I’ve always been a fan of a great adventure, my favorites being the ones that provide the opportunity to disconnect, to unwind, to recharge and which leave me in awe, glowing from a bath of unexpected surprises.
My recent trip to the Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch nestled in the middle-of-nowhere, Utah (complete with outdoor living shower) definitely fit this bill. Throw in a Peruvian Mystic/Shaman/Poet named Don Americo Yabar and you not only get adventure, you have a recipe for certain magical amazingness!
This particular adventure did not disappoint.
Being out in the middle of nowhere, I felt like I could take notice of the little things—the tweet of a bird, the speed of a hummingbird’s wings, the effortless flight of a hawk. In noticing these things, I was reminded by Americo that these were not all coincidences, these were signs.
You might be wondering, “Signs? What is she talking about?”
I’m talking about cosmic breadcrumbs, divine gifts, mother nature’s whispers.
Those subtle, little messages, and some not-so-subtle at all.
The indicators that direct, reaffirm, jolt, inspire, awaken, assure, motivate… They are everywhere! The problem is, because we’re so busy re-hashing the past or planning the future we often miss them. Or worse, we brush them off as coincidence or part of the natural environment.
As the sun was setting on an amazingly powerful day, I went searching for a place to meditate and imprint the day’s discoveries when I happened upon a trail only several feet from my cabin, something I hadn’t noticed in the bright broad daylight of the previous days.
I have to admit I was drawn. There was something about that trail I felt compelled to follow. I didn’t know where it would go or what I might happen upon (the area is notorious for rattle snakes), but it didn’t matter.
I felt a tug from my heart and I just had this feeling that following it would lead to something pretty special.
Meditation aborted in anticipation of adventure.
About 100 yards in, I happened upon a sign, a real honest to goodness sign (sometimes they are metaphorical and sometimes they can be big glowing Las Vegas flashing neons), this one happened to be etched with the word, “Union,” and I thought, what a beautiful reminder of the work we we’ve been doing.
I traveled down the trail watching the horses in the pasture and about 100 yards up a similar sign was inscribed with, “XOXOXOXO,” yet another reinforcement of the day’s teachings around Love and the heart.
And then another, “Dreams do come true,” and another “Love,” and still another, this time a simple little arrow plopped in the middle of the trail pointing the way—hit me over the head with a “sign” sledgehammer, does it get any better than this?
In the end they were signs leading to a wide-open field with two trees affectionately known as the “wedding trees.” No real surprise, a beautiful site for what I’m sure has been many marriage ceremonies.
Logically I knew the signs weren’t necessarily put there for me…or were they? If I hadn’t followed that trail, if my heart hadn’t felt that intense tug, I would have never gotten the chance to experience the signs, I might not have been reminded of all the amazing things I’d learned in those few short days.
It doesn’t really matter that they weren’t put there for me, I still loved them. I loved the story they were telling, the memories they conjured, the ideas they reinforced, the promises they were making.
And most importantly, I loved the feeling I got from them—wonder, love and joy.
I loved the adventure of searching for the next one, the mystery of what they might say and what I might find with each new discovery.
Perhaps the treasure wasn’t all that significant or impressive—a big open field with two trees—but is that really the point?
The journey, that’s something I will always remember—that adventurous, curious, exciting feeling of seeing where and how it might all end. In a few months I’ll probably forget the open field and the trees, but I will always remember how I felt. I will always remember the signs.
And to think, it all started because the dusk illuminated a path and I chose to take it.
Which brings me to you. What signs are out there for you? Are you paying attention? If so, are you listening, considering what they might be telling you? When you see a sign, do you blow it off or honor it? Do you allow it to take you somewhere new?
The thing is, sometimes we need a jolt, a spark, a tickle to direct us, to let us know whatever it is we might need to know.
And even more beautiful is you don’t have to go to the middle-of-nowhere, Utah or work with a Shaman to start noticing these little lights illuminating your path.
If this sounds like something you’re wanting for yourself here’s a couple little suggestions you can easily add to the hustle bustle of your own sweet life:
• Commune with nature.
I don’t care what you have to do—walk through the grass barefoot, hug a tree, swim in the ocean, camp under the stars, get lost for a week in the wilderness.
Unplug for 30-minutes and resensitize yourself to what the Peruvian Q’ero Indians call “Pachamama” (Mother Earth).
• Open yourself up.
Did you know the heart has the strongest electromagnetic field of any other organ (even the brain)?Can you imagine what all our slouching, car driving, computer punching, texting, fetal position sleeping does to that electromagnetic field? What would happen if we opened it up?
The heart is what connects us to the world around us, when you give it room to beat, to pound, to pulse, you give it energy and strength, and you open wide to the possibilities around you.
So take some deep breaths, roll your shoulders back, lift your gaze and open that baby up and let her beat loud and strong!
• Be willing to change course.
Our routines and plans can be helpful tools for navigating life, but they can also create blinders and handcuffs, holding us back from those signs that can lead us to “a life lived more.”
Routines are great, just be sure you keep your antennae tuned and watch for the subtle little details, even the slight little alterations, and allow your heart to be tugged.
So simple but so true—we forget to ask for what we want.
If you want a sign all you have to do is ask for one.
For instance, while I was on the trip I was walking through a clover patch and I said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to find a four leaf clover,” and I kid you not, I looked down and right in my path was my first four leaf clover, ever!
Your experience will be your experience.
It might not come immediately, it might not show up tomorrow, or even the next day, or the next week. But if you’re curious, and you ask, you never know what might be presented to you.
See… it doesn’t take much and it’s relatively easy-peasy stuff you can incorporate right now, this very minute.
The world is full of signs, they are truly everywhere. All you have to do is choose to pay attention and let the world around you be the great teacher that it wants to be. All it takes is a little more noticing.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Emma Ruffin / Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Provided by Author