Vince Kramer ignored three major wake up calls in his 40s, before the Universe – or whatever you prefer to call it – finally got his attention. First, he narrowly missed piloting one of the United flights on 9/11. Then, he experienced a major financial setback due to United Airlines declaring bankruptcy. And, finally, his marriage ended and he realized he needed to stop ignoring these signs and figure out what was missing in his life. That’s when his journey of self discovery really began.

Guest Bio 

An airline pilot, military veteran, transformational trainer and mentor, and Clear Conscious Channel, Vince Kramer brings a unique experience to the world of transformation and purpose-driven growth. His past experience in a stereotypically “macho” field brings a more integrated perspective to the softer field of personal growth not often seen. 

As a speaker, teacher, guide and best-selling author of “Awakening Through Moments of Choice” with his wife and business partner Mary, Vince’s distinct combination of experience, education and research helps him develop powerful talks, workshops and online training in finding happiness and success by living life by their design.

A co-founder of Imagine Miracles, he passionately believes everyone is unique and the creator of their own life. It is his desire to inspire and empower men, women, organizations and families to find success and happiness by designing and creating a life fueled by their desires.

Turning 40 and Touched by an Angel

In this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie sits down with Vince Kramer, a former airline pilot who ignored three major wake up calls in his 40s, before the Universe – or whatever you prefer to call it – finally got his attention. Vince shares his powerful midlife transformation journey, which began with a wake-up call on September 11th, 2001. He recounts how this event, along with personal experiences, led him to question his life’s purpose and seek a different path. Vince discusses how he discovered his true purpose and the importance of living life on our own terms. He also delves into the connection between science and spirituality and how they can work together to help individuals find their purpose. Throughout the conversation, Vince emphasizes the importance of listening to the calling within and being open to new possibilities. 

Episode highlights: 

  • Vince’s first wake-up call came on September 11th, 2001, when he narrowly missed piloting the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. The event made Vince realize he wanted to live his life differently and pursue happiness while still achieving his goals.
  • Vince initially fell back into his old habits and focused on financial security, but eventually realized he was missing something more meaningful.
  • Vince’s second wake-up call came when he experienced a major financial setback due to United Airlines declaring bankruptcy.
  • Vince’s third wake-up call came when his marriage ended and he realized he needed to find what was missing in his life.
  • Vince’s fourth wake-up call – this time a positive one! – came when he met his current wife, Mary, who introduced him to spirituality and helped him discover his purpose.
  • Vince started receiving messages and guidance at night, which led him to channeling and a deeper understanding of purpose.
  • Vince emphasizes the importance of being open to new possibilities and listening to the calling within to find one’s purpose.

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider sharing it with a friend, or rating the podcast on your podcast listening app. 

Guest Resources

Vince is offering 10 FREE Breakthrough Sessions to Forty Drinks listeners. Book yours here. 

Vince and Mary’s book, Awakenings Through Moments of Choice

Vince and Mary’s podcast, The Miracle You

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Do you have the Midlife Ick? 

Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick

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Transcript

Stephanie: Hi, Vince. Welcome to the podcast.

Vince: Hi, Stephanie. I'm so glad to be here. I've been waiting for this for a couple months now. And today I woke up all excited. I can't wait to share with the audience. I can't wait to have a great conversation with you.

Stephanie: Oh, I'm so thrilled. I'm really excited to have you as well, because your story is, really interesting and spectacular because you went through, I think, three distinct transitions during your forties. And when we first spoke, you called them wake up calls.

Vince: That's exactly what I called them. And they truly were wake up calls.

Stephanie: Why don't we start, before the first wake up call, sort of bring us up to speed to how you got to, like, 40.

Vince: Well, it was a journey just like everybody else for sure. At five years old, I told my grandmother that I wanted to help people love themselves so they could love each other. And from that point on, yeah, it's kind of strange for a five year old.

Stephanie: Well, but it isn't actually, because don't, don't children say the most profound things? And also I've had friends who were, you know, on the psychic end of things and they would always say that before a kid is like five or six, the door to the other side is really wide open. And so sometimes kids will say things or see things that they could have no business knowing. So I think that maybe your, uh, your, your door was still open before the world closed it down.

Vince: Yeah, exactly. I think we all remember why we came in and who we are when we're born. And then it's a process of, shall we say, forgetting.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Vince: And that's really the next part of my story. The three most influential men in my life really are the ones that helped me forget, and my grandfather was the most influential of the three. And I can remember right around seven years old, really not liking him because he always pushed me to be more.

He taught me how to be a man. I would say 1940s style, maybe early 1950s. And you've got to compete. You've got to be better than everyone else. You've got to strive for the next thing. If you're not happy, it's because you're not doing enough.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: And I learned very well from him. I got my bachelor's degree, my master's degree.

Joined the military, was very successful in the military. I held jobs well beyond what my rank should hold. I get out of the military because I didn't want to leave the cockpit. I flew for United Airlines for 28 years. American Airlines before that held directorate level jobs at United. So, I did everything I would say that was expected of me as a man, and through the whole time, there were tiny little wake up calls.

I knew that I wasn't as happy as I should be. I knew that I was doing everything that I was told that I was supposed to do to be happy and successful. And I was truly successful, but there, there was always something missing through all of it. So those were the wake up calls along my life up till about 43.

Vince: Like everybody else, I just didn't pay attention. And we call those wake up calls, conscious wake ups. We're conscious that there's something missing. We were conscious that we're being called to something more, but we've been told or taught how to ignore them. And we do a pretty good job of doing it.

Stephanie: Yeah, we do. We do. You know, I spoke with someone not too long ago. Uh, I believe it was Jennifer Arthurton who was talking about how, you know, she spent a lot of her thirties and forties focused on achieving, much like you. And, and she would be in a boardroom or she would be in a conference room and, before, after a meeting and a little question would bubble up. Is this all there is? I did all the things. Is this all I get? And, and very quickly, she would shove those down because they're scary when those questions bubble up because they, they indicate that things have got to change and change is is scary, especially if, if you get an, is this all there is? I mean, that means big change.

Vince: Well, yes, it's it's stepping into the unknown and it's unknown because society's rules definitely don't point us in that direction. I want to make sure everybody knows that achieving and accomplishing isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's really, really powerful when we're in alignment with who we truly are and why we're here. And I'm sure we're going to talk about that later.

Stephanie: For sure. For sure. That's a, that's a great point to make because in many of these conversations, I talk to people who say, you know, I spent my thirties and even my forties, nose down, head down, you know, digging through on the career on, on all the life milestones and, and you're right, there's nothing wrong with that.

And those things absolutely can make us happy. The word you use is, is the key. It's the alignment. Right? So for, for so many of my previous guests, and it sounds like for you too, when somebody tells you, you should do things. Their, their guidance for you, and certainly for your grandfather, he wanted the best for you. Right? So he was, he was using his frame of reference and his experience to tell you, these are all the things that you should do to make yourself happy, healthy, successful and safe. Right? And it might have been things he did do that got him those things. It might have been choices he. Didn't make took him away from those things. The people who tell us the things we should do truly want the best for us most of the time. It's just that it's not our life we end up living.

Vince: True. Yeah. It's living our life their way instead of our life our way. And I really have found that it's not even our way that things make us happy. It's we achieve, we become successful. We make a difference in the world because we're happy on the inside and shine it out.

Stephanie: Right. Yeah. And that, like you said, that's an inside job. Yeah. Well, tell me about, uh, you're 43 and you're, um, I believe married, right? And you are a pilot. You've been flying for a long time. And tell us what happens at 43 for you.

Vince: Well, it's interesting. Once again, flying was something that I really enjoyed doing, but I knew I was called to be involved with people. So at the time, 43, I was working in the training center at United Airlines. And that just happened to be 2001. So I don't know if that triggers anything for the audience or not, but, uh, September 11th, 2001, I was walking into work and, I got into a meeting that I was scheduled to be in, and there was quite a bit of panic going on.

The first airplane had already hit the tower by the time that I got to the meeting and during the meeting right at the first, parts of it, we actually watched the footage of the second airplane hitting the tower and the second tower. And, it certainly looked like it had United Airlines colors on it, and that was a huge wake up call for for all of us in the country.

All of us in the world. but, you know, the interesting thing for me was flight 93, the, the airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania, I actually flew that flight on nine four. So if it would have been one week earlier, I would have been the smoking hole in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, it was a good friend of mine who was the captain of that airplane.

Stephanie: Mm.

Vince: So an extra wake up. You know, I, I knew in that moment, I wanted to live my life differently. And the number of phone calls I got that day, as I was sitting and waiting to find out where I was going to be dispatched to, to help take care of this accident and this information. So many people called me and, are you okay?

And, and I realized just how many people cared about me and was worried about what was going on for me in that day. And I, and I knew in that moment I really wanna live different. There's gotta be a way that I can be happy and still achieve and, and have everything that I want. But I think like everybody else, mine and I, I think airline employees as, as a whole, the wake up lasted a little bit longer, but wake up calls, if we don't pay attention to them, the window closes.

Mm hmm.

Vince: And it closed on me. I, you know, came from my grandfather's way of looking at things that, well, I could have done a better job. It never would have happened to me. And it's, you got to go on. You got to, you got to still live. You got to be happy. And I just let it go and went on from there and unfortunately, I went back to the same old Vince doing the same old things

Stephanie: Yeah. I don't have one in my head specifically, but I'm sure if I sat for a little while and thought that that I could find some wake up calls in in my life, that you're right. When you have the, the, the close call, the accident, the something that, that gets your attention and you think I should live differently, unfortunately, it's awful hard to heed those because you don't really know what living differently means, or you don't really know how to go about living differently. It's really kind of amorphous and vague. And, you know, I mean, even for you with this close call, I was like, what are you going to do, give up your career? You know, what was, how could you be different just based on this thing, you know, thing that, that happened in your life? I get that you didn't know how to start living differently.

Vince: And we don't know what we don't know. I think that's the, that's the biggest part of it. We don't know what we don't know. And then when I said the window closes, life happens.

Stephanie: right.

Vince: And we have only been taught and we've learned through our perceptions and through everything else to live life one way. And it's that wake up call that gets us to realize that there is more than one way.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: It worth it for us to try to find what that other way for ourselves is. Just like you said, it's it can't be grandpa's way. It has to be my way. And when we're not taught to live our lives our way, because the examples that we get is from the people that are living life someone else's way anyhow. So how can they share with us how to live our life our way?

Stephanie: Well, the other thing that just popped into my mind was by sometime in our forties, we've been living life a way for 40 something years. And so to then start creating on your own is terrifying. And let me use an example. I started my marketing business 17 years ago.

And, and I was talking to somebody over the holidays and they said, you know, Oh my God, wasn't that terrifying? Wasn't that really scary in those first few years? Were they the scariest? And I was kind of like, actually they weren't the scariest because the stakes were the lowest back then. Right? I went out on my own. Basically, all I needed was needed was a phone and a computer and some wifi service. I was quote unquote in business. I was looking to my network to get,freelance jobs and, and that was going so well that I sort of thought, I could do this. So, so those first couple of years, it was just me, it was just my skills and abilities and that's what I was selling mostly to people I knew or that I had networked over to.

There was nothing scary about it. So I'm sort of taking that example and then saying, by the time you're in your mid forties, you're already at the 40th story of your life and so to now step out and away from this path you've been on, the stakes feel much higher. You have much more infrastructure, you have much more, things to carry. So living life your way when you don't know what your way is, it's terrifying.

Vince: There's so many things I want to share with, what you just said. First of all, the 40th story is really the same story we've told for the 40th time.

Stephanie: Ooh, I like that.

Vince: I think that's where it gets, shall we say, dangerous for us to step into the unknown because we've been telling ourselves the same story for so many, times.

We've told ourselves that story. But the interesting thing is, I started to find myself and I know where you want to talk about those other two wake up calls, but I want to go off path a little bit here. When I started figuring out what it was all about, when I finally started tapping into my knowingness and understanding that, well, wait a minute. There's a reason for everything that's happened. Science tells us there's no mistakes or coincidences. So why did I develop these gifts that I developed? Why did I develop these talents? And I think that's one reason you were able to step into your business because you were bringing your gifts and talents with you. And so many of us think when we find out what our purpose is, it's going to be a complete change in our lives.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: But the interesting thing is you've been living and building for your purpose from day one of being on this planet. And if you're not fully using all your gifts and talents and what you're doing to make a difference in the world, you're not fully living your purpose. So That takes some of the scare out of it too.

Stephanie: Right. It's actually just bulking up on the thing that naturally just came easiest to you. Always. Right. If you go all the way back, I, I, I always love this story. I tell this when I'm doing career day kind of stuff or like, you know, telling people how I got to where I am. When I was in the fourth grade, we were told to write an essay, you know, and when the teacher handed the essays back to the class, putting them down on everybody's desk, she put mine down and she said, nice essay. Who taught you how to use a comma? And I looked at her and I said. What's a comma? I had no idea what a comma was, but I had used it correctly in my essay. It just came naturally to me. I just knew how to write. I knew how to communicate. I knew where the pause should be. Nine, ten, who, I don't know how old we were. So yeah, to think that, you know, all these years later, I'm a communicator. I'm a writer. I'm a storyteller. It's like, You know, yeah, it's not that different than, what I was doing it in fourth grade.

Vince: No mistakes or coincidences. You, you chose the right parents, you chose the right school, you chose everything to help you develop who you're meant to be. And now the question is, can you find out what that difference is and how you can you start making it fully without leaving the past behind? There's been a gift in every single thing that's happened to us. Some of the worst times of our lives helped us prepare,

Stephanie: yes.

Vince: be of the best service that we can be.

Stephanie: Yes, just yesterday I read something and I forget where, but I don't even know if it was in the book I'm reading, but it was something about, youth sports and some wise coach said, um, you either win or you learn, right? So you don't lose. You win or you learn, I loved that. and it's true in life, right? Like we either make the right decision or take the right step or we learn something. We get feedback, we get, you know, we get information,

Vince: And if we learn, maybe that was the win.

Stephanie: correct. Right,

Vince: In our programs, we try to help people find the gift in everything, so everything truly is a win. Death can be a win. Um, breakups can be a win. Every one of your wake up calls can be a win.

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. I've had breakups that were definitely wins.

Okay. Vince. So, 43 wake up call number one and the window closed, even though you knew you weren't quite happy. You knew you weren't feeling fully settled or fulfilled. A couple of years goes by. Then what?

Vince: United Airlines declares bankruptcy. I lose 60 percent of my pay. I lose all of my retirement. I got demoted, if you will, because there was less flying. There was less airplanes. I moved down in seats, so my pay decreased even more because of that. And I found myself up against my dad's voice in my head.

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Vince: You need to have a retirement fund. That's what you're working for all your life is to retire. And I clicked into that mode of, Oh my gosh, I have to do something here to get that retirement back.

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Vince: Knowing that, wait a minute, this isn't as important as I've put on myself. Don't I want to be happy? Or do I want to just push myself harder and harder and harder to get a retirement and do whatever? And I gave in to push myself harder, harder, and harder. I bought a couple pretzel stores, actually three Annie Ann's pretzel stores, because I thought that was going to be the answer to my retirement.

I would hire good managers, I was a manager trainer, so I was going to be able to train these people to pretty much run the stores themselves and just provide guidance So I, I immediately forgot about living life differently and actually started pushing myself harder

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: to get this retirement back. Unfortunately, most people that are listening have heard of Dr. Atkins. If you haven't, Dr. Atkins told us at one time that carbohydrates weren't a good thing for us. And those pretzel stores went from being very successful to not even making payroll sometimes

Stephanie: Oh, wow.

Vince: because of the cutback and the people and eating carbs.

So I had to dedicate myself to running those stores. And do my full time job. Now lucky for me I was in management at United at the time. So I had a 40 hour a week job. I wasn't gone for 3 or 4 days like I was as an airline pilot and I ended up working 95 hours a week between the 2 jobs just trying to keep the pretzel stores moving.

Now, unfortunately, my wife and I at the time bought them together. So, And she found out very quickly that she didn't enjoy doing that kind of work, especially with dealing with employees. So she kind of backed out altogether. So I was running the stores by myself and doing my full time job. And the window closed. The

Stephanie: Yeah,

Vince: window closed.

Stephanie: Cuz you were just so focused on head down, nose to the grindstone, doing all the things you had to do.

Vince: I moved into the, into the survival mode at that point. I wasn't, I wasn't even trying to find out how to get ahead. I was just trying to survive at that point. I opened another window.

Stephanie: oh,

Vince: Being away from home that much, putting all my attention there, my wife had an affair.

Stephanie: oh

Vince: And I came home one day from work, and she was sobbing, and sobbing so much that I couldn't even get her to answer me. And, and after a while of trying to get her to answer me, she finally said, admitted that she had an affair, and she wasn't happy and wanted a divorce. And that was the wake up call that finally got my attention to got to get me to start looking for what was missing in my life.

Stephanie: Right Oh, it's so understandable the attention you put on these pretzel stores because you're 45 when your retirement that you've been working for 20 plus years and working for these large corporations that had these retirement programs that that you could count on, right? They told us that, you know, that the pensions would be there, right?

It's for my generation and below. They're, they're really not. But, but for, generations of people, those pensions were what was going to keep you solvent in your old age. And so to be 45, 20 ish years from retirement, and to have it just completely wiped out and starting from scratch again, I think it's so understandable why you looked for a solution and then poured everything into the solution. It's just so sad that it

Vince: Amazing, amazing gifts. So hugely amazing

Stephanie: I know.

Vince: Because it opened my eyes and got me back to remembering what I told my grandmother at five, which she reminded me on her deathbed when I was 17, that I wanted to help people. And the interesting thing was, I, I wanted to keep that marriage together so much that I was looking for ways to do it. Fortunately, my wife was really big into Jack Canfield's, Success and Peak Performance.

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Vince: Uh, it's not the exact name, but she listened to these tapes all the time. We tried to go to counseling and she didn't like that. So I bought us both tickets to Jack Canfield's seven day Breakthrough to Success workshop. And I thought this is going to be the answer for us to get back on the same page.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: To figure it all out. Unfortunately, when I told her that I bought it for her, she was really excited about it until I told her I was going to go too. And she made the decision that if I was going to go, she wasn't going to. But that window was open so wide. And I knew that I had to find what was missing in my life. And because it popped up the way it did, it just showed up in an email one day, Jack Canfield's Breakthrough to Success, that I, I decided I was going to go if she went or not. And

Stephanie: I love the piece about this because so many times, and I've, I've talked about this from my life too. We think a gift is for someone else, but it's really for us. I say that when I finish a lot of these interviews, I say, you know, I do this podcast and I have these conversations so that other people can see themselves in these stories and know that they're not alone during this midlife period when we feel adrift.

And yet, you know, I don't know, one out of every five or seven, I'll, I'll stop the recording. I'll hang up and I'll go, Oh, that one was for me. And so I'll see myself. It's a gift for myself. And so that very much describes the Jack Canfield. You thought you were getting a gift for your wife.

Vince: Exactly. Exactly. And I did give myself a big gift. Jack helped me find, through one of the exercises, what was missing in my life, and it was me. And that was, that was the trigger, if you will, for me to start paying attention to how, how am I supposed to show up in this world and I started the, the journey that everybody starts to find your purpose.

I was trying to find my why and the exciting thing about it along the way, I learned that it's not just your why that's your purpose. It's who you are, what you have to offer and why you're here. That's the three parts of your purpose. And until we uncover all three of those, we still flounder a little bit trying to find that happiness on the inside that we can shine out to the outside.

Stephanie: Mm hmm, mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. when you say what was missing was you, how were you missing from your own life?

Vince: Oh, there are two big questions there. So which one, which one do you want me to answer

Stephanie: Let's answer the second one. Let's answer how, how were you missing from your own life?

Vince: I was taught, and because of who I am and the heart that I have, that if I'm giving to others, if I'm supporting them, if, if I help them be all that they can be, that I'm going to be happy. And I, I was never doing anything for me. I was never supporting what, what made me happy. And nobody tells us that you can't make anyone else happy. You can't even affect their happiness if you're not happy yourself. You can't love anyone else fully if you don't love yourself. Nobody tells us those things. And I still didn't learn that during the during the workshop, but what I did learn that we can tap into guidance or there's guidance available to us to help us understand all these things that we didn't or weren't taught.

So the exercise was a meditation. It was a guided meditation. I didn't meditate up to that point. At this point, I was 48 years old, maybe 49. I hadn't meditated. I tried to meditate like everybody else. And, you know, the voices were going crazy.

Stephanie: The monkeys.

Vince: Yeah, I'm not getting anything out of this. So, and I never had done a guided meditation before and all the, the, the entire description of the meditation is in our book Awakening Through Moments of Choice.

I'll just hit the highlights of it. So first of all, Jack. You know, has his close our eyes. He dims the lights, you know, and I'm keeping one eye open trying to figure out what's everybody else doing because I didn't know what to do. So I'm, I'm kind of mimicking everybody else. And Jack starts off by, bringing a white light through our bodies several times to relax us. And, and we're all relaxed and we're in this place. And he said, now I want you to stand up. And, and, uh, he started talking about moving towards this place where there was a magic carpet. So once again, one eye comes open, did anybody else stand up?

Nobody stood up. So I sat there and. And so in my mind's eye, walking to this magic carpet, magic carpet picks us up, takes us up to this castle on the top of the hill. We go in this castle and we're delivered a gift by an angel. And I still remember the exact colors of the paper of the gift and the ribbon on it and everything else.

And we take this gift back to the room. Through the guided meditation and then we're sitting in our chairs and we open the gift and when I opened the gift, it was a golden microphone. And Jack took us from that point of saying, now, I just want you to be inside of who you are and why did you get this golden microphone?

And I heard this voice. What's missing in your life is you, and this microphone is to help you, help people love themselves so they could love each other. And there was no doubt in my mind that angel that gave me that gift up in that castle was the angel that gave me that information. And the tears just started rolling down my face. And then Jack brought us out of the meditation, told us to open our eyes, and to do some journaling, and I looked around and everyone had tears running down their face. And that was how I realized what was missing was me, because I was told from, in my belief, an angel or that non physical part of me was telling me it's time for us to live our purpose and the journey started at that point.

Stephanie: What's so interesting to me about that is that up to this point in our story, you're a guy who's pretty, grounded, rooted in the physical world. You haven't said a single word about having spiritual beliefs or spiritual practices or anything like that. And again, a lot of times in these conversations, part of what this midlife transformation is, numerous people have described it as a spiritual awakening. And it sounds like that's what happened to you that day.

Vince: Truly a spiritual awakening, but one of many. So it got me to, to start considering things another way. Unfortunately I, I still was living from the rules that I was taught.

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Vince: So what, what I did with this information, okay. I, I knew I wanted to be on a platform speaking. I knew I was meant to be a teacher. I was teaching in every job that I have held since I got into the military. And what I did was I gave up grandpa's rules and took on Jack Canfields.

Stephanie: Mm

Vince: So I was going to be another Jack Canfield. I started a book called Zero to Mach One, Accelerating Your Success. I put workshop together to use the concepts of flying to help teach people how to live their life, in a way that I knew how to live it. I didn't, I didn't think of it that way though. I was always into self help. I knew about goal setting. I knew about visualization. I used all of those and what I thought the awakening was, okay, it's time to step out of this job that you're supposed to have.

Not that I didn't love flying and and I still miss flying after I've been retired for a couple of years, but to step out of that. And if I was going to live my purpose, I had to be a teacher. I mean, I think a lot of us believe that we've got to be a teacher. We've got to be a coach, or we've got to be whatever.

So that's why I stepped into Jack's rules and I'm going to live my life Jack's way and Jack's way is amazing. He has helped so many people, but that's amazing for Jack.

Stephanie: Correct.

Vince: So I started to not be happy again. I started to feel like there was something missing again, and that's one thing that I want to share with everyone. If you're, you're not finding your way, and if you don't have somebody who helps you find your way. Yeah, we, we need coaches and we need mentors, but unfortunately, most coaches and most mentors think that they have to show you how to do it their way and we just get lost again. And that's what happened to me. I got lost again.

Stephanie: Mm.

Intermission

Stephanie: You were so close. Here you were. You finally woke up. You finally saw something different. And yet. Yeah. So then what?

Vince: I, I would say the most important wake up call came to me, and that was when my current wife, Mary came into my life. She actually came to my life about 10 years earlier, and that's a whole nother story that would take quite a bit of our time. But she came into my life 10 years earlier. And then when my wife, uh, Martha and I were getting a divorce, Mary was divorcing her husband at the same time and a mutual friend of ours said, Vince, are you doing okay? And I said, no, I'm a mess. I don't understand any of this. And he said, well, why don't you get together with Mary and maybe she can help you understand what Martha's going through.

Stephanie: Sure.

Vince: And, it took a while, but we started chatting. We actually became drinking buddies for about 18 months and, and we helped each other see different aspects of the divorce and how to move forward in life. But during those 18 months, Mary started sharing about spirituality. Now I was religious. Very religious, um, not over the top religious, but very religious. I went to 12 years of Catholic school.

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Vince: And some of the concepts that Mary was sharing with me about spirituality didn't quite fit into the mold of my 12 years of education.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: It's not that it didn't make sense, but at the same time it was nothing that I was taught, nothing in alignment with what I had believed, and I was at a point where do I question all of my beliefs? So I started looking for ways to prove to myself what was right or wrong. And you could look at it as I was trying to prove to Mary that she was wrong with what she was sharing.

But I went to science to find the answers. And the deeper I got into science, especially quantum physics, the more I proved everything Mary was sharing with me. It's the understanding that science and spirituality are walking hand in hand, and it's something that we can all use to help us understand the multi dimensionality, of who we are. The, the more I started, okay, I've got to do my work. I've got to figure this out. I've got to incorporate this understanding and open myself up to more possibilities. So Mary was what I call the fourth wake up call. And I think it's really good to emphasize that not all our wake up calls are something that's terrible in our life.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: Some of the wake up calls can be very, very positive. The Universe, if you want to call it, do it, call it that. But more importantly, that non physical part of ourself that never forgot, that remembers why we came to Earth, why we chose to be here on this rock. It's constantly trying to get our attention. And it gets our attention sometimes in not so positive ways. And it gets our attention sometimes in very positive ways.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: So Mary coming into my life opened me up to the possibilities of spirituality. And then there was a few other wake up calls along the way that I finally just had to pay attention and tap into this knowingness that we all have.

Stephanie: So you and Mary finally started, obviously she's your wife now, you started dating at some point and then what happened? I mean, you've got some spiritual awakening here. You've got a connection with somebody who's very much on the spiritual side where you had come from the religion side. Um, you know, where, where do you go from there? I mean, it sounds like these were your first steps into figuring out Vince's way with Mary's guidance or Mary's suggestion, even. Then where did Vince go?

Vince: So that the first direction that I went is just to start getting the concepts that she was sharing. So to learn more about what does it mean that we're all one? What does it mean that we create our lives? Mary had the words but she didn't necessarily know all the concepts or all that comes into it, especially from, from the science side of things.

So, yes, we started dating. Our first date was Alaska, believe it or not. It's kind of nice when you're an airline pilot and you can take somebody on a layover with you. The second date was Washington, D. C. And we had some pretty heavy duty conversations on those layovers and part of the process, Stephanie, of me learning who I was and growing and expanding to who I was before Mary and I even got together was learning. So I was signed up for all these crazy programs. Um, some, some very oriented in helping me build this business of, of self help and personal growth. And some of them just personal growth for, for me to learn and grow. And one of the courses I signed up for the people at the workshop that I was at at the time, you gotta take this Vince, you gotta do it.

I didn't even know what it was. I missed half the presentation because I was in the bathroom, but these people who, who I really had a connection with said, you got to take this, you got to sign up for it. So I signed up for this workshop. It was called Illumination Intensive. Well, the night before the Illumination Intensive, Mary calls up from Aspen and she says, I'm up here in Aspen. I'm up here with my business partner and my youngest son. Why don't you come up and spend the night with us? And it was like, Mary, I I've, I've got a five day workshop I'm supposed to go to. And she said, I really want you to come. So I got in my car, drove to Aspen, knowing that I'd have to get up at four o'clock in the morning and drive to the airport to go to my workshop.

But it was probably the most profound thing that could happen to me to really start me on my path of finding out who Vince is and how Vince is here to show up in the world. So we went to a Mexican restaurant, had a few too many margaritas, I'll admit that. Went back to the room and Mary and I ended up having sex.

And after we spent that time together, Mary said, I want you to know I see the energy of this woman standing next to you. And she described the energy of this woman. Well, Stephanie, she described my grandmother who died when I was 17. So my grandma's always been on that path of me living my purpose, living the divine intent I chose before I ever come to earth.

And that really got my attention. I had enough to drink. It was like, Okay, I believe this. If I hadn't had a few margaritas, I probably would have questioned her and we probably would have gotten a little bit of a discussion about it and it would have ended there. And then she said, I also see this energy of this little blonde girl standing next to you. And she described this little girl, her hair length, the color of her hair, the blouse she was wearing, the dress she was wearing. Yeah, the patent leather shoes. She was wearing light leather, white Bobby socks. I mean, it was so thorough on this description. So we talked a little bit about that, but I had to get to sleep.

I had to get up in the morning. I got up at four o'clock, got in my car, driving to the airport. It's a couple hours from Aspen to the Denver airport. The whole time I'm thinking, well, who is this little blonde girl? What's this little blonde girl about? I get on the airplane. I fly two hours to Vancouver the whole time, who's this little blonde girl? What's this little blonde girl all about? Just not even thinking about this event I was going to. I show up at this event and I go to check in for to my room, and I was assigned this tiny little room with a roommate that I didn't even know, and it's like, uhoh, what did I sign up for here?

So I asked one of the ladies behind the desk, what's this all about? The Illumination Intensive is five days, from six in the morning to midnight. You spend answering the question in a dyad, so setting knee to knee to some other person, tell me who you are. And that's all you did. You got some education in the morning.

And then, 20 minutes with one dyad, move to the next dyad, 20 minutes with that dyad, move to the next dyad, 20 minutes with that dyad, and you start out with, uh, I'm a pilot. I'm a son. I'm a brother. And by day three, maybe it was day four, it was I am everything and I am nothing. And I just started to shake and that truly was what most people would probably call a kundalini wake up. That's where my body woke up. But the most magical and scary as hell thing that happened during this time was five times during those days, somebody said to me, do you know there's an energy of a little blonde girl standing next to you or sitting on your lap? And I asked these people, even though we weren't supposed to say anything, but tell me who you are and thank you, what's she dressed like. And they all described her exactly the way Mary had described her to me.

Stephanie: Jeepers.

Vince: And at that point I said to myself, Vince, you really got to start paying attention here. You've got to figure out what this is all about. So day five, they shut you down. Uh, if you've been to any of these workshops and I'm sure you have, but for the listeners, when you go to a workshop where they open you up that much, at the end of the workshop, they have to shut you down. So you don't go out in the world wide open because It can be pretty devastating to go out with an open heart and the world is the way it is.

I didn't go. I hopped on an airplane and I went home and I called Mary on the way to the airport saying, I'm coming home and I want to meet you right away. I want to know who this little blonde girl is.

I talked to Mary on day one, but after that we weren't allowed to talk to anybody through the whole workshop. So I, hadn't told her about what was going on or anything. So she met me when I got home. We went for a walk. And, you know, the first thing I wanted to know, what, who's this little blonde girl? What's this all about? And Mary just explained to me that she had heard about this little blonde girl in a channeling. And it was like, what's a channeling. So she described to me what a channeling was, you know, these people, these people have the ability to let the energies come through and the higher vibrations can talk to you and give you information from the higher vibrations that they see the whole picture type of thing. And it was like. Yeah, right. So I said, okay, I don't know what it is. And I definitely don't believe in it, but I want to know what's going on with this little blonde girl.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: So Mary sets this channeling up for me. We go to this channeling. The lady is just absolutely lovely. She's sits there and has tea with us and talks with us a little bit, then takes us back into this room where she channels. Mary's sitting with me and this lady gives me an option.

I can be a full channel for you where I just let the energies come in and you talk to the energies. Or you can give me the questions and I'll get the answers and I'll just tell you what's coming in or, um, you can ask the question and then I'll get the answers and I'll, I'll give you their answers directly from them.

So it was like. Yeah, I'm with the full thing. You know, I'm here. I'm not quite sure I believe in any of it. So I want the whole thing. So she starts the channeling. I watch her close her eyes and she said, I'm going to go inside. I'm going to bring in the energies and I kind of watch her face morph a little bit. I watch her body change. Her body language was a little different, the way she was sitting in the chair and all of a sudden this energy comes through.

And the whole time. I'm, I'm justifying. Oh, wow. She's a really good actress. This is really cool. Um, And this energy starts talking and the energy introduced himself is Archangel Michael and said, young man, I've been waiting to talk to you for a very long time. I'm glad you're here. And through the conversation, or really, it was a one sided conversation. Archangel Michael told me what happened in my life and why it happened and why my parents were who they were and all these other things.

And the whole time, Stephanie, I'm going, Oh, well, Mary told this lady about this. Mary told the lady about this. And that went on for probably 30 minutes, maybe 25 minutes. And then Archangel Michael said, there's another energy here that wants to talk to you. Are you willing?

Well, there was one point after the divorce, I said, no matter what I do, I am going to listen and try the things that show up in front of me. And then I'll decide if they work for me or not. So I said, sure, bring it, bring on someone else. I watched her face change a little bit, the way she was sitting in the chair morphed a little bit. And it's like, Oh my goodness, this lady's a tremendous actress.

And what happened was the next energy came in was Archangel Raphael and Raphael said, I'm going to help you open your heart because you're here to open others hearts, but you have to open yours first. And I'm going to do it with red hair, blue eyed people. Well, Mary's son's red hair, blue eyed.

Mary knew that I had a few people that have come in my life that red hair, blue eyes. So it's like, okay, got it. Mary told this lady about these red hair, blue eyed people. Then Raphael said, as an example, last week, do you remember walking through Walmart? And when you were walking through the store, little boy stood up in a stroller, had his eyes on you all the way, fell out of his stroller. His mom caught him just before he hit the floor. That little boy had red hair and blue eyes. And it was like, oh, no, the boy knew the mom knew and I knew. Vince, it's really time to start paying attention.

Stephanie: You hadn't told Mary that story.

Vince: That's where I started really opening up to everything that came to me to find the reason that I'm here on this earth.

Stephanie: I have a question and I'm incorporating what I know of the sort of after all your transitions, but people who are skeptics of spirituality and of these, um, wild stories, you know, they, they say things like, well, and I might even ask this, why is it that, the day that you sat down, Archangel Michael and Archangel Raphael were the ones that showed up.

How, how was it that they had time, to come here to talk to you, you know what I mean? Like anybody who tells these stories is like, Oh no, no, no. It's the biggest guy, the most important guy, the, like the, you know, the, the president of all the archangels, you know, he's the one who came and told me a story. Tell me how it is that these highest of all angels and vibrations show up to talk to any one of us at any time.

Vince: Well, first of all, I was upset because Jesus didn't show up.

Stephanie: Fair enough.

Vince: I'll be honest with you. I truly was. I was, well, if there, if the energies are going to come to me, why didn't Jesus come?

Stephanie: That's an interesting, right, from your Catholic background Of course. Mm-Hmm

Vince: so I'm going to answer your question in two ways. First of all, it's energy. So that energy is available to talk to all of us all at the same time. So it's not like they took time out of their busy day to put Vince on the schedule. But it's hard for our human brains to even think of that concept. The other thing is, um, you know, they call themselves Archangel Michael and in my knowingness now, that energy stream called itself Archangel Michael because Vince would accept Archangel Michael.

Stephanie: mm-Hmm.

Vince: But in my belief now, we're all energy streams. We're an energy stream of the fullness of source energy. And we represent different strands of the energy.

So in that energy stream, there's the lowest vibration of that energy stream, which just happens to be a 3d existence, our bodies. And then there's the higher, and at any given moment, the highest vibration of that energy stream. And along that energy stream, there's different frequency representations, and those are our guides.

Our higher self's a higher vibration than than the physicalness of who we are. So why did Archangel Michael come to talk to Vince Kramer? Because Archangel Michael is the highest or the higher vibration of my energy stream.

Stephanie: Okay.

Vince: Now, I said at any one given time, it's the highest vibration because we're here on earth to help expand the energy through our experiences. So the highest vibration of the energy stream keeps getting higher and higher and higher. So it's a moving target.

Stephanie: Mm. Mm. Mm

Vince: That's why I think Archangel Michael came to me, because of the energy stream. So I believe that we chose the reason that we're here on earth and I teach it and I help people find that reason.

I believe that that's our divine intent to expand this energy on earth and to do it, we make a difference here, help other people make their difference, so they expand their energy streams. And I believe that all the vibrations above us, if you will, and I don't like to look at it that way, they're above us, but all the higher vibrations of that energy stream, their divine intent, their reason for being, is to help us live our reason for being on earth so the energy strand expands.

Stephanie: Mm. Let me come back to your story. After you heard the story of the little boy in Walmart that you very clearly didn't tell Mary, you stopped justifying and you started paying attention. Where did you go from there?

Vince: Well, as that channeling ended, uh, one of the things that Archangel Michael said when he came back in after several energies came through was that to help you make that difference, to help people love themselves, we're going to help you understand this information. And we're going to come in at night and give you information so you could develop programs to help people find their purpose, to help them live those three parts of their purpose fully.

And I started getting information at night.

And I would wake up and get this information and some of it didn't make sense, but I would write it out, all this information. I would write it out, so I had it. Uh, I would walk into a bookstore and a book would fall on the floor and I would pick it up and it said The Biology of Beliefs from Bruce Lipton or, um, The Molecule of Joy or I these books I read. I bet you're pretty close to a hundred books in a year because they would fall out. I would get this information at night and then a book would show up and, and only part of the book would have information about what I learned the night before. And I just started gathering this information and, and I started living what I was learning.

So I started looking at my beliefs. I was started looking at my environment and the community that I was surrounding myself with. I started doing the work to uncover the three parts of my purpose, but more importantly, start living more fully who I was meant to be.

And then one night Mary said, Vince, you, you can't be waking up every single night. I had gone back to the line when flying now, can't be waking up every night for two or three hours and then maybe staying awake all day and then going flying an all night flight. You can't be doing that.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: And I said, well, I'm not going to stop the information coming through. And she said, well, why don't you try channeling yourself? And I said, nope, not going to do it. And she kept at me for, for a year, kept pushing me back to what you said. Who am I to let these energies come through?

Stephanie: Mm.

Vince: And what if I screwed up the information? What if I got in the way? But after a year, I finally said, okay. And, and anybody listen to this, if you've flown with me, you weren't unsafe. We were fine, I agreed to try to channel and it was difficult when it first started. The vibrations coming through was too much for my throat. It's too much for everything else. And it was like. I got 15 minutes out or 20 minutes out and then it grew and grew. But I want to go back to something that you said, because I think it's very important. I didn't believe in this stuff either.

Stephanie: Mm

Vince: At all. But I couldn't deny little blonde girl.

Stephanie: hmm.

Vince: Couldn't deny the little red haired boy. And, are we all going to get those kind of messages to, to start believing. And I don't think we are.

Stephanie: Hmm.

Vince: But I think a bunch of us are and if a 6 foot 5, 240 pound, ex football player, ex military pilot, who's been to war, airline pilot for 28 years, is willing to take these messages and believe, I, I think that those are examples for others to at least consider it.

And that's why we wrote the book, just to help people see these things happened to this person who never would have believed any of this. Maybe you should think about it.

Stephanie: I agree with you completely. It is very much in line with what other people have told me about a spiritual awakening. There, there have been numerous people that I have talked to that have had similar things to you, not maybe as intense or as clear, but but plenty of people who have said,

I didn't believe. I thought this stuff was crazy. I thought it was out there. But after after the experience, you can no longer deny it. So, so it, it tracks with, with multiple other people and, and I'm, I can't recall specific names or episodes off the top of my head, but I might go look for that when this episode posts so I can make note of it. But this spiritual awakening is, it's an awakening because we don't believe. We don't believe. As a matter of fact, for myself, I know that, you know, when I was a kid, my mom was into spiritual, woo woo out there stuff. And this is like, you know, the mid to late seventies, the early eighties when, when it was way out there and it was way woo woo and, you know, gurus and walking on coals and, you know, she was into yoga before yoga was a thing.

And mostly I just rolled my eyes. Oh, God, here she goes again. Oh, and And in fact, for a lot of my life, I, I actively pushed that stuff away because I thought, what I had seen or interpreted, or however I had experienced her pursuits, was with an eye roll and, that's crazy. So, so when it finally came for me, you know, in my own way, it was, it was not only did I not believe, but I was actively, avoiding as well. So, um, so yeah, it is, it is unbelievable for, for people who are listening and who have not had a spiritual awakening or had not, who have not had spiritual experiences.

It, it is unbelievable.

Vince: We can, we can all tap into this guidance. We don't have to go through the experiences that, that I went through. I, I, I truly believe that there's people out there that are going to give a new possibility a try, because I believe. And and that's all all that anybody can ask. I mean, I thought I was going to go to hell. I really did with, with the belief that I had.

But my life has changed so much and I have changed, helped people change their lives because my gifts are to learn how to find your way. My gifts are to, to, to help you see how you can live your way. And, all we can ask is that when the time comes, when the calling comes, at least consider it.

That's the first thing I tell people when they start my class. Give, give me seven weeks or give me a year, if you're in the year long program. And just consider what I'm sharing with you. Try it. Be it. Do it. And at the end of seven weeks, if you want to let it all go, let it all go.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: But you were called, no mistakes or coincidences. So you're in this class for a reason. Anybody that's listening to this podcast right now, they're listening to it for a reason. What is that reason? At least give yourself the opportunity to find out what the reason is. And then if you find it out and it's like, wow, I don't like what this guy says. I think he's crazy. He belongs in an, institution. That that's absolutely fine. But at least you listen to the calling to hear what Stephanie and I are sharing right now, and then decide for yourself, does it make sense or does it not make sense? And if it doesn't make sense for you, let it go.

Stephanie: Well, here's the other thing, too. It might not make sense to you right now, but it might be somewhere down the road. You hear something else and a bell rings and reminds you of this. Or maybe this rings a bell and reminds you of something, some other glimmer that came through your life at some point. Just like your story, right?

It doesn't all happen at once. We don't throw open the window and, you know, run out the door and say, I'm a spiritual being all of a sudden. It's, it's a, it's a path as much as anything else is.

Vince: Certainly. And it was a 8 year journey for me. And, and, and I believe I chose to come to this earth to help it be a 1 or a 2 or maybe a 3 year journey for other people. Because I went through the 8 years, I've learned how to cut the corners for everyone. I, I've learned five different ways to help you tap into your guidance, to really channel your own guidance through, through you and take action on it. It took me several years just to get to that point.

Stephanie: Right.

Vince: And I think. We're all here to live our divine intent, like I said earlier. So someone can start living theirs a little more fuller, a little more fuller, a little more fuller, and then that's what's expanding that vibrational stream.

Stephanie: So wonderful. Vince, I'm going to put the information for your courses and your, your offerings in the show notes of this episode. But, um, for anybody who's listening, why don't you just, uh, tell us where we can find you.

Vince: Well, the easiest way to find me from this podcast right now, Mary and I's work. Just go to ImagineMiracles.com/40-drinks.

Stephanie: Perfect. I'm so thrilled you made a link just for this.

Vince: Our website information's there. There's a, the finding the three parts of your purpose. We have a formula we call your unique purpose formula. That's going to be available to you for free. How to get the book will be on that page and for the first 10 people from this podcast, who are interested in finding out what the next best step for you is on your journey, Mary and I are going to give 10, Your Life, Your Way, breakthrough sessions where you can spend 20, 30, 40 minutes with us, just talking about where you're at right now, what the obstacle is and what the next best step is.

Stephanie: Well, we're going to have to edit that a little bit because there's only going to be nine of them available. Cause I'm first in line.

Vince: Well, I'll tell you what, there will be 10 plus you.

Stephanie: Oh, Vince. Oh, that's so generous. Thank you. Thank you to you, and thank you to Mary. Um, that's so wonderful. Uh, since you and I first met, um, I, I knew when we finished our pre conversation a couple of months ago that I, that I wanted to sit with you and learn about purpose, but I, I made myself wait until after we recorded this so that we could just be here together today.

And it was, and it was all about you. So thank you so much for joining me this. You've shared so much good, meaty, gooey stuff. I love this stuff. So, um, I really appreciate you taking the time and telling us about your midlife transitions.

Vince: Well, thanks for having me and thanks for what you're doing. You're making a big difference in the world, letting people tell their stories.

Stephanie: Thank you.

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