I believe in signals.

I don’t necessarily mean celestial flare guns that hit you in your third eye while riding your unicorn into the highlands of Narnia. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that is how you receive your heavenly bite-sized snacks.

The signals I talk about are a little bit more down to earth, and yet, are far from this earth. They glide in on wavelengths we can’t see, but can feel and absorb.

A couple of weeks ago I started to notice feathers in my travels. The first few were on runs. I’d find them in pristine condition even though they were surrounded by muddy puddles and debris. I would pick them up, examine them briefly, then put them in a cupboard. I didn’t think much of them until it was mentioned to me that they were signs. Signals that angels, or spiritual guides, were watching nearby. Someone also noted that is was a sign that I was on the right path. Question was – the right path of what?

I find feathers daily now. I don’t know if it’s because my eyes are more open to them, but there they are – of all sizes and condition. One tiny one, ruffled and dirty, is stuck to my car’s front windshield. I almost rear ended someone the other day because I was mesmerized by it.

Signals come to me often in my meditations.

My meditation is not the type where I empty the mind. I do that style now and then, but meditation for me is more about tuning into a signal that’s out there, but blocked by the white noise of my endless thoughts. I sit still and calm my mind. I find that sweet spot of a state where I am awake yet not drifting into sleep, and make sure I have created the intention to stay open. Then I start to ask questions. It’s a Ouija board without the cheap plastic.

I will almost always hear answers. If I don’t hear anything, I rephrase the question. Sometimes the answers come from my thinking mind. I can tell, because, well, I can just tell. The thinking mind is often more pragmatic, but also underlined with ego. I know its voice well. I can get some practical responses from the thinking mind, but I crave something more, something more outside and yet within me. The answers I get are sometimes cryptic. They use language I don’t normally use day to day. The voice is quieter, but more present. It’s avuncular in some ways (and I mean that – I have done guided meditations on spirit guides, and I have seen my late uncle in several of those. He was a follower of Eastern philosophies and spiritual practices.)

I used to think I was talking to God, or a Higher Power. What I have come to realize is that I am talking to my Higher Self, my higher form. It’s me, supersized, and without the negative crap that my thinking mind likes to lather on me like peanut butter on toast. It’s my developed self, free of judgement and ill will. It’s me, as the Universe would have me be. And that is where I learn things. That is where I hear what I need to hear, even when I don’t want to hear it.

I will sometimes write these things down. Other times I will repeat it so I remember (I don’t!) But I will always come away with a sense of ease and comfort. I feel that I am taken care of, that I am bound to something greater than this sack of meat on legs.

It was suggested that I take the feathers I kept and if I had one, put it with a medicine bag. I happen to have one. My youngest is adopted, and is half Cree. We made medicine bags one day at a powwow. So I took the advice and just the other day I put the pouch around my neck, with the feathers. I focused on my spirit guide, and meditated. I felt an opening in my chest, where the medicine bag hung. I could feel more energy surging through me. I was beseeched by my Higher Self to let go of everything I though of myself and just be the beautiful soul I was. Don’t resist. Trust. Have faith. Fly, young man, fly.

I felt something crack open a bit. I felt a rush, like it was who I was supposed to be, for just one second. It was something way beyond what ego or money or fame could ever bring. It was full being. It was what I felt enlightenment could be like. And then, it was gone.

Poof. It was a trip.

Other signals are more earthly. I was sent a wonderful gift by two marvellous friends, Dan and Mark, who really encouraged my writing and my journey on that particular path (a touching story I will pass on soon). Later on, I received the digital copy of my upcoming book to look over. It was another wonderful friend, Hearon, who put the two together and asked me if I thought it was a coincidence that I got the inspired package and the electronic proof on the same day. Of course not. It never is.

More signals. Markers, landmarks and directions. Stay the path.

The greatest gift I can give myself is the open-mindedness to put my faith in these divine divining rods pointing towards deeper truths. I have no reason not to. Ever since I started my spiritual journey (cliched phrase, but so be it), I have been guided in many ways. I know from experience that in ignoring the signs, I tend to suffer. They are one of the antidotes to my pride and ego. They keep me true.

Signals let me know that I am walking where I need to be walking. They point out the land mines and the pitfalls. They guide me to where I need to go to grow. When I first started to see signals, I was blown away. I now almost rely on them. They still blow me away, but they are more comforting rather than strange.

One not be a mystic or psychic to catch onto these signals. All you need is to be open to them, eyes wide to their sometimes soft signs, and willing to seek.

If you keep your eyes shut, you will never see the feather laying between your feet.



34 Comments Add yours

  1. ainsobriety says:

    The amazing thing about enlightenment is that even if you only feel it for a second…and it goes…you know it’s possible. It’s real.
    It will be back. That has been my experience.
    That is the deepest gift of consciousness.

    Thank you for sharing that.


    1. Paul S says:

      Yes – very true, Anne! It was a wonderful experience, and while I know I won’t achieve that on a regular basis, it’s there. It will always be there, and I just have to learn to tap into it. Not always easy.

      Thank you so much for this!

  2. Hi Paul!!
    I love the idea of sitting and asking questions as a form of mediation. I think this would be helpful for me when I am feeling upset about something, too. By asking questions I find I get to my core issues or feelings faster.
    I love signs, but I never think of thinking of them in that way!
    I do know that now that I am sober, I am able to see and feel things deeper and sweeter!

    1. Paul S says:

      It’s funny because I didn’t understand the idea of “talking” during a meditation. I was thinking about the “ohm” type deal, and then I thought it about it some more – we often say that we’ll think things over, or ponder over it, or meditate on it, and that is an active thing. It’s not passive. It’s where I find answers. And like I said, I also will practice the sort of emptying the mind type as well, more as a discipline for calming, or staying in the moment. Both have their purposes.
      And yes, you are right – as I continue this journey, the more I am able to feel deeper and sweeter as well.
      thanks for this, Wendy!

  3. Susanne Blumer says:

    Wow! I absolutely love this post! Such amazing experiences!

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Susanne! When I sit back and think about it, it is pretty amazing. I am just so used to it! Thanks for being here.

  4. Hearon (HD) says:

    I love this! If I were describing this for myself, I’d call it “paying attention.” This signals are THERE. Do we see them? Some people would just call this confirmation bias (like seeing your birthdate on a digital clock, which happens to me frequently) but making it scientific like that removes some of the meaning for me. Anyway: keep paying attention, Paul!

  5. Rosie says:

    I absolutely LOVE This!

    1. Paul S says:

      thanks for this, Paul!

  6. Bea says:

    Your post brought to mind a lovely Emily Dickinson poem, ‘Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.’ Such beautiful writing, Paul, thank you.

    1. Paul S says:

      Aww thanks Bea – I actually use that quote in my book coming… 🙂

  7. saoirsek says:

    Love this, ii was saying to someone the other day that I was often slightly envious of people who believed in God as they had something to turn to in times of need but I totally get what you are talking about. Open mind open heart

    1. Paul S says:

      I think if I didn’t believe in God (however you want to define that, or at least try to), I think I would still hold something else as greater than myself – Universal Mind, Universe, Mother Nature, etc. I know my recovery has been based on the belief (and it’s a belief) that I am no the be all end all of things. I guess I look at things as beyond coincidence. A sign that need not be divine, per se.
      Thanks for this – sorry for the delay in response!

  8. Robert McClellan says:

    “…divining rods pointing towards deeper truths.” This is wise and excellent writing! Looking forward to your book, Paul.

    1. Paul S says:

      Thank you very much, Robert. I appreciate this!

  9. John says:

    Always ready to find significance in seemingly insignificant situations, as time passes, if my eyes remain open I often more than not am shown the path too.
    Thanks for this!

    1. Paul S says:

      Thank you John – I agree, there seems to be significance in the small things, if I pay attention! Cheers

  10. Paul mate, Signals! i sent a couple tweets as you know, but your worth a whole lot more than that to me. i remember seeing a tweet from you about a feather you found a little while ago, the fact that it was a feather seemed pretty important. the line about being Angles is beaultiful. ive just been commenting on your previous post, funny and now reading this after you wrote about the formula of blogs, seems so right now. this post while giving all of us nachoists revealing insights into your beliefs couldnt have come at a better time for me personally. quick explan: ive been hoisted into a hostel by our wonderful local council after having our home served with a proibition order, it caused mags to fall deeply into depression, attempted suicie, banged up in mental health nick(sorry, hospital) while ive been experincing many many strange frightining and deadly situs. its all good, it happened just as it had too. the true lessions or other will be clearer soon. paul you have been very very important in our lives for a while, you know this bud, i know while im kicking a can and getting into mischief on dusty ways of twitterville, your constanly casting a glance and letting me know your watching. so the point im trying to make is your clear and concise writing of meditation and becoming and staying attentive in ones life was a….wake up call and pointer I couldnt have needed more as ive been detaching from myself and fucking reality. no shit. I know there are so many of us in and becoming and struggling at recovery but its people like you that let us know we can do this and change the future through our social movement. thank you so much mate, much love to you and your fam johnny n mags x x x

    1. Paul S says:

      Johnny! I love when you’re here, and I have to say I appreciate everything you say, always. You are a shining light, my friend. You have the capacity to see things as they are, and your enthusiasm is always an inspiration. You are also a good friend, and I am grateful for your support and encouragement always. We do this together, mate, and I am glad that you are a part of my recovery circle. See ya on the Twitter!

      Blessings and love,

  11. Beautiful thoughts.

    I’m so glad you shared your experience at the pow-wow with your youngest. That is incredible! And I never knew that about you.

    I’ve had similar experiences. Where something pops out of the physical world, exactly like a signal. Like a signpost in another realm. Often, I think it’s a relapsing psychosis–haha! Part of my mental health history includes some pretty strong hallucinations, both visual and audible.

    But that realm, of the psychotic, is closer to the spiritual than the realm in reality where I hit snooze in my alarm, and scroll my phone during the lunch break. Like you also, there are many times when I tell myself to write those things down, those signals. But I never do.

    It is absolute fate that the t-shirt and PDF arrived on the same day! I had the same thought as Hearon! It’s like, if that doesn’t make you go “wow” what will? It’s cool to be looped into the signal you received. It makes me and Dan become some sort of messenger of the divine. I’m tingly. And you’re a Writer. Damn this is good stuff.

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks Mark – once I again I preface my response with an apology for the later response!

      I appreciate what you say about locking into the spiritual vs the reality. Obviously we have to deal with reality (ugh – I don’t like that. See: alcoholism) but it’s the “high” of the spiritual that keeps me going on this path of recovery. I am not sure I could do this without tapping into some sort of higher plane of existence. Some folks can and that’s fantastic. But I *need* the Fantastic to bind me to a healthier way of being.

      Lots of love to ya,

      1. I’m with you on that! Without the spiritual, what’s the point of living with drinking spirits?

  12. I love feathers! I also love the bag you made it’s just gorgeous. I can relate to the signs and also the feeling that you are in the flow…on the right path. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Slowing down enough to see these things is so important. Thank you for a beautiful post Paul.

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks HRC! I appreciate this so very much. Synchronicity is fascinating, isn’t it? I think the word you mention – slow – is the key. I will miss the important stuff as I rush around like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. It’s when I *allow* myself to slow it down a bit, do I see what is being transmitted.
      Have a wonderful day!

  13. Love this Paul! it’s usually coins I look for, but have been noticing feathers a lot lately too. I hope that means that I’m on the right path 🙂

    1. Paul S says:

      What is it that they say about dimes? To leave them alone? That they represent someone in your life who died? I can’t recall. But coins seems to be one of those things too that we don’t see until we are looking.

      1. Oh no, really? I don’t think I have heard that! I usually pounce on any spare change I see haha. I think I read or heard (or maybe it was in a movie, who knows with my memory!) something about the significance of whether it was laying heads or tails up.

  14. “If I don’t hear anything, I rephrase the question”
    We’d do well to do this in our relationships, or when it seems we didn’t get through bc the other didn’t understand. I love how you felt the energy! Everything is energy. Wonderful bag.

    1. Paul S says:

      Thanks D for this. I agree, everything is energy. Learning to see things that way has given me a new perspective. And yes, it’s a pretty cool bag if I say so myself!

  15. I totally believe in signals too. I haven’t been able to get into a quiet space in awhile but I have more time on my hands now and am looking forward to getting into a more receptive state of mind. I love to ask for signs and even if I don’t get one, just the state of asking is a pleasant place to be.

  16. A beautiful reminder to remain an open onlooker and participant in life. I needed this. Thank you. -Mara

  17. Debbie says:

    Oh Paul. I haven’t been reading blogs for a while. But today I had to stop and read yours. Thanks so much for being there. {hugs} Debbie

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