I believe each of our worlds are filled with signs – signs that we can either notice and embrace, or, as is all too often the case, ignore because by acknowledging them we would be taken out of our comfort zones. With my life, I ignored the signs for years. As a result, my life became more and more toxic until it finally came to the point where everything in my world seemed to collapse at once. It’s my believe that the Universe will do that to you…you can’t ignore the signs sent your way, ever. If you try, the Universe will continue to shake up your life in larger and larger ways until you finally pay attention. That’s what happened to me, and that’s how I ended up driving around the country for much of the past year without a plan or an agenda.
So what are signs? I wrote recently about all the positive Austin graffiti that I keep stumbling upon, graffiti that is often painted over the day after I notice it. Graffiti that seems to be speaking directly to me. And that’s the secret – a sign is something that speaks directly to you. To someone else it may not mean anything, but when you see/hear/smell a sign meant for you, the hairs on the back of your neck prickle, you get chills, and you may have a tug of inexplicable emotion. When this happens, pay attention. There is something to be learned here.
One of my favorite types of signs is the Cledon. I learned about the Cledon from my girlfriend Angela Hynes, who is a successful writer who recently edited a book for a famous individual who wrote about the Cledon. The Cledon is a message delivered to you through an unknowing stranger. You may hear a song on the radio that gives an answer to a problem you’ve been mulling over, or you may overhear a snippet of a conversation of two people walking past which applies directly to the circumstances in your life. When you hear a Cledon it is almost like you experience tunnel vision and all your senses are heightened and focused exclusively on that message. After Angela taught me about the Cledon a few years ago, I was walking Yoda early one morning when the sun hadn’t yet risen and the marine layer was heavy. I was lost in thought wondering if I should continue to date a new man I had recently met. A car was slowly coming down the hill, its brakes squeaking. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I noticed the car and the sound of its brakes, but I was sleepy and absorbed in the workings of my mind. Just as the car approached I heard a man’s voice come out of the car – it was like I lost sense of anything around me except his words which seemed to vibrate through my body. He said, “It’s time to put on the brakes.” This was a Cledon. Of course he was speaking about his loud car, but I heard the message as applied directly to the question I was thinking about with this new man in my life. Soon thereafter, for reasons other than the Cledon, I told the man it wasn’t working out for me. Wouldn’t you know it, he went into obsessive crazy mode. It was scary, but luckily we had only dated for a few weeks so his obsessive behavior didn’t last long.
Signs may also be in the form of animals. Perhaps you lock eyes with a deer, or a bird flies into your house and lands on the table next to you, or you are kept up for hours at night by a Great Horned Owl who is perched outside of your bedroom window, or two swans swim to within 6 feet from where you are sitting and groom themselves in front of you for 30 minutes (all of these things recently happened to me). The Shamans believe animals are powerful oracles. Many books exist which detail what message each of the animal totems may be delivering. The animals as sacred messengers thing is new to me, however, if anything, I treasure these experiences because I get lost in the moment. And getting lost in the moment is a delicious thing.
So next time you see or hear something that leaves you thinking it just may be a sign…trust your intuition and pay attention, because it probably is. You could learn something.
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