In the fall of 2000, I delivered a 90-minute presentation on the topic of Power Talking at the national convention of Professional Résumé Writers in Las Vegas. I flew out several days early to indulge myself with a side trip of hiking in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and horseback riding to the floor of the canyon. Looking back, I marvel at my adventurous spirit. I’m shocked sometimes at the realization: not only did I do it; I did it alone! It was all part of an ambitious plan birthed from my 1989 New Year’s intention to live my life “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” (See my 1989 Guidebook: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers).
I was in a reflective mood while hiking a remote trail in Bryce Canyon. Nature does that to me. It opens my mind to the big questions. You know the ones: “Why am I here?” … “Does God exist?” … “What is the meaning of life?” … “Does anything I do really matter?”
As sometimes happens when hiking alone, I began asking my questions aloud, pleading with The Universe to give me just one solid answer. Is that too much to ask? Really? Just one, incontrovertible straightforward answer. I mean, this is The Universe … all powerful … all knowing … all present. Hello?? Anybody there?
In desperation, I yelled out, “I want an answer … and I want it now!”
Just then there was a sharp turn in the trail and I nearly smacked into a signpost, whose words took my breath away. “STAY ALERT” the bright yellow letters instructed … “READ THE SIGNS.”
Whoa! The message pierced through to my heart. Isn’t it just like The Universe to deliver what we need to know instead of what we demand to know?
This morning at the cottage I found myself asking “What do I need to focus on in 2014? What intention should I pick for the new year?” Silence. And then the impatient shout, “Just tell me! I want to know!”
Then–just like that–I remembered “the sign” that was so meaningful to me 13 years ago. I also remembered the intriguing allure of “omens” in a book I’m currently reading, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. As these rather vague but appealing thoughts were bouncing around my head, I think I actually encountered an omen, but I’m not sure since I don’t really know what an omen looks like. But it felt the way I imagine it feels to see an omen. Silently awed, in the moment, grateful without words for the download of wisdom. Wow!
Happy New Year … Happy New Focus … What do you intend to create in 2014?
As for me, my intention for the next 365 days is to stay alert and read the signs.