They live for this stuff, so put them to work on your behalf.
There have been a number of great “teams.” Like these guys….
Or this crew, boldly going where no man has gone before….
But YOUR “team” has ’em all licked. And they are at your beck and call, ready to take some of the weight for you. Remember the message I got this morning? “You don’t have to do it all yourself.” You don’t!
Let the late, great Levon Helm and The Band sing us out….
I remember the first time I learned about Spirit Guides — and how cool I thought it was. Imagine having a whole gang of invisible helpers at your beck and call: would they do the laundry? Give me lottery numbers? Give me the answer’s to the next day’s Physics test? The answer is no, no and HELLL no. Guides have a more specific purpose in our lives.
The subject of spirit guides has filled several books, but here are the basics as I understand them. Before we’re born, we decide what lessons we need to work on when we incarnate: did we finally learn how to be independent in that last life? Did we work out our issues with commitment, hard work or money? Or do we need some remedial help?
There are lots of individual variations in our life lessons, and our guides are there to help us stick to our plan – because, unfortunately, we don’t remember it when we get here.
Call it Spiritual Amnesia. The only hint we have are the things that keep smacking us in the face: the same type of person who keeps showing up in your love life…the same struggles with money or family. The problems that haunt you are the lessons that will get us to finally (hopefully) tick off that goal that we set way back when we were floating on the proverbial cloud.
We each have at least one guide who sticks with us through all the ups and downs of this life. They sort of function as a spiritual GPS, helping us come back to our purpose.
But since this path is ours and ours alone, we have to ask him or her to get us sorted out on the journey. Their help won’t be obvious — it may come in the form of a helpful person showing up, an article, an e-mail. It’s your job to pay attention and act on the help that’s sent.
Besides our main guide who is with us “from womb to tomb” as the Jets said in West Side Story, there are guides who come and go during our life. Doctor Guides help during health issues, Joy Guides come when we need to inject some lightness…there are literally guides for everything (I could’ve used a Plumber Guide when I replaced my faucet….).
Guides have been human at some point, so they know the drill. Some may have lived relatively recently. Then there are others who existed millenia ago and have since spent most of their time evolving on the spirit plane (which explains why one of my guides shows himself looking like some kind of medieval hippie: white robe, sandals, the works. The only thing missing is the psychedelic bus and the contact high).
I’ve been asked if a deceased loved one can be a guide; the answer is no — and yes. They don’t function as guides in the classic sense, because they’ve been with us — or connected to us — here on Earth. BUT those who’ve crossed over are certainly willing to help. In this, they have two advantages: 1) they know us, what we’re dealing with and our particular human weaknesses and 2) now that they’re on the other side, their perspective is wiiiiiide open. So when you’ve hit a rough patch, by all means reach out to them.
As with Spirit Guides, the same rules apply with someone on the other side: you have to ask them for their help. Even if they were huge butt-inskis in life, they’re encouraged to keep their noses out of your life unless you ask them to weigh in.
When it comes to guides, loved ones, angels, whatever, the main thing is to remember that YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE. All of these entities are here specifically to help us in growing and evolving. And when they do, they get points, too. It’s like that saying that goes something like, if you really want to learn something, teach it. They learn from us, we learn from them…and hopefully, our personal evolution helps someone else.
I’ll do another blog shortly describing how you can meet your own guide, but in the meantime, just ask for what you need and know that your spirit helpers hear you. Prick up your ears and see what they send your way!