What is a Spirit Guide? How do I connect with my spirit guide? How can I get direction from my guides? How do I work with my guides? These are some of the most frequently asked questions when folks begin connecting with their innate spiritual natures. Before I offer some answers, however, it is important to understand that spirit work must be taken seriously, with the intent to develop and grow, to align yourself with your Highest Purpose.

Traditionally, Spirit Guide connections have been reserved for the Shamans and Chiefs, the tribal leaders, and the advanced souls amongst a group... and then undertaken only after days and weeks of preparation, cleansing the body and soul, often with some sacrifice, going without food and drink for long periods of time, walking off into the desert, or climbing to the top of a sacred mountain, or trekking to a sacred site. Spirit Guides would only be approached with great respect, revenerence, and only when absolutely necessary... to stop a plague, to get help with crops, to ask for rain - or to stop the rains, or to get guidance and support in advance of an important battle. There was great purpose in calling on one's spirit guides and much ritual required in order to make a clear and useful connection.

Times have changed. In today's world, spirit guides are very active, and more and more of us are aware of their presence in our lives. My guides, Isaiah and the Dust Bunnies, and later ELIAS, have been instrumental in making both my personal and professional more productive, as well as a whole lot more joyful. Connecting with your guides can be a life-changing experience, but it does demand some preparation - and a willingness to notice their communications, and to listen from your heart.

What is a Spirit Guide?

There are many different kinds of spirit guides, some come to help us heal, some to help us heal others.We will often have many different guides, each coming to help with a specific task. Some come as our "Muses", inspiring and guiding us in our creative endeavours, whatever they may be. Some come to guide us in our business or career goals. Some come to help us with our family relationships, to guide us in our roles as parents or lovers, or friends. Some come for a specific purpose and leave when they have accomplished thier mission. Others act as gatekeeper guides, protecting us from invading entities, and calling in those guides we need when we need them. Whatever their purpose in coming to us, there is one basic rule that all spirit guides must accept: Guides cannot interfere in our free will, they cannot help without being asked.

Guides can be considered a specific "class" of spirits... I get the sense that spirits who want to be guides must undertake some special training on the other side. Many guides are Ascended Masters, souls that have worked through many lifetimes to lift themselves into the higher realms. It is unlikely that your grandmother would come back as your guide or even your children's guide. Although she may come around to help the family where she can, it would be in the role of Grandmother-in-Spirit, as opposed to a Spirit Guide.

Guides may show themselves to you as images, or speak in your mind, or come through writing and journalling. My guide Isaiah first showed himself as a strong, stern Native American wearing a colourful chief's headdress, standing with his horse. Over time, he showed me many different faces, always Native. When he wanted to make me laugh, to not take myself or the work so seriously, he would appear as a funny, little wizened old Indian with his headdress flying. Another of my guides simply shows himself as a light ball, a third, Elizabeth I only feel and sense. And I have several other guides who appear from time to time, for example, there is an Asian medicine man who works with me when I need healing.

What I know for certain about my guides is that some are with me all of the time, listening, waiting for me to ask so they can swing into action. I can feel them, and sometime hear and see them... but most of all, I feel them, I notice when they are listening and responding.

How do I connect with my spirit guide?

The thing about Spirit Guides is that they will find you, more easily than you can find them. They will manifest around you when the time is right, when they are needed, and when you are receptive to their guidance. That said, meditation and holding an inner focus will help you to open the doors to communications with your guides. Here is a very effective meditation and visualization exercise to help you:

Take a few big deep breaths, clear your mind and focus on your Third Eye, that spot behind the middle of your forehead. Then see yourelf walking on a lovely wooded path, tall trees all around, a lovely breeze rippling through the leaves, sun dappling the path in front of you. A perfect day. Ahead you hear a waterfall and just then your path opens up to show you a lovely pool with a waterfall splashing down over the rocks. There is a large rock on the side of the pool, inviting you to step over and leave your clothes there... and so you do, and you jump into the water, warm and soothing... you swim around for a few minutes and then move over to stand under the falls so you can let the water splash over your body... as it does, you feel yourself releasing all of your cares, you are feeling lighter and lighter, brighter and brighter, more wholly yourself. After a few minutes you jump back into the pool and swim over to the rock. You notice someone standing by the rock, beckoning you, holding a warm towel for you. You reach for the towel and wrap yourself in it as you both settle on the rock together.

Take a moment to sit together peacefully, to feel the energy that is moving between you. This is your guide, ask if this guide has a name you can use, and listen for a moment, trust whatever comes... and if nothing comes, trust that a name may not be needed... but notice all that happens around you and between you. Ask your guide what message they have for you in that moment... and again, look around you, listen carefully notice every detail... everything that appears in such an encounter has meaning, symbolism. Trust that your imagination knows what its doing in this moment, relax and absorb it.

Ask the guide if they will take a walk with you, and then follow along, see where you go... Take as much time as you need, ask whatever questions come to mind, and then give the guide time to respond. When you are finished, walk back to the rock with your guide, thank them for coming to you and invite them to come again, to walk along with you in life.

Then take a few more big deep breaths and come back to yourself... It can be useful at this point to write down what you saw and felt, a way of helping you to assimmilate the experience. Pay attention over the next few days, you will probably notice something of an internal shift, new opening and opportunities may present themselves to you after such an encounter.

How can I get direction from my guides? How do I work with my guides?

Once you make that first connection with your guides, you will want to create other opportunities to connect, but these connections need to have a purpose. It is important to understand that spirit guides are guides, not bosses, not even leaders, but guides... there purpose is to shed light on your path, to give you insights and information that will help you make good decisions. Most of all guides come around to help us heal, to help us to look within so we can see what we are doing, thinking or feeling that is hindering us.

If a guide tells you what you should do, you are probably not working with a real guide. Guides have no ego, they do not judge us - which also means that they don't give us a lot of attaboys... so if you have a guide who keeps boosting your ego, you probably don't have a real guide. Guides will always be loving and encouraging, but they will also encourage you to be real, and grounded. They show us where change is desirable, and even how we can make the changes, and they will often help us to attract whatever resources we need to accomplish our goals. But if they insist that you follow their direction, you definitely do not have a real guide.

One of the first messages that my guides gave me as we opened the direct communications was that I needed to learn as much as possible about reading the universal signs and symbols, that I needed to be like the Indian, "to see clues in the turn of a leaf.". Guides speak with us in many ways - you are searching for a book, and one just falls off the shelf on your toe- that's probably the book you are looking for amd your guide in action.

Getting answers and insights from your guides is really just a matter of learning to ask the questions and then to notice their communications. The answers may come in a dream, through a song, a movie or a book that falls on your toe, or through a friend you encounter, or a stranger you run into at the bank... Ask a question, ask for help, and then watch, listen, and trust that the answers will come when you need them.

there are legions of angels and guides ready and willing to help us along the road in life...
there is only one rule: we must ask before they can intervene on our behalf..

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Author's Bio: 

Danielle is the owner and author of http://globalpsychics.com and she hosts the Ask A Psychic radio show, Wed evenings on the Ask1 network.