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Are Guides Really a Thing? My First Encounter with a Guide

The truth is, I really don’t know when my first encounter with a guide happened. Probably like most people, it was very early in life and I didn’t realize that is what was happening. There have been moments of divine guidance, and then there was the first time I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was encountering one of my guides.

My First Remembered Encounter with Spirit

I was raised in a practicing, Jewish family. On the plus side, I was raised not to believe in Hell. On the minus side, I was taught, “When you’re dead, you’re dead.”

Well, I know for sure that the first part is right and the second part is wrong. But when I was eight years old, I had nothing to go on other than my religious training, what my mom taught me, and my own intuition, which at the time, I didn’t know existed.

That year, my Zadie (my mom’s grandfather) died a few weeks short of his hundredth birthday. He was a stoic man who was born and raised in Eastern Europe and emigrated to the U.S. with his brothers when he was in his twenties. I remember visiting him regularly, but I don’t remember ever having a conversation with him. Mostly, I remember being quiet and listening to the adults speaking to each other – sometimes in English and sometimes in Yiddish, which I didn’t understand.

Nonetheless, not long after Zadie died, I began to see him in my imagination. I felt that he was watching over me. Sometimes I even said thank you to him when fortune turned in my favor. I instinctively felt that he had a hand in it all.

Of course, as I grew up, I decided that I had a very active imagination, and that this experience of seeing and feeling Zadie must have been my way of processing death. It wasn’t until decades later that I revisited this experience.

Okay, So About My First Encounter with a Guide…

Flash forward a few decades. I had been on a spiritual quest for most of my adult life, reading everything from Neale Donald Walsch to Brian Weiss to Edgar Cayce and most anything else I could find. I had attended a retreat with spiritual teacher and New York Times best-selling author, Sonia Choquette, who intrigued me. I had already read her book, “Trust Your Vibes”, and I decided that I really wanted to understand – and hopefully get to know – my guides. So I purchased Sonia Choquette’s online course called “Ask Your Guides”. By this point, I didn’t necessarily doubt the existence of guides, but I certainly doubted my ability to feel their presence.

Sonia taught about getting to know your guides and learning their names. In one homework assignment from the course, I had to ask my guides for a feather to show me that they really existed. That morning, I did as instructed, then headed out to meet a friend. We had planned to go on a whale watch. Once we were more than three nautical miles from shore, I remember walking to the railing of the boat deck when something caught my eye. A huge, white feather floated right up to me at the side of the boat. I was speechless. It would seem that Sonia knew her business!

In another homework assignment, I was supposed to follow specific instructions in order to learn the name of one of my guides. Well, I tried it, but I was all up in my head thinking. How would I know my guide’s name? If I received something, how would I know if I wasn’t just making it up? What if it wasn’t an English name? At that point, I put aside the class because I thought I couldn’t connect with a guide. It just didn’t make logical sense to me. I wanted empirical evidence.

Then one morning a few weeks later, as I awoke, there were two words in my head that I was desperately trying to remember. I was repeating them in my head over and over as I came to. The moment I was conscious, I grabbed my phone and phonetically wrote down the two words I had heard in the Notes section of my iPhone. I thought it was a message for me in a foreign language.

I had studied several languages, including Hebrew, and grew up hearing Yiddish on a daily basis. This language had similar sounds. I tried Google Translate and a general Google search in an attempt to learn the message, but found nothing. Yet that morning when I sat down to meditate, I immediately knew that the two words were actually the name of my guide. And in my mind’s eye, I saw him – much like I used to see Zadie after he died. I could describe his face, his build, and his clothes. He had a swarthy complexion, a long face covered by a beard and mustache. He was long and lean, and he wore a white tunic and flowing pants. He looked like he was from “a long time ago” and “far away from here” – possibly Middle Eastern, I thought. Honestly, I was stunned! It’s one thing to intellectualize that guides exist. It’s another thing entirely to actually see one. And of course, I didn’t know what to do next…because I hadn’t continued with my online course. (Yeesh!)

But in my meditation on the following day, I came prepared with questions. I had a timeline in my head. And when I saw him again, I asked, was he from the time of Jesus? “No, earlier”, he said. Was he from the time of Moses? “No, earlier”, he said. Was he from the time of Abraham? “Yes!” Then I asked him where he lived in the lifetime that he was showing me, and he told me that he lived in Mesopotamia. Well, geography not being my strongest suit, I found myself back with my old friend, Google, and learned (or, more accurately, re-learned) that Mesopotamia is what we now know as Iraq and Kuwait, as well as parts of northern Saudi Arabia, eastern Syria, and southeastern Turkey.

Over the following months, this guide communicated with me during my meditation pretty regularly. Sometimes I would see him, sometimes I would feel him, and I could channel his messages to me.

In case your wondering, yes, it occurred to me that I still had an active imagination. But I just didn’t care because it felt so good to have this experience.

When I Found Out I’m Not the Only One

Flash-forward several months more, I traveled to Colorado to visit my friend and former law school classmate, Gina, in Denver. While there, she treated me to what was called an Angel Reading with a gifted intuitive in Boulder named Lee. During that reading, Lee asked me if I had met any of my guides. When I told her yes, she proceeded to describe my guide to me. She then told me that I had lived with this guide in the lifetime in Mesopotamia, and that he was my grandfather in that lifetime. Well, if I’d had that feather that floated up to me on the whale watch, you could have knocked me over with it!

A couple of years later, I had an appointment with a gifted Reiki Master named Maria. During my first session, I saw (in my mind’s eye) this Mesopotamian guide, plus two more guides whom I had met since my experience in Colorado. At the end of my Reiki session, Maria told me that she saw my guides and went on to describe my Mesopotamian guide (or as she described him, “the one who looks like Jesus”) as well as two others in a level of physical detail that left me no doubt that she saw what I saw.

Even though I was a believer, having strangers see what I saw and feel what I felt was profoundly reassuring. If I was crazy, I was also in very good company.

What I Know for Sure About Guides

Maybe you’re a skeptic. I totally get that. We have all been taught that seeing is believing. But what I’ve learned on this journey is that believing is seeing. To that end, here is what I know for sure about guides:

§ You Have a Guide. Whether or not you see them or feel them, every single one of us has at least one guide. Guides have lived human lives before. Perhaps we lived with them in a lifetime. Perhaps they have something special to provide to us.

§ Your Guides Want to Help You. Your guides are ready, willing and anxious to provide you with guidance on your path. Even if you can’t hear them, they can hear you, so please ask them for help.

§ Some Guides Come and Go. Some guides are with you for your whole life, while others come to work with you in specific areas of your life.

§ How You Receive Guidance. Some of you may be like me and can actually hear or know guidance from your guides. It’s pretty amazing when that happens! But most of us (including me) receive guidance most often in the form of intuitive nudges, feelings and inspiration that come to us when we’re not thinking. Pay attention to those recurring thoughts and ideas. And if you think of it, say thanks to your guides!

Additional Material

If you would like to learn more about guides, I recommend Sonia Choquette’s book titled “Ask Your Guides” and/or her online class by the same title. You can find both online at I also recommend John Holland’s guided meditation, titled, “The Bridge – A Guided Meditation to Assist in Creating a Link to the Other Side”, which you can purchase online at

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