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Many years ago, my grandmother was taking care of her uncle who’d had a series of debilitating strokes. She was sitting in his bedroom writing in her journal, and then she glanced up to see three angels, glowing with golden light, standing around his bed — while his body contorted in yet another stroke. For a few moments, she was gripped by this vision, and then she jumped up to attend to him, and the angels disappeared. Realizing that he was attended by such loving beings eased her concern about his illness.

Those of us from a Christian background, even if we have never adhered to that religion, normally label a being of light as an angel. Call them angels if you want, it really doesn’t matter; they are beings who are not in a physical incarnation that we can see. What we perceive in the physical realm is only about 2 percent of what exists. Our rational brains cannot grasp the vastness beyond that, and we would blow a fuse if we were suddenly presented with all of it. But we can access parts of it.

Many non-physical beings exist in our vicinity, some of whom are interested in us, some not. First, a caution: non-physical beings are just as varied as human beings: some are stupid, some are light years ahead of us in their intelligence, some are lost and lonely, some want to be helpful, some want our help, some have no ethics and are mischievous or worse.

Some are specifically there to help us; they are personal guides who made an agreement with us before we were born into this incarnation. They are absolutely trustworthy and unconditionally loving. You do have your very own guardian angels.

Now here is an important fact: we humans have free will, and there is a Universal law that no beings can help us unless we ask. Ask out loud or just think the words, “Please help me!” (You don’t need to say “please” but why not be polite?) Ask for help when you lose your wallet, when you are sick, when you are in serious trouble, when you are just tired and unsure. Ask regularly. What you need will then be presented in some form or another.

You don’t have to know exactly who your guides are or what they look like. Trust that they are there. They want to help you, and they will be happy when you ask them to do their job. Be prepared to engage with them in a lighthearted and easygoing way. They usually have a delightful sense of humor, and they want you to enjoy life and have fun, rather than taking everything seriously.

You will learn to feel their presence, whether or not you actually get a vision of them. You may have conversations, but that can be tricky for Westerners because words are created by the rational brain, which has nothing to do with awareness of angelic presence. Nevertheless, messages can come through very clearly; just allow it to happen, accept that you know what you know, and don’t argue with yourself about it.

Some shamanic traditions believe everyone has power animals. These are guides perceived in a form that other cultures relate to, just as the Christian culture relates to the concept of angels. Animal guides have specific qualities according to their species, and although some teachers will say that you have a couple of power animals with you for life, I have found that whoever turns up is what I need in that moment. For instance, I might feel the presence of elephant when I’m in a situation where I need to make myself really big.

People often say, “How can I be sure the beings I am in touch with are benevolent?” The answer is, the same way you know your human friends are benevolent. It’s a sensation of rightness. When beings are really there to help you, you feel completely unconditional love emanating from them. Set the intention of connecting only with those whose choices are in alignment with yours, for your highest good; and so it will be.

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Mikaya Heart
Mikaya Heart is a shamanic practitioner and a spiritual counselor, helping people to learn to operate from a place of trust instead of fear. Her students say that her radical wisdom and her unshakable integrity make her a wonderful guide in these troubled times. Mikaya is also an award-winning author and you can access her books on her website, www.mikayaheart.org.

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