Spirit Guides: Who are they and how do you connect with them?
What is a Spirit Guide?
Many people believe they have spirit guides. Some refer to theirs as angels or guardians. These beings were carefully chosen and recruited just for you, spirit guides are beings that are completely devoted to your growth. Many have had lifetimes here on earth and just like you they have their own eclectic bundle of gifts, wisdom, and experiences. Perfectly suited to your highest calling, their only job is to support you and guide you as much or as little as you wish. Spirit guides are incorporeal beings that are assigned to us before we are born that help nudge and guide us through life. They’re responsible for helping us fulfill the spiritual contract we make with ourselves before we incarnate. Your higher self helps select these guides, who help us while we are living out our incarnation. A spirit guide is there simply to guide, not as an entity that you need to give yourself over to. If a spirit guide has a negative influence on your behavior, then chances are good that it's not a spirit guide at all, but something else entirely.
Who are these guides? Some guides will stay with you throughout your entire life, and others will pop in every now and again to help you with specific areas of your life or goals you are trying to achieve. These guides are at varying levels of consciousness themselves. Some may be highly ascended masters (such as Jesus) and others might be your average spirit who just happens to be a master in a certain area. They may appear to have a male or female energy, though in reality they are just energy. They may be spirits who have had physical incarnations, or they might be spirits who have never taken corporeal form. You may be the only person they are guiding, or they may be on the “panel” for other people as well. They might be deceased relatives, but that is less likely. When it’s time for your spirit guides to help you, they tune in to your energy and help direct you to fulfill your earthly mission.
These are some of the more commonly found types of spirit guides:
1. Ascended Masters
These are guides often found by people who do energy work, such as Reiki. An ascended master who appears as a spirit guide is often a being that led a physical life and has moved on to a higher spiritual plane -- for example, Buddha, Krishna, even Jesus. Ascended masters usually work with collective groups of souls -- in other words, if you've got an ascended master hanging around you, you're not the only one he or she is helping. Their primary focus is that of helping all of humanity.
2. Ancestral Guides
An ancestral guide is one who can claim some sort of kinship with you, such as your dear Aunt Theresa who died when you were ten. It may also appear in the form of a long-dead ancestor. In some schools of thought, these entities are seen as reincarnated guides, because they are the spirits of someone who loved us during their physical lifetime, or who had some sort of blood connection to our family. Some people, depending on their religious upbringing, may see these types of guides as guardian angels.
3. Common Spirit Guide, or Teacher Guide
A typical spirit guide is arch-typical, symbolic or representative of something else. For example, you may find your guide appears in the form of a warrior, a storyteller, or a wise woman, and they have appeared to you for a purpose. Typically, that purpose is to teach you and guide you along a particular path. They may also introduce you to other archetypes along your journey, and help out with problem solving, based upon your needs. They are known to provide insight by way of dreams or meditation, and may only hang around as long as you need them, then move on.
4. Animal Guides
Although many people claim to have animals as spirit guides, often these entities are more companions than anything else. It's not uncommon for a deceased pet to linger around, keeping you company through the grieving process. In some spiritual traditions, such as various Native American or shamanic paths, a person may have an animal totem, which provides teaching and/or protection.
Ways in which Guides Work
Sending signs. Guides can arrange synchronicity to help alert you to something you need to see or know about. Pay attention to those when they happen.
Gut feelings. Guides can poke you in the gut when you’re experiencing something they want you to pay attention to. Following your gut feelings is probably a good idea. Have you ever had this eerie feeling that something terrible was going to happen but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it? That might be a guide poking you in your gut.
Intuitive insight. Guides can send you flashes of intuition which may sound like a voice in your head. “Slow down!” and then you realize you were almost in a car accident. Or “He’s cheating on you.” These are thoughts that appear to come out of nowhere but which contain important information you’ll want to notice. Many people tune out their intuition, but it’s a valuable source of information.
Sending people into your life. Your guides sometimes get together with other people’s guides and together they try to create a meeting between their charges.
Arranging and nudging. Guides can also nudge you in the direction they want you to go, or arrange for something to happen to you. For example, perhaps you’re running late and can’t find your keys. You’re frustrated because you need to get somewhere on time. Suddenly, your phone rings and it’s a really important call you would have missed if you had found your keys earlier. Who do you think actually misplaced your keys? This is hard for them because you have free will. They can only arrange so much or nudge so hard. The more you can pick up on their clues, the better. Sometimes you just need to surrender to a situation that seems frustrating.
How do you connect with your guides directly? Wouldn’t it be great if your guides could just call you on the phone and tell you what’s coming in your future, or tell you to look out for a guy named Joe, or that your child needs you and you should get to them right away? For some people that’s quite nearly how it works. It just takes time and practice to be able to hear, see, or feel your guides. Here are some ways you can work on increasing your connection directly.
Listen to your intuition. That little voice that tells you to “slow down” or “buy bread” or “take notice of the pretty woman in line in front of you” is a direct communication from your guides or higher self. Try listening to your intuition and see what results you get. Many people dismiss their intuition. See what happened to me when I ignored mine. It’s not always pleasant. Do not mistake your ego for your intuition, however. If you’re hearing thoughts like, “Don’t bother asking her out, she’ll never go out with someone like you” then that’s your ego. Flick him off your shoulder.
Go with your gut. Following your gut instinct is also a manner in which guides try to direct you. For example, let’s say you’re in a business meeting and logic and reason tell you that the people sitting in front of you will fulfill their end of the deal, but your gut feeling says these people are going to fail to deliver and you’ll be stuck holding the bag. Listen to that gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. At the very least, use your gut feelings to protect and keep yourself safe.
Watch for signs. Ask your guides for what you want and then watch for signs that you’ve been heard. My guides like to show me interesting license plates. For example, at my mastermind meeting recently I put out the intention to become fit, trim, and slim. When I left the meeting I found myself driving behind a vehicle with the license plate, “Fitness.” But signs can come in so many ways. Maybe you’re wondering if you should take up tennis and you go out to your car and see a flyer offering tennis classes in your area, and then you get home and your spouse has coincidentally brought home a tennis racket that a co-worker just didn’t need anymore, and you see a news story about tennis later that night on television. Those are all positive signs.
Journal. A method I recommend to a lot of people during my readings is to open a journal program or just a Word document and write down some questions you’d like to ask your guides. Be quiet and meditative and type up the answers you hear. Keep going as if you’re having a conversation with them. It may seem like you’re just typing answers from your imagination, but keep going. When you get to a point where the answers you’re getting don’t feel like your own voice, take notice of what they say. A benefit of this approach is being able to refer back to it later.
Meditate. Do a meditation where you imagine yourself going to a room or a garden and ask your guides to appear before you, sit with you, and chat. Like the journaling method, just see what they say. In time your connection will become stronger, and the information you get will be more accurate and applicable to your life.
Dream. One of the best ways to meet and connect with your guides is to meet them halfway. Open your dream up to them. You can put out the intention every night to see and connect with your guides in your dreams. It may take a while, but it will probably eventually work. If you can master lucid dreaming you’ll have success much faster since once you become lucid you can simply ask your guides to appear and talk to you.
Ask a psychic. One of the services I offer in my readings is to help people identify at least some of their guides, usually the ones working with them on the areas they’re asking about in the reading. This introduction can help you tune in on your guides yourself.
How do you know if you’re just imagining them? You’ll know by the advice you get. Does it resonate with you? Do you feel like it’s coming from them and not you? Does the advice make sense to you? Do you get great results when you listen to their counsel? Do they appear the same way every time? If the answers to these questions are all “yes” then you are on the right track.
Steps to Follow
The first thing is to let go of any doubting belief systems that you have in place. If you believe you are not capable of this, chances are you are not at this time. You will be once you change your state of mind. The techniques will still be there waiting for you when you are ready.
After letting go of doubt, the second step is to know nothing is your imagination. This will also help you to let go of any worry that you are not hearing correctly or that you are going crazy.
How will you be hearing? Well, the short answer is in your mind. It will sound like you as in your own thoughts. You will not be hearing with your ears. It’s not like some voice will pipe up from the chair in the corner of the room and say, “Hey there, this is your guide speaking.” Although it would make things really funny and a whole lot easier, that’s not how it works.
Pay attention to your thoughts. When thinking to yourself, asking questions or you are going about your day to day life pay attention to what your thoughts are specifically saying. If you hear “you”, “we” or your name… that’s it. For example, if I’m having a hard time with something I’ll hear in my head, “you can do this!” In my opinion, this is something else outside of yourself speaking to you. Another example is when I ask questions in my head and I hear, “you already know the answer to this.” If it was me speaking in my head, I would say “I.”
Here are 14 simple ways you can develop your relationship with your spirit Guides:
Be open. Try not to expect your Spiritual Guides to “show up” in a certain way. Just go with the flow. If you expect them to come to you ONLY in dreams, for example, you might miss a lot of the good stuff during the day.
Create a sacred space for connecting. Select a place where you can hang out with your Guides on a regular basis – a comfy recliner, yoga mat, or a bench at the park.
You can connect with them anywhere, but it’s helpful to have a special place when you first start out. Why? Because you are “training” yourself to relax (and your vibration to raise), making connection easier.
Ask clearly, our spirit guides can guide us with anything from finding a car park to healing a broken heart, from experiencing more joy to finding the right job, from meeting your future partner to getting through your darkest hour, from finding the courage to step into your highest calling to letting go of the past. No request is too big or too small, too specific or too broad. But because we live in a world of free will, in order for them to step in, first we must ask.
5. Stay unattached to the outcome
The moment you let go of what you think the experience should look like the connection happens. Let go of how your mind thinks they should be and open yourself up to receiving their guidance in ways beyond your expectations.
6. Do a 'Meet your spirit guides' attunement meditation
Our spirit guides are always at the ready to connect with us, however tuning into their frequency is sometimes not as easy at first. Putting dedicated time aside by doing a meditation or spirit guides attunement is a great way to make initial connection with your guides.
7. Create a spirit guides guidance box
Find yourself a small special box for you to communicate with your spirit guides. On a small piece of paper, write down a question or something specific that you would like their help with. Fold the piece of paper up and put it in the box.
8. Ask for a sign
Pick a particular object that you want to receive as a way of communicating with your guides. It could be anything from a symbol like a star or a red rose. The first time I did this I chose a peach feather. Within 60 minutes I found a peach feather on waiting for me on my front door.
9. Create a sacred space
Create a sacred space for you to connect with your guides every day. It could be a window ledge, your bedside table, a Pinterest board or the whole corner of a room. Put some time aside every day to connect with your guides. Just like any relationship in our lives, in order for it to grow, we must invest quality time into it.
10. Intuitive writing
One of my favorite ways to connect with higher realms is through intuitive writing. Start by clearing a sacred space by lighting a candle and sitting down with your journal and two different colored pens. With the first pen write your question. Then take the second colored pen, asking your guides to answer and let the response flow from your hand to the page.
11. Call in your team
If you are undertaking a particular endeavor, don’t be afraid to call in the best guides for the job! For example, if you are writing your first book you might recruit a guide who has written books or poetry of their own. If you are going through a particularly hard time you could call on a wise teacher guide to help you work out what the situation is trying to teach you. For example, when I write I call in my favorite Sufi poet and divine mother. When I was working in advertising, before a big presentation I would call in one of those exuberant old school ad men to help me sell in my concepts, and it worked every time!
12. Don't micromanage them
Just like in the workplace, the best leaders are the ones that are clear about the task at hand and then trust that the team have the skills to get the job done. Your team of spirit guides are the same. Be clear on what you would like them to guide you with and then trust that the job will be done. No micro managing, no doubting, just trust that the work is being done.
13. Keep a spirit guides diary
Keep note of any guidance, visions, dreams or intuitive hunches you receive. Connecting with your spirit guides requires you to notice and trust the intuitive guidance when you receive it. In writing things down it gives you a black and write record of what is so often intangible.
14. Sweet dreams
Sleep is a wonderful way to connect with your spirit guides. Before you go to bed ask your guides to come to you as you sleep. When you wake in the morning grab your journal and start writing the messages that you received in your dream. Regardless of whether or not you have a conscious memory of it, be open to the idea that the information will come when you put pen to paper. Jot down anything that pops into your mind, regardless of how much sense it makes.
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