May 1, 2013

What’s Your Sign? (No, Not That One.) ~ Tamika Tara Schilbe

The Universe loves to call out to us in clever symbolism.

Thinking about your deceased mother, her favorite bird lands on the windowsill. Putting the music on shuffle, a forgotten song unlocks a mystery in your life. Unaware of why, oak tree sightings give you bursts of self-confidence. Your neck hurts and you realize you’ve been referring to your co-worker as a “pain in the neck” for days.

There is no end to the types of signs we can interact with in our lives. Sacred symbolism is everywhere.

Moments of special meaning usually occur when we least expect them. By their nature, they cannot be controlled. But without these special gifts from the unseen, life can quickly become dry and boring. Immersed in our to-do list or stuck in the mire of a personal dilemma, synchronicities may catch us off guard, but they can also tune us in to a more universal frequency. When we embrace these experiences, they can be powerful reminders of our connection to everyone and everything.

Our reactions to the signs are often quite physical. We can get “grace-bumps” or a shiver up our spine when something feels euphoric, deeply meditative, or resonates with a high truth. I’ve noticed that even when people feel an experience physically, they can still doubt its validity. How easily we forget that the meaningfulness we experience stands on equal footing with the cause and effect reality of that same event.

Unless you were talking about your mother publicly when her favorite bird showed up, someone might doubt the significance, pointing out that there is a bird feeder beside your house. But the reality of the bird feeder takes away nothing from the meaningfulness you experienced. The concrete reality and the synchronicity exist together; they do not disqualify one another. So whether someone else thinks your personal experience was “real” or not, is completely irrelevant.

Believing in synchronicity is an act of trust in yourself.

When choosing a name for our yoga school, we kept coming back to DevaTree. By the time the tenth person mispronounced it as “DivaTree,” we were full of doubt. I will never forget the day I was driving along, discussing other name possibilities with our co-founder. As I came to a stop, a huge landscaping truck appeared in front of me, decorated with the name “Davey Tree.” The grand coordination of it all was both profound and hilarious. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

The more attentive and sensitive I become, it seems nothing is random. But still, I would advise not to go too far. Not every single thing is a sign. Your grilled cheese sandwich might show you Mother Mary, but your quinoa salad might also become Hanuman and leap from the bowl, making it difficult to eat dinner. A dash of caution for the overly zealous is recommended.

People often tell me about signs and symbols that appear to them repetitively. For one person it’s a heart-shaped rock, for another a feather or a yellow flower. One of the most powerful signs that comes in for me, is a giant X in the sky. I love looking at the markings from airplane condensation trails (contrails) on a clear blue day. When I see an X, it is often when a certain thought has taken up residence in my mind. For some unknown reason, this particular sign reminds me to pay attention.

It fills me with an unexplainable, peaceful strength.

My latest sign was a double X. Merely jet engines and an overactive imagination? Not to me. On a day when I was feeling particularly alone, one of the X’s appeared in a way I’d never seen before. The fading contrails became giant angelic wings, beaming support from out of the bright blue sunrise.

Now I ask you again, “What’s your sign?”


Tamika Tara Schilbe, MSW, E-RYT 500+, RCYT, is an award-winning counselor, consultant, author, and yoga teacher trainer. As Co-Founder & Yoga Educator at DevaTree School of Yoga, Tamika shares her vision for collaborative yoga through DevaTree’s Cross-Disciplinary™ approach to education. An experienced group facilitator, Tamika has been teaching the art of personal renewal across the globe since 2001. Tamika is on faculty at the Toronto & Vancouver Yoga Show & Conference. She co-created and co-directs the 100-hr HeartRise® Children’s Yoga Teacher Training program, and is forever a student of children and animals. Making technique feel like an embodied prayer, Tamika’s classes and workshops have been described as playful, intuitive and transformational.


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Assistant Ed. Caroline Scherer

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