When the Universe Speaks… Are You Listening?

I’m 68 years old. For 68 years the universe tried very hard to send me a message. But… I didn’t listen. Why? Because I was afraid.

How many of you are paying attention, REALLY paying attention when the universe speaks to you? Let me explain.

We’re all different. We each have a unique set of talents, skills, and desires. We each have very different starting points and we don’t face the same challenges or have the same opportunities come our way. There must be a reason.

There is a school of thought that says even before our conception it is predetermined that there are certain people we will meet, all the challenges we will face (for every possible choice we make), and the opportunities that will come our way (again for every possible choice we make). This is our destiny. However, we have complete free will every step of the way to forge straight ahead, go right, go left, or even step back. He have the choice:

1. How we treat and interact with the people who come into our lives

2. How we use, or not use, the skills and talents ready and waiting to be refined

3. How we handle challenges — do we step up, learn, grow and evolve, or do we cower, give in

4. How we handle opportunities that come our way. Do we make good choices, or choose a path counter to our true purpose?

This school of thought says the universe WILL tell you what the best choice is in all of these situations, and more… if you just LISTEN… When we are listening, life can be like a beautifully choreographed dance. When we are not, it can be like shopping on Black Friday. Some choices will yield short term extremely satisfying gratification, but in the long run the picture is very different.

How do you listen? By being aware. By being in tune with who you really are and why you are here. But, how do you connect with all of THAT out there? The universe is a really, REALLY, big place that according to most knowledgeable scientists extends to at least 11 dimensions. There’s an easy way to do it. And it only takes 5 minutes a day. Turn off the TV, the computer, the cell phone, get rid of all distractions and find complete silence. Release all tension, let your mind go quiet, and touch deep inside to your inner most thoughts, your emotions, your perceptions, your soul. The deeper you go, the more you connect with the universe, with your COMPLETE multi-dimensional spiritual self, which is millions, billions of years old! Do it right now… for just a few seconds. You can do this 5, 10, 25, 50 times a day. Before you interact with someone face to face or on the phone or on social media you can connect with the rest of you, which is much more than what is in your body, and with the other person. Now, if you dare, if you are face to face, look DEEP into their eyes and let your souls touch each other. Even on the phone or social media, you can reach out and touch their soul and let them touch you.

Back to my story… There were plenty of times that I DID listen to the universe… opening my heart to my high school sweetheart, my career path, several (but not all) employers I chose, where I chose to live. There were also several where I didn’t listen and I learned painful, but valuable, life lessons from them. But this message that I’ve been rejecting and fighting for 68 years… Why was I so afraid? The universe was telling me to be authentic, to be REAL, to be true to myself. This would mean going against everything my parents, teachers, employers and society expected me to do. This would mean that the way they saw me was totally wrong. But, how could they ALL be wrong? Here’s the problem. Their way never FELT right. I had a constant internal conflict, a pain, telling me that they were wrong, that I was NOT Jim. But, it would be very difficult to be true to myself. They simply would not accept that. I refused to give in to the universe.

Finally, the universe said enough is enough and screamed at me. Within a 10 day period I saw the famous Jenner / Sawyer interview and then James Jeffley’s speech “The Line.” I’ve included a link to it at the end. James talks about his living his life on the side of an invisible line where he met other people’s expectations, living in a safe, secure space at the expense of being true to himself. He talks about how crossing to the other side of that invisible line means going into the unknown, facing risks, even having to abandon his marriage of almost 25 years, but being authentic, being REAL, being vulnerable, exposing himself, warts and all, for all the world to see. In the end, he makes a powerful statement by physically crossing that line and asking who’s with him. That speech punched me in the gut — hard.

OK universe… You win… I got it… I hear you loud and clear… Not because of the words from Ms. Jenner and Mr. Jeffley, but because of the pain, the pain of following the wrong path, the pain of NOT being true to myself. A couple of weeks later, May 28, 2015, on my birthday, I stepped out into the sunlight, for the first time, as Jennifer, closed and locked the door behind me forever on the persona I had created to be Jim, someone who had never been me. I have never looked back.

My message to you, to everyone is extremely simple, but it sometimes hard to accept. When the universe speaks, LISTEN. Embrace that message. Put your heart and soul into it. Do whatever it takes to follow the path you were born to follow. There is a reason. Listen. Just listen.

— — —

James Jeffley — “The Line” Incidentally, this speech catapulted Mr. Jeffley into the finals of Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking for 2015. 15,000+ Toastmasters clubs in 130+ countries, a total of 330,000+ members sent the winners of their club contest to their Area Contest. Subsequent winners continued on to the Division, District, and Region contests with only 10 advancing to the finals. James began his journey at his home club in the San Francisco bay area. The link is below.

I, too, am a member of Toastmasters. James also inspired me to take my speaking skills to a higher level. With his help I learned how to better craft my speeches and another mentor taught me how to connect much more deeply to the audience. I went into a professional recording studio, in front of the bright lights and four hi-def cameras for the first time in November 2015 to record a six minute version of this post. Here it is… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH4ycp89ees&feature=youtu.be&t=720

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