Are You Ready For Your “Divine Download”?

May 22, 2024

Are You Ready For Your “Divine Download”?

May 29, 2023

Sometimes, looking for advice from your dog isn’t good enough. Nor is talking to your best friend, coach, tarot card reader, or hair stylist. We’re looking for what our shaman Saul calls “spiritual wifi,” some inspiration from an otherworldly source that feels perfectly blended with our gut instinct that we’ve been ignoring.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had many experiences like this, but sometimes they’re combined with raw personal circumstances to put an exclamation point at the end of that divine download. For example, I was looking for a sign about whether I should quit my commercial real estate developer job in my mid-twenties to start a boutique hotel company with absolutely no experience in hospitality. My gut told me to do it, but I was paralyzed with procrastination. Over the course of the next month, three friends - all of whom were visiting San Francisco separately - asked to sleep on the couch in my one-bedroom apartment. This gave me a focus group of three to understand why those in their twenties weren’t staying in hotels in the mid-1980s. My company Joie de Vivre sprouted from this guidance.

Twenty-two years later when I no longer wanted to run that company and was looking for an escape from my vocational prison, I went flatline after giving a speech in St. Louis and the one book I’d packed in my daypack that day (which became my guide while stuck in the hospital for a few days) was Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” That seminal book helped me to see that I was in the prison of my own making and only I had the keys to let myself out. This experience dramatically changed my life. 

A few years later, I received a divine download from a new romantic partner named Pheonyx (ironic since my first hotel was called The Phoenix) when we spent a week together in Bali. Pheonyx was so spiritual that I used to joke that one day he might just disappear in front of my eyes. One evening in Campuhan near Ubud as we were having a candlelit dinner and marveling at the sacred river below us, Pheonyx’s face started to become pixelated as the night got darker. I thought it was my eyes at first as it reminded me of when someone on a video conference call doesn’t have enough bandwidth. And, then, Pheonyx told (no fooling and no mushrooms) me that he probably didn’t have much more time on the planet (the dude was ten years younger than me and in seemingly good health) so he wanted to share his intuitive wisdom with me. We spent three hours in Murni’s Warung until the wait staff shooed us out and I went back to our hotel and made love with my extra-terrestrial friend. I saw Pheonyx just one more time before he unexpectedly died of a brain hemorrhage a few months later. 

Many of you know my story of buying a beach home in Baja in 2016 with the desire for it to be a writing retreat. As I started working on “Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder,” I went for a run on the beach and had a “Baja-aha,” an epiphany about the need for “midlife wisdom schools” and, thus, the Modern Elder Academy became a thing. And, more recently, my on-going bout with cancer has felt like a divine message to “slow down” and widen-out my life in order to be less focused on MEA and more focused on my sons and relationships. I’m a work-in-progress on this one, but I feel on the right path.

I’m sorry about the deep dive into my divine downloads, but feeling like you can see a throughline or an insightful message that helps you to feel guided is such a reassurance. As Saul says, we need to “Ask and Wait.” To be honest, I didn’t ask much when these messages came to me, but I was awake and aware enough to hear the call coming in. 

I’m no guru so I’m not sure how to tap into spiritual wifi any better than you, but if I look at some of my history, I can see that each time I felt like I needed help - especially when my normal logic wasn’t working - I become more alert for signs and confirmed the download with my gut before taking any action. There’s also something about being out of my natural habitat and being in a quiet enough space to allow the epiphany to be birthed. 

I can also say that when I was most struggling - especially both of the times my health has been compromised - I resorted to more prayer and meditation. And, each time I’ve felt like I’ve received a divine download, I’ve offered oodles of gratitude and “la propina,” the tip. The tip could come in the form of a financial or emotional offering to someone else in order to keep the karma flowing. 

Okay, that’s it for my woo-woo morning. Hope you have a blessed day!

-Chip

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