Are you paying attention to signs from the Universe

The Disney Movie, Up, Was a Sign From the Universe to Go on Another Big Adventure

This is what happened

May 24, 2020 · 9 min read
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Image from Disney Pixar movie, Up

Here’s what happened

Ten minutes into the Disney movie, Up, tears were pouring down my face and I began crying in earnest. I raised my hands to my face and sobbed into them. I turned to my husband, who was sitting on the couch next to me, and saw that he was crying, too. I hit pause on the movie, grabbed a box of Kleenex, and crawled on to his lap.

We hugged, cried, comforted each other, and calmed down.

I gave him a shaky smile and said, “Honey, we need to go on another Big Adventure.”

We had both clearly seen ourselves in the two main characters at the beginning of the movie, Carl and Ellie.

The movie, Up, synopsis

Carl and Ellie have a passionate dream to go explore “Paradise Falls” somewhere in South America. They’ve had this dream since they met as kids and created their “Adventure Book”.

They grow up, get married, and are always saving for their Big Adventure. But life gets in the way, as it does for all of us. They need to replace a car, fix the roof, Ellie gets sick, and the Big Adventure Fund keeps getting used for these other things.

Throughout this little 10-minute beginning vignette, they are out exploring their local park, picnicking, loving each other, and often seen sitting in their favorite chairs in their living room — reading. We see them get older and greyer while they sit reading in their favorite chairs, holding hands.

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Image from Disney Pixar movie, Up
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Image from Disney Pixar movie, Up

Our sign from the Universe

This is where my husband and I saw ourselves.

We have favorite chairs we sit in and do a lot of reading. We rarely watch TV or movies. We read. We hold hands. A lot. We are getting older and greyer.

We have an Adventure Book. Our book is called our 25 Things List, or Life List.

We have had some really cool Big Adventures already.

But we still have Big Adventures we want to do before we die.

We still have Big Adventures on the List that we want to do so we have no regrets when we die. Or… one of us dies.

Back to the movie

Ellie grows grey, gets sick, and dies within the first 10 minutes of the movie. She is not even that old.

The rest of the movie, if you haven’t seen it, is how older, curmudgeonly Carl goes on a Big Adventure with young, wilderness explorer boy scout, Russell. They fly away to “Paradise Falls,” via balloons (Carl is a balloon salesman) tied to Carl’s house.

Adventure ensues.

The rest of the movie is fun and playful, as you would expect a Disney Pixar movie to be.

But my husband and I got stuck at the part where Ellie dies young and they still had unfulfilled adventures left in them.


I wasn’t ready for that to happen to us.

Aside: We all have Big Adventures inside us

A Big Adventure is just stepping out of our comfort zone.

A Big Adventure is about stepping out of our comfort zone and starting a new story about ourselves and our lives. It’s about being brave and courageous.

We all have brave and courageous inside ourselves.

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Image from Disney Pixar movie, Up

Saying Yes to any of the Big Adventures that live inside us is saying Yes to an inspired life, to the life we are meant to live, to living on purpose, to living in the zone, the zone that feels like we are in sync with life, the Universe, our purpose, our intuition.

A Big Adventure is about creating the life and experiences we really want to manifest, whether those are simple, small things, or big things.

A Big Adventure that seems simple and small may be exploring nearby parks, mountains, woods, beaches that you’ve never been to. It could be taking a class on a subject or experience you’ve been curious about and inspired to learn more about.

A Big Adventure that seems big can be anything from quitting your frustrating job, starting the small business you’ve been dreaming about, writing a book, running a marathon, picking up and moving, traveling, creating art.

Some of the things on our Adventure List that we’d already done were quitting our corporate jobs to sail around the world, traveling, running marathons, living in different nature settings (country, beach, aboard a boat), and retiring early.

I had a knowing that we still had Big Adventures inside of us.

Back to the story: So, what did we do?

We got out our Life List, our 25 Things List.

We brainstormed some more.

Just tossed around ideas. Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this? What about this? What about that? Our desires and dreams changed, adapted, pivoted as we had matured. So, this turned into a great exercise of updating our List, crossing some things off that really didn’t interest us anymore, and adding some new things.

We decided to go sailing again.

We had quit our corporate jobs to go sailing 10 years before. Our original sail, from Florida, USA to New Zealand (NZ) took us a year and was done in a 37 foot, cutter rigged sailboat. It was a safe, heavy, slow, reliable boat. Her name was Sally Forth. We “sallied forth” from the USA to write a new story for ourselves.

We planned to do a circumnavigation, but when we stopped in NZ to sit out the South Pacific cyclone season for 4 months, we fell in love with the country and decided to stay.

During the sailing adventure, we loved looking at other sailboats.

Hmmm. If we could do it all over again, what boat would we choose? We saw many catamaran sailboats along the way and always thought we might like to own and sail one … “someday.”

“Someday” had arrived for us

We decided to shop for a catamaran we could afford and go sailing again, island hopping, enjoy the simple live-aboard lifestyle.

We were living in NZ at this time. We looked and shopped for a boat in NZ, Australia, California, the South Pacific Islands, and Hawaii. We wanted to stay in the South Pacific region, keeping our option open to sail the boat back to NZ.

We found several catamarans we could afford in Hawaii.

We flew to Hawaii to look at boats, found one, and bought it. We went back to NZ, cleaned and polished our house, rented it out fully furnished, got our affairs in order, and flew back to Hawaii to live another Big Adventure.

The Universe got behind us.

The synchronicity and serendipity filled us with awe and wonder.

From the day we saw the movie, Up, to the day we moved aboard our boat in Hawaii took 3 months.

When we are clear, focused, intentional, decisive, active on our dreams, we have found we can manifest experiences surprisingly quickly.

Another aside: How to look for and see signs from the Universe

It’s like deciding you will do it, have it, and the Universe gets behind you and helps you.

The Universe is sending us signs all the time to step out of our comfort zone and manifest the Big Adventures living inside each of us.

We don’t always see the signs because we are not always looking.

My recommendation

Start looking. Start listening. Make it playful. Look. Pause. Pay attention. Listen up. Listen to your intuition. What would you really like to do now, change now, manifest now? What is the next thing you need to do in your life? What do you need to do before you die? What story arc do you want to write, to create about your life?

Here’s what I’ve learned are signs from the Universe in my own life

  • Anything that makes me cry
  • Anything that makes me laugh, smile, feel joy and delight
  • Anything that gives me an ah-ha
  • Anything that fills me with awe and wonder
  • Anything that inspires me
  • Anything that makes we go Wow! or Whoa!
  • Anything that energizes me, gives me a zing, feels electric
  • A peaceful, calm knowing or feeling overtaking my thoughts, my being
  • Serendipity, synchronicity
  • Seeing or hearing the same word, phrase, picture, thing, again and again

I’ve learned I don’t always have to take action on a sign, but I need to pause, pay attention, listen to my intuition, and figure out what the sign is about.

Back to the story: Our catamaran Grape Soda

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Image by author. Our sailboat Grape Soda in Hawaii

Was our Hawaiian Island sailing and live-aboard experience perfect? No. We had challenges throughout our adventure, as you do. We had broken boat gear (this is a given with an older boat and we had an older boat) that needed repair and tinkering, challenges with dockage (lots of sailors want to live and dock in Hawaii, not surprisingly), heat (Hawaii is very hot and we walked everywhere since we had no car and exposed ourselves to lots of sun and heat), seasickness, and other tests by the Universe.

But, life isn’t perfect, is it?

I’ve learned to live it imperfectly. To live the dream anyway. To live with no regrets. To pivot and shift into the place that says I’m living the life I want to live, living on purpose, following my intuition, exploring and learning about myself.

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Image from Amazon

We named our catamaran Grape Soda, from the movie, Up. When Carl and Ellie are kids, they create a secret badge they wear for their secret Big Adventure club that is a grape soda bottle cap. We loved that.

Yes, we had a Big Adventure. We loved living aboard, the beauty of the Hawaiian islands, the simplicity of life.

After 2 years, we sold the boat, and flew back to NZ.

And started our next Big Adventure.

But that is another story.

Maybe this story is a sign from the Universe

Maybe this story is a sign from the Universe for you to review the Big Adventures waiting to be explored in your life?

What would you love to do, to manifest? What new story arc would you love to create about your life?

Your next Big Adventure is waiting.

Thanks to Julia E Hubbel for sparking the idea for this story. She’s in the middle of picking up and moving cross country in her own Big Adventure. I’ve been really enjoying Julia’s articles that we are never too old to follow our intuition, our wildness, our adventures, the knowing inside us. Thanks, Julia.


We curate outstanding articles from diverse domains and…


Written by

Life Coach. Writer. Speaker. I love to help others manifest the life & work they would really love to have.


We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.


Written by

Life Coach. Writer. Speaker. I love to help others manifest the life & work they would really love to have.


We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

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