I was raised in a stereotypical Irish-Catholic home, complete with the Sunday school, and the having "God glued to the roof of my mouth," but minus the lot of siblings. When I was little, I was always told that God would answer my prayers, and like a good little Catholic girl, I yearned to hear His voice telling me exactly what I should do. I would imagine what His thundering voice might sound like, and then I'd wonder why I never heard it. I read books about little children who were such good Catholic boys and girls that they were actually visited by the Virgin Mary herself. She spoke to them on varying occasions in all her glory. And I was jealous. I began to fervently pray the rosary every night, praying for none other than to see the Holy Queen myself. (It was 1985 and I totally had FOMO.)

Of course, nothing ever came of it and I began to understand that you don't actually hear God's voice. But so what was all this talk about He'd answer our prayers and all that jazz?

It wasn't until much later in my life, in my thirty-somethings, that I began to understand that all the things that I've just felt, the déjà vus, the A-Ha! moments, the jolts of insight, intuition, whatever — all of it — those are the the messages from the universe, the voice of the Divine. No need for thundering voices or special appearances.

Sometimes the messages move through meaningful coincidences (synchronicity), and sometimes through our friends — their insight, their perfectly timed anecdote. If it resonates, if it makes so much sense, there's a reason. When I was in high school, a close friend of mine told me that when you experience a moment of déjà vu, it means you are on the right path. #CLICK! My gut screamed, "YES! YES! YES!" Boy did that totally make sense! It completely resonated with me and I fully embraced that concept right then and there. And I still believe it to this day.

Other times, you can find the message in yourself. Mainly your gut, your instinct or intuition. Whatever you call it, it's a feeling. And it comes from deep inside you. In my early twenties, I was working for Tommy Hilfiger, managing one of his stores in Alabama and doing a kickass job of it. So much so that I was offered the opportunity to relocate to New York City to manage a store there, to work closer with the corporate team. My boss, the regional manager, was looking out for me. She recognized my talent and wanted to place me on the NYC stage, so to speak. It was a HUGE deal. A big opportunity.

A month before the big move, she called me up on the phone to tell me about an opening in Destin, Florida. At the time, I was dating a boy who lived in Destin, Florida. She knew about this boy and our relationship, and she told me that she just wouldn't feel right if she hadn't told me about this opening. I was young and in love and chose at that moment to move to Florida. For some reason, during my acceptance of this new gig, I began to feel extremely emotional. I felt nervous, my stomach was all tied up in knots. I was crying. I couldn't think straight. I did not know what was going on. #CLICK! My gut was screaming, "No! No! No!" And boy did that completely not make any sense at all! I have come to understand, through hindsight and many similar experiences, that that was my body's very visceral response to what was happening — I was making the wrong choice.

This past weekend, my family and I rented a cabin in the sweet Virginian mountains. We spent a lot of time out on a boat, cruising over the lake, enjoying the cool crisp autumn air together with the warmth of the sun, and we were completely amazed and delighted by the beautiful sight of a monarch butterfly, flitting above us, radiant against the deep blue sky. It struck us as special because it was fall, the leaves were turning, the air was cool, it was not a time we associated with butterflies. And we kept noticing them in that way all day, and became drunk with the awesomeness of life. When we got home, the very next day, I happened upon an article, that says that butterflies are a special sign. That they symbolize amazing change and transformation coming for you. #CLICK!

Last night my son woke up & I just couldn't get back to sleep. Instead, I kept thinking about messages from the universe, how I know what I should be moving toward. And I had the strongest urge to get out of bed and write this post. This has happened more than a handful of times. And in the beginning, I forced myself back to sleep, thinking I'd remember it in the morning, only to wake up having forgotten it, or having lost the meaningfulness of it, the excitement of it, the powerfulness of it — so, why did i think this was so awesome again? It's taken years, but I've finally realized that I need to listen to that voice.