The crunch of crispy leaves under my feet leads me into my cozy warm art studio, which is backed up against some massive pine trees and at the base of a small hill. The fireplace on the porch is flaming furiously, the wood sounds like snap, crackle, pop, and the scent of smoke is soothing. Yet writing on the porch had me blowing into my hands and wringing them too much to stay warm as my fingers hit my cold keyboard, so I’m here in my studio. 

Color hits this part of the country late, and this week is our peak week, just before most of the leaves flutter to the ground in high winds.

Speaking of fluttering, we all know butterflies exist, but what about angels?

Have you ever encountered random angels who drop into your life at just the perfect time? 

Drop-In Visitors

I can tell you I’ve never seen an actual angel with wings, the kind described in the Bible. But I’ve had angels drop in, serve a purpose, and go away. Have you?

I have also experienced people who fly into life, dazzle you by bringing the beauty of big smiles at a time you need them, making you laugh, being a friend, lending an ear … they flutter about to make your life better and then fly away. Maybe these butterfly-like people are also a form of angel. 

I’m convinced that we’re given what we need at the perfect time… 

An Ugly Problem

Decades ago I had a major problem with an employee who I discovered had seriously broken the law by taking a bribe in a job years before he worked for me, and, unbeknownst to me, he had been going to court to fight the charges. Then one Friday he came in and resigned, telling me he had been sentenced to three years in prison, starting the next week. Not only was I surprised and shocked, I hated to lose him because he seemed like such a nice guy and had become a key employee. Of course it had never even crossed my mind that he was a criminal.

No, Don’t Go!

“You can’t leave,” I said. “There is too much dependent on you. We’ve always talked about how if you were to leave you would give me three months notice and have time to train your replacement.”

I was dumbfounded. Worse, I was stuck, and it could have had a seriously negative impact on my business, yet I had no idea how to solve the problem. No one knew what he knew. So I went to my office, got on my knees, and asked for an answer.

A Call from an Angel

Out of the blue that very night, an old client called me, told me he was in town, and insisted we have dinner. He was only in town for the evening and needed to see me. I declined because I was not in the mood. Yet he insisted. “I wasn’t planning on calling because it’s a quick trip, but something is telling me we need to get together. I have no idea why. I was led to you for a reason. We need to do this.” He was insistent. I was curious.

At dinner I told him what I had just learned about my employee and shared my worry and stress about the problem. “That’s it,” he said. “That’s why I was led here. I know exactly what to do. I’ve had this very problem and I’ve got a perfect solution for you.” 

He then told me that I needed to FedEx a letter to the judge and insist that, by not letting the employee give me notice, he was hurting my business. I asked him to delay the employee’s incarceration for three months. It never would have crossed my mind because it was such an unusual situation, yet this man not only felt compelled to call me out of the blue, he had experienced the very problem.

Surprisingly, the judge delayed the sentence for three months, and I was able to properly transition the employee out. Though it made me nervous having a convicted felon working for me, I had time to hire and train a replacement. It was the best option.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But since then, I’ve always thought of that client as an angel.

Almost Bankrupt

For decades I struggled with my business. I went seven years without a paycheck and without a single dollar of profit. Everyone else got paid before I did. And I was on the edge of going bankrupt.

One December day, my bookkeeper told me we could not meet payroll the next Wednesday. We needed $18,756.18. But there was no money. When I was discussing it with Mike, one of our employees, he said, “Make your prayer specific to the penny,” which I did. 

Meanwhile, I was calling everyone who owed me money, trying to get enough cash in. But it was a recession, and everyone was struggling. Then, out of the blue, my phone rang. It was my client Marty at ABC Radio Networks, and he said this: “We have a little budget left over. Would it be OK if we prepaid some of next year’s advertising?” He FedExed a check that arrived the following morning, for $18,756.18. It was the exact amount we needed. Was he an angel? It sure seemed like it.

Prayer, asking the universe, manifesting things. Whatever you want to call it, it works.

Dying with No Hope

My friend author Lee Milteer proved this recently. Her friend (and my acquaintance), a very famous speaker and author, had been sent to hospice because problems with his diabetes had become very serious. He was expected to die within a couple of weeks. He was a multimillionaire with the best medical care, but they still could not help him. 

Lee posted about the situation on her Facebook page and asked everyone to manifest his wellness and to pray for his recovery. She kept reminding people for weeks, even though the situation was dire and worsening. Yet she encouraged us to keep it up and not to let it happen, believing we all had that power. 

Weeks went by, and his condition improved. And after many weeks, he came out of hospice and is healing at home, expected to fully recover. 

This is an example of the power of manifesting and prayer.

Dream Exactly

Lee once explained to me that one of the reasons many entrepreneurs succeed is because they tend to be daydreamers. That’s always been true for me. I always dream things in exact detail, and do it so much that I end up believing I can do it and believing it will happen. And things tend to happen exactly as I imagine them. I even imagine how things will go on the way to meetings, and they almost always go exactly that way. 

Crazy Talk

You may think this is just crazy talk, yet what you see in your mind is what happens. That’s why negative thinking is so dangerous. That’s why we have to be careful about what we put into our minds.

Like angels, butterflies may be manifested, or they may just show up because you need something you don’t know you need.

I’ve had people pop in and lift me up when I didn’t even realize I was down. Some bring such clarity, or energy, or passion, or laughter, or they just dazzle you for a needed moment. Others bring an important lesson, a needed answer, or a different way of looking at things. That’s why I call them butterflies — because they swoop in with beauty to make your life better for a moment.

Ever call someone out of the blue and have them tell you your timing was perfect? Or you just told them something they needed to hear? Maybe you were being a butterfly at that moment.

Where are you being called? 

If you ever feel the need to pick up the phone or pay a visit, but don’t know why … follow your gut. You may have been tapped on the shoulder to play a special role as either a butterfly or an angel. Or you may say something out of the blue and lift someone up unknowingly.

Where are butterflies and angels showing up in your life?

Where are you manifesting your needs?

Are you asking for what you need?

You don’t always get what you ask for, but you always get what you need. Especially if you listen carefully and have high expectations that your needs will be met.

How is it an invisible signal can show up through the airwaves on different frequencies to play music or news on the radio? Sometimes you can’t see things. 

How does the wind blow? You can’t see it, you can only see the effects of the wind.

Our entire world is made up of vibrations. Molecules are continually vibrating. We are vibrating, and signals are being sent. There is actual evidence. For instance, new Google research indicates that trees send signals through the ground to other trees, as do other plants. Is it really all that hard to believe that we each send out signals of needs for others to pick up?

Manifest your perfect life, and expect it. Listen for it. And always take action (a drifting boat eventually hits the rocks).

Listen for angels and butterflies and embrace their purpose. And try to be an angel or butterfly to others.

Now spread your angel or butterfly wings and get busy. The world is waiting for you.

Eric Rhoads

PS: Whew! I’ve been running nonstop since September … first with 100 people at Fall Color Week at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a painters’ retreat; then a smaller painters’ trip for 12 special people in Saint-Paul de Vence, France; then our annual Fine Art Connoisseur art trip in Provence and the French Riviera; then to FACE, my Figurative Art Convention in Williamsburg; then to my Radio Ink Forecast conference at the Harvard Club in New York; then to speak with an esteemed panel of station owners at the FCC. It’s exhilarating, but time for a break. 

I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving with family before the insanity begins again.

I’d like to leave you with one important thought. Your family, no matter how screwed up, is a part of who you are. After losing my mom this year, I would give up everything I own for one more Thanksgiving with her. My friend Frank just lost his 19-year-old son this week, and his Thanksgiving will never be the same. Embrace your family for who they are, forgive them for whatever they’ve done, and leave every past issue behind. Don’t engage, don’t take the bait. Use this special time to celebrate family. They won’t all be together forever, and no matter your issues, you’ll regret it when they are gone. I just had a friend tell me she was mad at her dad for 10 years and did not talk to him, and then he suddenly died. How sad. Don’t look back wishing you had healed a wound and invited someone who is currently not in your favor. Even soldiers in past wars stopped fighting for special holidays. Thanksgiving is sacred because family is sacred, no matter how imperfect we are. Put your ego aside, swallow your pride, and have a loving and memorable weekend together.

I should mention something else … Since April we’ve offered the same price for our Plein Air Convention in Colorado, but the price ends on Black Friday. We’re down to less than 200 seats for the world’s largest celebration of plein air painting, and you don’t have to be a good painter (or a painter at all) to attend. It’s a week of the world’s best painters, there to teach you. Last week someone told me they had been too intimidated to come and missed several years, only to find there was no reason to be afraid. Maybe if you’re interested in exploring this fun and challenging lifestyle called plein air painting, you should consider it. We usually sell about 300 seats before the first price increase, but again, we have fewer than 200 seats left.