His name was Angel. I had a difficult time understanding his thick East African accent, but this much I understood.

He was the second angel I had met on my journey. The first one had accompanied me on the plane. I don’t remember her name, but her gentle demeanor and life lessons left me with a sweet aftertaste.

So did Angel’s.

A few years ago, I was traveling to Portland, Ore., for aHe was the second angel I had met on my journey life-coaching conference and set the intention that I would be “escorted.” I had never used that term before, but in playing with affirmations and intention setting for years, it seemed like a fun experiment. In alignment with the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s words that we are where our thoughts are, there is healing when we use kind and positive outcomes for ourselves. This inner vibration and belief in G‑d’s revealed positivity radiates outside of us and creates positive results for us.

The Hebrew word for angel is malach, which means “messenger,” for the angels are G‑d’s messengers to perform various missions. Each mitzvah that we do creates an angel that serves as a shield and protection for us. In the words of our sages: “He who fulfills one mitzvah, acquires for himself one angel advocate” (Ethics 4:11). We are surrounded by angels—those of the spiritual world as well as those human “angels” of kindness in our physical world. Setting positive intentions—those positive thoughts—helps activate positive possibilities on our life’s paths.

The key with setting positive intentions is to choose a thought and then consciously let it go. Yup, you heard right—let it go like you would release a helium balloon up to the sky. G‑d has heard your thoughts. The ego wants to grasp and grab, but the soul can trust that your present wishes, like prayers, have been heard, and there are unlimited potentials and possibilities. G‑d is the master Creator who can do anything. If G‑d says no, that’s OK, but at least as co-creators with G‑d, we can share our desires. That wishful prayer just may be brought into form in the physical world and after letting it go, we can “allow” for this possibility to happen if it’s meant to be.

As I experienced some nervousness packing the night before my trip—I don’t exactly enjoy flying in a metal vessel 35,000 feet above the ground—I had stated the affirmation, “I am escorted on my journey.” I promptly forgot about it until the next morning when the woman seated next to me asked about the book of Psalms that I held (OK, gripped) in my hands.

We talked a bit about traveling before she proceeded to share with me her work as manager of a food kitchen for the homeless in a suburb in Connecticut. Story after story unfolded, and I realized the breadth of the compassion and affection she had for the 200 individuals and families who were fed daily by her nonprofit organization. She shared with me the little miracles of connection with some of her “guests,” as they are referred to.

One tale touched me deeply, as I had been experimenting with a more feminine approach to connection—that of “allowing” rather than the more masculine approach of “action.” We do need both approaches in life for balance, but in being aware of the Kabbalistic aspects of Hod and Netzach regarding relationships—Hod being the feminine and softer approach of humility and giving space, while Netzach being the masculine and moving forward approach (“conquering”)—I had been curiously leaning towards the practice of Hod.

This manager shared with me that as she went about her daily tasks in the building, a guest who suffered from schizophrenia would follow her about. While he seemed disturbing to the others at the food kitchen because of his active dialogue with his many personalities, she would allow him to follow her even as he muttered to himself. And as time passed, though she did not actively engage him in conversation, a familiar rapport began to develop between them. After a few weeks, he began to converse with her, basically his only human connection to a world outside his mind. Through the allowing and peaceful space of engagement that she nurtured, a safe bridge was created for him to cross.

Story after story, kindness after kindness was unveiled to meKindness after kindness was unveiled until we landed, my fear of the flying metal vessel completely forgotten as I was so absorbed by my conversation with this angel, veiled in human clothing.

When we landed, my second angel appeared, as unexpectedly as the first. Loaded down with much baggage (as bringing along kosher food requires an extra suitcase), I schlepped around to a few counters to figure out how to get to the hotel where my convention was. It turned out that it was pretty far from the airport and as cheap as public transportation would have been, I didn’t want to maneuver with all that baggage.

I opted for a taxi shuttle, which was expensive, but necessary. As I settled in for the 30-minute drive, happy to take in the beautiful green nature around me as opposed to the gray, dirty snow that I had left behind in Chicago, the cab driver introduced himself as Angel. Wow! I couldn’t get more specific than that about being escorted on my journey. When he found out that I was an observant Jew, he eagerly requested a blessing. And here I was the one feeling so blessed! He was a kind man, and as he dropped me off at the hotel, he gave me his number in case I needed a way back to the airport when the convention finished.

A few days later, I found myself texting Angel the night before I was to return back to Chicago. He was happy to shuttle me the following morning, but it got complicated when I learned the morning of my flight that my destination was being bombarded with inches of snow. I kept checking the airline website for cancellations because I knew that it would be impossible to land in the Windy City, but the website stubbornly displayed that the plane was departing on time.

It got to the point that I couldn’t ask Angel not to come (he was driving from at least 30 minutes away), though I knew that the flight would be canceled. Angel arrived at my hotel and greeted me with a smile as he loaded my suitcases into his car. I whispered goodbye to the really nice hotel knowing that I would be forced to spend the night at a not-as-nice airport hotel. Oh well, I thought—G‑d wants me to be escorted back by an angel.

And so I was. The exact moment that Angel pulled up to the airport and put the car in park, my phone rang with the text “your flight to Chicago has been cancelled due to weather conditions.” Instead of feeling frustrated or annoyed, I laughed, paid Angel, and within minutes of consulting with a flight attendant at the counter, had a new flight out the following day and a discount for an airport hotel.

Angel sent me a text after we parted ways, “Thank you, G‑d bless you,” which I decided to keep. I wanted to be reminded of the magical revelation of “you are where your thoughts are” in that I could choose how I wanted to view my circumstances. G‑d did indeed bless me. I had been escorted by angels.