A few weeks ago I was clearing out a closet and came upon a box of old photographs. Some were from my early childhood and included a picture of my grandmother as a very old woman, taken when I was 4, just before she died. Times were very hard back then. My mother had to work, as did my aunt who lived next door. Therefore my grandmother took care of my 4-year-old cousin Len and me.
When Len and I get together we often reminisce about those days when we were carefree tots and how much she loved us. It is funny that I don't remember her voice. In fact, I am not sure if she spoke much English, but I remember the love she showered on us. Throughout my life, during hard times, I have felt as if she was my personal guardian angel. Sometimes I would actually feel surrounded by light and picture her smiling at me with love and encouraging me to go forward successfully. The love she showered me with has kept me going through difficult times when I felt alone and unsafe ever since.
We all have guardian angels, although we may not recognize them at the time. They may not be members of the family. In fact, they are usually total strangers who come into our life out of the blue and point the way toward a positive experience or goal. I have had many amazing guardian angels that have shown up when I least expected them.
For instance, 35 years ago I came across a wonderful self-published paperback about a new approach to weight control called "The Art of Gentle Eating." It wasn't sold in the stores, but was circulated by word of mouth. The book combined what we now call behavior modification with spirituality. The amazing and inspirational ideas about this non-diet approach (this was before Weight Watchers came on the scene) motivated me to write to the author Elizabeth Keyes.
I shared my own issues with compulsive eating and how I was inspired by her belief that we really can be "free of the bondage of food." Miraculously, Elizabeth answered me and became my mentor. She guided and encouraged me to start a class instructing people about her unique system. I started leading groups in my girlfriend’s living room, and then another angel showed up.
This time it was a man I met at a single's mixer. He introduced me to a programmer at a local city college that offered adult education classes to the public. The programmer explained that they had already filled 5 classes about overeating, but would hold my resume. The next miracle was that a month later she phoned me to say that the teacher had become ill. She asked me to take on the assignment! My weight loss classes were so successful that I was asked to teach at other nearby adult education programs.
As a result I went on to write my own books, Binge Eating: How to Stop It Forever, followed by How to Stop Playing the Weighting Game. As time went by I developed a coaching practice because students in my classes asked to see me alone to discuss personal problems. Therapists heard about my classes, and I was invited to give a presentation at a prestigious counseling center.
Incredibly, another Angel appeared in the form of the Director of the center who suggested that I look into getting licensed as a psychotherapist. When I contacted the state licensing agency I was told that in one month the law was going to change mandating that Marriage and Family Therapists be required to have a Masters degree in psychology, but for another thirty days those with advanced degrees in education or sociology were still eligible for licensing. I got in under the wire with my advanced degree in education and was able to qualify and get my psychotherapy license in a short time!
As I look at my life today I am grateful for all the wonderful people in the field of energy psychology who have taught me, encouraged me and continue to honor my work. I couldn’t have achieved all of this if it had not been for another guardian angel. About 20 years ago I was attending a workshop about attracting success. During a break, as I was leaving the room, the man seated next to me began a conversation.
As we talked, he mentioned that he had come across a strange technique called Thought Field Therapy that had impressed him. Dr. Roger Callahan had created it. Callahan tapped acupressure points on the face of a person who was afraid of heights and took away the fear in minutes! Since I didn't like heights either, the stranger demonstrated as we stood on a second floor balcony. I was astounded when, after only a few minutes I was able to look over the balcony without terror.
The next day I began to look into this strange process. Eventually, I discovered that a TFT workshop was available nearby. That training changed my life and the way I practiced psychotherapy! Eventually I added certification in a similar approach, EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and went on to write a number of books about how to use EFT for common life problems. I often thought about my Angel, but he seemed to have vanished. Seven years later I bumped into him at a party. I was delighted to share with him how that inadvertent encounter had turned my life around. Was he surprised!
Looking over the course of my life I am aware of even more guardian angels who have come my way, led me along new paths that have bettered my life and opened doors to love and success. Have any strangers changed the course of your life as a result of a chance meeting? One day, as I was coming out of the bank, a woman stopped me and shared that after participating in one of my public classes she was inspired to go back to school and study law. I was thrilled that I had been her angel. Perhaps you have been someone else's angel too.
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