Earlier this year I was caught up in the midst of apartment hunting.
Though looking for a new place to live can certainly be exciting, trying to find a place to rent in the San Francisco Bay Area is hardly an enjoyable process.
For a good month or so, I was apartment hunting as if it were my full-time job. Waking up each morning to call and e-mail places listed on Craigslist, followed my aggressively visiting open houses in order to send in applications to any good apartments with the right price ASAP.
It was a lot of work and very exhausting. After putting in some applications that fell through and visiting some apartments that were definitely not a place I'd want to live, I found myself getting really discouraged. I wondered if I'll ever find a place to live that is "just right". I wondered if I should give up and stick with my current not-so-great living situation.
Around that same time, I watched a mentor of mine give a local talk. In that talk she spoke about her process of house hunting and the challenges she went through. In her own period of discouragement, she asked a friend for guidance.
Her friend told her to ask the universe for a sign. To ask for something to emerge in her life to help show her and guide her in her process of house hunting. In her case, she chose for that sign to be an owl.
And so in the process of house hunting, she looked for owls and, ultimately, seeing owls helped guide her to the right place to purchase.
Hearing this, I sat down and contemplated what my sign could be. After meditating on it for a bit, I chose the dove.
So, starting that very day I found myself looking around for doves at every apartment I looked at. If there were no doves to be seen, I found myself up and ready to head out the door to look someplace else.
After several days of seeing no doves, I went to see one apartment with my boyfriend. As we walked around the apartment complex waiting for the lady at the front desk to get back from lunch, my boyfriend said, "Oh hey look at those doves!"
I turned my head and sure enough there was a dove in a tree nearby. My boyfriend had no idea about the whole dove thing -- he probably would've thought I was nuts at the time -- but, irregardless, knowing that there were some doves around made me a little more optimistic about this whole apartment hunting thing.
Despite seeing doves at this particular apartment complex, the landlord never showed up for our scheduled appointment. I was very disappointed due to the good deal it would have been, but the landlord's lack of organization gave enough of a bad vibe to put that apartment on my definite "no" list.
So the hunt continued...
A week or so later as I was visiting apartments I felt like I was getting towards the end of my hunt. I had put forth so much energy in searching that I wasn't sure if I had much more energy to keep looking. But, that day I continued to search in hopes that something will stick.
So I drove up to the apartment complex and went into the office to discuss the apartments available. We went up and checked out an apartment and as we were walking back someone said, "Hey look -- there's a dove!"
I turned my head to look but, unfortunately, I didn't see it. It had already flown away.
That's the funny thing about signs -- even though we've asked for them, we don't always see them. Signs from the universe don't just come through our own individual sight, but it also comes through others. They can come through based on what other people saw or a statement that someone said.
Though we can ask for signs for guidance, signs aren't always as clear as we'd like them to be. Sometimes we see that dove or owl in a place that we are not meant to be. Or the place that we are meant to be at don't have any doves or owls in them.
When we ask the universe for a sign, the guidance that comes through with it isn't as plain as: sign = "yes" and no sign = "no." It's more complicated than that.
To receive clear universal guidance, there has to be an element of faith. We have to be willing to trust that we are supported and that we are being guided. We have to be willing to let go of any fear that is hindering us from seeing our opportunities clearly.
To release fear and to be open to the possibilities is to be open to love.
By being open to love, we give ourselves the ability to receive clear guidance internally. We are then able to get an intuitive sense of what feels like the right direction to take and what isn't.
If we are willing to release our fear then we are able to receive clear intuitive guidance in a way that it doesn't matter if the dove shows up or not. We're able to simply trust and know which is the right choice.
So if you're in need of guidance, ask for a sign, set the intention to release your fears and then trust that you will be guided. Then all you have to do is go through the motions. Take action and have faith that it will work out.
As for me... I saw no other doves until the day I drove up with my car filled up with my plants and a U-Haul on the way. I sat in the office to get apartment keys and go over signing the lease.
As I sat in the office, I looked over to the deck of my new apartment. There were two doves sitting on the deck railing. I smiled... realizing they were there all along -- I just had to open my eyes to see them.
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach, writer, and spiritual teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.