One of the questions or comments I get most often during healing sessions goes along the lines of, "I didn't know if I had Spirit Guides too, or I didn't know how to connect with them."
We are all gifted with Spirit Guides and the magical thing about them is that their entire purpose in our lives is to help us, we just need to know how to ask. You see, they are not here to impose on us, so it is common for people to assume they don't even have guides. Some people's only experience with their guides may come in the form of a divine intervention where they felt a greater presence was looking out for their wellbeing or even saved their life. Guides are masters of boundaries and will only intervene without permission in situations that ultimately & absolutely require it. The only times I have seen guides re-direct someone's path outright have been in times of danger. They are mostly observers, always at the ready to offer their unique gifts or wisdom the moment we are ready to ask for it.
I can recall first feeling aware of a "guiding presence" in my life during my teen years. There would be moments that had positive outcomes when they should have ended up much much worse that I would attribute to my "guardian angel," but none would instill my belief of this as much as a fateful rafting trip down the Colorado River. It was a week on the river, with a group of professional-level rafters & adventurers. Our guide had been the one to lead the first successful summit of Mount Everest by a blind mountaineer, while breaking five Everest climbing records in the process. He had also scouted and completed the first descent of the Tekeze River in Ethiopia, the largest tributary to the Nile River and the deepest canyon in Africa. Following this, he organized and led the historic 114-day Nile First Descent Expedition, the first complete descent of the Blue Nile and Nile River, a distance of 3,260 miles. The expedition had enormous hurdles: suicidal rapids, crocodile attacks, gunfire from bandits and arrests by unfriendly militias.
Needless to say, we were in extremely capable & confident hands. The first five days of the trip were flat water & paddling, so by the time we reached the white water, I think the less experienced of us had forgotten the dangers of the wild river. That quickly changed when we caught our first sight of the first of the three "Big Drops" and our guide asked if we were sure we didn't want to hike around it. With names like "Little Niagara", "Satan's Gut", and "The Claw" we maybe should have heeded his offer.
But we didn't and on Big Drop 2, my affirming experience that I believe opened my relationship to my guides began. I was the youngest on the trip and put into the raft with our aforementioned leader and my dad. We hit the rapids and everything was a blur until I'm peering down into a massive pit of water, hearing our extremely experienced & cool-headed leader cussing a storm. Next, the raft is flipped upside-down with our leader having been able to climb on top and hold on. I'm in the water, likely ten feet down the river from everyone else and I start to realize I keep spinning around in the same circle. As quickly as I realize I'm spinning, I start to realize how strong the current that's spinning me around is. I yell to the flipped raft that I'm stuck, but I can't hear anything over the white water. I see my Dad had landed on the other side of the raft when it flipped and therefore was completely across the river. I could see him panicking and not remembering the safety protocol for falling into the water because he couldn't see where I was. Something happened, where before I was unable to break free of the whirlpool spinning me around, now the adrenaline got me loose and I was swimming upstream and horizontally across the water. I reached my Dad at the same time the raft behind ours arrived and pulled us in.
There are always stories of how adrenaline will make people capable of things they normally would never be able to do and I know that played a part, but I also knew wholeheartedly from that moment on that somebody indeed watches over me. I've always been a very strong swimmer, but I'm not sure even adrenaline could account for making it out of a whirlpool & across the entire width of the river in class III rapids with not even a scratch. I never really spoke openly about my belief that it was more than just adrenaline that helped me to safety, but I knew it and my connection to my guides began to blossom through the years following. I originally believed there was only one and I worked with that for a while. The more you interact, the easier it becomes to connect with all of your guides and discern their different qualities and energetic footprints. Today, all of my energy healing work is done with the help of my guides and the guides of my clients. They are the lifeline between our world and the energetic, unseen world.
You don't need to have a life-challenging experience to connect with or begin a relationship with your guides. Simply knowing they are there for you and communicating with them is enough to open the door. Yes, you have guides and yes it's that simple. Here are some of the basics and some great ways to connect with your guides on a regular basis:
1. Guides can be relatives that have passed, ancestors, spirits that we have shared previous lives with or beings that are completely un-related to us, the key theme is that whoever they are, their purpose is our wellbeing and it is driven by some type of bond.
2. You can have multiple guides and they will have varying levels of engagement. Some will feel very close by and easy to commune with and connect to and some will feel farther off.
3. It's human nature to want to name and label everything, but the one thing I've learned in my years of working with guides is that their names or positions really don't matter. Their purpose is what matters and focusing on the small details like names can distract us from their messages or guidance. It can be easier sometimes to work with guides that you can put a name or even a made-up nickname to, so you can distinguish between them, but most of the time, unless it is a relative from this lifetime, you won't get a straight up "Hi, my name is...."
4. You don't have to be aware of any one particular guide to start working with them. All you have to do is open the door - just give a little formal introduction and let your guides know that you would like to start working with them and building an active bond. Ask them questions, show them your favorite things or places and always say thank you for anything they help you out with.
5. Tools like tarot cards, pendulums, Runes, journaling etc are all great ways to practice receiving messages and just generally communicating with your guides. All you have to do is call in your guides before starting and see what comes through!
6. If you begin to get a feel for any specific guides, you can set up an altar dedicated to them and use it as a way to remember to check in with them daily. A Spirit Guide altar should include the things they like - their favorite colors, foods, elements, books, crystals... whatever you can intuit that feels correct. Our guides will never require or request things or offerings from us, so it's not that kind of altar, it's more so a way of showing our gratitude and that we want them to know we appreciate their help. You could even go as simple as cooking a meal you think they would love and inviting them to join.
7. Just because you may slack on the communication for a while doesn't mean they go away or aren't still there. If you take a break, all you have to do is open that door again whenever you want. They are your guides and they won't ever be mad. They want the best for us and although they may use tough love sometimes to get their messages for us across (usually if we've been ignoring the same message or lesson over and over again) they'll never make you feel bad.
8. Spirit Guides are energy and anytime you're working with energy it can feel a little scary or startling because we're not used to it, which is another reason they tend to keep their distance unless we ask them to be more present in our lives. Human beings are used to things we can see, touch and explain. Energy is much more elusive and fluid, so it feels different if we're not used to or expecting it. If you're always clear about who it is you want to work with and allow into your space, you can always rest assured it's a guide that is with you and not some unknown energy trying to get your attention.
I hope you found this helpful if you have been wanting to connect with your own guides or even wondering if you in fact have guides of your own! They are really fun to work with and can offer serious help in your healing journey if you just ask for it!