I am often asked by clients to help them find their purpose or to get clarity on a particular question that is important in their life. I am delighted to help and I also try to give them help in learning to read the signs themselves. We all need perspective from an outside source at certain times in our life. Even psychics go to other psychics for guidance. But most of us in the Western world have simply forgotten how to read our own lives. The signs are everywhere. Here are a few guidelines for tuning in to them.

Look for Patterns – When something is important in our life, it shows up over and over again. Whether pleasant or unpleasant, the pattern is trying to tell us something. It might be simple and straightforward. For example, everywhere I go people seem to ask me for help. At the grocery store, in the street, at school, at work – all my life people have come to me as if I have a sign that says “ask me”. The truth is that I do have such a sign. Helping people find their way is my purpose. It comes naturally to me and even strangers can sense that. They recognized it before I did. Or, I might reframe that to say that Spirit put them in my path to teach me my gift. Once I recognized my gift, the challenge became how to make use of it. There’s a staggering number of ways to help people.

Patterns are not always so easy to discern. Sometimes it requires a lot of time to even see a pattern. Relationship patterns often take a great deal of time to identify. Any one relationship involves a time commitment in itself. To see a pattern, one needs several relationships. It’s important to be gentle with ourselves. We are simply not supposed to see some of our tendencies right away. We are suppose to experience them so we can learn from them. And we tend to stay in a pattern until we have learned whatever lesson it is teaching us. Well meaning friends despite their best efforts cannot save us from the difficult lessons. We must come to the lessons in our own time. It does serve us to stay conscious so that we can learn the lessons. Doing this helps us avoid unnecessary pain. (For tips on how to do this, look for my next article, “Carrying the Question”.)

Following Ease – When we act in ways that are in true alignment for our highest purpose, the path we walk will have ease. It might be quite challenging, but even in the most difficult places we will enjoy being there. This is important to remember when you’re unsure of how to proceed. Allow yourself to make a choice without being certain it’s the right one. But as you walk into it keep asking yourself if it has ease.

When I was a senior in high school, I thought my path lay in the military with officers training. I enthusiastically pursued an ROTC scholarship and received word I was a finalist. I imagined the places I might travel to and even the pride I would feel in serving. I began running to get in better shape. I did not make the final cut and was turned down for the scholarship. I still could have pursued officers training in the military without the scholarship, but somehow it felt as if a door had closed. Did I make a mistake in stepping on that path? No, even in the shortness of the path, I discovered the joy of running and continue to be intrigued by the different places to travel in the world. Did I make a mistake in leaving the path? No, I can see now that military life would not have helped me develop my true gifts. I had no ability to see the truth of that at the time. But my guides could. And so, after gathering a few important discoveries about myself, they led me away by closing a door.

God/Goddess/Great Spirit/Spirit Guides/Angels/the Universe sends us signs continuously; we just need to open our eyes. And it’s worth mentioning that Spirit often speaks to us in metaphor. In other words, we are unlikely to see a flashing neon sign that says “This Way”, or receive a map for our life in the mail. But we can pay attention to doors that open or close for us. We can follow our ease and joy (our own joy is the closest we get to a neon sign – follow it!). And we can key into messages from nature.

Connect with Nature – Being in nature calms and restores us. This moves us into an alpha state of awareness, which opens us to our intuition, creativity and heightened senses. Delving into the natural world is really quite helpful not only for the altered state of awareness but because plants and animals bring us messages all the time. Pay attention to who shows up for you. They are the message, the metaphor, from Spirit. This is often referred to as plant or animal medicine.

When a plant or animal shows up for you in a unique way, the plant or animal is offering you its medicine. To benefit from the medicine you need to understand the patterns and gifts of the animal or plant. No, you don’t need to get a doctorate as a naturalist. You probably know a bit more about animals than you realize. You can always Google the plant or animal and find out the important information. There are many good book resources. My favorite is Ted Andrews’ book, Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small.

Animals (and plants) will show up for you when you need assistance. How do you know they’re there for you? They catch your eye. You seem to see them everywhere (pictures and other representations of animals count): on the side of the bus, in a gift shop, in the story you read your child, in a conversation you heard in an elevator, in a dream. If they’re drawing your attention, they are offering you their medicine. Sometimes they show up for you by doing something odd. I saw an eagle fly next to me on the highway once. I was stunned to see it so low and to have it staying with me for so long. I thanked it for it’s medicine and it immediately flew off. I’ve also had a sudden invasion of ants in my apartment. When I understood their message of community and shared tasks, they left. (A note: be careful of reacting to an animals presence by trying to harm it – if it’s offering its medicine, you are rejecting it and insulting the animal as well as Spirit, who sent it to you.)

My herbalist friend told me once that ideally he likes to meet with a client at their home for a consultation. The plants one needs, he explained, show up in one’s yard and neighborhood. An experienced herbalist can look at your environment and know what you need to restore health.

Whether through patterns, animals or plants, you can be assured that you are always being offered support and assistance. Open to this and see what happens.

Author's Bio: 

Coleen Renee, CSH is a life coach, Certified Spiritual Healer and teacher. She has studied indigenous healing and spiritual traditions and learned a great deal about how to engage with and learn from the natural world. For more than a decade, Coleen has worked with individual clients, families and organization to assist in finding purpose and creating missions that will truly fulfill and offer ease. Contact her for a consultation or invite her to do a workshop or speak at your event. 509-312-0220, coleen@coleenrenee.com or visit her at http://www.ColeenReneeProductions.com.