[From the magical Universe files (in case you needed a reminder that there is still magic out there, even in 2020)… ]
In 2013, I had “11:11” tattooed on the back of my neck. I did it to mark a shift in the way I approached life.
Pre-11:11, I made most of my life big life choices based on what would be most pleasing and least disappointing to others. Exhibit A: Law School. Law is most definitely not my calling…but in our culture, it is a respectable graduate degree that guarantees a certain level of income. So that’s what I went with. And there are many more examples like this from my pre-11:11 life.
Decisions like these felt like paddling a boat upstream against the current. The still, small voice inside of me would resist mightily, but I’d just override it, pushing and forcing my way into, for example, a graduate degree and career that was not the right fit.
In my mid-30’s, I took stock of my life. My marriage was a disaster…the thought of practicing law again made me want to put a fork in my eye…and I realized that just about everything I’d fought so hard to create for the previous 20+ years was only satisfying to my human self, not my soul self.
One day, I saw 11:11 on the clock, and instead of making my usual wish for something empty and superficial to feed the hungry ghost living inside me, I decided to turn things over to something bigger than me. I reasoned that whatever was out there (the Universe…the Divine…the Force…the Dude??) couldn’t make any more of a mess of my life than I had, so what could it hurt?
For the first time, I wished that whatever was supposed to happen would happen, whatever that was. Pretty open-ended for a type A, white-knuckled planner such as myself.
But things got magical – fast. And instead of paddling that boat upstream like before, it felt as if I’d stepped into a river of synchronicity, guiding me gently and easily toward a most meaningful and soul-nourishing life filled with great love, work that feels like a calling, and places to live that finally feel like home (I’m lookin’ at you, Seattle and Petaluma!).
There is just no way I could have orchestrated it all myself. Something out there somehow knew what I needed and longed for better than I did. It answered prayers I didn’t even know I had.
So I made that same wish every freaking time I’d see 11:11 (which was often, after I started this practice). And I marked the whole thing by getting this special tattoo while on a serendipitous trip to Barçelona in 2013.
Long story long, this 11:11 tattoo is special, and it swells my heart each and every time I remember or catch a glimpse of it (unlike the misshapen sun tattoo I had done at age 16 by a back alley artist in Deep Ellum Dallas who kindly signed my parental consent form before inking my midsection…but that’s a story for another day ).
Chase even got these magical numbers tattooed on his body, as well (it’s a meaningful number for him, too, but again, a story for another day…).
Fast forward to now, as I’m applying to divinity school. Unlike 20 years ago, when I was applying to law school, I now want to make damn sure that an endeavor like what I’m embarking on is for my soul self, not just my human self. So I’ve asked for signs – big signs, undeniable signs – to confirm that I’m on the right track.
One such sign appeared during an informational interview I recently had with a counselor at my top choice school. As this lovely woman was gesturing with her hands during our Zoom call, I noticed an interesting tattoo on her hand. There it was – an 11:11 plain as day on the inside of her thumb.
I interrupted the conversation immediately to excitedly ask her about it. Sure enough, 11:11 was an incredibly meaningful number for her, too. And the kicker? Her wife has a matching tattoo on the inside of her thumb. All I could do was smile.
Coincidence? Maybe. But if you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know that I no longer believe in coincidence. I believe the Divine is perpetually and benevolently responding to us through (among many other things) signs sent in the most creative of ways – including tattoos. This was a sign for me that I’m on the right track and my top school is the right choice.
The Universe is talking to you, too. Don’t believe me? Just try it. Ask for a sign. Get super-specific, if you want (like saying you want to see a certain animal, find a shiny new coin on your path, or see someone who has a matching tattoo). Keep your eyes (and ears and intuition!) peeled.
The cool thing is that no matter what is happening in the world (hello, a year like 2020!!), the Universe is still talking, reminding you that you are dearly loved, never alone, and always supported (even if your human self doesn’t always see or remember it).
As this crazy year winds to a close, I’m going even farther inward for the next few weeks – to take a holiday rest from my work, to finish my divinity school application, to wander my Petaluma hills, to take a much-needed break from social media (kinda already been doing that since Thanksgiving…), and to turn my full attention to the messages and signs from this magical Universe.
Happy Holidays (yes, even the 2020 holidays)! And may you find magic even amidst the madness.