"Live without your spirit guides and you miss out on an enormous support system that could make your life infinitely easier and more enjoyable."
This is a clear and thoughtful introduction to building relationships with your spirit guides. It shows readers how helpful spirit guides and angels can be in everything from the simplest to the most challenging of life decisions and how easy they are to connect with, too.
Our spirit guides help us to:
- Fulfill our purpose
- Make decisions that will move us forward faster
- Stop sabotaging ourselves as well as judging ourselves and everyone else
- Remember that we are more than our job or house or relationship
- See ourselves as beautiful and everything in life as a gift
- Give ourselves and everybody else a break
- Keep growing until the day we leave our bodies behind
- Go beyond the life we hoped for and onto the life we never even imagined
And they do all of these things when we're ready and not a nanosecond before. They also often come quietly. As the author states: ”If we expect help from Spirit to arrive with the sound of trumpets and blinding light, we'll overlook all the nuanced help that's delivered in small ways every day.”
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Let Your Spirit Guides Speak
A Simple Guide for a Life of Purpose, Abundance, and Joy
By Debra Landwehr Engle
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Debra Landwehr Engle
All rights reserved.
Claiming Your Inner Mystic
I consider myself a mystic who makes mushroom soup casseroles. My pantry is full of those cream soups that are staples of midwestern kitchens and Thanksgiving tables. But while I'm stirring up a base for a green bean casserole, I'm likely to have a conversation in my mind. Not with myself, but with my spirit guides.
A few years ago, it was about my husband Bob's aunt. She was looking for a part to fit an old woodburning stove and didn't know where to shop for it. I was loading the dishwasher after supper one night, and suddenly I heard the word "Sears" plain as day.
I yelled into the next room to Bob: "The guides say she can get it at Sears."
Sure enough, Sears was the one store that had it.
Some people might chalk this up to intuition, psychic abilities, or a good guess. But I credit my guides, those unseen helpers who float answers into my mind as though they were messages in a bottle bobbing along my stream of consciousness.
It may seem like a waste asking guides about replacement parts. Shouldn't their guidance be focused on something grander and more sacred? That's one of many things I've learned about my guides. As much as we expect them to be beings of light, concerned only with soul growth, they're a lot like your best friend walking beside you. Whatever you're interested in and whatever could help you is of equal importance to them.
My dad taught me that we're surrounded by guidance from the spiritual realms. In the dance of all our relationships, we have many partners we cannot see. I don't know that he expected to teach me this; I don't even know that he taught it to me directly. It was my mom, after all, who read Autobiography of a Yogi and another book with the word "clairvoyant" in the title, which stumped me as a young reader.
I don't remember my dad talking about spirits or guides, but he and my mom subscribed to the UFO and FATE magazines that sat on the end tables in our basement recreation room, where I would curl up on the sofa on hot summer days and read stories of people who remembered lives in different bodies and different times, or people who'd had near-death experiences, touching the other side and coming back to report it. Even when our family sat around the supper table, eating meatloaf and cornbread, I had a sense that my dad knew things that he wasn't talking about.
This was an extraordinary world, this blend of metaphysics and the supernatural with my family's German heritage, which included an appreciation for the land and the people for whom the term "salt of the earth" could have been coined. My dad was fifty-two years old when I, the youngest of six children, was born. My early memories are of taking him to the train station and airport for his travels as a government auditor. He had his first major heart attack when I was eleven, and it seemed he was in the hospital for months. I suppose I was always afraid of him leaving one way or another, so when he was home, sitting at the head of the table or calling me Debbie Debbie, he wasn't the one I went to for counsel or advice.
Yet even from an emotional distance, he helped set me on two paths in my adult life, no matter how much I denied them in my younger years. One was the path back to the land, to gardening, to the sacred connection of putting your hands in the dirt. The other was the path of spiritual awakening, of skipping over accepted religious tenets and daring to live the life of a mystic. In this, he modeled what I have come to know as our purpose for being: to plant our feet firmly on the earth while we call forth the loving kindness of heaven.
I believe in direct communication with God. When we are part of the Divine, how could it be otherwise?
Several years ago, I visited my mom in the house where I grew up. She had just celebrated her eighty-ninth birthday, and she was picking up a wheelbarrow full of sticks, cleaning the yard for the coming spring. I sat in my brother's old bedroom, still painted yellow, with a plastic flower arrangement on the wall near the desk that my mom had antiqued in the 1970s. I began looking at the shelves in his room, which held these books: the Bible, Family Safety and First Aid, Birds of North America, and Garrison Keillor's Leaving Home. My mom's 1939 copy of Gone with the Wind with the binding falling apart sat on those shelves, along with her stash of magazines that included stories I'd written.
Most of the books, though, were mystical in nature: Cosmic Consciousness, The Autobiography of a Medium, Exploring the Psychic World, Quantum Healing, The Unity Way of Life, Strange Prophecies that Came True, The Principles of Theosophy, Between Two Worlds, and five books on American mystic Edgar Cayce.
Among them was Autobiography of a Yogi, which my mom credited with rescuing her from a deep depression in the 1950s. My dad's brother Marvin was visiting at the time. They were talking about spiritual realms, and my mom opened the linen closet and found the book right in front. She hadn't seen it before and never learned how it got there.
As I think back, I realize that, as children, we had a smorgasbord of thought from which to choose. Family bookshelves held classic literature, books on nature, Bible stories, Bobbsey Twins and Hardy Boys, fishing, home repair, history, anthropology, math, and science. We were free to select those ideas that spoke to us, to read the books that called our name.
It's no surprise, then, that six children could be closely tied yet individual in their expressions of life. Each of us was touched in some way by the birds and the gardening as well as the more esoteric realms. We could accept or reject the ideas not out of judgment, but based on whether they reflected part of who we were and strengthened our core belief system.
This, I think, is a model for how we can exist in this world, particularly with the help of our spiritual guidance: to recognize that each of us was born with a different purpose to fulfill, and that we will gravitate toward the information and ideas that support us. This is freedom. This is acknowledgement of the soul. This is what our guides are here to help us learn.
For centuries, having conversations with light beings was reserved for priests and monastics. But no longer.
I didn't have special training to talk to my guides. They just showed up. Actually, I'm pretty sure they're showing up for all of us every single moment of our lives and have been from before we were born. But because we don't have our radios tuned to them — and often don't even know there is a radio — we miss out on an enormous life support system that could make our lives infinitely easier and more enjoyable.
Mysticism has been defined as a direct union with or experience of God, an understanding that we are one with the Divine and can receive direct communication, without the need for an intercessor or priest.
The list of people who considered themselves mystics might surprise you. Florence Nightingale, known as the mother of modern nursing, wrote: "Where shall I find God? In myself. That is the true Mystical Doctrine."
And Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, said, "The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science."
But mysticism is not reserved just for the most advanced thinkers, contemplatives, or those who are closest to the earth. It is a part of life — as natural as breathing. Being part of God, the only thing unnatural is to forget our connection to the Divine, and to operate as though we're adrift, which is what our fears do to us every day.
That's why it's important to bring mysticism into our everyday experiences, out of the realm of monastery walls and special rituals and into our houses and daily routines, as common as fixing a meal or loading the dishwasher.
I believe mystical experiences can happen anywhere and any time: when we're driving to the grocery store, taking out the trash, sitting in a meeting, even putting fried onion rings on top of a green bean casserole.
The only thing required to be mystics in this everyday world is willingness. A willingness to listen more deeply, to be quiet for a few minutes each day, to suspend judgment, and to enter into the relationship with acceptance and a literally open mind.
Are you qualified to have a relationship with your guides? You may think the answer is no. You may believe that you're not worthy, not good enough, or not spiritual or religious enough. You may think you don't deserve it, as though guides pick and choose, selecting only those who pass a cosmic test. They don't.
From what I've seen and understand to be true, the question is not whether you deserve to have a relationship. The only question is when will you start building one?
I believe that all of us have unseen helpers who are with us constantly. I know this begs all sorts of questions. Are they God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? Are they loved ones who are on the other side? Are they people we've known before?
Here's what I can tell you from my own experience: They are beings who extend the love of the Creator but are with us always in a close and eminently practical relationship. They have been with us since before we were born, helping us make decisions about this lifetime, and they accompany us along the way.
Guides can take many forms. People have told me about a wide range of types, including a Native American grandmother, a gender-neutral being named Francis (or Frances), angels, an owl totem animal, a straight-talking creole woman from New Orleans, and entities with such high vibrations that they have no defined shape or personality. Through my stepdaughter, we've become acquainted with a Native American who frequents our house and serves as a spirit guide for our property.
Guides are messengers of light. Many have experienced their own lifetimes in physical bodies and are well aware of the challenges of being human. And, ultimately, guides are always representatives of love. While I believe that dark energies or lower-vibration entities exist out of fear, they don't serve as guides. In fact, our guides can help protect us from their intrusions.
It's important to let any preconceptions about your guides fall away, and not to get caught up in any expectations of who they might or should be.
They are Love, they are with you, and you can trust them.
Engaging in Spirit envy, as in "How come she can see her guides and I can't?" and "Why don't I have an archangel as my guide?" is simply the ego talking and has nothing to do with real communication.
So how can you build a relationship with your guidance? Let's assume you've been Using The Only Little Prayer You Need, which means you've been asking the Holy Spirit to heal your fear-based thoughts about everything. This prayer opens the door to a new conversation with your guides in several important ways:
* You're approaching Spirit not from a standpoint of being broken or sinful, but as a child of God. This implies a relationship in which you're valued from the start. You do not need to establish your worth to yourself or to Spirit.
* You know there's a reason for being here. There is a purpose to your life, and events don't happen to you randomly.
* You're asking not to be fixed, or for the world to be changed. You're asking for the healing of anything that stands in your way of being a full expression of light.
* You're realizing that your thoughts create your experience here, and that by working with Spirit, you can change the thoughts that interfere with your peace and happiness.
* You acknowledge that you deserve to have inner peace. By asking for anything that stands in the way of peace to be healed, you claim that you deserve it, and that Spirit wants you to be joyful. You do this for the good of yourself and the world.
Now that you've started the conversation, how do you deepen the relationship? The Law of Attraction says that you focus on what you want, and you will draw it to you. This has sometimes been misinterpreted as a cosmic vending machine. You put in your request, and what you asked for pops right out. In truth, the fulfillment of desire takes place within a larger conversation that's collaborative and develops over time.
It's easy to turn to guidance when you're in a crisis, or to be wowed by meeting your guides for the first time. But think of the importance of relationship in human terms. We can benefit from going on a date, but we grow on a deep level when we wake up next to the same person day after day. We can learn from a two-hour workshop, but our lives change dramatically when we commit to a one-year course.
This is about intentionally developing a mutually beneficial relationship. It will take some time — though little effort — on your part, and it will be one of the most rewarding relationships of your life.
So what qualifications do you need? If you're breathing, you're in. If you haven't been to church in twenty years — or ever — you're in. If you've served time, you're in. If you consider yourself the most ordinary, unremarkable person (and I assure you that you're not), you're in.
In other words, you don't have to go to seminary, be born again, or profess faith in any way to any thing to earn a relationship with your guides. You just have to listen. I'll show you how.
Over the centuries, mystics were considered a rare group of people who could talk to God directly. That made us think that they had special powers — probably unattainable powers. But the truth is, we all have that same ability to talk to Spirit. We just don't know how to use it. And if you think you don't want to be a mystic or you're afraid of mystical ability because it's too much responsibility, ask for your fears about it to be healed.
Being a mystic in my book means that you're aware of energy or a presence beyond our five senses, and you make an effort to communicate in some way. When you do that, you'll start having mystical experiences. Not crazy, unpredictable séance and Ouija board experiences, but everyday part-of-life experiences.
As my mentor and friend Dorothy used to say, "Some people are so spiritual that they're no earthly good." In other words, the goal of the mystic is not to denounce our humanness, but to remember that there's more available to us than what we can see in physical form.
In meeting and building a relationship with your guides, you may start to feel a comforting presence. You may have significant dreams. You may receive strong impressions about what you should or shouldn't do. You may feel a sense of protection. You may stand at the dishwasher and hear something as mundane as "Sears."
Make time for this relationship, just as you would for your children or friends. Wear your title of "mystic" proudly. Take walks in the woods to listen. Honor messages as they come. And as your ego pops up to discredit them, ask for your fear-based thoughts to be healed. Get a t-shirt that says, "I'm a mystic with mushroom soup casseroles."
Do whatever it takes to acknowledge and elevate this role in your life. Because, believe me, once you claim your inner mystic, life will never be the same.CHAPTER 2
Opening Up to Spiritual Guidance
Many years ago, I attended a workshop that included several creative exercises designed to help us dream of possibilities in our lives. I didn't know it at the time, but those exercises laid a foundation for my understanding of how we communicate with one another as humans — and non-humans — and the knowledge we can draw on when we open our minds.
For one exercise, the leader had us sit around a table with three complete strangers. Since there were close to two hundred people in the room, this was not a problem. Then she gave us our instructions.
"I want one of you to turn away from the table so your back is to the group," she said. "The other three of you at the table ... you talk about the person who is facing away from you. Talk about that person for three minutes."
We all looked at each other. What did she mean, talk about that person? What was there to talk about? We'd just met each other. We knew absolutely nothing.
Other people in the room had the same question, and several hands shot up in the air.
"Just try it," she said. "See what comes out of your mouths. When you finish talking about one person, the next person can turn away from the table. Keep going until you've talked about each person. Ready?"
No, we weren't.
Excerpted from Let Your Spirit Guides Speak by Debra Landwehr Engle. Copyright © 2016 Debra Landwehr Engle. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Claiming Your Inner Mystic,
2 Opening Up to Spiritual Guidance,
3 How I Met My Guides,
4 How Do We Communicate?,
5 Guidance or Ego, Love or Fear?,
6 What Does It Mean to Co-Create?,
7 How Can Your Guidance Help You?,
8 Meeting Your Guides,
9 How Do You Build a Relationship?,
10 A Day in the Life with Your Guides,
11 "We Don't Have to Help You",
12 Spiritual Blackout,
13 Peace and Purpose,
14 Key Lessons from the Guides,
15 Final Tips,