• Deborah Holmén

If A Little Bird Told You Something, Would You Be Ready to Listen? Signs You're on Your Path


This little owl is a reminder that I'm on my path, thanks to a gift from my daughter, Paige. Photo Credit: Rich Hill

So what does an adorable blue owl have to do with this post? It was a funny, yet poignant moment I had with Rich the other day when telling the story of the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear!-Lao Tzu." That moment at breakfast was another reminder that I am on my Path.


Rich and I were having breakfast at Cracker Barrel, a place that's always fun to go to since it reminds me of visiting grandma's kitchen. It also has a fun gift store to visit.


Rich was talking about how blessed we've been since arriving in Florida. We had a chance to live on a boat, and upon selling it, we quickly found a beautiful place to live in Saint Petersburg. We met so many great people on amazing journeys in that complex, and had a wonderful time exploring the beautiful city. When our lease came up, friends of ours offered us their home to watch over as they travel for the next six to eight months or so. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.


I told Rich that I think our luck was more about being open to whatever comes our way, and not to control it. It reminded me of a time when I wasn't ready for what was being placed in front of me, and how the message will find you again when you are ready to receive it.


Here's the story I told Rich while eating breakfast that morning.


Fear Kept Me From Receiving the Message

My daughter, Paige and I were on vacation skiing in Colorado, March 2013. We were waiting for dinner and took a walk around the hotel. We came upon a gift shop, enjoying all that it offered. We came to a book display with all sorts of interesting books. In the center, was a book with a blue owl on the cover. Paige instantly picked it up since she loves owls. To my surprise, she said, "Mum, this is perfect for you! You should read this for your writing!"


I loved her enthusiasm, and read the book jacket. I found it interesting, yet I felt uneasy. I couldn't put my finger on it. I knew it was some type of fear. Not the scary kind, but fear based on that I wasn't ready for what the book was about.


The book, Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within, written by Janet Conner was about the power of sacred journaling, personal prayer, and forgiveness to heal your heart and transform your world.


You're probably thinking, "Well, that seems harmless." But imagine if you were standing on a cliff, and was told by someone that the moment you take that first step, you would be transformed. First of all, I wasn't confident that I would be transformed. The book was about writing, and I have to admit, even though I have been writing for 17 years, I didn't have any confidence in my ability at that moment.


The cliff I'd be walking over was learning to trust that the little voice from within. The book teaches you to journal, and through practice, trust that what comes out is your pure intuition. So, in order to take that first step, you have to completely trust yourself. I definitely wasn't ready for that.


Heal my heart? My heart seemed fine. Although I had ended a twenty year marriage, I felt I made the best choice for Paige and I. I left the marriage to rediscover my strength, and the path I was meant to be on.


The forgiveness part seemed to be where the confusion was lurking. Forgiveness is a hefty word if you don't know what it means, and what it's intended to do. Was I ready to forgive myself for all the mistakes I had made, and that act of forgiveness would transform my life? Sure, they say forgiveness is the act of letting go of the unrest and bitterness to create peace within yourself. In fact, Martin Luther King once said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” MLK

I smiled at Paige and told her, "Not yet, honey." I put the book down. I could see she was disappointed, which started a cascade of thoughts. Why was I so scared about journaling, or forgiveness? What did I need to transform from? Did I need to forgive myself? Maybe someone else? These were scary thoughts, and I was not ready to answer any of them.


The vacation ended and life went on. It wasn't until four months later that the book would be presented to me again. Was I ready to receive and be open to it this time?


Paige went on vacation with family up the west coast. While in Oregon, she met a wonderful family that had a barn on the property. To Paige's delight, the grandmother took her to see a newly hatched family of barn owls that morning. Later that same day, Paige wandered into a quaint bookstore, and to her surprise discovered the very same book from our vacation four months prior! Yup! The little owl called to her, and she immediately bought it.


She arrived home with the gift. She said, "Mum, you know how you always say to pay attention to your gut? Well, mine told me you need to read this. Now!"


I smiled as she took the book from behind her back. She then continued to tell me how she was lead to so many owls that day. She said that if she hasn't been given so many signs of owls, she might have totally overlooked the book, but it was like the universe was preparing her to be alert. I agreed.


I took the book with great enthusiasm this time. The timing was right. My angels knew I would need to brace myself with empowerment with what I was about to discover days later. The relationship I was in at that time took an incredibly difficult turn. I discovered the man I was with was having multiple affairs with Asian women online, and in person. Yup! There was a life lesson being presented if you've ever seen one!


I sat down and read the book, and have been journaling ever since. I learned so much about my intuition, and that I'm a stronger woman than I thought. I have forgiven myself, found incredible peace and embraced times of difficulty as life lessons my soul needed to learn. Journaling has empowered me in so many ways. I feel my angels knew I would need a way to process the pain and hurt I was about to go through, and the book was a perfect guide.


So, where did the little-stuffed owl come from? Well, after telling my story to Rich, we finished our breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Rich went into the gift store to pay, and I went to the ladies room. When I came out, Rich was standing there smiling with this little furry friend in his hand. It looked just like the owl on the book! I pulled the image of the book up on my phone for him.


He said, "Well, this is kismet, isn't it?" We both laughed at the serendipitous moment.


I bought it immediately, and now it's on its way to surprise my daughter at college to thank her for being open to what the universe was telling her that her mom was ready for transformation.


I've learned now to look at things with a more open lens and to pay attention to the signs that I need to see! Because, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear!"

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