i have to start this post with 2 disclosures.
1. i haven’t prayed in a loonngg time. and 2. i’m not really a person for “signs.”
that being said, i experienced both yesterday and it pivotal.
let’s back up a bit.
i’ve been thinking for awhile time, but even moreso in the last 6 months, that i’ve wanted to pursue some further education in the natural health field. i did an intense batch of research back in February/March timeframe and settled on the school and program i wanted to pursue. what i didn’t settle on was the financial solution. so i put everything on hold until i could remedy my finances a bit and carve out the money needed to begin. i set my goal for August and moved on, carrying the packet of information on this program with me regularly, pulling it out every now and then to remind me of my real focus. my true north.
then August came. and went. and the money wasn’t really there like i expected.
but September was different. September saw a bonus that would comfortable cover the initial down payment. September saw me really have to wrestle with, literally, putting my money where my mouth had been for so many months. i would get incredibly close to enrolling in the program, only to find myself shirking back in fear. i wrestled with my hesitation, and what i would tell someone else in my position. coaching myself to take a risk and follow my heart and all that cliche’d nonsense that is actually really good advice. i told anyone who would listen about my struggle but internally i would feel an overwhelming chorus of “YES” anytime i considered the program or read the course descriptions.
and then i decided to try something different. i decided to try prayer.
ever since leaving the church earlier last year, i’ve avoided any of the old practices i used to observe, needing a deep separation from anything that reminded me of that world. it’s not that i’ve felt prayer to be bad; i’ve just not felt overwhelmingly convinced of who or what i was praying to, of what exactly was out there to receive my prayers, and even to the extent of what would want to even interact with us enough to want to answer our prayers.
i wouldn’t have even considered the option had i not been to visit with a spiritual guide of sorts, who’s first piece of advice was the practice of meditation. his suggestion was simple: use meditation to pray, be specific and come with questions you want answered, and, if necessary, ask for a sign. he mentioned feathers and butterflies or anything else that might serve as validation.
so yesterday morning i sat down, crossed my legs and closed my eyes. i began to slow my breathing and focus my thoughts.
“ok,” i said with some skepticism. “ok, whoever you are out there, tell me…should i start this program? that’s what i want to know. and send me a sign…a sign of….” my brain immediately thought “turtle,” my rational self thought that was silly. still, “turtle” kept coming back to mind, over and over. “ok,” i said, “show me a turtle. if you think i should do this program. show me a turtle.”
it was all i could do to remember to find a turtle. i was on a business trip and busy with different activities and had to keep reminding myself to find a turtle in a place that was not really known to have turtle inhabitants.
towards the afternoon, on a walk across the island we were on, a sign caught my eye. it looked exactly like one we had seen in the Florida Keys so i walked over to it, only to find this:
that’s right, the bar was called “Tortugas,” the spanish word for “Turtles.” it was not altogether obvious, lost in so many other messages. but it was there nonetheless.
it was my sign.
but truth be told, it was really just an affirmation of what i already knew to be true. that’s the thing about signs. they really just help you to have the courage to choose the path you’re already on, to give you the confidence you need to put your foot out and take that risk. it minimizes the hives and hyperventilation you feel when thinking about jumping off that cliff.
i registered for that program this evening, and will be starting a Doctor of Naturopathy as soon as they accept my application. happy to finally replace the debilitation of fear with the exhilaration of excitement; thankful for whoever or whatever is out there that sent “tortugas” to nudge me forward.