Discover Your Authentic Self: Be You, Be Free, Be Happy - Sherrie Dillard (2016)


We are a mystery to ourselves. Even as we further explore and dig deep into our authentic self, our most soulful truth may seem to elude us. In this chapter, you can explore your connection to the spirit realm. Although this may initially seem to be an unlikely source of self-awareness, the spirit realm knows you well. It can reveal core qualities and attributes and awaken the essence of your true self.

94. Helpers Along the Way

You have many unknown mentors, friends, and allies who support the emergence of your authentic self. Along the journey to claiming your truth, these allies play an essential behind-the-scenes role in creating opportunities and experiences through which to better know yourself. Although difficult to detect, they cross your path and make themselves known in interesting and sometimes mind-boggling ways. They will delight, confuse, inspire, motivate, and open the door and invite you into a reality that you may not have known existed. At times you will wonder if you are delusional and imagining things, but if you trust and follow their signs and guidance, you will discover that you are known and never truly alone.

Among your celestial allies are spirit guides, power animals, and angels. Not limited by the three-dimensional world of time, space, and matter, they are expert shapeshifters. One day they may appear to you as the owl that sits outside your window, and the next they are the cloud that shapes itself into a heart or the sensation of warmth and love that fills your aching soul. They speak to you in dreams and inspire and motivate you to claim your power. When you embark on the journey to know self, they huddle around you, sending warmth, love, clarity, direction, and motivation.

Since these allies operate outside of the limitations and restrictions of what the human world considers possible, trust your intuition to better detect their presence. Through sensations, feelings, aha moments, synchronicities, dreams, metaphors, and unexpected opportunities, they will make themselves known and guide you. Do not expect them to speak to you in the same way that you communicate with the human realm. They will spark your imagination, your intuition, and your curiosity. If you feel as if one of your spirit mentors has given you a message or direction, listen and act on what you receive. Take the chance, even when you are unsure and have doubt. When you know in your heart that you have received a divine sign, follow it with everything you’ve got. There may be no hard evidence to persuade your thinking mind to trust and go forward. It may feel silly and awkward to put your faith in what appears to be elusive. Yet the more you listen to your heart and act on what you receive and follow where you are led, the more guidance and help will come your way.

I trust that my spirit allies, friends, 
and guides are leading and helping me.

95. Spirit Power Animals

The authentic self surfaces through our thoughts, feelings, actions, and beliefs and also through our connection with the natural world. Everything is alive and has inherent wisdom and power. There is an unspoken connectedness within all living things. This includes the human world, the stars and planets, all of nature, plants, birds, and animals. Everything and anything can be a mirror through which we can better see and know who we are. Synchronistic encounters with nature and the animal world can reveal and confirm aspects of your true self.

A spirit power animal can be a bird, reptile, insect, or mammal that embodies and expresses specific characteristics and qualities similar to the traits of your authentic self. Power animals mirror many of your innate gifts and can guide you into greater self-knowledge and awareness. Over time, your power animal may change, with new ones coming into your life when you need to explore certain characteristics or traits that you may not be aware of.

When you become consciously aware of your power animal, you can better absorb and work with its powerful gifts and be inspired to explore the full scope of your authentic self.

Here are a few ways to become aware of your power animal.

Pay attention to the animals or birds that come into your life through synchronicity. For instance, have you ever driven down a road and happened to see a wild turkey, then a few days later you see a painting of wild turkeys in an office hallway?

What animals or birds are you most interested in? Which ones intrigue you the most? When you were a child, what animals and birds did you most want to learn about and see? As children we have a pure attraction to the animals that speak to our essential nature. Remember those animals and birds that you felt a connection to.

What animals have you had either frightening or positive encounters with? Have you ever been bitten, attacked, or felt threatened by an animal? Are there any animals that come close to you or look at you through a window?

Are there any animals or birds that show up in your dreams? In the past, have you had recurring dreams of any particular animals or birds?

With the sincere intent to honor and learn from your spirit power animal, ask your power animal to make itself known. Open your heart and invite the spirit of your power animal to be a part of you. You may feel and receive a personal response, or you may have a sighting of the animal in nature. You may see it through a vision with your inner sight or notice synchronicities, or it may come to you in a dream.

Your power animal picks you and not the other way around. Keep in mind that the animal you desire may not be your power animal spirit. With their deep primal energy, power animals bypass our personality self and connect to our spirit energy. In this way, they help us to know ourselves in unique ways.

Once you become aware of one of your spirit animals, you have the choice to accept its help, protection, and guidance. It is a reciprocal relationship, and just like a friendship, your connection with your power animal needs time, attention, and focus.

I learn more about who I am 
through knowing my power animal.

96. Bird Messengers

Birds may likely be the most common animals, beside our pets, that we encounter on a daily basis. Wherever we are, wherever we go, birds are likely to be present. As power animals, birds embody a vast array of characteristics, traits, gifts, magic, and power. Do not let their small size fool you, as power in the animal world is not measured by size. A lion or elephant may be no more spiritually powerful than a crow or sparrow.

Here is a small sampling of the vast variety of possibilities in the winged world. Each bird has specific qualities and traits that can ignite and mirror attributes of your authentic self, especially those that are hidden and important for you at the present time. Power birds can also activate aspects of your authentic self that you have been unable to access.

Blackbird: Indicates latent healing gifts and creativity. You have the determination and ability to focus on developing your innate hidden abilities. Sometimes it is only when someone we care about suffers that we activate our potential. Be proactive and explore one or more of the many forms of healing that may appeal to you.

Bluebird: You have a joyful and happy disposition. Reclaim your innocence and the lightheartedness of your childlike nature. With your positivity and inner joy, you can inspire others and open their hearts.

Blue JayYou are on the path of true power. Harness your ability to balance and integrate the earthly and spiritual within self. You may confront lessons of power and its misuse in yourself and others in this lifetime. Once you align your power with your spiritual depth, you can experience success in all areas of your life.

Cardinal: You have a royal nature, courage, and the ability to rejuvenate after times of illness and stress. You are able to inspire and encourage others to act with determination. Connected to the heavens, you have the ability to manifest your highest intentions and dreams.

Chickadee: The chickadee is the bird of truth and comes to assist you in putting your truth into words and expressing it to others. You are active, communicative, and expressive and bring a sense of fun wherever you go. Through your enthusiasm and nonjudgmental acceptance, you inspire others to know and express their truth.

Crow: Signifying life, death, rebirth, and transformation, the crow is 
a bird of magic and initiation. You can constantly change and reinvent yourself. New aspects and unknown qualities of your authentic self will continually surface over and over in this life. You embody intense and transformative aspects of truth and 
can delve into areas and issues that may intimidate others.

Eagle: This majestic master awakens our highest spiritual knowing. You embody the eagle’s purity, innate wisdom, and higher spiritual truth. You have the passion to express these characteristics in your everyday life and inspire these qualities in others. You are a natural leader.

Hawk: You have clear and deep vision and embody a developed spiritual consciousness. With the ability to perceive the big picture, you are a natural problem solver and planner. Hawk comes to activate your soul energy and to help you to better know the deeper aspects of self. Be alert and at the same time patient with the development and emergence of your soul’s deepest longings. Maintain perspective and cultivate your clairvoyant and precognitive inner sight.

Hummingbird: You are a messenger of hope and love to others. A powerful catalyst of miracles, the hummingbird inspires you to be a light in the darkness and to draw from the deep well of love within. Do not get weighed down by others’ expectations. Be light and free.

Owl: A symbol of the feminine, the moon, and intuition, owl awakens the unknown and mysterious side of our nature. The seed of the divine feminine is a strong aspect of your authentic self. Owl energy emits and expresses aspects of the goddess energy. If you have not yet done so, it is time to acknowledge the intuitive, psychic, right-brain, and imaginative aspects of your nature. Pay attention to your dreams, as they often foretell the future, provide you with insight into yourself and others, and connect you to the astral realm.

Robin: You have the ability to attract growth, change, and positivity into your life at any given moment. The ability to enjoy the simple things in life, along with the gift of igniting joy in others, resides deep in your soul. Express the love that is in your heart, knowing that this frees you to be you.

Sparrow: You are stronger and more resilient than you may know. Sparrow comes to inspire you to perceive yourself in the most positive way possible. Instilling dignity and heightened self-worth, sparrow supports you through empowering your authentic self. It is time to sing your song, no matter what others think and feel. You have the resourcefulness and inner strength to be who you are.

Through this short list of spirit power birds, I hope that you have come to recognize the unique and insightful gifts that they offer you. There are many books that contain a more extensive list of birds and their qualities and the contributions they can make to your continued journey of growth and self-awareness.

I accept the gifts and lessons of my power bird.

97. How to Work with Your Power Bird

When a power bird offers you an invitation of connection and guidance, accept its energy and work with it. There are several ways to receive its beneficial and powerful assistance. Here are a few.


Meditation allows you to quiet the thinking mind and better tune in to and connect with the spirit of your power animal. It is best to meditate and send a message to your power bird early in the morning. Before you begin to meditate, determine how much time you want to devote to the session. When you first begin, ten to fifteen minutes is fine. Set a clock or timer.

In a comfortable and quiet place, close your eyes and begin to breathe. Take long, deep inhales and exhale any stress and tension. When you are relaxed, send a message to the universe that you are ready to know what your power bird is and to work with its energy. Continue to breathe and relax. Breathe deeply and release any stress and tension through the out breaths. Repeat your request to receive the spirit energy of your power bird.

Breathe and relax, and using your imagination, visualize a field or meadow and a vast blue sky. Create this scene with as much detail as possible. Keep breathing and relax. Repeat your request to connect with the spirit energy of your power bird and be patient. Do not try to rush the process or become impatient. It may take several days and sessions before it makes contact with you.

If you make contact with the spirit of your power bird, maintain a receptive attitude. Continue to breathe, tune in to its energy, and pay attention to any sensations, insights, feelings, or thoughts that you receive.

When you feel that you have received all the information that you can at this time, open your eyes and write down what you received and send gratitude to the spirit of your power bird. If you complete the intended time and your power bird still has not entered your meditation, send gratitude to it anyway. Open your eyes and write down any sensations, feelings, or thoughts that you received.

Take a Walk

Go outdoors, in the morning if possible, and walk. It is best to walk in a natural setting or near water. If this is not possible, try to walk someplace where there is not a lot of traffic and noise. Focus on your breath. Breathe in and say to yourself, I am receiving the spirit energy of my power bird. Exhale and say to yourself, I am tuning in to its message for me. Continue to inhale and exhale, repeating these statements. Be attentive and listen within. New insights, sensations, feelings, and awareness will begin to surface. Notice and listen to what you receive. Keep bringing your awareness back to the breath and maintain a receptive and openhearted state.

Make an Offering

This can be a flower, a ripe piece of fruit, a bird feeder, a crystal or other stone, or an outdoor birdbath filled with clear and clean water. Your offering can be placed close to your home or in the woods near where you live. Find a spot, and before placing the offering, hold it in your hand and say something like I send you this gift of honor and respect. Please teach me. Visualize in your mind’s eye an image of your bird while you say this.

You can give your power bird repeated offerings. It is best to always place them in the same spot.

Ask for Feathers

Ask your power bird for a feather or other gift. Be aware of and alert to any feathers, eggshells, or nests that cross your path and the songs of birds close by. You can make your request while doing the walking meditation or when giving your power bird an offering. Sometimes the gift will come to you in a dream. Pay attention to your dreams, write them down, and do your best to decipher their meaning. You might also receive gifts in the form of synchronicities and opportunities to act on your new power and awareness.

You have a reciprocal relationship with the spirit of your power bird. Do your part in interacting and being open to learning new ways to communicate and connect. Enter your power bird’s world and you will discover more of your own inner truth.

I communicate with my power bird.

98. Become Aware of Your Animal Spirit Guides

Spirit power animals embody specific characteristics and traits that complement and mirror your authentic self. We do not pick our spirit animals. They choose us based on our soul path and the lessons that we have come to the earth to learn and experience. Spirit animals are the benevolent guardians of the earth. This is their home and they love and protect it. We are under their mentorship, and to fully embody their strength and power, it is necessary to become more conscious of their presence. Spirit animals empower us to live our truth. They help us to ground our authentic power and use it lovingly and wisely for all living beings and the planet.

To become conscious of your spirit power animal and further invoke its blessings and teachings is a process of opening and allowing.

Begin by devoting yourself to the natural world. This will get the attention of your spirit animal and demonstrate your sincerity. Volunteer in an animal shelter, rescue orphaned dogs or cats, feed the birds, pick up trash, ride a bike or walk instead of driving, plant a garden, recycle, or invest in solar energy or other earth-friendly energy sources.

Spend time in nature. If you live in the city or in an area that does not have open natural areas, then a park, a garden, an apartment deck, or even a window where you can see a tree, vegetation, or the sky will do. If you are able, spend time in the forest, open spaces, or the seashore and walk alone in silence. Wherever you are, relax in the quiet and soak in the energy of the environment.

Watch animals. This can be squirrels, dogs, cats, birds, snakes, or whatever animal crosses your path. Notice their intelligence. Be receptive to their form of communication. Try not to project human characteristics onto them. Their reality is different from the human orientation, so become more familiar with it. Greet every animal that comes your way as a messenger. Trust your intuition as to what they may be communicating or sharing with you.

Your spirit animal may make itself known through signs and unlikely coincidences, or synchronicities. Be alert to and trust the signs of your spirit animal in your day-to-day life. For instance, you may notice that the man standing in line in front of you to get coffee has a tattoo of a lion on his arm. Later that day, you go shopping and on the box of detergent that you are buying there is a picture of a lion. You go online and a photo of a lion appears while surfing the Internet. Your spirit animal will make itself known to you in ways that defy explanation and do not make logical sense. Trust and accept its presence when you experience these kinds of signs and synchronicities.

Here is a short meditation that you can practice to tune in to your power animal.

Meditate outdoors if possible and invite your power animal to make itself known to you. If you cannot be outdoors, sit near a window. Close your eyes and begin to take deep, relaxing breaths. Continue to breathe, allowing any emotions and thoughts to surface. Release them through the breath. As you continue to breathe, become aware of your environment. Feel the sun and breeze on your skin. Breathe and listen to the sounds that surround you. Take it all in.

Open your heart and ask for the presence of your spirit animal. Invite it to come close and reveal itself to you. You may receive an image or visual glimpse of it. You may feel it as a specific animal close to you. You may hear it or have a sense of knowing what your spirit animal looks like. Be patient and continue to breathe and invoke its presence.

Do not be alarmed if you do not see or become aware of your spirit animal. Sometimes it takes continued meditation sessions to call and make contact with it. Quite often your spirit animal will come to you hours, days, or weeks after your initial request. Although you may not be aware of its presence, it is likely working closely with you without your conscious awareness.

Your power animal may also choose to contact you through your dreams. Sometimes their presence will be powerful, colorful, and unmistakable. At other times it may seem more obscure and faint. Either way, if you dream of an animal, write the dream down and meditate on it for the deeper message.

Your spirit animal has powerful medicine to share with you. Spirit animals can guide us in ways that defy what we know of human reality. Be respectful of their presence and know that they are in charge of the agenda, not the other way around. Don’t expect them to do favors for you or fulfill your desires. Instead, seek to learn from their primal and ancient wisdom and power.

I am alert to the presence of my spirit animal.

99. Characteristics of Your Personal Spirit Animal Totem

Your spirit animal is often referred to as your totem. A totem is recognized in the Native American culture as the power animal spirit that offers protection, physical and spiritual gifts, insight into the future, and better self-understanding. Once you become aware of the power spirit animal that reflects your authentic self, dormant aspects of your true self come to light. You may or may not initially recognize some of your spirit animal qualities and characteristics as your own. They may seem foreign and unfamiliar, or you may instead identify and feel at ease with them.

The following is a list of power animal spirits and their characteristics that reflect aspects of the authentic self. This is only a partial list that includes some of the most common animal totems.

Bear: You have courage, confidence, and the ability to access the unconscious. Likely grounded and down-to-earth in your approach to others, you are protective of family and friends. You are likely introspective, especially in the winter. Listen to your dreams, as they will guide you throughout your life.

CoyoteYou can be a jokester who does not always reveal your depth of wisdom. Adaptable and playful, you don’t always let others know how much you truly know. You can keep others off balance by not always revealing the true you. Be careful to penetrate through illusions so that you can perceive the truth.

Deer: You have the ability to move through obstacles and issues with grace and gentleness. Stay connected to your inner child and your innate innocence. Although you may be sensitive and prone to nervousness, you instill calm in others.

Dolphin: Naturally spiritually oriented, you bring harmony, joy, and peace to others. Endowed with a high degree of intuitive awareness, you can use this gift to help and heal others. You are protective of those you care about and will come to their aid when they are in need.

Fox: With your keen perception and ability to see through deception, you are discerning and quick-thinking. Pay attention to your dreams and use them for insight and guidance. Until you are well acquainted with someone, you may hide behind a mask, not allowing others to see the true you.

Horse: With a tendency to be active and a driving force, you can accomplish a lot in life. Male or female, you embody masculine energy. You are passionate, have strong emotions, and may at times experience strong sexual urges.

LionWith an abundance of personal power, strength, and assertiveness, you are a natural leader. Learning how to use your power and strong emotions wisely and with benevolence and compassion is one of your life lessons.

Panther: Endowed with the ability to explore the shadow side of life, you are able to penetrate into the mysteries of life and death. You embody the vibration of the divine feminine and have the ability to guide and help others better understand their full nature, both the positive aspects and the shadow side.

Sheep: You have an innate innocence and childlike nature. Be careful not to let your gentleness and vulnerability turn into powerlessness and weakness. Because you tend to conform to social and family values, you are at risk of losing your sense of self. Accept your sensitivity and set limits on how much you will adapt to try to please others.

Tiger: Strong-willed and focused, you have the ability to follow your dreams and skillfully execute plans to accomplish your goals. Be sure to use your innate assertiveness and strength in positive ways. Otherwise, your personal power can emerge in ways that cause you and others distress and confusion.

Turtle: Determined and grounded, you are an old soul. Others are likely drawn to your innate wisdom and understanding. In the midst of chaos and disruption, you maintain composure and emotional balance.

Wolf: A free spirit, you need to balance alone time with the company of others. With your sharp intelligence and intuitive perception, you see through appearances with penetrating insight. Trust yourself, even if you lack concrete information to back up your suspicions.

A totem animal spirit may embody qualities and characteristics that you do not readily identify with. If this is true for you, take some time to explore these attributes. Sometimes there are dormant characteristics or aspects of self that have not yet been activated.

I learn more about myself through my power spirit animals.

100. Your Pet Totem

Your spirit animal totem may be a pet. Although it appears that we choose our pets, they instead choose us. Their energy finds us, often before we even desire to bring a pet into our lives. For instance, the thought that comes to you one morning to get a cat or dog may be coming from a specific animal who wants to come into your life. As you look at pet profiles on the Internet or in the paper or as you visit the animal shelter or visit a new litter of puppies, you will notice a certain animal. It will greet you with its eyes and draw you in. You know that this is your pet. Sometimes they show up at our door or are bold enough to stand in front of our car while we barrel down the road, in an attempt to get our attention. Our pet totem comes to us when we are ready to explore dormant aspects of our authentic nature and to magnify and draw out unrealized traits and inclinations. The following is a list of common pets as animal totems.

Cat: You are independent and highly sensitive and may have a tendency to be controlling. With the cat as a totem, you are highly intuitive, psychic, and creative. Yet you do not always reveal your intuitive insights to others and can be private and guarded with those you do not know well. Even those who know you well are often surprised when new aspects of your personality spontaneously emerge. Although you can appear aloof, you are actually highly sensitive to others and to your environment. With a rich inner life, you may need time to process your thoughts and feelings to maintain harmony and balance.

Dog: You have a huge capacity to love. Sensitive, loyal, and a protector to those you love and care about, you are heart-centered. You are here to help others or serve humanity in some way. With your compassion and strong spirit, you may be willing to go through the gates of hell for those you love. You tend to accept others for who they are, without judgment and criticism, and understand the complexities of human nature. Be careful not to allow your giving spirit to be taken advantage of.

Not all dog people fully understand their capacity to love. A dog will often show up when the heart is shut down, wounded, or filled with grief. Dogs act as a catalyst for healing and provide the soothing, gentle balm of dog love magic.

Fish: You are spiritual and sensitive to energy. You tend to bring harmony and a sense of calm to others. Adaptable and able to go with the flow, you can work in difficult and challenging environments. With your innate ability to go along with others’ likes and dislikes, being a part of the group can sometimes prevent you from being fully aware of your authentic self. There are often hidden aspects of your personality that may only surface when you spend time alone. With the fish as your totem, you likely have good luck and experience abundance in your work and love life. You are creative and fertile, and whatever you focus your thoughts and feelings on will manifest.

Snake: There is something mysterious and compelling about you. With the ability to sense what others are thinking and feeling, you can draw people to you with your charm and magnetism. Flexible and open-minded, you accept others for who they are 
and encourage individuality. You are creative and often have a personal sense of style that may border on the unusual and exotic. With an innate ability to change and rejuvenate, you 
may reinvent yourself over and over throughout your life. Many people with the snake totem are gifted energy healers.

If you are a true pet lover, you likely have and love all kinds of pets. People who have a house full of different animals often embody some of the traits of each type. You share a special relationship with the natural world that can bypass human understanding. If you feel more bonded with your pets than with people, you are likely able to intuitively connect with the animal world. Although you are here in human form, you need animals to feel truly understood, known, and comfortable.

I value my animal family.

101. Natural Beauty for Your Soul

You cannot fully know yourself through the thinking mind alone. In the depths of your soul, you are subtle essence, difficult to grasp and always changing. When your conscious mind and your pure essence intersect, it is always a surprise. It can feel like a vast, expansive opening where you feel the peace and joy of the moment in singular awareness.

To lure your essence into your conscious awareness takes patience, solitude, and compelling quiet. This aspect of your true self often surfaces when you are surrounded by natural beauty. In a forest, garden, or desert or along a seashore, lake, or river, there is an intoxicating perfume that entices the soul.

Be alone in nature, look at the sky, breathe in the energy of nature, and your soul will emerge. If you cannot be outdoors in natural beauty, then fresh flowers, a water fountain, a garden, a starry sky, or the view outside of a window can also have the same effect. Wherever you are, just be. Give yourself time without any expectations. Be in the moment, and whatever your experience is, accept it. Feel the beauty of nature, drink it in, and absorb it into your mind, body, and spirit.

Your soulful essence may emerge for only a moment, then quickly submerge once again, to hide out underneath your thoughts and feelings. But it is there. You may feel it in a variety of ways. It can be a sudden awareness of your connectedness with all of life. You may become aware that everything is in divine order. Your worries, stress, and fears may take flight and dissolve. The light of who you are fills you. Maybe just for a moment, you feel and know the power that resides within you.

If you are fortunate enough to experience your truth in this way, stay in this awareness for as long as possible. It is a sacred and precious awareness that can be all too fleeting. Soon your soul will seem to recede, but the clear awareness of its light will stay with you. Tuck it into your heart and keep it close. Even though you may no longer be consciously aware of this crystal-clear emergence, it is still with you. Behind your thoughts and feelings and emotions, the pure you is present, observing, inspiring, and offering love and wisdom.

I invite my soulful essence to emerge.

102. How Spirit Guides Help

The more we begin to know our authentic self, the more of a mystery we may seem to be. As the layers of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, prejudices, and desires are peeled away, a rich, timeless inner-core self emerges. This timeless self is spirit. It continues to live long after our physical body passes away. When we live each day from this core truth, we live in joy and freedom.

Spirit guides support and assist us in remembering our truth and encourage and inspire us to live authentically. Beyond our fears, grumpiness, worries, and the mistakes and mishaps that we clumsily make, we are known and loved, even cherished and adored. Most spirit guides have lived many earth lives. However, they have evolved beyond the physical realm and no longer need our earth school lessons. Spirit guides continue to grow and evolve as we do. Through their interactions with us, they achieve the higher purpose of enlightening, loving, and being of service to others. They exist in the oneness of all of life, and at the same time they enjoy soulful individuality.

Even though your spirit guides are close, you may not be aware of their presence. They cannot be known in the same way that you know your friends and family. Instead, your spirit guides are selfless beings whom you may become aware of through the effect they have on your everyday life. Spirit guides are concerned with your growth and development as a soul and use all kinds of methods and tricks to keep you aware of and aligned with your higher purpose.

For instance, the career opportunity that suddenly presents itself on the same day that you decide to leave your current occupation may come to you through supernatural assistance. Being in the right place at the right time and meeting a soulmate or having the courage to face your fears and pursue your dreams may be due to your spirit guide’s support and influence. A spirit guide may also protect you by quietly steering you away from certain individuals or by persuading you to make wise and beneficial choices.

Communicating with Spirit Guides

Communicating with spirit guides often begins with a leap of faith. It would certainly be more comfortable if our guides gave us their names and communicated in clear and obvious ways. Instead, their communication is usually more playful, intuitive, surprising, and not always what we would expect it to be.

Investing a bit of your time and attention and inviting them to be an active part of your life can yield surprisingly positive results. One way to begin to connect with your spirit guides is simply to ask for a sign of their presence. Then be attentive, open, and aware of your surroundings. Watch for synchronicities, unexpected phenomena, and anything unusual that crosses your path. The spirit realm is adept at turning electronic equipment, lights, televisions, and phones off and on. They may also attempt to get your attention by dropping bird feathers or coins in your path, waking you with powerful dreams, influencing you to look at the clock at the same time day after day, calling your name, or sending birds or other animals your way.

If you suspect that a spirit guide is present, take a moment, breathe, and listen to your heart. This is where your confirmation will come from. All too often we get into our head and overthink and eventually talk ourselves out of believing that a guide may have something to do with the signs that we are experiencing. Tune in to your heart and feel and trust their warm reassurances. Another common way to connect with your spirit guides is through meditation. Through quiet inner listening, it becomes possible to better tune in to the subtle and gentle whispers of your guides.

Try this simple meditation exercise.

Set aside a period of time when you can be undisturbed and quiet. Find a comfortable spot and close your eyes. Begin to take long, deep breaths and release any tension or stress in the body as you exhale. Let go of your expectations as to how you want your spirit guide to communicate with you.

Send a message to your spirit guide that you would like to connect.

Continue to breathe and relax.

Keep sending a silent message to your spirit guide that you would like to feel their presence.

Breathe and pay attention to any sensations, images, thoughts, and feelings that surface.

You may feel a warm presence, your heart may fill with love, or you may feel a tingling sensation running up your spine or down your arms. Keep breathing and notice whatever surfaces without thinking too hard about what is happening. Just accept what is and breathe. Often guides will give you a message through a thought. You may see an image, a color, or sparkles of light or feel a buzzing sensation throughout your body.

Ask your guide if they have a message for you. Again, allow what is. Do not expect a message to come to you as a clear and concise answer to a question. Tune in to what you feel, sense, or know. Take your time and allow your heart to open.

When you feel as if you have received all the information that you can, send gratitude to your spirit guide and ask for their continued love and support. You may also want to write down all that you experienced. This is a way to ground the information and strengthen your connection to your guide.

Sometimes long after a meditation or request to a spirit guide, you will feel their presence or receive a message through a dream or a synchronistic encounter.

Your spirit guides steer you toward the experiences and conditions that align and help you to better know your authentic self.

I enjoy the friendly love and support of my spirit guides.

103. An Angel by Your Side

Since your birth into the physical world, there has been an angel close by. This is your guardian angel, who protects, comforts, loves, heals, guides, and watches over you. Angels are pure love and compassion and powerful guardians of your authentic self.

You are worthy of angelic love and healing. Whatever you have been through in life, your guardian angel can restore you, mind, body, and spirit. Your angels hold the blueprint of your soul’s journey and your individualized divine spirit. They know your purpose for being here and they know when you struggle and when you fall short of your own expectations. Yet they also know you as a wise, loving, and perfect being. When you lose your way or feel overwhelmed by life’s difficulties, they are present to help you to get back on track and remind you of who you are. Because they do this in ways that can be hard to detect, we discount their influence and intervention. Yet they are always available to heal and help you to live from the most true and real part of who you are.

Our most loving, wise, and authentic self often lies hidden within us like a buried treasure. At times we get a glimpse of our own pure goodness. But all too soon, our daily thoughts, feelings, stresses, and demands cloud our vision and we are unable to connect with our inner truth. When you are able to feel and be influenced by the goodness of your spirit, you see yourself and life with clarity. All things transform, as does your sense of who you are. Your guardian angel can help you to become aware of and align with the core of your innermost truth that remains untouched and unaffected by outer conditions and experiences.

Communicate with Your Angels

Your guardian angels can empower you to move beyond your self-judgments and false beliefs and know the true you. Open your heart and ask for your angels to restore your awareness of your true self. Earnestly desire to feel and know the goodness, love, wisdom, and joy that are within.

Be patient and alert. You cannot control the timing of your angels’ response to this request. You may immediately feel a renewed sense of self. For some, transformation comes slower, sometimes days or weeks after the request. If you do not feel that the angels are responding, continue to ask and be patient.

Let go of expectations. Your angels may not help you in the way that you want them to. They see the big picture and speak to your highest good. Angels work primarily through spirit and emotions. Be aware that instead of feeling the love and healing that you may desire, you might initially feel confusing or difficult emotions. If this happens, breathe into the feelings without repressing or pushing them away. The emotions are surfacing to be released. Ask for the strength to feel and let go of what no longer serves your highest good. Go with the process. As you feel difficult and uncomfortable feelings, love and joy will begin to emerge. Notice yourself and others being more kind and thoughtful. The ability to forgive yourself and be more compassionate and accepting will subtly take root. As feelings of perfectionism, self-loathing, and depression give way, inner light and restored energy surface.

Your angels will likely send you a sign that they are with you. Stay alert to messages and synchronicities that strike an emotional cord within you. If you find feathers, especially white ones, your angel is close. Birds and butterflies that seem to want to get your attention, that fly overhead or near your car or watch you from outside your window, may also be sent from the angelic realm. Seeing the numbers 11:11, 1:11, 2:22, or 12:12 on clocks, documents, bills, etc., can signify the presence of angels and is an assurance of their intervention. Sparkles of light and rainbows, streaks of light in the sky, and light-filled clouds are angelic imprints. You might even be fortunate enough to see an angel as a shimmering, light-filled outline or as a more three-dimensional image that suddenly appears and disappears.

Angels are often felt through feelings of love and warmth that seem to envelop you and bring you comfort. Tingling sensations that move up the spine, a feeling of lightheadedness, or the relaxing knowing that everything is in perfect order and that there is meaning and purpose in difficulties and challenges will let you know that your angels are with you.

I am alert to signs of my angels’ presence.

104. Strangers as Messengers

When there is a message that we need to hear, it can find its way to us in a multitude of ways. There is no limit to what the energy of our spirit combined with the love and the intelligence of the cosmos is capable of. One of the more interesting and mysterious ways that we receive guidance is through our interactions with strangers. For instance, while out and about, has a passerby ever gently smiled, opened a door, or helped you in some way at a time when you needed a bit of care and warmth? Has your heart opened or your faith in others been restored through an act of kindness? Have you ever encountered someone who told you exactly what you needed to hear? In the midst of our day-to-day routines and activities, we often ignore or fail to notice the dynamic interactions we may have with those we cross paths with. Our lives intersect with the lives of strangers in casual ways that seem to have little or no significance. Yet if we pay attention, every so often there is a message or guidance that unexpectedly comes our way.

The random kindness and warmth of another can have a profound and positive effect on us. We expect our friends, family, and acquaintances to be helpful, supportive, and there for us in the way that we want them to be. But when a kind word, smile, or helpful act is freely given, with no strings attached and without expectation, something in us wakes up. We feel seen and known and our trust in the goodness of others is restored. Even overhearing a conversation on a subway or in a crowded coffee shop can convey an insightful and helpful message.

Not only can daily random interactions with others provide you with important guidance, comfort, and messages, but you can unknowingly offer insight and wisdom to others as well. The impulse that moves you to give someone your seat on a crowded subway or allow someone to move in front of you in a long line may be more important than you think. A small act can bring hope and comfort to someone who feels tired, weary, or filled with despair. Making small talk with someone or telling them a story or sharing an insight may be exactly what that person needs to hear.

Here are a few suggestions for inviting more stranger magic into your life.

Be Open and Attentive

Even when we are in a crowd, we can feel isolated and alone. Consumed with a litany of personal thoughts and concerns, we notice very little of what is happening around us. Instead of shutting down or closing off when in the company of others, practice opening your awareness to what is going on around you. Be aware of others, and if an opportunity presents itself to engage in a meaningful way, trust your intuition.

Be a Conduit

Allow yourself to be a channel for a higher love and wisdom to flow through you and use you for the benefit of others. Whatever you give to others comes back to you tenfold. Although you may not always know the impact you have on another, kindness is never wasted and never falls flat. Even if the intended recipient does not accept this freely given gift, the energy spreads to where it is needed.

Trust Your Intuition

There is power in allowing yourself to be guided. Although we hide and deny our vulnerability and needs, especially when we are with strangers, keep an open heart and mind in all your interactions. There is good reason not to trust everyone. Taking care of yourself in the world is a necessity. Exercise your intuitive muscle when it comes to others and trust your vibes. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy or if something feels off, walk away. However, trust your gut when it comes to the positive, too. If it feels right, generous, and safe, then give and receive.

Seek the Unfamiliar

It is not always easy to be truly seen and known in the company of those who are familiar. Your friends, family, and acquaintances cannot always perceive new aspects and qualities of your true self as they emerge. New people we do not know well can sometimes see aspects of our authentic self more clearly than people who we have known for a long time. In the same way, you might be able to perceive in another something special and unique that others cannot see. Unfamiliar situations and people allow us to reinvent ourselves, fresh and new. Look for opportunities and environments that provide you with the chance to try on new aspects of your authentic self. Attend a talk or a weekend workshop, go to the movies, or take a trip, and go it alone. Step out on your own and allow new energy into your life.

You can practice listening and receiving messages and participating as a conduit of love wherever you are.

I am aware of opportunities to give 
and receive kindness and grace.