It is a truth universally acknowledged (thank you, Jane Austen) that children and animals sense things we rational adults cannot. They're more attuned to the spirit world from which they've just come than they are to the material world they've entered. Animals remain "tuned in" throughout their lives. Unhindered by the pressures of conforming to a linear, logical approach to life, they follow instinct and flow to the natural rhythms of the universe. Children, on the other hand, are often silenced and told their impressions are wrong or abnormal. As a result, their natural curiosity and innate gifts are uprooted before they can blossom. Yet, for those few precious years before children fully adapt to the physical world and "adult" perceptions, they receive pure, unedited impressions of the energy around them.
Secondhand teachings can't compete with firsthand experience. For better or worse and despite all odds, I've managed to keep much of my childhood trust and enthusiasm intact.
From an early age, I sensed the presence of angels and spirits, including my totem animal, and my first stories, written at age three, all had a heroine named Kirsten. My mother had never heard that name, which is Scandinavian in origin.
"You mean Kristin, right?" she asked on several occasions.
My reply was emphatic and always the same. "No, Mommy. It's Kirsten."
This name resurfaced again and again and followed me into adulthood. I was thiry-two before I realized that Kirsten was one of my spirit guides.
Now, at age forty-four, I have eight-year-old identical twin boys, Connor and Geoffrey. My adventures in rearing them have reaffirmed my belief in two key points: (1) the universe runs on unconditional love; and (2) we can tap into its magic by creating an environment where that love can flourish.
An open mind and heart is a great place to start. It cultivates trust.
One of the main messages the angels wanted me to share with readers in My Conversations with Angels: Inspirational Moments with Guardian Spirits was to TRUST. Trust your gut. Trust the angels and other benevolent spirits that surround you. Trust the universe to provide everything you need for your challenging and unique journey. Trust in your unbreakable connection to the Divine.
I know trust can be hard to come by, especially when the media bombards us with images of horror and despair at every turn. Add to that our personal fears and disappointments, and it's a wonder we can trust at all. But we're built of stronger stuff; love and light prevail.
My angels, guardians, and guides have stressed time and again that my childlike trust allowed them to work miracles, both minor and major. The following account includes several of the former variety.
I studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland during my junior year of college and at Oxford in the summer immediately afterward. In between, I had sixteen days to fill, so I booked a two-week trip to Romania. I hadn't a clue what to do for the remaining two days—besides head south to England—but I trusted some opportunity would present itself.
In that summer of 1989, Romania was still behind the Iron Curtain, so my parents were less than thrilled when I phoned them to announce my impending trip. Still, it promised adventure, and ever since viewing Dracula as a girl, I'd wanted to wander through one of Vlad's castles. I simply knew I had to go, and I trusted I'd be okay.
I spent the first week in Mamaia, where I met four friendly Romanians who taught me a smidgen of the language. By week's end, I was packed and waiting in the hotel lobby for a tour bus to Bucharest—which never came.
The resident travel agent who'd booked my passage was livid. Apparently, the bus driver had forgotten to pick me up and was already an hour down the road. She grabbed my hand, hailed a taxi, and rode with me to the train station, where minutes later, she slapped a ticket into my hand.
"Here," she said in a thick accent. "Don't worry. My company will pay for this. You take the train to Bucharest and find a taxi in the station to take you to your hotel."
She handed me a piece of paper upon which she'd scribbled the hotel's name and shoved me onto a train, which stirred to life not thirty seconds later. She tried to appear casual as she waved good-bye, but her wide eyes and creased brow betrayed her worry.
What have I gotten myself into? I wondered. At the Bucharest train station, I found out.
From the moment I stepped off the train, a steady stream of strangers came at me. Their goals were identical, for they uttered the same two words: "Change money?"
My long, blond hair and big, red coat must’ve given me away. Either that or Gabriel's trumpet had announced tidings of a "western" tourist. My new Romanian friends had warned me against exchanging money on the black market. Thank God they'd also taught me some Romanian, because I used it to decline the countless offers and seek a cab.
For half an hour, toting my two-ton duffle bag, I searched the station for some means of transportation other than the train. Inside and out, I hunted for a taxi. There were none to be had. Don't ask me why. People tried to explain it to me in Romanian, but that flew over my head like a crowd of kites without string. At long last, a young woman with dark, wavy hair approached me.
"Come," she said. "I get you taxi."
The heavens opened. I wouldn't have been surprised if a chorus of angels rang out, for she promised the holy grail. I was only too happy to follow her down the block and across the street to my waiting chariot.
Correction: a sputtering jalopy.
"My brother," she said, motioning toward the young man behind the wheel. "He take you where you need to go."
She leveled at him a torrent of Romanian, and he turned his attention to me. He reached a hand to scratch his stubbly jaw and almost smiled. In the end, he simply stared.
I searched his black eyes for some sign of his integrity. All of a sudden, I received a nudge.
Go with him, an inner voice said. You'll be all right.
I took a deep breath and clambered into the car. With speed that seemed impossible for so battered a vehicle, the makeshift cab brought me safely to my hotel.
At dinner, I met the English tour group with whom I was meant to travel to Bucharest. They'd learned of my misfortune on the bus ride up and were eager to take me under their wings. Although I'd missed the tour of the city, the next day's journey would bring us to Poiana Bra?ov. There, we'd spend the next six days exploring the Transylvanian Alps, where the legend of Dracula lived on.
Sweeter companions I’ve never known. The retired couples seemed to jockey for my company at mealtimes, and they insisted I be transferred from the hotel I'd originally booked to theirs. One duo resided in Peterborough, a cathedral city that was right on my intended route from Aberdeen to Oxford. It was their hospitality I enjoyed for the two days prior to the start of the summer term.
Every step of the way seemed paved with minor miracles: the natives who taught me enough Romanian to fend for myself in Bucharest; the travel agent who put me onto the train; the kind stranger and her brother who got me to my hotel and the inner voice (i.e., angelic reassurance) that encouraged me to trust them; the retirees who watched over me; and the couple who invited me to stay with them in England. I received just what I needed at the exact moment it was necessary.
This phenomenon isn't unique to me. Trust opens doors. Give the universe an inch, and it'll support you for miles. Better yet, for eternity.
Now, on to a couple of major miracles! After my twins' premature birth, I spent every day in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU). I told the amazing staff—more times than was seemly—that I wanted Connor and Geoffrey to leave the hospital on the same day. Everyone had the same response: "That almost never happens."
During the boys' sixth week in the NICU, the nurses appeared to be right. Geoffrey was progressing faster than his brother, and it looked like he'd be ready to leave in a day or two.
My stomach churned. I'd seen and felt the intense bond they shared. When one was taken from their double crib, the other immediately reached out to the empty space. Once, when Connor's oxygen level dipped, Geoffrey touched his arm, and the readings shot up again. With such an attachment, I wondered how Connor would cope with being left behind. Worse yet, I was afraid he'd think I abandoned him. I prayed for a solution and told myself that everything would work out somehow.
The day before Geoffrey's proposed discharge, my husband Dan and I visited the NICU together. Since the boys had to master drinking from a bottle before their release, Dan took a stab at feeding Geoffrey. A staff member wasn't always in the room during visits, but this time a nurse stood by and asked Dan about his job.
Free from all monitors, Geoffrey drained the bottle. Then Dan began to burp him, all the while chatting with the nurse.
For some reason, I glanced at Geoffrey. Then I got the strangest impression. He's not in his body, I thought. He's floated off somewhere. "Dan," I said, interrupting the conversation. "Geoffrey's not there."
Dan and the nurse turned to me.
"Something's wrong," I said. "He's not there."
They looked at Geoffrey, who by then was turning blue. The nurse scooped him up, laid him on the crib, and worked on him until he started breathing again. Then, with a sigh of relief, she regarded us.
"He's going back on the monitors," she said, "and after a stunt like that, he's not going anywhere for at least five days."
Five days more, by which time Connor was ready to leave. My prayers were answered. The boys left the hospital together.
I firmly believe that angels had a hand in those events. They nudged me to look Geoffrey’s way at the critical moment, and they inspired the nurse to be in the room when she was needed most. Perhaps they encouraged Geoffrey to pull his stunt in the first place; after all, the incident ended up answering my prayers. And if I know Geoffrey, he relished his starring role in the drama!
Like many children, the boys displayed psychic awareness from the get-go. Often, as I changed their diapers, they gazed at a point above my left shoulder. They smiled and laughed as though viewing comedy of the highest order. I knew in my bones they spied either an angel or one of the spirit guides I sensed at my side.
Their gleeful interaction with the unseen wasn't limited to the changing table. It became an everyday occurrence, whether they were in the car, their cribs, or their large, hexagonal play yard. Even though I didn't see what they saw, the energy felt positive, so I trusted the invisible beings to help me protect and care for my children.
Connor and Geoffrey were still in diapers when we moved into our current home, a new construction at the time. We spent the bulk of our days in the living room, where Dan had set up their play yard. Directly above it was a huge, heavy ceiling fan. The boys were well acquainted with such fans; every place they'd lived had at least two.
During the first three weeks, they stared up at that fan with unusual frequency, sometimes independently, sometimes as one. Whether on or off, it continually drew their attention. They giggled. They laughed. They beamed up at it, countless times in countless ways for twenty-one days straight.
Morning dawned on the twenty-second day. It was 6:00 A.M. on a Sunday, and we were still abed when...
Dan and I jumped up and ran to the boys' bedroom. They slept soundly in their cribs.
Our security alarm hadn't made a peep, so an intruder was unlikely. Nevertheless, we hustled down the stairs to the living room. We gasped. The ceiling fan had crashed to the ground with such force that two of the blades had broken in half. It was beyond repair.
First thing the next morning, two electricians and the builder's representative investigated the scene, and their conclusions were chilling. The screws securing the fan to the ceiling hadn't been anchored in the ceiling joist at all. They'd been driven into a gap between the joist and a narrow strip of plywood. Only the tiniest indentations on the side edge of that plywood proved the screws had ever touched it.
The fan hadn't been mounted to anything solid. In effect, it had been fastened to empty space. The pasty white faces of every man present said it all; none of them could fathom how the fan stayed up for a single day, let alone three weeks.
The builder paid for a replacement fan and installed it the following day. Even though it was an exact duplicate of the previous version, the boys ignored it, from that day to this.
The copy didn't command their attention. Why should it? Those who held up the original had moved on. They'd completed their mission, allowing the hefty fan to fall only when we were tucked safely in our beds. Again, I trusted angels to keep us safe, and they definitely came through.
Trust expands our awareness. It allows our angels, guardians, and guides to help and communicate with us on a regular basis. In fact, connecting with them is a natural ability, one you can learn about in My Conversations with Angels. You'll develop a more experiential relationship with angels and other spirits, which will ultimately help you reclaim the childlike trust and sense of magic that—believe it or not—are still a part of you.