The one thing I know for sure - that has been proven time and again over the last 600ish days - is that when I need guidance, I need to ask the universe for it. Period, end of story. Always. I ask daily. I ask repeatedly. I beg for it. I get on my knees and pray for it. You’ve heard this before in some form. It’s on bumper stickers. It’s a meme. It’s in the Bible!
What’s not so well known or celebrated is that tricky second part. Seeing the response when it comes. Asking is the labor. Seeing is the art.
Sometimes the answer is obvious. Two weeks ago, I went to bed, asked my angels for a sign to let me know they were there. “Assurance, please. Are you here? Am I doing this right? I feel like I’m fucking up. Please, please show me I’m doing this okay.” Two hours later, my entire room shook at the biggest clap of thunder I had ever heard, and subsequently lit up with lightning. I jumped out of bed and reached for my phone to take a picture (first thought always - must Instagram this shit). And there it was, the answer. It was 3:33. Mother fucking 3:33. If you don’t know Angel numbers, look up the significance of this one. “Okay Angels, got it. You’re here."
In that case, obvious. I asked, and lightning struck. But lightning doesn’t always strike. Actually, most of the time it doesn’t. Asking for guidance and seeing it when it comes is more often than not a much subtler thing. The first time it happened to me, it was much less dramatic, and much harder to see.
On October 12, 2012, I woke up hungover, in a bed with no sheets because I was too tired to do the laundry. With a bottle of whiskey in my hand. With a pile of half-smoked joints and cigarettes on the nightstand. With bags of delivery food trash and trash trash and filth everywhere. With a 9am meeting to lead.
My thoughts were a swimming mess. I ached. I had a hole, a huge, gaping bloody hole that was starting to become the size of me. That was the size of me. I was not whole. I was a hole. I couldn’t carry on like this for one more day. It was too much.
I didn’t believe in God at the time. I wasn’t an atheist, but i didn’t believe that there was anything beyond this world. How could there be a God? How could there be any reason at all to be here when my life was like this? I hated myself. I hated my life. I hated the world. I wanted it to end.
The disgust of the entire scene made me wretch. My own smell made me wretch. I started to cry. I hadn’t cried in so long. Huge, body shaking sobs. Then came the sounds. They poured from me. Sounds of a thousand cats being skinned alive. The sound of a waking nightmare. The sound of my nightmare.
And then it came. “Help me.” From where it came or from whom it came or to whom it was being said to was enigmatic. Other worldly. A little lost soul at the bottom of a dark well calling out into the night with the last bit of what was left. Whisper soft. “Help me."
I dropped to the floor. No, that’s not true. That sounds too sexy. I pawed myself to the floor from the mess that was my bed. Kicking and fighting the garbage away to find the cold bare floor. Hands and knees first, then forehead, then nose. This time louder. “HELP ME.” More sobs. Spit, drool, snot, stuff poured from my face. And then came the scream. And then more screams. The nightmare becoming clearer and clearer. Still more screams. And then it just came out. A stream of guttural, vomiting, desperate conscious. “God, oh God, please help me. I can’t do this anymore. Can’t you see I can’t do this anymore? I’m sick. I'm fucking sick. I am so fucking sick. I can’t do this. I CANNOT DO THIS. Please fucking help me. PLEASE FUCKING HELP ME. PLEASE. PLEASE. FUCKING. HELP. ME.” I shook. I sobbed. I stopped.
I stilled. Head pressed firmly to the ground, stilled amongst the trash. I looked up. I looked at my cat. She looked relieved. I got up. I started my day. Trash to the dumpster. Starbucks. Home. Laptop on. Email. Meeting. Go on. What other choice was there?
And that’s when it happened. In between Starbucks and Home, in the lobby of my building. I buzzed myself in. I stopped in my tracks. A guy who had just left my company was in front of me. I’d known him for years. He lived in Berkeley. He was talking to my landlord. I was still drunk. I was hallucinating.
Me: "What the fuck are you doing here?” Him: “I live here now.” Me: “What?” Him: “Want to go on a walk?” Me: “Okay.”
The rest is history. No, he didn’t save my life. He was just the thing, the detour. I never saw him in my building again. On our walk, as we walked, he said one simple thing. Just one simple thing. That one simple thing led me to send one simple email. That one simple email led to one simple conversation with a Doctor Friend. And that one simple conversation with a Doctor Friend led me to that one first “Aha” moment. And that “Aha” moment? That led me to put one little toe on the path. One little toe followed by one shaky little foot. One toe, one foot, the other toe, the other foot. Slowly. So slowly.
The conversation that morning, in between Starbucks and Home, was by no means the life changing conversation or epiphanic dramatic unveiling of my new consciousness. There was definitely no lightning. It was ordinary. But that ordinary conversation will be the thing that time and again I go back to as the one that changed my life. My angels didn't send lightning. They sent an Asian dude.
This stuff - It’s not magic. It’s not a gift of mine and a few other chosen ones. We are ALL the chosen ones. It's only that so few of us choose to hear. Asking for guidance and for what we need and receiving it is universal, it belongs to all of us.
On that day, on that walk, in that moment something very big shifted. That morning I chose to hear. I became willing to be guided by the Universe, willing to vibe with the cosmos. And I have ever since.
My life has become other worldly ever since. I have a brilliant, magical life today. That day on that floor, Accountant Holly was a mess. Today, on a couch in Sicily, Yoga Instructor/Life Coach Holly is not. It’s not special. It's my inheritance. Just like it's your inheritance. All you need to do is accept it. And then of course, you've got to work your ass off to make an art of it.
Ask. See. Vibe.