Are You Looking for a Sign?

Often when we are uncertain about the direction that our lives are going in, we look outward for a sign, or for the answers.  We talk to friends and family for direction, or maybe look at our horoscope- anything to give us cues for what we should do.


Let’s try an example. Let’s say you are questioning your job, so you look for an outward sign to propel you in a direction.  For example, you might say, “ if my boss tells me this week that I’m doing a great job, then that’s a sign that I should stay,” or, “If I get this next project assigned to me then that’s the universe telling me to stay.  If I don’t then it’s a sign I should leave.” Or perhaps you are dating a new love prospect, and you look for signs to know if he/she is “the one.”  For example, “if he calls or texts me by noon then it’s a sign this is meant to be.  If he doesn’t respond to my texts within an hour, then it’s a sign that he isn’t the one.”  When we are desperate for answers, we tend to look to the external world to give us a hint.


While all these outward signs can give us valuable information, they are NOT the answer.  Rather than looking outwardly, we need to turn inward for those answers.  There is a key difference between looking to the external world to guide you and looking inward for guidance. The only “signs” you can trust come from your inward introspection, your intuition. Our intuition is wise, it’s like the ultimate brain power. If you check in with yourself, and you ask yourself the questions, then you are asking yourself to give you the “hint.” If you are in tune with your deeper wisdom, those are the signs you should be looking at. 


I want to share a story from personal life that was an “ah-ha!” moment for me about gaining introspective guidance. In 2010, I had just gotten remarried after my first divorce.  We had only been married a few months when one afternoon, I went to the eye doctor for a routine appointment, and all of a sudden the doctor says I had a detached retina, and I was at serious at risk of losing vision in my right eye. Immediately I felt the panic set in that I was possibly going blind. The doctor sent me immediately to a retinal specialist. I went to the specialist, and found out that not only do I have a detached retina and could vision in my right eye, but my left eye was starting to detach as well! My entire world came to screeching halt.  


The ironic part about that story is that while facing the possible loss of my vision, and really struggling to regain all of my eyesight, I started to “see” things more clearly than ever before. Soon after the diagnosis, I had repetitive surgeries and thankfully my vision was saved, but I became so crystal clear on what I had to focus on in my life, and how to fix it. My marriage of only a few months was falling apart, and I realized that this man was not the man I thought he was. While going through this, I really couldn’t  look outwardly for direction because my vision was so impaired. Instead, I needed to rely heavily on my internal sight. It was then that I truly learned the power of that internal vision.  During that time, I evaluated my life with the most clarity ever. That was a pivotal moment, because it broke me of all my previous patterns. I stopped looking for those outward signs and chose to make my intuition my guide. In those short months, I discovered that I had made a mistake by marrying this man, and I began to understand my the patterns that were sabotaging me.  I used my intuition, checked in with myself, and stopped relying on misleading outward signs.


I became aware of the signs my own body was giving me. Ok, I know that sounds weird, but it’s true…for me, it is a clear indicator as to how I intuitively feel. For example, if I thought about something, I would immediately check in with my stomach. If I had that butterfly feeling in my core, then I was uncertain or uncomfortable with something.  On the other hand, if I had a grounded sense of calm in the center of my stomach, then my intuition was saying all was good.  Another great indicator for me is my breathing. Whether my breathing is shallow or deep can tell me a lot about whether or not I am feeling grounded or anxious about something.  Try this with me: Take a shallow breath.  How does that make you feel? If the breath is really shallow, it doesn’t bring in as much oxygen, and it is a sign of anxiety and stress. ON the other hand, if you take a big belly breath from the abdomen, that’s a sign of calmness. It’s very important to listen to your body and use these internal signs.



As Architects, we use our internal aesthetic intuition when designing a new innovative project.  It’s not about looking around and finding elements off of other buildings for inspiration for our new design.  In fact, in Architecture, we have to dig deep for design inspiration rather than copying other designs.  We imagine, we envision, we create.  It all comes from within, not outside.


And so the same feeling needs to happen for your epic life.  You can’t look for the design on the outside.  You can’t look for the answers on the outside. You can’t copy someone else’s life design.  You need to connect internally with your intuitive wisdom, hear your soul’s yearning, and in your most imaginative way, create the life you wish for.


Stay Inspired,

Karen Otis