LIVING THE SOULFUL LIFE
By Scott Kalechstein
The Great Karma Cleanser
“My son was always a brilliant, endlessly creative rabble-rouser while
growing up. He drove me nuts. Now people pay him for it! I’m proud of
Scott, but I’m very glad he’s not living at home anymore.”
When I was a boy I was quite the troublemaker. I would invite my more demonic friends over for a Saturday afternoon of creative hell-raising, and we would go downstairs into the recreation-room. I told my parents we were playing Monopoly, or some other innocent activity. We then proceeded to use the telephone for our entertainment, dreaming up some of the most clever prank phone calls in the history of the art. Without getting into unnecessary details, the calls often ended in the recipient sounding very angry, and we, the merry pranksters, laughing uproariously.
My friends and I eventually grew tired of such thrills and developed several other interests, such as girls, dating and sex. As time went by, I pretty much forgot about my days of prank phone calling, storing the memory deep within my unconscious, in a folder marked Embarrassing Boyhood Adventures To Not Include On My Resume. I’m sure you can appreciate the logic of my ego in developing prank phone call amnesia. I wanted to be thought of as a reasonably kind and thoughtful person, not as someone who was capable of ordering free delivery pizza, Chinese food and delicatessen sandwiches to a house down the street, and then hiding with my friends in a nearby bush to watch the mayhem at their front door. (OOPS! Too much information there. I must have needed to unload some of the guilt.)
Fifteen years later my friend Stephen and I fell into being partners in a very different kind of crime. We discovered the joy of Angel Calls. In our lives we collected telephone numbers of people we didn’t know, usually people on some sort of personal growth or spiritual path. Then we would designate one night a week to get together and make calls. We prayed, got centered, and dialed a number. Stephen would begin by saying, “Excuse me, do you have a few moments to receive a special message from the universe?” Sometimes they would say “no” and hang up before we could get started but, if we had their interest, we would begin. Stephen had a gift of being able to tune in to the person and use his intuition to deliver personal, poetic and insightful messages, full of love and honoring. I played classical guitar in the background while Stephen played the spoken word, and when he was complete, he held the phone close to me and I allowed a song to spontaneously spring up from my heart to theirs.
Being serenaded by a stranger offering intimate lyrics of truth and encouragement was quite an experience for most of our recipients. Usually when we were done they would be moved to the point of tears, and we’d all be in amazement and gratitude. In our innocent and inventive playfulness, Stephen and I reached out and touched people in some very significant ways.
When people would ask us, “Who are you guys?” We would remain mysteriously and deliciously anonymous. Our friends got wind of what we were doing and began supplying us with phone numbers, even telling us a little of what the targeted person was working through in their life. This helped us zero in and be even more attuned to them.
After many months of developing and enjoying our phone ministry, I suddenly recalled my days as a telephone prankster. The memories flooded my mind and emotions, and I felt guilty as I realized that my past actions had annoyed and even hurt some people on the other end of the line. But I also realized that with the Angel Calls I had unwittingly stumbled upon an action that was having the opposite effect on people. I was blessing instead of terrorizing! Being angels for others was even more fun than the devilish adventures I had had as a youngster. And I was just following my heart! I didn’t start out by saying, “I’ve got some heavy karma to clean up, so I’d better do these calls to make amends.” I simply let joy be my compass, and joy pointed me in a direction that helped me heal my past while having fun in the present moment.
That experience caused me to give up any concern I had about my karma. By doing what brings me joy, I can trust that I am both serving God and paying my karmic phone bill, if there really is such a thing. Perhaps, when we finally forgive ourselves for being human, we discover that the billing and accounting department in the universe has resided solely in our minds.
A few years ago I got a taste of my own mischievous medicine coming right back at me in the form of my phone ringing one Saturday night. “Hi, Dad!” a young female voice said. “You can pick us up now. We’re ready to come home!” I thought I might have heard another voice giggling in the background. Suddenly my instincts kicked in and I knew I was on the receiving end of a prank call. How did I know? I just knew! A criminal can always spot one of its kind. I responded in an unexpected way: “Oh, honey, I’ve been waiting by the phone for your call. I’ve been worried sick! Where are you? I’ll be right there!” Muffled giggles gave way to loud fits of laughter on the other end. The girls were exposed! I asked them their names, and we ended up conversing for an hour.
A friend of mine was over for a visit and she, too, got on the phone and chatted with our two new, prank-calling, teenage friends. They told us all about their lives, their interests, their dreams and their challenges. When they found out that we were into spirituality and meditation, they got very excited. They had all kinds of questions for us, and we talked about everything from UFO’s to Buddhism. I sang them some of my songs, and later sent them one of my recordings. For a week they were our phone pals, calling every few days with some new topics to discuss.
It was a precious experience, and it started with a prank phone call. Because I had been there and done that, I recognized that, underneath the monkey business, they were really reaching out for connection, relief from boredom and greater aliveness. I remembered just how bored and frustrated I felt when I was their age, and I was able to respond to their hearts, rather than just react to their behavior. And in the process I felt compassion for myself and for my history. Forgiveness, the great karma cleanser, had done its magic. My slate was clean.
All of your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a
— A Course in Miracles
Scott Kalechstein wears many hats. He is a counselor, coach, minister, inspirational speaker, recording artist and modern day troubadour. He travels through the United States, Canada and Europe giving concerts, talks and workshops, as well as pre-senting at conferences. Scott can be reached at (760) 753-2359, or you may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and be placed on his e-mail list. His website, www.scottsongs.com is an inspiring and playful place to visit.
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