Friday’s Focus—Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs….the clocks moved ahead, the flowers are budding, Easter candy has been on sale since February….all signs indicating that Spring is around the corner (at least after the next predicted snowfall). There are always signs around us, guiding us, informing us, playing with us. How often do you notice them?

If you’re on the road, notice license plates and slogans on trucks. Listening to the radio, notice if a song or a chorus resonates with you. When you’re watching TV, talking to people, or reading a book, become aware of any word, phrase, or idea that keeps popping up (“That’s the third time I’ve heard that today!”).

Make it a game! Sometimes the Universe uses what’s around us to reveal answers to a particular question or something that may be on your mind, while other times, what we see is just a fascinating reveal of simple patterns. One of my favorite authors, Robert Moss, talks about this regularly and it is the focus of his book Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life. He calls these reveals, sidewalk tarot. Be aware of your thoughts and aware of your surroundings as you go about your day and see if the Universe doesn’t have a word or two to offer you.

Last September, I wrote a post called “Don’t Stop Believing,” about keeping the faith and hope alive even when you can’t clearly see the path in front of you. What inspired me to write that piece was my going through a difficult time where it seemed that every area of my life—from job to health to family was being squeezed. You name it, and there was an issue or at least a concern with it.

During that time, the song of the same name, by the group Journey, kept popping up during some of the deepest experiences I’ve ever had in playing sidewalk tarot. I started to notice that moments when I’d get lost in thought of “How am I…?” “Where are we…?” Journey’s song, “Don’t Stop Believing” would come on the radio—sometimes from the beginning, sometimes the middle, and sometimes the tail end, but just enough of the notes for me to recognize the song. I heard it so often during these times of personal questions, I couldn’t help but notice it had long crossed the line from coincidence to message.

One particular afternoon I’ll never forget, my husband and I were people-watching from a bench in the center of the town we’ve been talking about moving to. We dreamed and schemed about how we can arrange things and make this our new home. At that time, there was no clear way that we could see it happening, so we kept pleading our cause to the Universe.

As we continued to sit and talk about the house we would have and what we would do once we moved there, a blue pick-up truck came into the local traffic queue and in the most perfectly-timed sidewalk tarot orchestration I’ve ever seen, the truck drove past us, and through it’s open windows we heard the undeniable voice of Steve Perry belt out those three words “Don’t Stop Believing.” That was it for me. Not only was it the appearance of that song, but what stunned us was of all the lyrics, it was those specific three words that we heard as the truck passed directly in front of us as if in answer to our questions. I didn’t know how but I knew  from that day things would work. Six months later,  we’re now in the process of moving to the town we’ve always talked about.

There were other moments  when those three specific words showed up for me, and now looking back, I can see that it was always during the times I needed to hear them most. Because I had become aware of the message, each time I heard them or read them, I was able to take a moment and just close my eyes and say ok. I wasn’t alone.

Signs can come from anywhere and everywhere, from an image in the clouds to a phrase in a commercial. Sometimes you’ll see the signs when you least expect it and other times when you’ve specifically asked for them.  I hope you use today’s Focus to go out and play and see what the Universe has to say to you today—Is it an answer? Is it a new opportunity? Is it a new pattern? Whatever it is, just Don’t Stop Believing!

#takingitdeeper

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Friday’s Focus—And What If?

The universal Mind contains all knowledge. It is the potential ultimate of all things. To it, all things are possible.” —Ernest Holmes

In other words, think it, imagine it, believe in it, and it can happen. What is something that you have been wanting to do or travel to? Just because you haven’t yet doesn’t mean you won’t. If traveling is in your dreamscape, then start looking up airfares or bus schedules; sights to see; even the temperature of your destination and act as if.

Putting it out there with solid intention is the first step in telling the Universe you are ready.

If it’s going back to school, getting a new job, look into the logistics of the times of classes and how you would register. How would you commute? What would you need to wear or do you need a new backpack for commuting?

Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” —Ernest Holmes

What is something you’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t think was possible?

Have a great weekend!

Defining Ourselves

I read something the other day that asked how do we define ourselves? The article went on to say that it was another way of asking the Mother of All Questions: Who Am I? I became intrigued with the idea of how we define ourselves as the underbelly to that Master question.

Throughout time, philosophers and religious seekers have asked the question, Who Am I? Depending on what religious or philosophical texts you read, there are many answers, but general agreement seems to be that we are not who we think we are in this physical manifestation. We are more: We are an extension of the Universal energy (or God or whatever your name for it is) that brought us to be born in this human body in the first place.

Personally, I experience this connection—this extension—in my deepest meditations, yoga practice, or when I sit in Nature and in balance with what’s around me. In those moments, the truth of oneness becomes undeniable.

If you asked me to define myself, I would rattle off that I am a wife, a media project manager, a yoga teacher, a writer, and a daughter. In reality, those are labels of the things I do and are to others. They define my roles in society and my abilities but they do not define me. Labels are made up and so are the associations with them. I don’t believe labels define a person. I believe that moments do. If you take any defining moment in your life—it’s in those moments that we reveal who we are and our true nature.

The defining moment for a firefighter battling a blaze reveals his courageousness in his desire to save people. The defining moment for parents reveals themselves as love when they stay up all night nursing a sick child. The defining moment for a lover reveals selflessness when he puts aside his own desires when he sees his partner in need. Even defining moments that at first glance reveal something negative, really aren’t. Taking it deeper, even a person caught stealing is not a thief. Yes, per the label he is, but the defining moment of theft reveals that he is a fearful person. Someone who is hurt and in need.

We need to be careful here also of mistaking our reactions to events as tells to who we really are. When we are pressed in situations, most of us react until we learn not to. Don’t take that reaction to be the answer to who you are. Take it deeper into what’s behind that reaction.

These defining moments can come to anyone at any time. They don’t need to be earth-shattering life events. They can be simple, and small, but hugely profound in their reveal. I found myself in my own defining moment recently when I was practicing Yoga. I was having difficulty keeping a balancing pose, so in a third attempt, I yet again, renewed my intention and shifted my focus. As my foot came up against my standing leg and my arms rose above my head, my thoughts suddenly shifted to “I am love. I am love. I am love.” With each repetition, my pose became surer and straighter. That single moment was a defining one for me. So who am I? Lots of labels, and lots of things to many people and yes, I am an extension of the universal energy, and I am also love.

Who are you?

 

One Day Last Week

One day last week, I got home before my husband, so I had the house to myself for a while. It had been a hectic few days so it felt like a guilty pleasure to change into my sweatpants and just sit and relax without having to move right into making dinner or starting laundry. Sitting quietly on the couch, I had the TV on low, tuned into a British medical drama I’ve always passed by but thought this would be the perfect time to watch it. So there I was, letting my senses and soul knit themselves back to normal as I let myself get lost in the lilting British accents when I heard a distinct whhhhoooooossssh THUMP.

I tend to hear weird noises in my house (who hasn’t?), but sometimes things have moved on their own here before and I also grew up in a house that was spiritually active so I’ve always been around bumps in the night, or in my case days also. After hearing the noise, I still jumped and thought “What now?” It didn’t take long to find it and I laughed after I got over my shock. A book my husband had put on the bookshelf a few days prior had slid off the top shelf and landed on the floor. The title? God will Provide. No kidding. It was a book on the lives of various saints that we both enjoy and have always loved the title. Huh. I left the book where it was to show my husband and sat back on the couch. There was no reason why it had fallen from a secure spot.

I couldn’t stop smiling. What a great message. I really wasn’t scared. Who would be with a message “God Will Provide”? Yeah sure the delivery of the message was a little unusual but I was willing to look past that. A short time later, a smudge feather I’ve used in many Shamanic practices that had been sitting on a drum across the room suddenly flipped over end to end with a soft whoosh of the feather and landed on the floor. That one I caught out of the corner of my eye and so witnessed the whole cartwheel. This one startled me a little bit more. There was no reason—no breeze, no gust of wind, no open window, open door, no nothing that would explain that flip. It wasn’t even a sliding off but it flipped end over end. Again, I was shocked, but feathers are very special to me, and this feather, in particular, and I went back together a long way so I knew it was motivated to move by a good energy.

I told my husband about the book and the feather when he got home and asked him if he thought there were any logical reasons that he could see why they had fallen, and he admitted no, there really wasn’t. These two occurrences have stayed with me since then and I’ve wrapped myself up in the comfort they’ve left me with the loud and clear message that I am not alone and that no matter what happens, “God will Provide” and the feather falling told me that my guides and helping Spirits were around.

I thanked whomever it was that helped deliver the message (and yes, accepted the signs from only in the highest good). I have some otherworld helpers for sure and to me it doesn’t matter which one of them did it but rather I am grateful for the message. It was timely. There are days I pray from the knees on my heart for peace, grace, and strength to do whatever needs to be done and sometimes the prayer is just one of thankfulness for the new day and to see what I will learn. Messages of confirmation or love or support from the Universe or whomever, aren’t always that direct to many people or me I know, so the fact that it was so exacting really told me a lot. It was a spiritual slap upside the head to say “Hey! It’s okay! Don’t worry. Things have a way of working out.”

Sometimes I have fun and I outright ask, “Show me what I need to know for right now or for today.” And then I let it go, but without a hitch, at some point I will come across an advertisement on a truck, a vanity license plate, overhear a part of a conversation, something that will just root me to the spot that fits in perfectly with what I may need to hear. We hear what we need to hear in many different ways. So if you’re praying for something and you don’t think you’re getting an answer (yes, sometimes not having the answer is also an answer), be open to what crosses your path and see if you don’t find that answer in the most surprising places.

Blogging From A to Z: Welcome!

W

Dear Renata,

The Universe here, dropping off a quick note. Yeah, THAT Universe, as in the big U. Just wanted to stop by and bring you a note to say WELCOME to your new life.

I know things have been difficult and challenging lately, but I’ve been sending some people and good books your way to help you keep your sanity and to brighten your day. I’ve also brought about some new situations that I see you’ve taken advantage of to showcase your writing and art. You’re welcome.

I’ve been noticing that you’re still having some trouble despite my help though, and so I thought it best to contact you directly and send you an official letter welcoming you to this next phase of your life. The neighborhoods are the same—job, health, home, family, friends, and I’m sure you’ve already noticed that some of them have been changing with new neighbors and others that have moved out. More changes are coming and you will be exploring those neighborhoods soon enough, but today I decided to use the “W” in Blogging A to Z to welcome you to the new neighborhood that deals with taking care of your mom.

As you are well aware, she’s been having some additional health issues lately, and I’m sorry dear, but I want to strongly suggest for you to stop fighting the change. She’s not as young as she used to be and definitely not the mother that is living in your memory. So, in a sense, you have an updated version of your mother—the latest model so to speak. She still dances to the beat of her own drummer but the station has changed and there’s a new song playing. You’re the only relative close by whom she can call so instead of fighting the truth and the inevitable and feeling like your drowning with these new responsibilities, give it up and do the backstroke instead. You’re a good swimmer and strong, and take it from me, drowning people struggle in their panic so much it does more harm then good.

I don’t believe in writing instruction manuals but there are a lot of people in the same boat as you and the world is a wonderful reference library. Since I would never leave you high and dry and alone in your new neighborhood, I want to remind you that you still have God, Karma, and some pretty fun guardian angels on your side ready to help you in a pinch.

That’s about it for now. I used to do Welcome Wagons a long time ago complete with a basket of muffins and coupons for local dry cleaning, but too many people have food allergies to the muffins and everyone is so conscious with the environment now that I tend to leave notes like this when creating situations and opportunities aren’t enough. Take care of yourself and take care of mom. She needs you and I need you and the world needs you to be another volume in its reference library for the next person moving into their new neighborhood.

Love always,

The Universe