A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, something I rarely do, when a beautiful picture jumped off the page at me. I say it like that, not for dramatic effect, but because it’s the best way I can describe how it actually felt. It literally gave me butterflies. A feeling of nervous excitement rose up in my stomach and I could feel my heart beating a bit faster.
Whilst the picture was very beautiful, I immediately knew it wasn’t the visual itself that caused my reaction. The picture, a photograph, had been posted by the author and celebrant Veronika Robinson whom I’d come across earlier in the year on Facebook. I had followed a couple of her ‘pages’ and, although I didn’t know Veronika personally, she was familiar to me as somebody who often left encouraging comments on my own posts. When I first came across her, I remember being impressed by how many books she’d written and how many social media business accounts she found the time to manage.
Now, with the butterflies in my tummy, I was getting a strong feeling that I must meet her. In fact, the feeling was so strong it was more like a ‘knowing’ running through me. It was very solid and I didn’t feel inclined to argue with it, initially anyway.
I liked the little I’d seen of Veronika, but I had never considered meeting her. I didn’t know what she wrote about and I hadn’t noticed at that point that she was a celebrant. (Not that that would have made a difference, given I didn’t actually know what one was!) Now, if I’d suddenly had a strong inclination that I had to meet Ryan Gosling or Jason Mraz, I might have understood what was going on, but this was all a bit random.
I remember thinking to myself “Ooh this is interesting” and I took a proper look at Veronika’s profile. This didn’t really help, because once I’d established what a celebrant was, I was pretty clear I didn’t need one, or indeed want to become one. I wasn’t getting married, I didn’t have a baby to name or a loved one to bury and Veronika lived nearly 400 miles away from me! What on earth could this be about?
At this point my logic took over and the little voice in my head started chatting away relentlessly “You can’t possibly contact Veronika and tell her you don’t need what she sells but you just want to meet her! She’ll think you’re a stalker and besides, you’re busy. Stop getting distracted and get on with writing your courses. You’ll never be successful if you don’t stay focused. Get off Instagram and back to work!”
But the feeling didn’t go away and I knew this was how inspiration felt. There was no question in my heart that I had to act on it, so I had a little chat with myself. “Yes, she is a successful author and runs her own businesses and yes, she is a busy lady. But she isn’t exactly Meryl Streep in terms of her fame and accessibility (no offence Veronika!). I’m sure she doesn’t get all that many stalker messages in a week! If she wants to ignore my request she can and if she wants to refer me to her booking manager or agent, she can do that too!
Maybe… just maybe… she’s a like-minded sentient being who’ll be more than happy to support a stranger’s inspired action and help them discover what their mysterious need is all about.”
I put the little insecure voice firmly back in its box and sent Veronika a FB message. It went like this: “Hi Veronika, I hope you don’t mind me contacting you… I’m not really sure why I am… but I felt inspired to do it and I wondered if we could have a chat”. As hoped for, her reply was a lovely, warm “Of course. I’d love to talk to you. When would be a good time?”
We talked on the phone that weekend for an hour and a half. The conversation flowed easily, like we’d been friends for years. I shared my business plans and unexpectedly to me, it became very obvious that Veronika was the perfect person to help me with my desire to become a heart-led public speaker. Of course, that’s what good celebrants are, essentially. She offered to construct a three-day training course, personalised to my own aspirations which was something she hadn’t done before. Needless to say, I accepted her offer and we booked in a date.
Fast forward to the weekend of the 11thNovember 2018 and the timing was perfect. The date wasn’t hand-picked by either of us; it was the only one that worked for our family and work commitments. It didn’t occur to me that it was one of the most significant dates of the decade until the week before.
Tanaaz, of foreverconsciousness.com talks about the 11/11/11 date (2018 being 2+0+1+8 which equals 11) and says “The number 11 is considered a master number in Numerology and it holds a highly creative vibration allowing intentions, goals and wishes to manifest with greater ease. 11 is also believed to be the number of spiritual awakenings and can help to activate higher states of consciousness”.
The weekend was one of the best of my life! When we met it felt like our souls had known each other forever. We talked the same ‘language’, shared our stories, laughed, cried, learned and grew. Everything felt so comfortable, but exciting. There were so many synchronicities; so much I took away from the weekend that I needed to see, hear and learn.
I gained so much confidence in those days that I felt like an ugly duckling turning into a swan. I could feel my whole being puffing up with the joy and appreciation I felt for every little detail. I thought I might burst with joy! Clocks were showing me repeated numbers, birds were going bonkers to be seen (one even landed a poo on my shoulder!) and the top of my head tingled for three days solidly, (something I experience when my consciousness makes a big shift). It’s hard to put into words what an incredible weekend it was!
But of course, this is what happens when we follow our hearts. When we act on our inspiration. Experiences and exchanges don’t just feel okay or even good: they feel awesome, purposeful, powerful, fun! They fill up every cell of our being like warm chocolate sauce seeping into all the air bubbles of a delicious sponge pudding. Inspired action doesn’t involve doing what we think makes sense logically or what we feel we should be doing with our time. Inspiration feels different: random, maybe even odd at the time, but strong if you let it in.
A few years ago, I wouldn’t have noticed the feeling of excitement in my tummy when I scrolled over Veronika’s post. Logic was my strongest compass, my Virgo brain taking over at every opportunity to rationalise and control events. If I had got as far as making the association between the picture and the feeling, then I most probably would have dismissed any desire that came with it, the second that little voice started to call me a stalker!
The Universe wants to excite and delight us. It’s asking us to receive the things that can create those lovely emotions all of the time. And those experiences are at all our fingertips when we open our minds, acknowledge our powerful connection and choose to follow its guidance.
I’ve been thinking about how to articulate what I did to attract this amazing experience which filled up my senses and gave me such a big shove forwards with the work I want to do. If I sum it up, it was this:
- I was open to the Universe’s guidance (I know that it is always there)
- I was mindful enough to recognise the message when it came (in this case, the butterflies and the excitement in my stomach when I saw the picture)
- I was curious enough to wonder what it was all about (I had absolutely no idea and when I visited Veronika’s website, I was even more baffled)
- I was cognisant of my thoughts to recognise rational thinking when it kicked in
- I was practiced enough to put that rational thinking back in its box
- I was brave enough to trust that the experience was going to be a positive one
- I was committed enough to take the inspired action (call Veronika, make the arrangements for things to run smoothly at home while I was away, spend the money and book the trip).
Asking the Universe for ‘fantastic experiences, with clear signs to lead me to them’, has changed my life. Whilst the signs were always there, my intention to receive them was not. These days, if I need more reassurance about something, I ask for ‘three signs, just to confirm’. The Universe always obliges, in fact, I expect it sends a lot more than the three that I happen to notice!
We all receive guidance in the way that we are personally tuned into things. The Universe knows which signs will work best for every individual to have the best chance of noticing. We know when we’re receiving a sign because of the resonance we feel. I mentioned earlier the double numbers I see (sometimes I have days when I look at a clock and see one every single time: 09:09, 13:13, 22:22). It’s the knowing that they are there for us and not just a coincidence, that is the resonance.
Birds are another one for me – different types coming up close repeatedly (like my Great Spotted Woodpecker that tells me opportunity is knocking). I was in my studio one day when over twenty birds flew into my window in the course of an afternoon! The sound of that is not something you can ignore! Fortunately, none of them were injured. Goosebumps on my forearms is another for me, tingling on the top of my head and white feathers appearing in odd places are others.
The more we recognise these signs, (our signs), and we feel that resonance, the more we learn to take note and listen to what feelings and thoughts accompany them. When we learn what inspiration feels like, we feel inspired more often. It’s not because inspiration wasn’t always there, it’s because we’ve simply learned to recognise how it feels in our bodies. The more we act upon it, the more we learn to trust, because we realise its power. Eventually we come to know just how often the Universe is giving us these messages and how much guidance it is giving us every single day! This is the magic of the Universe and how to let it in!
As a little after note – in between booking up with Veronika and meeting her, I bought her book “I Create My Day“. It is a beautiful and practical account of how to bring more pleasure and nourishment into your life every day. It’s one of the loveliest, most inspiring books I’ve read (and there are a few!) I would recommend it to anybody on the path of deliberate creation. www.VeronikaRobinson.com