The Journey to “Spirit Guides”

The Journey to “Spirit Guides”

Arizona Bell and Morgan Garza want to help you hear your spirit guides.

These two seekers—who first connected in high school while scooping ice cream at the local shop—worked through grief, trauma and complex self-exploration before finding their shared work. As their first endeavor, during a full moon in 2017, they reconnected to launch Spirit Guides Magazine and Spirit Guides Radio, two platforms “for mystic talk” that create “new maps for old souls.” Most recently, they co-authored upcoming book, Soul Magic: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Mystic (St. Martin’s Press; August 2020), and are onto individual projects—all with a mission to educate, inspire, uplift and empower.

Here, they describe how their spirit guides led them back to their authentic selves:

Live The Process: You two met in high school. What brought you together?

Arizona Bell: I was really good friends with Morgan’s sister in high school, and, one day, she asked me to hook her little sister up with a job at the ice cream shop I managed. At that time, I was coming to terms with my sexuality as a gay woman in a conservative town, so I definitely shrunk myself to meet social standards.

Morgan stood out to me as a unique soul in an otherwise homogenized high school experience. That authenticity in each of us is ultimately what brought us back together as business partners more than a decade later.

Morgan Garza: Working together was a fun and wild time that helped me grow as a person. My connection with Arizona was immediate, and I feel we saw past the BS we were giving out and were able to reach each other on a soul level. I wholeheartedly believe the seed that was planted then was the start of what would eventually become Spirit Guides Magazine. 

LTP: What were you each doing in the time between high school and starting your magazine? Can you tell us about the most seminal occurrences? 

AB: In college, I was able to slowly come back into my most authentic self again. I came out as both gay and spiritual (coming out as spiritual was harder!) and decided I wanted to be a writer. I worked in corporate as a content creator while simultaneously getting published for creative non-fiction literary essays. I was being paid a lot to write for other people, yet was creatively unfulfilled.

Career growth and romantic interests were basically my whole life, until my mother, who was my best friend, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. From that day until the day she passed in 2015, everything other than caring for her was put on hold. Those years of being consumed by illness, and by intense grief, completely redefined what was important to me. I ended up quitting corporate life forever, and, about a year after her passing, I called up Morgan and said, “Hey, want to start a spiritually-based business together?!”

Spirit Guides Magazine was a concept I had had for so many years before then, but, after seeing death face-to-face, I was able to understand what really mattered in life. This understanding enabled me to take the big leap and go full-force toward my dreams, despite all of the uncertainty. 

MG: College started for me at ASU and I was living with my best friend in the dorms, majoring in interior design. Turns out, I hated it. 

I left ASU to attend fashion school in Los Angeles at FIDM. While there, living what I thought was my best life, my roommate died of an overdose. That caused me to rethink everything. After I graduated, I moved back to Phoenix and got a job in wholesale, traveling often. That job took me to India for what would become the most pivotal event in my life: I survived the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008 alongside my boss and colleagues. Charged with the fragility of life, with walking away while so many died, I sought out reiki to heal from the trauma and PTSD.

I eventually moved to Granada, Spain to live out a dream and travel the world. I fell in love with myself during this time. I decided I wanted to be a writer, moved back to Phoenix and that’s when Arizona asked me the fateful question over happy hour.

LTP: How did you each come to be interested in spirituality in its various forms?

AB: I had been told since I could talk that I was an “old soul” and always found myself gravitating toward spiritual conversations. However, I didn’t get along very well in my Christian-based elementary school; I was constantly getting in trouble for questioning the validity of scripture (oops!). 

Still, my interest in the unseen world was something I carried with me my entire life. I declared myself as “spiritual, not religious” in my teens. In college, I considered declaring a religious studies major, but ultimately society convinced me that was useless. (Dang, I wish I had that degree today!) I was introduced to Louise Hay and the power of positive thinking and went down the rabbit hole. My mom’s diagnosis sent us both even deeper on the spiritual path, and her death was my full-blown initiation as a committed disciple of spirit.

MG: I too have always been an old soul. I was raised very religious in the Catholic church, but, as I got older, I started asking questions that didn’t have satisfactory answers about religion. 

It was the 2008 terrorist attack in India that changed me forever. I had reiki by guidance of my mom when I got back and felt more like myself after one session than three months of talk therapy. That experience, reiki included, opened the door to a spiritual awakening that continues to drive me today. 

LTP: How did you reconnect and decide to create this magazine and, eventually, book? For you, what is a “spirit guide” exactly?

AB: Prior to me calling Morgan, we were both living a free-spirited lifestyle. Eventually, the universe brought us both back to our hometown for brief layovers, where we were able to reconnect and discover our shared love of living meaningful lives.

For me, a spirit guide is a being in the spirit world that has our best interests in mind and is always by our side, encouraging us to make decisions that are optimal for our highest growth. Their job is literally to help us. That’s why prayer and meditation have been huge for every religion: prayer is asking, meditation is listening. 

MG: Many changes brought us back together and I 100% believe it was our spirit team working together to bring us back to the same place at the same time, with just the right environment for both of us to leave everything and start Spirit Guides Magazine. A spirit guide is a soul on the other side who can be with us for a season, a reason or a lifetime to energetically support us and remind us of our divinity and power. 

LTP: What does happiness look like to each of you?

AB: Ghandi said that, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” This resonates with me because it implies that authenticity is happiness, and I believe that to be authentic is the root of all joy. 

MG: Happiness is in the little things, the things that make you stop and snap into the present. Happiness is also purpose and passion. Without the two in unison, everything seems to just fall flat.

LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?

AB: To me, “Live The Process” means that I surrender to my highest good, trust that whatever is meant for me will come to me and have faith in uncertain or fearful times that there is a higher, more intelligent power that has my back.

MG: “Live The Process” is the embodiment of the truth—whatever that truth may be. As Arizona said, surrendering to our highest good is trusting the process, which naturally leads to living it. I love to look in the mirror and state my current truths. Whether good or bad, it helps me keep myself in check and in truth. 

Cover image via Atelier Aveus, rendered by @m.a.s.s.i.m.o.c.o.l.o.n.n.a

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