As I've come into my spiritual gifts over the years, various forces have assisted me while I sought to enhance my metaphysical abilities and have led me through times of uncertainty, fear, depression and despair.
Your spirit team can consist of your ancestors alongside supernatural beings that choose to shepherd you through this lifetime, helping you to make better decisions and giving emotional support when you need it. These beings are often depicted and recognized in different sacred systems of beliefs such as the orishas of the Santeria religion or the various saints within Catholicism.
Despite having been conditioned to box in the spirit world, many people are convinced they have support from every realm from the Creator. I have had angels step up to encourage me along this journey without me asking or practicing a particular religion. My late dad, best friend and grandmother also have made appearances. Are you ready to meet your spirit team? Here's how to get started.
1. Tell yourself that you are open to guidance from the highest good. This really helps you to believe it as well—so trust!
2. Meditate for ten minutes a day to practice quieting your mind. Spirit messages are often subtle and can require a bit of focus to receive and interpret in the beginning. Any type of meditation will do, even taking a walk in nature, where you notice the little things. The better you are at getting centered, the better you'll be able to take direction from your team.
3. Stop playing the victim and look for the lesson in every situation. Be quick with gratitude and slow with judgment for the challenges that life puts in your path.
4. Research ways to hear from your spiritual aides. I recommend reading Ask Your Guides: Connecting to Your Divine Support System by Sonia Choquette.
5. Begin working with your guides by making simple requests. For example, while you're in the shower you might ask that your commute go smoothly that morning. Watch what happens.
6. Write a list of your desires and needs for your guides and see what manifests. It's always wise to offer a quick prayer of protection and urge that only those from the highest good provide assistance.
7. Go to sleep with an intended question and ask your team to reveal the answers in your dreams. Be sure to note in your journal what you remember the next morning as soon as you wake up.
8. Set a daily time to chat with your helpers. Simply sit in a private chill space, ask questions out loud and wait to see if you receive the message in your head as words and sounds (also known as clairaudience), in your mind's eye (clairvoyance) or with a feeling like chills through your body or butterflies in your stomach (clairsentience). As you get more in tune with your team, you'll begin to understand how each member communicates with you. You can even ask them their names and the ways in which they are portrayed. (And, yes, one of these wonderful beings can even be your grandma.) It's always cool to journal this time or record it on your phone so that you can check back in.
9. Be on the lookout for these common signs from spirits: random feathers, coins, birds and angel numbers, which you may come across repeatedly (for example, 333, 123, 555) on your phone, billboards, receipts and so on. This is how you will know they are near.
Getting in touch and working with your team takes time and attention, but it's certainly worth it to be supported in your spiritual journey.
This feature originally appeared in the Dec/Jan 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.