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HOW I BEGAN
from JOURNEY OF YOUR
A Channel Explores the Michael Teachings
By Shepherd Hoodwin
Many of us have experienced synchronistic strings of seeming coincidences that led to something new in our lives that was unexpected, but that we later knew was meant to be. In 1986, I had that type of experience that led to my channeling Michael.
Previously, I had known little about channeling, although I had been receiving inner guidance for many years and had recently attended a workshop that enhanced my ability to receive images and thoughts from my spirit guides and other discarnate beings. (To be incarnate is to live in a physical body. We are discarnate souls before birth and after death. Souls who have completed their cycle of experience on the physical plane and those who have never been physical are also discarnate.)
Communicating with our guides is different from channeling, in which another soul speaks through one, usually to teach. Although spirit guides can be channeled too, channeled entities are typically more concerned with the bigger picture than with our day-to-day lives. Spirit guides are like personal trainers who help keep us on track to complete our life plan. They support our growth and in general provide the nonphysical assistance we need. Often we are spirit guides to others when we are discarnate. Incidentally, guides are not usually deceased relatives or friends--they are most often with us from birth.
I first encountered channeling early that year when a friend’s girlfriend told me that she channeled an extraterrestrial. She played me a tape of one of her transmissions. I heard a lot of truth in her words, although I was unsure whether an extraterrestrial was speaking through her. I decided to keep an open mind, and thought little more about it afterward.
That June, I met with another friend who I knew gave psychic readings nonprofessionally, although I hadn’t experienced them and didn’t know what they entailed. He told me that there was a message “floating around me,” and would I mind if he gave me a reading? He began channeling someone who called himself Michael. The material was quite loving, if a little general. I thought it might have been coming from my friend’s subconscious, but then he called me by the name “Shalom.” That got my attention, because my grandmother used to say I was named after her father, Shalom. I had not told anyone this, partly because no other family member had mentioned it, and I didn’t see how I could have been named after him if our names were different. I later learned that in Jewish tradition, someone could be considered to be named after someone else if he had the same first initial. In fact, in Hebrew school I was also given the name Shalom, although it wasn’t used much.
Three weeks later, the first friend’s new girlfriend told me about something she had studied called the Michael teachings. She knew several people in and around Orinda, California, who were studying this channeled material. She told me, for example, that she thought that I was probably a sage with a goal of acceptance (which turned out to be correct), and she briefly explained what that meant. Again, this made little impression on me. It didn’t occur to me then that there might be a relationship between the Michael she was referring to and the Michael who had called me Shalom.
For my friend, having two girlfriends in a row with an interest in channeling also proved synchronous; he later channeled a book himself, although at the time, he didn’t particularly approve of channeling. Furthermore, he married the second girlfriend, and they later owned the company that originally distributed this book.
About three weeks after that, while I was visiting Colorado, a close friend who lived there rushed out to meet me where I was staying. She could hardly wait to share a collection of teachings that had changed the way she looked at the world. They were from the book Messages from Michael, and we discussed them at length. After I realized that this was the same Michael who had called me Shalom and whose teachings my friend’s girlfriend was studying, I decided to find a regular Michael channel so that I could ask some questions about the Michael teachings. Back in New York, on a quiet afternoon at work (I was a stockbroker with a discount brokerage at the time), I wrote down a couple. When I finished, my pencil kept moving and answers flowed out of me. Incidentally, that was the only time I channeled through automatic writing.
Since I had already experienced communicating with discarnate beings, I was not shocked by this; my response was something like “Oh, that’s interesting.” I mailed the channeling to my Colorado friend, since one of the questions was for her. She has a master’s degree in linguistics from Yale. She felt that the channeling was linguistically similar to the channeling in Messages, and that I wasn’t a good enough linguist to copy Michael’s language style. Therefore, she felt the channeling was authentic. I had not yet found the book anyway, although she had read some excerpts to me. (I have since learned that a channeled source can use different linguistics through different channels, and my channeling has evolved to be somewhat different in style from the channeling in the Yarbro books.) She asked more questions. Soon, a mutual friend also started asking questions, and then others did. I began to offer channeling and what I now call Michael Reading charts and explanations for friends and acquaintances. In this way, I got started as a Michael channel.
I got in touch with Aaron Christeaan at the Michael Educational Foundation in Orinda. He answered many questions, and those at the Foundation continued to be helpful. I realized that the previous events had been orchestrated. I later came to understand that I was “keeping a date” or fulfilling an agreement I had made with Michael before this lifetime began. In hindsight, it is remarkable that I don’t remember ever actually deciding to channel professionally; I just started doing it. I had no conscious idea that Michael would come to play such a major role in my life. It happened gently and gracefully, with a sense of inevitability, like many of the most right things in my life.
By nature I am a question-asker. From the start my experience of channeling raised many questions, both about the Michael teachings and about channeling itself. This book is a result of my search for answers.
An excerpt from Journey of Your Soul: A Channel Explores the Michael Teachings by Shepherd Hoodwin, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright 2013 by Shepherd Hoodwin. Reprinted by permission of publisher.
SHEPHERD HOODWIN has been channeling since 1986. He also does intuitive readings, mediumship, past-life regression, healing, counseling, and channeling coaching, where he teaches others to channel. He has conducted workshops on the Michael teachings throughout the United States. His other books include the hilarious Enlightenment for Nitwits (http://enlightenmentfornitwits.com), Loving from Your Soul: Creating Powerful Relationships, Meditations for Self-Discovery: Guided Journeys for Exploring Your Inner Self, Opening to Healing, Growing Through Joy, and Being in the World. He is also working on a follow-up to Journey of Your Soul, and a collection of spiritual and personal growth writings, tentatively entitled Divine Innervention: How God Stops the Bad Guys Without Ruining Her Hair. Visit his website at http://summerjoy.com.
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