So, being a spiritual person and wanting to access the different realms of human experience…and also loving science and how that informs the world in which we experience our spiritual self…sometimes the spiritual experiences I and other people have are outside of what has been defined and verified by science. So sometimes being outside that ‘verifiable’ zone looks like we do, think, or feel ‘crazy’ (that is to say: not well understood) things.
I have very clear memories of my prayers as a child and adolescent. Praying to god (the white, male one) and asking for help or my heart’s desire or whatever. When I was done I often felt some kind of peace or grace (the sense that things would eventually be okay, even if they weren’t at this moment) or direction. I might open a book I was reading, or the Bible, and find some guidance that fit my situation (some call this ‘bibliomancy’ or ‘lectio divina’). Being a student of science and psychology, I often have to wonder if confirmation bias – the psychological precept where humans tend to accept information that confirms our ideas or preferences – was part of what I felt. I think that sometimes confirmation bias is at work in spiritual ‘insights’ and sometimes it isn’t. I think we have to know ourselves to understand what’s at play in our psyche and when (which is why meditation and therapy should be part of the spiritual path, if you ask me).
In my spiritual work, I receive many different kind of guidance. Sometimes I ask about two choices and the better choice is somehow different than the lesser choice- it might be brighter or clearer or something. Sometimes I will see a sign or symbol over and over again (might be a car, a song, a number, or some animal) and I believe it is guidance. Sometimes I ask a question in the ‘ether’ (a place beyond but including this world) and I’ll read something that is the perfect answer to my question. It’s weird, it’s unverifiable, and it can look ‘crazy’ to outsiders.
The thing about spiritual guidance, though, is that what truly comes from spirit, what truly comes from some place deeper and wider than this human experience, always (in my experience) helps us be better, grow, or heal. True spiritual answers are sometimes fucking hard to deal with. True spiritual answers are not always what we want or wish for. True spiritual answers are good for our soul, whether our ego likes it or not.
When I wanted an affair, the spiritual answer was super clear: my soul belongs with my husband. The spiritual answer was painful – let go. I didn’t want that to be the answer, but it was.
When I ask for guidance between two options, and see one is the path I should take, that doesn’t mean it’s a path I will like. But 100% of the time it’s been the path that was best for my growth and understanding the world in a new way or developing more compassion for humankind, which is what one would expect to be found in soul guidance.
Sometimes the answers are exactly what I hope for. I prayed for a daughter after we had a son, and that’s what we got. (Yes, also science! But there was something spiritual there, too. I didn’t know I was pregnant with her for 11 weeks.)
A few months back I was having a fight with my intuition, frustrated with it, and there was this really clear voice inside me that said, “You definitely deserve a coffee and a gluten free donut; go to that place up the street. But, like, go now.” I did. I got my purse and shoes and headed out the door. And while at the coffee shop, I met a couple from Seattle, my hometown. We talked about the ways in which Rhode Island is really weird, exchanged contact info, and later had dinner together. I would not have gone except for the insistence of my intuition. Which looks completely ‘crazy’ to some people.
I listen and look for little intuitive nudges and guidance pretty much all day. Sometimes I go a different way to work or home or whatever at the insistence of my intuition. And I can’t really say that those decisions have lead to some miraculous experience or shift. But I do know that my life has always lead to the right moment and the right experience for me to learn and grow- and so I trust that those little nudges have helped to create the moments that have changed me. What would have happened, for instance, if I hadn’t left my dorm room at just the right moment to watch my future husband walking across campus? A little thing that lead to big things later.
It’s taken me years to learn to trust my intuition and look and listen for its nudges and other types of spiritual guidance. It takes practice and trust. Every time I’ve begun to work with some new tool, it’s felt really strange and uncomfortable. Staying with the practices, learning them and integrating them, has taken the fear away, of course. That doesn’t mean weird shit – even weird to me – still doesn’t come up for me to work with.
Let me tell you a story.
::: ::: ::: :::
The morning of Tuesday, June 12th, I felt something really weird in my body while I was driving to a presentation I was giving. It was an enjoyable sensation, but also something that clearly wasn’t coming from within my own body. It was sort of like happiness bubbling up in my chest and throat. It scared me, even as it felt nice. As I was pondering what the hell it was, I began to suspect that it was someone sending sex magic to me.
Which freaked me the fuck out on a couple of levels. Who was sending? Why? Was I supposed to feel it? Did other people feel it when I sent to them? Oh, my god- what if they did? I started to wonder about one person in particular.
I emailed my teacher. “Is it possible,” I asked, “for two people to send and receive energy from each other and actually feel it- all of it- both their own sending and the receiving from another person?” She replied, “It’s not unheard of between couples practicing Tantra, but for two people who are not involved with each other, it’s very rare.” Great.
I sat and stewed about it for a few days. I didn’t want this connection. I mean, I will grant you, it’s kinda cool to know that two people have a strong energetic connection, but I didn’t want it with this person, you know? And what if they were sending because they felt me sending to them (which I had done)? I didn’t know what to do. In the moment of not knowing what to do and feeling worried and weirded out, I felt the nudge to meditate. So I sat my ass on the cushion and meditated. It was helpful, full of grace and peace. It helped me stop overthinking and I went on with my day.
A few hours later I felt this weird desire to go look at Facebook. I look a few times a day, see what’s up, keep in touch with the algorithm, etc. But this time, a particular ad for a local university came up, and it was as if a waterfall of information fell into my brain and things began clicking together like a puzzle. In spiritual circles, we call this ‘a download’ because it feels like you’re getting a complete thing, a complete picture or guidance or even an entire class outline, that is downloaded into your brain, complete. That ad was not because of my husband (who also works at a university), it was because of this person I feared I was connected to.
I began to think about how many times I’d seen that damn ad. It was a lot. I checked my little notation system. Sometimes that ad showed up multiple times a day. This person had been around a lot more than I suspected, and recently, too.
But the waterfall wasn’t just that realization. Other pieces of the puzzle clicked together. Back in September and October of last year, I would wake up in the morning, roll over, and feel like this person was laying next to me. It wasn’t a fantasy – something created in my head. It was the same as when you’re next to someone, but you close your eyes, and even though you can’t see them, you can feel them there. I wondered if we had been connected in this energetic way even all those months ago. He used to look at my picture on FB late at night- was he looking before he went to bed? And because we have this connection, was I picking up that energy the next morning? I began to realize it was not out of the realm of possibility. It’s fucking weird, and unverifiable, but I think that may be what happened.
And then, as I began to think about some of his other online behaviors, other puzzle pieces clicked into place. There was mutual attraction between us, but I realized that he used to come visit my Facebook page at times when he was sad, filled with grief, or feeling intense, unhappy emotions- because I think I felt those, too. When his friend died, when another friend was killed, months later when a semi-relationship failed, and again when the six month anniversary of one friend’s death came around. I think it was his grief I felt when I wrote this post. And the thing is, I don’t think he was looking at my picture multiple times on those occasions because of sexual desire. I think it had more to do with the desire for comfort, safety, or support.
So, here I am. Presented with this clarity about what this person I’m connected to was doing and why. My teacher says it’s quite possible for this type of energetic exchange to happen between two otherwise unconnected people. And while I was glad to have the clarity of knowing what went on, and perhaps why, I still didn’t want to be connected. I thought this person had left my online world in late May, but I realize now he hadn’t, in fact, he’d been trying to get my attention the day before all this happened (June 11th). I just hadn’t seen him because I was done and not really looking for connection anymore. Part confirmation bias and part energy shit is weird as fuck.
What’s even more weird is that now, with some of this new info, I had the opportunity to find him online. Just type the things I knew into Google and – boop! – there he was. It literally took me three days to decide whether to click on the Facebook link. Did I want to know? Did I want the burden of more energy connection? Did I want to know more about him? What good would it do me, or him? I decided to find out.
There was not much on his profile, but what was there confirmed a lot of things for me. Reasons besides physical attraction that I might have been interested in him. Things about his sense of humor that I recognized from other places in my life (a familiar energetic pattern). Even a weird thing I had been thinking about for almost 30 years showed up on his page (I have known, since I was 15, that I would have a set of boy+girl twins when I was 42; he has a twin sister, and we met when I was 42). It was both confirmation for a lot of things, and also a deep dive into the ‘crazy’ part of spiritual guidance and knowing.
I needed to talk to my teacher again. “What do I do?” I asked.
“What do you want to do?” she asked in return. “Do you want this connection?”
“Ha! Nope,” I replied. “Not in the least. First, he’s not attractive to me anymore (the beard, the immature behavior, he doesn’t know himself well yet). That’s always a big sign that things are over on my side of the equation. Second, he’s definitely his age which means not nearly enough life experience to have insight or wisdom, so that’s also a ‘no’ for me. It’s kinda funny…he sent me this energy on 6/12 and I was upset that it had anything to do with twelve, which is my favorite number, but now that seems totally right on because six is half of twelve, and he’s got half the years and half the experience I do. I don’t need an unbalanced energetic connection! Also, I think he can feel me just plain, old meditating sometimes, and I do not need that. Third, looks like he’s doing things and people that are age-appropriate, and I sure do not want to get in the way of that train, considering it took him months to let go…although, he still really hasn’t. But he’s getting better and I don’t want to interrupt that at all. He’s also afraid of me, and even if he found comfort or safety or whatever in looking at my picture, he never needed anything more than that, never reached out for any of that, so he’s also clear about what he doesn’t need or want. Lastly, it’s been almost a year since we first talked, and this seems a good time to return it back from whence it came. There’s just really nothing there and I don’t want to take the time or make the effort to create something, even if the energy is rare.”
“You’re pretty clear on all that,” she noted.
“Yes, I am. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now. And, to be honest, I’d already processed through so much of this months ago. What do I do, though? What do I do with this, now that I know?”
“What do you want to do?” (By this time, I sort of hate this question.)
“I want to let him know that he’s got interesting energy and good magic and that he can touch what he wants if there’s an open channel, but that he probably needs to be clear about his intentions when he does this. My intention was always for his healing enough to leave me behind. I have zero idea what he was sending his magic to, except maybe to be noticed. Maybe to keep something so he could find the comfort or safety he was looking for. But he has that now. So I just want to move it along and let it go.”
“Then thank the Universe for letting you know what’s out there and do your work,” she told me.
“I will. It’s quite interesting to think about, when it comes down to it. We can communicate with other people through our minds and our energy. It’s very cool. But it’s time to set the boundaries. I can take the necessary steps and start with small spells. I know he knows better than to cross me too far. Yes, that feels right,” I said.
“…the spell’s begun…”
Today marks about the time we met a year ago. And so it seems a good day to tie off the ends of what no longer needs to be connected. I’ve been setting boundaries and today the small spells began. It is a thing science does not understand, but something I feel to be exactly right, energetically. Luckily, this time, it is both what my soul requests and it is what I want (a rare thing also). That’s how the spiritual life goes, I think. We listen. We trust. We try. Even if it looks ‘crazy’ to other people.
“Magic is just science we don’t understand yet.”
Arthur C. Clarke