Jesus & Angels

When I first saw this picture of Jesus and all the Angels, I remember experiencing a feeling of calm and peace immediately wash over me. I sat and looked at it for a long time. I took in the warm colors and the quiet, powerful energy of this holy, mighty tribe poised and ready to take action on behalf of whoever might need some help. I loved it so much that it now hangs above my altar, along with photos, murtis and statues that symbolize the rest of my Spiritual Team.

I’m kind of a spiritual mutt, so my team or “my guys” as I often call them, definitely reflect that diversity. God/Spirit heads up my team, assisted by my great teachers (both living and dead, human and animal) from different traditions, practices and faiths. There’s too many to list here but those of you who know me well, know that Ganesha is one of my main guys. Jesus and Bapuji (Swami Kripalu) are definitely my guys. My mom? She’s totally my guy. The Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet – that fierce lioness warrior is so one of my guys. As you can tell, I’ve got a lot of guys.

But, here’s the thing, I knew that in order for me to continue to grow as a spiritual being, I was going to need some serious help! So, this kick-ass team is who I pray with, ask for guidance from and surrender things to every day. I’ve made a commitment to spend some quality time each morning consciously connecting with my guys. I put my highest Self in charge and then ask Spirit to direct all my thoughts, words and actions – that I might be used on behalf of Love – and not totally screw things up today. Every night, I metaphorically place that which didn’t serve me on the altar and ask for forgiveness and freedom from my own fear and nonsense. Knowing that whatever I place on the altar of the Beloved, will be altered.



This kaleidoscope of great beings collectively shine a beautiful light that when I’m quiet and still, when I take time to observe and pay attention – reveals and illuminates a clear path of Love, that offers deep wisdom, compassion and a ultimately a way home. My team is my consistent daily reminder that I am a child of the Divine and that I’m simply here to share my gifts, practice forgiveness and wake up from the illusion of my separateness from the Beloved. No matter what my small Ego mind tries to tell me – they assure me my only real job here is to get better at giving and receiving Love.

On a more earthy and practical level, I think our friends, family, lovers and partners should remind us of these important things too. So, when you’re finding your own pack, tribe or clan – the key here is to choose wisely. As kids, we often didn’t get a choice who we had to spend time with. But, as adults, the people you surround yourself with is usually totally up to you. So, I highly encourage you to use your discernment when deciding who you’re going to let into your life, your home, your bed and your head!

Now, like my great teachers have taught me – I try to love everyone. I really do my best to see who people really are. I try to look beyond our personality shadows to the light that’s our true essence. But some people have totally forgotten who they are and this has made them deeply negative, fearful, poisonous and sometimes even dangerous. So like I said, I try to love everyone. But I don’t want to HANG OUT with everyone. You know what I mean?

I believe that what we think, we become. And, who we work with, share meals with, sleep with, live with – they can become part of our DNA. They start to seep into the fiber of your being and if you’re not careful, you can become infected with your own kind of spiritual amnesia.

The one-and-only Maya Angelou puts it like this:

“I’m convinced that the negative has power. It lives. And if you allow it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said-the lambasting, the gay bashing, the hate – I say, ‘Take it all out of my house!’ Those negative words climb into the woodwork and into the furniture, and the next thing you know they’ll be on my skin.”

So remember, the people you surround yourself with, they will either lift you up or drag you down. So Love everyone (maybe a few from a distance) – but surround yourself with people that are moving toward God. The ones who are interested in creating the sacred, the beautiful, the good and the holy. Find the people that celebrate you, support you and love you. Love them back with equal enthusiasm. Also, make sure to always have at least one friend that will give it to you straight and call you on your bullshit.

So mindfully build your Spiritual Team and also spend time with people that practice kindness, compassion, patience and generosity. Learn from teachers that possess the very qualities of heart, mind and character that you would like to develop and strengthen within yourself. Be with the ones whose eyes, ears, hands and hearts are open and receptive and reflective of Grace.

And if you happen to be surrounded by those who are struggling, lost or completely in the dark, then by your own example – Be the light. When you learn how to get yourself into your own RIGHT mind and start living from that place of love, your thoughts, words, and actions will automatically become a beacon for others. Even your presence alone – can magically start to have that kind of soothing effect on others. Just like that sweet picture of Jesus and his angels did for me.

If you already have your Spiritual Team in place and a great tribe of loved ones around you – congratulations and count your blessings! If you’re still seeking a Spiritual Team, maybe start with finding a few sacred objects that resonate with you and create a small altar in your home. As for your tribe, maybe go back to church, come to a yoga class, sign up for a writing workshop or join a meditation group. Spend some time with folks you deeply respect and admire and your pack will start to emerge organically. As you start to recognize and honor the Divine in them – you may also start to see it in yourself. You might even discover that the most important one on your Spiritual team is you!

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