Whenever I have to choose between two evils, I always like to try the one I haven't tried before.
                                                     -Mae West

When I was a boy I was quite the troublemaker. I would invite my friends over for a Saturday afternoon of creative hell-raising, and we would go downstairs into the rec-room, although with my sisters and I accumulating every toy and game on the market down there, the more correct spelling would be 'wreck-room!' I told my parents we were playing Monopoly, or some other All-American innocent boys' activity. We then proceeded to use the telephone for our entertainment, dreaming up some of the most clever and demonic prank phone calls in the history of the art.

I will not try to destroy your illusions about how cute and innocent I was, or shock you by detailing my crimes, but I will say that the communications often ended in the recipient of the call sounding very angry and we, the merry pranksters, laughing uproariously. I remember thinking that if there were such a thing as karma, then I was accumulating quite a karmic phone bill. I was throwing some downright turbulent vibrations into the universal pond! Well, 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, burying the memory deep within my subconscious, in a folder marked Embarrassing Boyhood Adventures To Not Include On My Resume. I'm sure you can appreciate the wisdom of my psyche in helping me develop prank phone call amnesia. The self-image I was developing was that of 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 - I told you after all! (I must have needed to unload some of the guilt.)

Fifteen years later my friend Steve Feig 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. Steve 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.

Steve had the gift of being able to tune in to the person and channel to them 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 spring up from my heart to theirs. Being serenaded by an anonymous stranger singing personal messages of truth and encouragement was quite an experience for most of our recipients. Usually when we were done, they would be sobbing and we'd all be in amazement and gratitude. In our inventive playfulness, we were authentically channeling some profoundly helpful energies! Steve and I reached out and touched people in significant ways, and we kept those close encounters of the angelic kind deliciously anonymous. When people would ask, "Who are you guys?" We would simply say, "We are messengers from the universe, and our message is that you are deeply loved!" 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. Being angels for others was even more fun than the devilish adventures I had as a youngster!

After many months of developing and enjoying our phone ministry, I suddenly remembered my days as a phone prankster. The memories flooded my mind and emotions, and I let myself feel sorrow and regret 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! 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'm going to do these calls to make amends." I simply let joy be my compass, and joy pointed me in a direction that helped me heal from my past while having fun in the present moment. Now that's a great deal!

Two years ago I got a taste of my past misdeeds 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 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. 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 talking for hours.

A friend was over for a visit and she, too, got on the phone and connected with our two new, prank-calling, teenage friends. They told us all about their lives, their interests, and their frustrations. When they found out that we were into spirituality and meditation, they freaked! 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 even sent them one of my tapes. For a week they were our phone pals, calling every few days with some new topics to discuss. I so appreciated their openness!

It was a precious experience for all of us, and it started with a prank phone call. Because I had been there and done that, I recognized that, underneath the mischief, they were really reaching out for connection. I remembered 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 past. The slate was clean. My past had circled back to me, and it had been transformed into a blessing.

I don't worry these days about paying off karmic debts. I trust that by doing what brings me joy, I am serving the universe and cleaning up my karma effortlessly. The universe sends us exactly whom and what we need for our own healing. There is some pretty tidy bookkeeping up there when it comes to these things. The cosmic accountant knows exactly how to keep our spiritual checkbook balanced.

Scott Kalechstein is an author, inspirational speaker, recording artist and performer who resides in Encinitas, California. "Angel Calls" is an excerpt from his forthcoming book, "Teach Me How To Love." For bookings, or to order recordings, please call (619) 492-8726.

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