In my line of work as a coach who uses spiritual truths to enhance practical living, I receive a number of random email questions. The second most common* question that comes my way is “How do I know if this is a sign?”
In the emails, the writer describes a situation, a comment, a song, or thing that’s happened. Then she (it’s almost always a woman who writes to me!) tells me what she thinks it means and how she’s been looking for direction or insight or help. Then she asks me, “Is this really a sign?”
Reading this you might say to yourself, “what she’s really looking for is validation.” And you’d be right. But put yourself in this lovely seeker’s situation, and you start to see how easy it is to doubt your intuition. And how easy it is to look outside of yourself for confirmation and validation.
Here are some of the things these women are struggling with, the questions they want to answer so they can transition into their passions:
- Will I be okay if I take the new job offer even though it doesn’t pay more than my current job?
- Should I give him another chance even though he’s lied to me?
- If I start my own business will I be able to enjoy the life I already know?
- Is it time to leave this relationship, even though I’m desperately afraid of being alone?
- Can I maintain my quality of life if I change careers at my age?
Most of these women are feisty and funny. They’ve been struggling with these and related questions for months (and sometimes YEARS) and the questions are leading to more questions and opinions from well-meaning friends and family. Which leads to more confusion and self-doubt. It’s a nasty cycle.
In most cases I go directly to the heart of the matter in an email response. Not everyone loves my direct approach, but I feel so strongly that our lives are meant to be bold and beautiful (no, I never watched that soap) that I feel compelled to bring the truth to light so that people can make choices right away to start living the dreams they say they want.
This brings me to the question which I’ve been asked a lot over the last few weeks (and this week especially), “Is this government shut down a sign?” “Is it a message of some sort?”
You need to remember that I live in the DC metro area. Many of my neighbors, friends and family are employed in some way or another by the Federal Government. These folks are on both sides of the political aisle and are deeply affected by this situation. You might not live in the area and you might not know someone who is temporarily out of work, but you still can benefit from my answer.
The government shut-down is definitely a sign and a message.
It’s a call to action for those of us who know we have spiritual work to do in a practical world. It’s an opportunity to revisit our priorities as individuals and members of our local and global community. I see it as a clear sign that you can make choices every day to be in charge of your own destiny.
I am so *&%^% passionate about this idea – taking control and owning your own power – that I’m overwhelmed with the desire to put my hands on your shoulders, look directly into your eyes and tell you that YOU are ESSENTIAL. The world really, deeply needs you and your gifts – whatever they are. I’ve been squashing this fire down because I didn’t want to overwhelm people or scare them with the reality of their own responsibility – for themselves and for the world. No more.
No more hiding out because this situation is a sign – to own your truth and your value in the world, and that goes for me too.
There is no sugar-coating the fact that the loss of a paycheck (even if it’s temporary and you’re going to get back pay whenever you go back to work) can significantly change the quality of your life. It might affect your ability to pay the rent or the mortgage, your ability to get the medicines you need or your ability to feed and care for your pets. Maybe it’s less visceral but equally scary – affecting your ability to socialize, travel and indulge yourself in self-care the way you’d like. No matter, the point is when you’re worried about finances, it’s harder to be YOU in the world and trust that the Universe has great faith in you and will care for you.
The deeper message is this – whenever you put someone else in charge of your worth, you’re at the risk of having your worth and well-being change with the wind. If you can afford that, wonderful! The same is true with investing – some investments are meant to be held for the long-haul, but you’d never be advised to invest more than you could afford to lose in the short term. So why would you invest your precious life’s purpose in something that doesn’t value you?
Signs are always present and they present you with an opportunity to trust your intuition and lean into your truth. They are affirmations of what you already know to be true and they are guideposts to moving into the rhythm of the life you are passionate about. However, they don’t change anything – it’s you who have the opportunity to take action and follow the signs.
Are you ready? Would you like to talk and find out how to take action based on your signs? I’d be honored to listen to your dreams.
* The most common question I receive? “I have a short life line, does this mean I’ll die young?”