Suddenly 20 years later: When life isn't what you thought it would be. A Reflection

09/06/2016 11:39 pm ET Updated Sep 22, 2016

We’re here to live the spiritual path in human form, and have human experiences. Which isn’t always easy. All of a sudden, it’s 20 years later, and much of life seems to have evaporated behind you.

The beauty of life is that when we make what might look like a mistake in our lives, or an unconscious choice, we can always course correct. We can be more conscious and present, and hopefully create a better new chapter.

But some people find they’re on autopilot, and perhaps they can’t get out of the path they’ve carved for themselves. That’s what connecting to our Higher Selves is about. Being more present with oneself and being brave to push through, and make the changes you feel you need to create a better, more authentic life.

Shortly after we lost Prince, I Tivo’ed a Tavis Smiley episode with him. While I can’t get myself to watch it still, I forwarded to the end the other day, to discover “Reflection,” which elicited chills in a good, other-worldy way. One that touches the soul.

Many have this gift of music, and while genius may be part of that gift, it’s really about fully connecting to one’s Higher Self. It takes the ethereal spiritual work combined with human discipline to harness it and share it with others.

Not everyone gives birth to that calling. Life gets in the way too often. We find ourselves in the “9 to 5 life,” rather than the one where we jet to Milan to perform, or unveil a new creative endeavour, and then to Tokyo the next day. Those people get to fully express the spiritual work of channeling their Higher Selves for us to see.

I just had a visit from a dear old friend, who is a sort of Prince in my own life, who I’ll refer to as “Wolfie.” Though we are strangers now, deep in the grooves of our diverse life paths, the core is still the same.

We met as kids, when all of life was laid out in front of us. Although in school, even then we weren’t on the same path – he was more AC/DC, I was Depeche Mode. The only intersecting point was sitting next to one another in orchestra. I was intimidated by what I felt was a natural musical gift that I knew I didn’t have.

I hadn’t seen it before then, but having just watched “Amadeus,” I recognized it. There are some people who are on a slightly different frequency. Like Prince was for us to collectively witness. They don’t vibe to trends or what’s going on around us. Some might call it “genius.”

Wolfie and I dated for a very brief glint of time. Sometimes we’re just meant to be given a handful of magical moments with a special soul. Life offers few encounters that feel so blissful and soulful, that when you’re in it, it feels like a scene in a movie that you don’t want to end.

No matter how many years have passed, these intense moments in time are rare and etched into memory. When we see each other now, the conversation may not be the same open-hearted exchange of ideas, thoughts and unfiltered confessions we once had, but we still feel it. We can literally feel the resonance with that special soul in our heart chakra.

These indelible moments of inexplicable magic with Wolfie all revolved around music ― meeting at the fountain outside the now SiriusXM and Fox News buildings (where we temped), for ramen and Manhattan Transfer at Radio City. A secret Veteran’s Day weekend, where he greeted me by picking me up high in the air, twirling me, in my Hippie dress, before the Bobs concert at Zellerbach, followed by my first taste of Pad Thai, and late at night standing against the Campanile looking up at the stars. It felt like we were floating on a space ship looking out into the universe.

There was the picnic at Pavarotti in Central Park, where he dreamed of how to get to a future of music (by working at the truck company that carted the equipment on that stage in front of us).

But I will always see Wolfie in my mind, sitting at the fountain at Lincoln Center, with his jeans, white short-sleeved button down shirt,and Beethoven haircut. His head rested on my shoulder, with a wide grin that reminded me of Snoopy, before the George Winston concert, where we’d later dance on stage during the encore of “Linus and Lucy.” And back home, in a quiet moment, playing “Thanksgiving” on piano by ear for me, because I couldn’t.

Some people come into our lives and they aren’t meant to do the daily grind with us, as humanly difficult as it might be to accept at the time. But these “soulmates” are the transcendent form of that word. They’re catalysts that touch our souls in a way that helps us elevate to another level, to be better versions of who we are. They help put us on our life paths.

Never musically gifted, I was once able to transpose a song on the piano, because he had done it so easily. In a moment of not being self-conscious, I was able to do it.

Back when long distance was expensive, we talked on the phone until sunrise, philosophizing about life, the universe, and everything (also the name of the book series he inspired me to read). And we spoke about the future. Dreaming of the infinite possibilities.

Had I known I’d meet few philosophical souls like that later, I might’ve cherished it more. In the Ethan Hawke-Julie Delpy “Before Sunrise” trilogy, Celine says, “When you’re young, you just believe there’ll be many people with whom you’ll connect with. Later in life, you realize it only happens a few times.”

Wolfie was one of the catalysts that showed me a different way to see things beyond the religious dogma I was brought up in. It was also because he formed an acapella group, that I did. Only mine sang at nursing homes and soup kitchens, and lacked his four octave range. It was only a few years ago, in an interview with Judas Priest’s Rob Halford that discussed his own four octave range, that I realized how special that was.

I’ve always given readings, I just didn’t know it. And 20 years ago Wolfie had come to a major fork in the road. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see the contrast of the two opposing paths.

I literally saw a “Y” - the road on the right offered what could turn into a Mozart life, where one gets to fully channel their Higher Self. The left road was the 9 to 5 life.

I had a dream at that time of what I saw down the road with him, and implored him to do something specific that could still take him on the road on the right, the one that would feed his soul, and perhaps others, by channeling his gifts. Reflecting back now, it has the feel of those “Back to the Future” movies.

He took the path of least resistance, one that appeared to be the humanly correct thing to do for him, but which would also be the harder road to embark on, and the more travelled one. I pleaded with him not to take the road to the left. He even said in our pivotal phone call then, “I should’ve seen the magic,” referring to us. But I was more concerned about taking the road to the left and what that would be like to live it, what Mozart would have been if he hadn’t taken his own road to the right.

Life offers situations that feel like we’re being kicked to the curb, when it’s really a blessing in disguise, although we may not realize it because we’re mired in it then. It’s a release valve that our Higher Self and our guides hands us.

This can come at times when we’re laid off from a job, or when someone breaks up with us, for example. We often see it on the earth plane as humiliating, because we didn’t make that choice ourselves, external reasons made it for us.

Going beyond the lower vibrational response of suffering and humiliation, there is often a transcendent choice and reply to life’s tragedies, that we can create.

Several years ago, when my old dream that I saw for Wolfie 20 years ago came true, we discussed it. I gave him a reading, but in retrospect, I could’ve reinserted myself back into my dear old friend’s life more at that point, despite the opposite grooves our journeys have been on.

I delivered his spirit guides’ messages, but I didn’t fully see then that the universe was offering Wolfie this release valve, a reset, a possible chance to get back on the road to the right. The Mozart path. Instead, he doubled down on the left road he chose 20 years ago.

But life is about learning lessons, evolving, being more present in our future choices - and - exercising free will to choose whatever path we humanly want to option. Just because I would’ve chosen the Mozart life, if I had such a gift that felt like genius, doesn’t mean others like that would need to, or want to.

Lately I’ve been doing as many mitvahs as I can to use my own gift (a less widely accepted gift than music is) to the hilt before I cross over, and that includes readings for close friends. When I saw Wolfie this time, I gave what was only our second or third reading, and the most profound one.

His team of guides came through this time, not just one spirit guide, but a spirit team in front of me. Often when I see that, it’s to reinforce their presence, to show they’re hard at work trying to help us from the Other Side, but that we need to meet them halfway and do the spiritual work to help create our fullest potential, should we want to.

There were some messages I’d heard before, such as “Call your mother old school style - on the phone” once a week. Even though society pushes us to the digital world, we all still resonate to the analog. Nothing beats the voice to voice, soul to soul connection.

But there were two distinct messages I don’t think I’ve ever heard in all my years of doing this spiritual work. Wolfie’s team leader spirit guide said, “Your life isn’t what you thought it would be.”

Days later, my mind is still somewhere between both worlds, reflecting on the messages given at this moment in life for him, and about paths we choose to take in life. About the preciousness of our time here and what to do with the finite amount of time we have left.

The beauty of the universe offering us the blessing of a release valve, which can be disguised as the lowest point in our lives, is to help us create the next chapter that we humanly can’t figure out how to get to. One that is more aligned with our Higher Selves, our true selves. The reason for why our souls chose to be here in human form.

There are no do-overs in this life. But our spirit guides work to help us create better chapters that hopefully are on a higher vibration, a more conscious level of living than the last one. A chapter more aligned with our Higher Selves.

One message that struck me had to do with the way he communicates to others. As his friend, I was being shown an example in my own time with him many years ago. I asked what he thought of a new dress I bought. While it was frilly, it was the style then. He quickly scoffed, “That look’s ridiculous!” Words can last for what feels like a lifetime, because I still recall that scene vividly. It’s slightly ironic now, given its lyrics, because we used to sing “You Really Got a Hold on Me” to each other acapella.

Wolfie’s team of spirit guides offered up that example of communication style to illustrate that the moment was squandered when I showed him the dress. Instead of saying, “That’s not really you, you’re hipper than that,” his reply had an unconscious, lower vibrational energy, one that I still recall to this day, as hurtful. If he had said it the other way, I probably wouldn’t have remembered that scene at all.

Since we are more strangers now, having taken contrasting life paths, I didn’t know if he still lashed out verbally, but was told to give the message of being more present and conscious in how he says something. When one lashes out at others verbally, it can be because they’re not present in that momentary knee jerk reaction. They can also be unhappy for whatever reason.

Since I’ve known Wolfie to meditate now in adulthood, his team of spirit guides said something I’d never heard before ― “Don’t bother meditating, because those (verbal) actions negate the meditating.” When one chooses to be more spiritual, to be more present, there should be changed behavior to what were unconscious choices we opted in the past.

They continued with their messages. They asked him to be kinder to himself, to forgive himself. That might be part of why one might lash out verbally as well. They pointed out that he was disconnected – his body, mind, and spirit – and to try to connect the three by being more present.

Since he was disconnected, their message of forgiving himself, didn’t register. Often when that message is given, I’ve seen people cry because they know where in their lives they need to forgive themselves. When you’re kinder to yourself, you can then be kinder to others.

Sometimes it’s hard to be spiritual when life kicks us in the groin, and we’re living consequences from unconscious choices we made years ago. So we check out. We go on autopilot on the human plane.

Years after Wolfie took the left path from that fork in the road, during a tough moment in my life, Wolfie visited me to console me, to be there as a support system. His presence, even for the two days we spent, helped pick me up out of my own misery, for that brief moment. But in my own dark night of the soul, as we walked along the beach, all he could say was, “I wish life would go by quickly.”

The other day when I saw Wolfie, I reminded him of what he said back then during what was my hour of need. “Well, you got what you wanted,” I said. “Life is going by fast.” Here we are 20 years later.

What he said on the beach were words that I should’ve been saying that day. But instead, he was obviously in the middle of his own weighed-down moment as well. Perhaps a weighed-down life, because at that same time he also had back issues. Saying he wanted life to go by quickly was putting a statement out to the universe, unconsciously creating an intention that he was checking out.

Words are powerful. They have an energy. That’s why meditative affirmations can be so helpful. It keeps us present, as well as creating positive energy for a new chapter, and hopefully a new life.

The message from Wolfie’s spirit guides that he was disconnected in body, mind, and spirit, is part of what can happen when one checks out of one’s own life. It came up even as an example after our reading.

I mentioned one of the magical moments we shared together. But he couldn’t recall it, and I was alone in the few precious memories we shared long ago. I reflected about his disconnectedness, and said, “If you’re so disconnected, your kids can probably feel that you’re not present.” He agreed that was possible.

While we can only be in this present moment, our spirit guides can see our life path before us. Their messages can be suggestions on which road to take that might help fulfill our highest potential.

Another message in my reading with Wolfie, was an image of playing a certain instrument in a certain place, with the youngest of his kids. I had no idea he actually does play that instrument in that setting, until he validated it, although with another child. The guides said to embrace the years left with the youngest, “to imprint as much as you can,” with whatever time they have left, before kids leave home for college.

Often, I see musical gifts passed down through genes. Sometimes a person is meant to be the parent of certain souls that choose them as the vessel, and the kids are meant to bring their own musical gifts to their lives.

Wolfie’s spirit guide said that child might turn out to be the most gifted musically, and that he should emphasize that it’s about the work, not the ego. The guide gave an example – if they wanted to share a song they created together, find another name, make it anonymous, before putting it out there, to underscore that it’s not about ego.

They’re next message was: “It could also be an entry point back into music” for Wolfie, who I once was intimidated by in school orchestra, when it felt like I was sitting next to a science and math-brained musical genius.

Their message was clear, and as a privileged bystander to countless readings, it was inspiring — it’s never too late to take the road to the right from that fork in the road, the Mozart path I’d seen 20 years earlier. The road less travelled. The one where you can more fully channel your Higher Self, even if you’ve been on autopilot for the past 20 years, and checked out of your own life.

You can check back in at anytime. Shake yourself into being present. To own your own power and gifts. You may never be a Mozart, or a Prince, but it’s not about the name, as stated by Wolfie’s team of spirit guides. It’s not about ego.

Instead, it’s about leaving a body of spiritual work behind that might touch and elevate even just one other soul here who might’ve had a bad day, or even a bad life, in their eyes.

It’s about channeling your true self in the limited time we’re given here. It’s about being able to course correct a life that feels like it’s passed you by some 20 years later. Even an encumbered, heavy, burden-filled life.

It’s never too late to live the life you thought you came here to live.

If even just one friend was touched by what came from your true self, then your human struggle ― the 20 years when you were on autopilot and checked out of your own life because life’s hardships took over ― was all worth it.

But most important of all, you are finally on the right road from that fork in the road. The Mozart life.

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