Sign Language

I count myself very lucky to drive a car with a built-in SatNav. Having moved house 3 times in 4 years, and one of those moves being over 8000 miles, as one might imagine, I rely on it heavily. Between Google maps, Waze and our vehicles’ onboard navigation systems, it’s like we don’t even see the road signs anymore.

But they’re always there. Silently telling us that we’re going the right way. Sometimes telling us we’re going the wrong way, if we’d only listen.

There are so many apps that have been developed to make life easier for us, and many of them are now so much part of how we do things, we can’t imagine how we ever managed before they’d been there. All the extra help we get ought to be affording us more time to spend on the really important stuff, but does it really work out that way?

Have you ever tried to get somewhere using one of the above mentioned methods, and found yourself driving along thinking:

“This doesn’t feel right,” but you’ve carried on because the voice on the SatNav told you to? We’ve all done it! I don’t believe you if you tell me you haven’t!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The scary thing is that we’ve become so reliant on tech, we don’t even trust our instincts anymore.

I had a friend in my 20’s who was quite into the esoteric and spiritual stuff. She had been insistent that the universe was trying to tell me something by giving me all these “signs” and even bought me a book to prove her theory to me! I was a complete skeptic, but decided I should do my friend the courtesy of reading the book Signposts by Denise Linn so I could at least know what I was expected to be believing.

The book begins with a discussion about the signs and coincidences that occur in our lives, then follows on with a dictionary of signs and their meanings. I actually found it a fascinating read! Whilst I cannot say that I agree with the notion that specific things people see in their day to day lives correlate directly to the explanations given in the book, I did become aware that there were signals that I kept seeing that seemed to be speaking to me.

What does make sense to me is that the more in tune we are with listening to our subconscious mind, the easier these clues are to decipher. Our subconscious acts like the road signs that are crystal clear, and never wrong, but not always given the attention that they deserve. We will always look back in hindsight and see how easy it would have been to follow the directions, if we had just switched off to the noise around us (the back seat driver; the Google Maps lady; the radio) and read the signs.

There can be order in chaos and precision in randomness if you choose to see it. Sometimes the difference is found purely by looking from a different angle.

“Release” is a monumental sculpture created by South African artist Marco Cianfanelli as a tribute to Nelson Mandela on the 50th anniversary of his capture

I had quite a profound experience this week which I interpreted as a very clear sign that I am on the right pathway for me. And yet it was one that another person could have seen very differently.

I have been listening to Think Like A Monk by Jay Shetty. One might think by reading my posts that I’m an avid reader, but I really don’t think I am. I tend to feel like the only time I really have to read is when I get into bed at night, and I am generally so tired by that point that I cannot keep my eyes open for longer than a page. So for this reason, I have become a fan of audiobooks. I love that I can get on with the mind numbing tasks of the day, whilst doing the complete opposite and feeding and exciting my mind.

Jay had been relaying a tale about 2 monks who had been down at the river washing their feet. The first monk had noticed a scorpion that was drowning in the water and he had reached in to save it. Although he was quick when he picked it up and set it upon the bank, it had stung his hand. He resumed washing his feet. The other monk said,

“Hey look, that foolish scorpion fell right back in.” The first monk leaned over, saved the scorpion again, and was again stung. The other monk asked him: “Brother, why do you rescue the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?”

“Because,” the monk answered, “To save it is my nature.” Jay says the monk is modelling humility. He does not value his own pain above the scorpion’s life. But the more relevant lesson is that to save is so essential to the monk’s nature that he is compelled and content to do it, even knowing the scorpion will sting him. The monk has so much faith in his dharma that he is willing to suffer in order to fulfil it.

Definition of the word Dharma:

According to wordhippo.com

Noun

  1. (Buddhism) The natural order of the universenatural lawcosmic order.
  2. (Hinduism) One’s obligation in respect to one’s position in society, one’s duty.
  3. (Buddhism) The teachings of the Buddha as one’s personal path to enlightenment.
  4. (Buddhism) The teachings of the Buddha as a practice to be promulgated and taught.

So coincidentally(?) a day later my daughter came rushing up to tell me that she’d found a bumble bee stuck in a spider’s web. I managed to free the panic stricken creature with ease, only to find that it’s back legs were so entangled with leftover web, that it couldn’t actually walk, and was getting stuck on the leaves of the plant that I had set it down on. I started trying to pull the bits of web off, but the poor bee thought I was trying to attack it. I was extremely conscious of not wanting to get stung, but purely because I didn’t want the bee to die as a result, rather than for my own pain. The bee struggled and I struggled, and as careful as I was, inevitably I got stung. I felt very sorry for the bee, but helpless about the situation, I went back inside and left nature to her job.

A few minutes later, I went to see if it had died, and found it was still struggling with it’s sticky back legs, and was very much alive. I then did a quick internet search and learned that it’s honey bees that die once they’ve stung you. Apparently bumble bees have no barb. So I resumed my rescue operation without a second thought about getting stung. Thankfully I managed to free him completely from his mess, and he managed to fly off home to tell his bumble bee family about his ordeal.

I just found it fascinating that whilst I was in the process of learning how to think like a monk, I had reenacted one of the stories in such a similar way!

Now for many people, if they had tried to rescue a bee and been stung in the process, they may have blamed the bee, because they were only trying to help, or been annoyed with themselves for wasting their time, only to get stung. But for me, in that instant I felt a wave of light and confidence that this was a sign.

This was a sign as light as day, that the things I am learning are in line with my purpose and ethos in life.

I really do believe now that there are no such things as coincidences.

The signs are all around us.

What are they trying to tell you?

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