In times like these, it’s easy to give in to despair and hopelessness. In addition to witnessing and speaking out against all that is heartbreaking and unjust, maybe we also need to share experiences that contradict the cultural story, foster hope, and reveal the world to be larger, more complex and more magical that we’ve been led to believe. 

This is one of mine. It happened thirty years ago.

I was months into an intensive class on developing intuition. We met two hours a week, in the living room of our teacher, M, learning in meditation how to sense and move the energy in our bodies—in our chakras—asking internal questions and listening for answers. Learning how to receive and trust intuitive information vibrating within and around us. 

A disconcerting inner dialog began in the very first class. I knew nothing about energy or chakras; everything M said was foreign and incomprehensible to my logical mind. Yet the feeling of relief, of joy at having “come home,” was so strong I teared up. I felt instinctively that M was healing and trustworthy. When M introduced the evening’s exercise, my analytical mind resisted and doubt set in—until recently I had been an attorney, after all—but I had no trouble receiving fascinating and helpful information that felt right. Over the following weeks I continued to intuit energetic information—often startling insights—that helped me understand myself and my life. At the same time my confused inner skeptic did not stop questioning everything we did, trying unsuccessfully to understand it logically. Even as I became more and more fascinated by what I was learning I had to repeatedly ask the analytical part of myself (with increasing exasperation) to suspend doubt so I could do the work. 

Things came to a head during class on the evening before my fortieth birthday. We had been working with the seventh chakra, the body’s connection to the wider universe, to our sense of purpose and the divine. M announced that angels would be with us that night. Angels, she explained, were healing beings of very high vibrational energy who radiate light and heat. To her they appeared like the white winged creatures in paintings, but they might look different to us. Or we might not see anything at all, but could recognize them by a strong sense of light or warmth, especially brushing an arm or shoulder. 

My inner skeptic was more scornful than usual, having rejected as wishful thinking the angel mania that was beginning to sweep the country at that time. Struggling to get into the spirit of the thing even though I was’t sure I believed in angels, I told myself, maybe Ill see bright light—that would be cool.  And I could sure use some healing!  Pain because of a lower back injury forced me to meditate standing up instead of sitting.

I stood alone at the back of the room, eyes closed, breathing slowly and deeply.  After a few minutes M said angels were present; we could request help if we wished. I silently asked for healing. Immediately I felt something brush my right arm and shoulder and I sensed the hair on that arm and shoulder stood straight up.  It was eerie; I had never before (or since) felt the hair on my whole arm rise like that.  Is this an angel?  

I was so riveted by the strange sensation that minutes passed before I became aware that I was warm, especially down my right side and in my left thigh. Yes, this is where I hurt the most!  It MUST be an angel!  Minutes went by–at least ten–and the hair on my right arm stayed erect.  Now I was hot. Omigod, I marveled as the exercise came to an end, Ive just had healing from an angel!  

I wasn’t the only exhilarated one. Some classmates had seen green or white light. A few saw large winged beings. Doubting myself since I had not “seen” anything, I described my sensations to M, and she confirmed that my experience was typical of angelic healings.

I was fascinated, excited, giddy. I went to bed elated.

The next day I met a friend for lunch on my birthday, the first time we had managed to meet for a restaurant meal in the six years we had known each other.  We had a lively visit, which gave me the courage to tell her about my experience the night before. She seemed shocked for a moment, then laughed, pulling from her bag my birthday present, The Angel Book by Sophy Burnham. That night another friend who knew nothing about my experience, presented me with two gifts for my birthday: an “angel vase” (into which I could put prayers for help); and a set of Angel cards. These gifts were especially startling, because Angel-themed gifts were not as common then as they were later; I had never requested or been attracted to them (too saccharine, and anyway, I dont believe in angels) or received any before (or since). Nor do I recall ever having received birthday gifts from these two friends before (or since).

The following days were idyllic. I was buoyant, energized. I was possessed by a stock sunny character in a children’s book from the 1950’s: a blissful smile seldom left my face and I was full of hope and cheer. Everyday life flowed smoothly. People I encountered were friendly and helpful, my children contented.  Appointments which had been difficult to arrange before suddenly became easy. Parking places appeared in areas notoriously crowded. Over and over I thought I have been blessed. Until then I had never used that word. My inner skeptic was strangely silent.

The acute exhilaration faded after about a week but I was forever changed. After that week of flow I began to experiment with expecting ease in my life rather than problems, and it worked enough that it became a habit. I no longer needed to understand everything I experienced, or to believe that only what I understand is real. I became less wary of superstition than of joylessness. And instead of feeling I bear all the responsibility for my life, I opened to the possibility that unseen helpers accompany me on my path and that my life was in fact “blessed.” I became willing to ask the Universe for help and trust that I might receive it. 

What better time than now to request help from the Unseen world, trusting that we humans are not the only actors in this place.

Have you had a similar experience? I’d love to hear.