When I first chose to attempt an online writing career, I focused on mental health and parenting to get my foot in the door.
I didn’t know if it would work, but I was determined to try. And I was looking for any sign the universe might give me to tell me that I was on the right track.
Within a week of writing, I found out that I’d been named a top writer in mental health, and soon after, parenting. Within 10 days of my journey, I found out that a difficult story I’d written about my dysfunctional childhood was selected for a feature.
When these things happened, some peers warned me not to get my hopes up. As if that would be terrible thing. They told me that luck doesn’t last, but do you know what I actually did?
I took the signs the universe gave me and fucking ran with them.
That’s not the kind of thing I’ve ever done before. To be honest, I long held onto much more pessimistic views about my future.
But I really love to write. And I have long wanted to write for a living. The only things that ever stopped me were my insecurities about my skills and my uncertainties about how anyone might become successful as a writer.
Even so, I took a risk on myself. And I thought that if I really want to do this thing, I’m gonna have to believe in it.
So I did.
In the spring and summer of 2018, I realized that I was on the right track for the first time in my life. I didn’t care who thought that was bullshit. All I cared was that I believed it.
I still do.
Maybe you think all of the “universe” stuff is a big fluffy bunch of mumbo jumbo. You might not believe that some things happen for a reason. Or that the universe could be telling you anything.
Although I’m not a religious person, I find it much more effective to believe in certain laws of the universe than to think it's all up to chance. Especially those related to attitude, positivity, and making your own luck.
Fifteen months ago, I was desperate for better work when I decided that desperation was the perfect time for my own phoenix rebirth.
When you’re already in danger of losing everything, why not take a risk to transform your life? It’s not as if you need to wait for rock bottom, but if things do start to look like they’re headed in that direction, maybe it’s time for a few giant leaps.
Ever since April 2018, I have taken every single win as a sign from the universe that I’m exactly where I ought to be. I don’t care if the win is big or small and I don’t care if other people feel like I've read way too much into it.
The reason I take these signs so seriously? I’ve learned the hard way what negativity and insecurity will do. And I know what it feels like to aimlessly believe there’s nothing good inside of me that I can offer the world.
From where I stand, the universe wants to work with you, perhaps more than you know. And sure, the "how" or "way" might seem a little odd or unexpected at first, but most of the time I believe it’s going to make a lot of sense in the end.
We are all different and we’ve been through different things. Different heartbreaks, wins, and traumas. Have you ever considered what those wounds might actually be good for?
In my experience, the most common way the universe speaks to us is through our traumas. And I’ve often thought that our sole purpose in life lies in healing or dealing with unresolved traumas.
While we have a special responsibility to resolve our own traumas, one of the most magical things in the universe is the way we can help heal others too.
When we work through our traumas we often inspire others to work through theirs too. And as we actively help others with their pain, we often receive unexpected healing as well.
I’d like to think that the universe is trying to guide us as we work through our creative careers. Which means I don’t think we need to play everything so dang low key.
If you’ve been dreaming your entire life about leading a creative life that makes a real difference in the world, you’ve got to pay attention for your window.
Once the universe starts granting you little wins for your efforts, don’t sweep them under the rug. You need to lean into those suckers and maybe put Post-Its on your walls to remind you exactly what’s going on. If you start showing up for the right work, the universe will have a way of reaching out to tell you that you’re on the right track.
Keep in mind that the universe often leaves signs of affinity and resistance. Sometimes, you’ll know you’re on the right track just because you’re experiencing bursts of creative flow.
And people will start to reach out to let you know how much your work has helped them through their traumas.
There’s another sign that might seem discouraging, but I find it exists to deepen your resolve. Once you start getting haters, they will root for you to quit or fail. It won’t matter to them how many folks love and appreciate your work. To these types of critics, you will almost always rub them the wrong way or get under their skin simply by existing.
Pay attention to the haters and the work they are trying to curtail. Why would anybody want to stop anyone else from doing work that positively impacts others just because they don’t like someone?
It says a lot about your mission. So, you shouldn’t be surprised when you start meeting resistance after accomplishing a few great things. Be happy, be brave, and be strong. Let that resistance stoke your fires and enjoy the resolve it brings.
Of course, you also don’t want to misread the signs. Make no mistake, the universe never gave me any signs to go ahead when I:
- Joined (or contemplated joining) various direct sales associations. Pampered Chef, doTERRA, Scentsy and the like might sell cool products but they’re not getting many single moms out of debt and into freedom.
- Hitched my happiness to somebody else’s trailer. No, your purpose in life is not to find a soul mate and live happily ever after. The universe wants and expects more than that.
- Wallowed in despair or self-loathing. The universe wants you to heal and help heal others. Hating yourself is an enormous detour and the universe wants you to come back.
- Sat around doing nothing because I was too afraid to do something. The universe wants you to take action and quit waiting for your circumstances to save you.
- Choose a path out of fear (also called running away) or dependency. You can’t deal with your trauma if you think you desperately need somebody else to survive. And you can't thrive if you keep running away.
On the contrary, the universe gave me signs that I was on the right path when I:
- Moved further into my healing by taking responsibility for my life and choices. The universe wants you to develop an internal locus of control and quit blaming it for all your problems.
- Made choices to support my personal growth and independence. Working together is beautiful, but codependency? Not so much.
- Took the actions that scared me even though I feared failure. Regardles of your individual purpose in life, your mission is to be brave.
We make choices every day which bring us closer or further away from our purpose. We make choices to heed or push away the signs the universe gives us.
Nobody can tell us what we're supposed to do. Not really. It's on us to find our path and say yes.
A lot of us have developed bad habits of saying no when the universe knocks on our door. We routinely talk ourselves out of doing the things that scare us because we think it's the right thing to do.
All the while, the satisfaction of our future is waiting. The universe is waiting for us to take its signs and run. Not away, but toward. It’s waiting for us to run toward our purpose with everything we've got.
So, what do you got?
Take those signs and run.