Guardian Angels and Other Staff Members
A yoga student of mine recently revealed how she takes a moment to pray to her Guardian Angels and her father (who died last year) to help and guide her through her daily life in her interactions with family and work - after we say "namaste" at the end of class. My immediate thought was followed by a Tourette's-like verbalization along the lines of, "isn't that their job?" While I understand and respect what she was sharing with me (and now sharing with you) about her spiritual practices, I couldn't help but wonder why said Angels of the Guardian kind would be in the break room taking a nap while awaiting our instructions. Aren't Guardian Angels by their very literal job description guarding and watching over us at all times? Isn't the service built-in? Why is a request on our part needed? Surely these particular Angels are not on vacation, taking a coffee break or napping as we mere mortals are frequently caught doing. It was an alarming thought.
After I verbally painted her my "Angel in the breakroom" picture, my yogi-friend readily clarified that it was actually more like a "being ready and open to their guidance" state rather than a prayerful request for action. This is a definite clarification - an intention for us to be more available to receive guidance is very different than asking for help. One requires action while the other is passive. Still, I wondered - don't the Guardian Angels know all about our state of readiness and openness or lack of it? Aren't they hanging out there in the ether in a state of rapt attention? These are important beings. (Note my "important being" capitalization of "Guardian" and "Angel." I also capitalize Mother, Earth, Yoga, Universe and God.) Therefore, I expect them to preemptively know about and anticipate our daily needs, problems and traumas. Additionally, aren't they ours? Aren't they our very own personal Angels? They aren't the Guardian Angels of the Galaxy or the Guardian Angels of the World. We don't have to get in line or take a number. This is one of the few things in life that I rely on to be true without needing to see meta-analysis laboratory trial stats.
She also mentioned that she talks to her father - he died a little over a year ago. I can relate. I talk to my Mother, my Uncle Bill, my friend Christopher and my friend Paula - all who died many, many years ago. I refer to them as my Spiritual Staff. I'll typically ask them to watch over me or give me a helping hand with something. Unlike my Guardian Angels, I don't expect them to know what's up. They have their own afterlives to live, after all.
If you are unsure of all this speaking to people/entities who aren't tangibly in the room with you, think about those rare occasions (maybe they are frequent for you, but they are rare for me) when you feel so relieved, happy, grateful or just had a major brush with death and survived, (or a combo of all four) that you find yourself saying out loud, "thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Ask yourself this: who are you talking to?
I tend to get a little heavy-lidded when I watch a movie made before 1962. (Sorry, Margret). So, even though I've watched It's a Wonderful Life a few times, I really couldn't tell you the plot line. But I do vaguely remember a Guardian Angel by the name of Clarence. And he was assigned by God or another supernatural being up there in the aforementioned ether to George Bailey. Some belief systems state that God dispatches Guardian Angels to us. The prophet Muhammad said that all humans have ten Guardian Angels, and for others, up to 100 of them. I'm not sure what that differentiation is based on - maybe Geminis and Republicans need more help than the rest of us - but however many we've been assigned, the fact remains that we are not alone. We have help at hand.
Referring back to the concept of our intention to be more available to receive guidance - rather than focusing on your perceived need to herald the rally cry of "huddle-up" to your Guardian Angels and/or deceased friends and relatives, I think it's our job to "listen-up." Create the intention for the attention. How can we ask for help from our Guardian Angels, our Higher Power, the Universe and God if we are not willing to listen to their response to our request or question? That's where the effort is - because it is we who are on a break, on vacation, checked out, not paying attention, taking a nap, being distracted, distraught, bewildered, busy, and running the red light. It is our job to heed all incoming information no matter how it is packaged or in what moment it comes to us. Our job is to listen, process, and then act accordingly. That is how problems are solved, how healing happens, and how we become more empathetic.
In the vast realm and practice of Yoga, this is called cultivating awareness. We can begin with the baby steps of paying attention to our mailbox, our email inbox, and our voice-mail inbox. (That's on your phone). We can't become more aware while living in a cluttered mess. Next, we can work on expanding our listening skills. Listening becomes hearing and evolves into understanding. We can pay more attention to our dreams and intuition; to the movies, books and music that make our bodies tingle. We can then be more attuned to the incoming messages from our Guardian Angels and Spiritual Staff.
Think of all the messages that you have received but have ignored or disregarded over the course of your lifetime due to simple neglect or dread (for whatever reason) of checking the sender-sources of your mailbox, email and voicemail. What were the consequences of that neglect? I'm sure the captain of the Titanic had a moment or two of regret when he realized the ship was sinking after he chose to disregard the many ice warnings coming from other ships in the area on the night of April 14th, 1912. There was a flip side of successful message-receiving to that tragic event. There were a few ticket holders for that particular maiden-voyage who refused to board the ship because their intuition, a "sense of foreboding" or a "voice in their head" told them not to. They listened and lived.
So, throw out (or up) a "thank you" on a regular basis while simultaneously putting it out there (up there) that you are working on your listening skills; you are at the ready. You are tuned in, ear to the ground, antennae up. You are open to receiving messages in all forms and in all mediums (no pun intended, although that's another blog in the works). You are open and ready for their guidance.