Signposts and Signals

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Signposts and Signals

Your life is at stake…
the worst thing you could do
is live out someone else’s life
thinking it was your own.
– David Whyte

Have you ever wondered how you’ve gotten where you are? Scratched your head and asked yourself out loud, “How did this come to be?” It could be that something wonderful has just happened, or something not so wonderful, maybe even awful. Confusion, or the “fog,” settles in all about your brain and nothing seems to make any sense. Sound familiar? Me too!

It’s taken me years to learn some pretty simple lessons. And simple does not mean easy. The awareness is simple; taking action may be challenging.

One lesson is there are signposts and signals all along the way to guide us through life, whether we choose to be aware of them or not.

A signpost is a choice point, an X on the map, a time to decide yes or no to something we are being offered, an avenue to different opportunities, an opening to change. Many of us think of signposts as major events: should I get married, take the new job, move to a different city, have children, write a book? What I am learning is signposts are everywhere, and moment to moment we are surrounded by opportunities to interact with our world. It is the choices we make at simple signposts that direct the course of our lives and determine whether or not we live according to our deepest values.

How do we choose, consciously, unconsciously, or both? When we choose unconsciously, we are stuck in our repetitive patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. Perhaps thinking, “This is just the way it is, always has been, always will be.” The outcome of this is what we call “stuck.” When we choose consciously, we pause, evaluate consequences and results, pros and cons, and if what we are evaluating is inside our ethics and values. One of the biggest considerations is whether it is something that fills our heart and soul. Vacillating between the two ways of choosing is confusing and frustrating.

A signal is a message your body gives you to tell you that you are at a signpost! That it is time to wake up and pay attention to what is right in front of you. For example, what messages does your body send you when you are thinking about breaking an agreement with someone you care about, or when you want something you know is not good for you, or you are telling a lie? When you are watching something on the news that completely goes against your principles? Perhaps a tightening of your gut, increased heart rate, perspiration, anxiety, shortness of breath. How does your body let you know you are at a choice point? These are signals your unconscious is sending you to be present now because “this is important.”

I used to bump into things all the time, break things, drop things, not get things finished on time, lose things, forget everything, run out of gas, get sick, have headaches…sound familiar? You have your own signal system that is “trying” to assist you to wake up and stay true to yourself, your values, and your greater good. Do you listen? And what happens when you don’t?

This is where the simplicity ends. No one can tell you what your signposts and signals are. You are the only one who knows and the only one who can choose the course of your life! And that is the good news!

This is not an appeal for all of us to get head-bound, trying to figure it all out; it is an appeal for us to listen to our signals and to choose at the signposts with respect for ourselves and the people we love. Imagine how different our world would be if each person was choosing with such attention and respect.

A signpost stands before us all. Do we want to live together on a peaceful, healthy planet, where different cultures and ways of living are valued, respected, acknowledged, and even learned from? How will you choose? Will you listen to and take action based on the signals your heart, mind, and spirit are sending you?

If that question is too ethereal for you, bring it closer to home. Will you listen to and take action in your closest relationships based on the signals your heart, mind, and spirit are sending you?

1. Identify important signposts in your childhood, young adulthood, and recently.

2. How did you choose at each one—consciously, unconsciously, or a bit of both? Did you create what you wanted?

3. How does you body let you know there is something to pay attention to? Do you listen?

4. What have you learned from your choices and consequences?

5. In what part of your life is it most difficult for you to see the signposts? What is the result?

I encourage you to share your responses to the reflection questions in the comments section.

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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2 Responses to “Signposts and Signals”

  1. Karen Martinsen says:

    I am so thrilled to be “back” at Wings via the podcasts! I saw an invitation to a seminar and was anxious because I knew I could not afford the tuition and travel at this time. Yet I wanted to be there. The next day, I went back through my emails and actually clicked into the podcasts. Right when I was seeking the info… was there…..

    Karen in Alaska!

  2. Dale says:

    Don’t know if you may realise how nice it is to hear these podcasts on a regular basis.

    Hearing Kris speak is like being back in a seminar. And does bring back the signs and signals for me. They are well appreciated.

    From the Northwoods of Wisc.