I’ve just returned from a four-day adventure to the middle of nowhere Utah and an amazing experience working with the Peruvian Shaman/Mystic/Poet, Don Americo Yabar – the same Shaman I worked with in Peru back in February. We stayed at the beautiful and rustic Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch, a fully sustainable and organic ranch (outdoor living shower and all) tucked away in the high desert mountains with no cell or wifi service, down a long dirt road in the middle of the Dixie National Forest (close to Escalante and the Grand Staircase, if you’re familiar). If you haven’t been, I highly suggest an adventure out to that part of the country, it’s truly one of the most breath taking places I’ve ever visited on earth.
While I was on this trip, I was able to take notice of the little things I either don't get to experience, or miss, in my everyday media flooded world – the tweet of a bird, the speed of a hummingbird’s wings, the effortless flight of a hawk – and in noticing these things, I was reminded by Americo these are all precious signs.
You might be asking, “Signs? What is she talking about?”
I’m talking about 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 we don’t often notice them because we’re so busy thinking, re-hashing the past or planning the future, that we miss them – most of the time we’re not even aware they’re even there eager to show us the way.
I was also reminded sometimes you just have to get out in the middle of nowhere to be reminded there’s so much to notice. Because out in the middle of nowhere there’s no chatter, no email, no texting, no to do list, out in the middle of nowhere there is just this moment. This one. Right here. Right now.
As the sun was setting on an amazingly powerful day I went searching for a place to meditate and imprint the days 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. On this sign was 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 across the way and about 100 yards up a similar sign was inscribed with, “XOXOXOXO”, yet another reinforcement of the days 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 road 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 to two trees affectionately known as the “wedding trees”, no real surprise really, a beautiful site for what I’m sure has been many marriage ceremonies (but you probably already figured that out).
Logically I knew the signs weren’t necessarily put there for me… or were they? If I wouldn’t have followed that trail, if my heart wouldn’t have felt that intense tug, I would have never gotten the chance to experience them, I might not have been reminded of all the amazing things I learned in those few short days.
And you know, it doesn’t really matter that they weren’t put there for me, I still loved them. I loved the story they were telling me, 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 the next one 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.
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 recognize 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. (Tweet MORE)
The beautiful thing is you don't have to go to the middle of nowhere Utah or Peru to start noticing the bread crumbs being left for you, the lights illuminating your path. If this sounds like something you’re wanting for yourself here’s a couple little suggestions you can do in 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). There is nothing like reconnecting with nature to help you “tune-in” to the world around you.
- 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 best and simplest way I know to do this is to stretch your chest wide open – stick your arms straight out to the side and then pull them backwards until you feel a strong stretch across your chest, lifting your chin to the sky. 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, you open wide to the possibilities around you. So 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.
- Ask. 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.” 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. Sometimes simply being aware of the fact there are indeed signs, that in and of itself can be enough.
The world is full of signs, they’re truly everywhere. All you have to do is choose to pay attention and let the world around you be the great teacher that it is. All it takes is a little MORE:noticing.
Double High 5s and MORE:love,