A co-worker and friend once told me, “E, you always make so much meaning out of your life. I like how you put things together into a story.” She has always been a keen observer of human nature, and she had a point. I make meaning out of the seemingly random observations of my everyday life, both my physical and my spiritual lives (arguably they are two sides of the same coin, but you will have to read my book to see what I mean there).
You can do this too, and I’ll tell you why it’s a great practice. Narrative is one of the most powerful survival tools given to humans. Narrative weaves cultures together, starting all the way back to when stories were passed down by word of mouth and painted and carved by firelight.
Narrative brings meaning to life. And meaning is what drives us forward. Without meaning, we are pinwheeling through a sea of chaos, which is exhilarating and hopeless and horrifying, but still, we build a narrative to explain that, too, the narrative that nothing matters because there is no end game and no reason for existence and you either follow rules for comfort’s sake or live in anarchy, but nothing really matters.
It is true. We live in a world of disorder, a two-sided Janus of a Universe built on opposing poles of chaos and yet infinite, magical wonder, right down to seeing the Golden Ratio in a leaf’s design and the beauty of the tides and their magical, yet dependable movements. We are disorder and order infinitely and miraculously woven into complex designs that only beings beyond our reach could have engineered.
We are a narrative built of the energy created when polar opposites revolve around one another, and we cannot escape this story. Even the endings of our stories are just another part of the narrative structure. Think about it like this—your life structure follows a narrative that you have created through your actions. Most of this narrative you wrote yourself, with some of the structure gifted to you by forces out of your control.
Each one of us is a narrative within a greater narrative, and each of our physical lives is part of a soul’s greater, overarching narrative. Starting to see the structure now? Each thread of the tapestry is composed of millions of other threads, all weaving together to create one big book.
In keeping wzth my own narrative, at the end of every day, I love to spend a few minutes with my journal, piecing the events of the day together and making sense out of the signs and symbols sent my way. I aid it along with mini readings for myself, as well, and I string each day together to see the overarching trends of my soul’s direction and what my spirit guides are urging me toward. It is an incredibly easy and fulfilling practice that anyone can do—and you will find yourselves more spiritually attuned and feel your soul growing and reaching when doing this practice. You will feel more connected to the Divine in a personal, comforting way than you have ever been before. There are even mediums among you, some of you who have not yet fully discovered your own abilities. This is the practice that will bring those abilities to shine.
So last night, I worked in my journal, then in the minutes before sleep, I sought some inspiration in fitness boards on Pinterest, then looked at the savvy workout program I have created for myself. I thought “I’ll wake up in the morning and do my workout. Nothing’s going to stop me.”
Well, the Sandman stopped me, but not for long. After I had readied myself for the day, I was on my way out the door but heard a loud noise coming from the direction of the window air conditioner. I went over to check it out and realized I had to add a shim to the window to stop the rattling. As I looked for the perfect spot for the shim, I encountered a horrifying object.
A 4” grasshopper crouched at eye level, daring me to do something about his presence. I am terrified of insects—just a visceral, lizard-brain reaction takes over and I can hardly focus when one is nearby. However, I finished shimming the window, finished my locking up, and went to work. I probably should have identified the grasshopper being so high up, so large and so insistently in my face as a sign from Spirit, but I did not realize that until I was in the car and my fight or flight response had finished hurling insults at the little green monster.
I thought throughout the day about the significance of the grasshopper, and my intuition told me it was important. I researched the symbolism and there it was. In some Native American traditions, the grasshopper is a symbol of making dreams come true, of grounding your dreams to the Earth, yet also making them fly. The message suddenly unfolded before me, and I pulled an angel card to see if I was definitely on the right track.
The angel card that came up stated “Healthy Lifestyle.” The grasshopper was there to remind me of my dreams, telling me to bring them to life, nudging me with a note about how I prayed for help with my fitness and how I need to make consistent steps to making it happen. Because I like nothing more than to see good messages come in threes, I also queued up my music player for a random song, and it played a song titled “Vrkshasana,” which translates to “being grounded without being inflexible.” It is notably also a song with a picture of a woman doing yoga on the front of it, and yoga is one of my favorite fitness practices.
The cherry on top, though, was last night, in pure, effortless synchronicity, I heard two quotes stand out from a show I was watching on Netflix with my boyfriend.
Pennsatucky: Man, do you know what it means when there ain’t nobody up there punishing the evildoers? It means there ain’t nobody giving out prizes for the good ones neither; ‘Cuz there ain’t no judge. There ain’t no justice. We just crawl around this earth like ants…
Pennsatucky: And then we die.
Then, perhaps somewhat unbelievably, later on in the show, long before I came face-to-face with the jumping green monster on my window:
So-So: BE the grasshopper.
BE the grasshopper, Erica. Dare to jump, therefore to fly. Exercise. Become both supple and strong. These are important elements to living my best life. Important elements to bringing forth the narrative I want to create with every breath I take in this incarnation.
Later in the day today, someone close to me also reminded me to take the vitamins I have been neglecting to take for weeks. Guess what? Those amazing vitamins made me feel great, allowing me to power through my day’s work until 9:30 p.m., then create this blog post. They also help me stay motivated for morning workouts.
One of the elements of this world for which I am most grateful is cause and effect. Throw a rock, hear a splash. Put effort into something, it will respond. That is the beauty of this world, that we can make an impact, we can effect change, because with change comes transformation, and transformation is the whole reason we move around this Earth.
Cause and effect.
Call and response.
Some people would call this naiveté on my part, but I don’t believe we are destined to just crawl aimlessly around this Earth until we die. We are the meaning makers, we are the storytellers. The truth is, the world IS chaos. It IS meaningless. It IS designed to make us question meaning, to make us think there is nothing beyond it. We are given the tools to MAKE meaning. We are the narrative, we are the myth makers, the legend creators, the heroes and the villains.
Like Joan Didion said, we tell ourselves stories to survive. We shout into the wilderness and we are the voices that record on the ages. We are also swallowed up by the vastness of the Universe and snuffed out like candles at a moment’s notice.
Today, my story is about bringing my dreams to light, and yours. My spirit guardians are guiding me toward fitness, telling me to take that first leap, and even right now as I write this, I see one of my guides making a grasshopper leap in my third eye to show me that if I just try, if I just give it some effort, they will take that effort and expand it, turn it into a miraculous leap forward, like the huge (yes I was horrified when I saw it, anybody who knows me knows I was horrified) 4″ grasshopper exploding effortlessly almost 6′ up to my window to remind me of my role in bringing my dreams to light. Tomorrow, I will finally wake up as early as I need to and start my new regimen. And my guardians will make sure that my results are faster and more powerful than I could have dreamed.
In making that pact, I turn back to you, because you are my true focus here. I already know my path, and I am following it as my guardians light the way, 6′ in the headlights at a time. My question for you this post is simple and it’s also a challenge.
What story will YOU write today?