This is a true story about a middle aged man who was suffering from serious heart problems and facing a stiff prison term for interstate mail fraud. He was driving a long stretch of highway in Southwest Florida when he spotted a gas station with a convenience store and decided it was a good time to gas up and stock up on some snacks for the rest of the trip. He was not a spiritual person; in fact, he had practiced no religion or tradition for most of his life. A black car pulled up to the pump behind him. As he stood in line at the counter, a man exited the car and approached him . "There's something wrong wrong with your car," he warned, which seemed like a simple tip from a keen observer. But as he spoke he began telling the traveler about his life, bringing up instances from his childhood, and ending with, "You will be all right." Sensing bemused skepticism in the man, he continued, more specifically, even referencing the traveler's father by first name, not a particularly common name, either, Walter. "How do you know this?" the traveler asked. The stranger replied very matter-of- factly, "I am your spirit guide." When the man returned to his car he saw that there was, in fact, a bald tire, and that the "guide" and the black car were gone.
Now the skeptic would say this was some sort of a scam perpetrated by a profit-driven charlatan but that was not the case. As quickly as the man entered the scene he left, asking nothing. What makes the story so difficult for some to accept is the preconceived images we assign to the term "spirit guide" (whom we often mistake for angels): they must be light, they must have wings, they must appear as transparent, etheric beings who can walk through walls or visions we see only when we close our eyes.
The believer would understand that this was, in fact a spirit guide because guides, angels, visitors from higher realms to assist us with our daily struggles, are not prescriptively drawn. We must be receptive to the forms they take when they make themselves visible to us. Angels, in particular, come from very high realms and are closest to the Divine source or God, and are accepted and revered in all religions. We must understand that we need not be Biblical heroes to merit the visitation of an angel; we are all loved enough to be guided by beings from these realms; we are not ordinary; we are no different from the struggling characters who interacted with angels in sacred texts.
The Old Testament is full of stories about human encounters with an angels. Here are a few of the most well known. Three angels on their way to Sodom appeared to Abraham, who recognized them immediately as Divine emissaries and bowed down to them. Jacob envisioned angels going up and down a ladder and later wrestled with an angel an encounter that left him afflicted. The prophet Elijah, sleeping under a tree, was awakened by an angel who brought him food and drink. Accounts of angels appearing in human are common in the Bible. Consider how in times of crisis when one is facing death, a stranger swoops in out of nowhere, saves a person, and then disappears. Accounts of people being pinned under cars or fallen trees frequently highlight that fleeting stranger who prevented catastrophe. Take a moment to reflect on the most critical or life threatening instances in your life; perhaps you were saved by an angel in human form.
Meditation or trance is the most common place people report seeing spirits. In some cases, if our guide is a loved one who has transitioned, we see a vision of the person himself ranging in clarity from an impressionistic picture to a photographic image. We might see an object that was associated with this person in life, or we might “accidentally” find an object that belonged to the person hidden under a pile of clutter in the house. It’s a message that our guides are here and want our attention. Spirits who have been “assigned” to us often visit us in meditation and we might see them as outlines, shapes, not clearly discernible yet very apparent, if that makes sense. You know someone from a higher realm is gesturing or talking to you. You can’t identify the being but you trust its benevolence. That’s your spirit guide communicating with you when you are in your most receptive state. When this happens, don’t’ get nervous or dismiss it as a figment of your imagination. Breathe in deeply, welcome the visitor, as long as you know it is coming in light (which is almost always the case).
Sometimes your guides will break through the spiritual/earthly barrier , reaching out to you on the physical level. You will feel this as a tickle, a wisp, movement of air across your cheek, an unexplained change in temperature, a tap on your arm, the sensatin of a dense presence alongside you. You can’t see it but you feel it. These are your guides checking in.
If you see colors while you are awake, for example, when staring at a blank wall, you are recognizing spiritual beings who accompany you on your journey. Training yourself to see this is similar to training your eyes to read the aura: relax them and stare, and different colors or patterns, not necessarily solid, will become visible. Your guides have different colors that match their different vibrations. Some of them are with us since childhood while others enter our lives for a particular purpose and stay until that purpose is fulfilled. It’s like the changing of the spiritual guard.
The most important element to understand is that you – we – are never alone. We are accompanied throughout our earthly lives, in a sense “chaperoned” with every step, which means that every second of our lives we are blessed.
Lisa Shaw is an animal communicator, intuitive counselor, trained chaplain, Reiki master, and professor who lives in South Florida. Her e-book, ILLUMINATION: Life Lessons from our Animal Companions, is available on Amazon. You can learn more about her work at www.Reikidogs.com