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Picking Up On Those Messages

March 4, 2015

By Angela Jeffs

We all remember to pick up messages left on phones or computers. After all, such functions are clear to see; we can witness them, feel them, quickly learn how they operate, work.

But what about the infinitely more subtle messages that bombard us day and night? Messages that have no key or dial or password. Messages that are invisible to the naked eye. Messages that have no sound, shape or clear definition. Messages that cannot be registered in ways we easily understand.

Let us begin with coincidences. You are thinking of someone, the phone rings or we bump into someone in town, and it’s that very person. What a coincidence we say, amazed. But how do we know that thinking about that person did not conjure them up: trigger a response on some level we simply cannot comprehend – or have lost the art of comprehending in this scientifically-rational logic-based age of scepticism?

For example, I met a woman last week who was deeply concerned not to have had a reply from a prisoner on Death Row that she writes to in the USA. If she did not hear from him within the week, she would contact the organization who had put her in touch, ask for its help. When she got home that evening, there was a letter waiting on the doormat. Coincidence? Rather a classic example of synchronicity.

Most people have their doors slammed shut on life beyond the obvious and everyday. When someone smiles at them in passing, on a train or the supermarket, they are suspicious rather than acknowledging a recognition that may have its roots in other lifetimes, or is simply open unconditional friendliness: hello.

They do not look beyond the self-evident, the easily recognizable.

They do not see the sign flashing ALIVE outside their hospital room, as I did some years ago. It made me question why I was in such sorry shape, angrily casting blame and rather cooperate more fully with the nursing staff to get me back on my feet. It also made me think about but what it actually meant to be alive. Not simply being physically fit, but healthy and in balance on a much deeper level.

Or – just at the time when I was congratulating myself on some self-help well done – the piece of graffiti on a wall in Oxford that read WAKE UP.  That really shook me when I turned around from being so pleased with myself:  it was clear my work had hardly started.

Once we open our minds to the existence and power of mysticism – hidden things with a spiritual or religious significance beyond conscious human understanding  – we enter a new realm of creative perception.

We can interpret signs literally but also symbolically, metaphorically – an ever-widening vocabulary to potentially enrich and add an ever-deepening profundity to our lives.

It is for this reason that when writers attend courses and workshops (Drawing on the Writer Within*), we usually begin with a short secular blessing that concludes:  AND WAIT FOR THE SIGNS…

Many are unsure what this means, but once explained, it’s truly amazing what happens. Their world views shifts, changes… they never see things the same way again.  This not only changes them as individuals, but has a powerful effect on how they write, and what they write about.

As if to prove the point, a graduate of DOTWW in Japan just mailed a list of seven synchronicities picked up in a church lobby Sunday last:

* The walking stick/cane (sign of my father’s presence)
* A person with Diabetes (sign of my father’s presence and his health concern from age 50)
* A person named Ruthie (my sister’s name)
* An African American woman in Japan (I grew up in America’s  rural South and such women were a richly vibrant part of my life)
* Sitting across from the NURSE (my mother’s profession)
* The Oatmeal Cookie (a communion that had been missed)
* The Watanabe original print and calendar (a favorite of my stepmother Libby)

“I was surrounded by the support group that I needed and I was ready to return home to the real world…” she concluded (meaning her world of the everyday).

What separates the so-called worlds of the everyday and mystical is Mind. Thinking.

Watching for and reading signs that connect past, present and future without fear or judgment is a path towards wholeness, holiness. Such awareness in combination with a very personal creative approach offers many gently constructive and grace-full steps towards a long-term transition into wake-full-ness.

* Drawing on the Writer Within (DOTWW), Angela’s life-enhancing writing course, is creatively and dramatically transformational work intended for anyone who has ever wanted to write and/or move their life forward, but thinks they cannot, or do not know how to begin.

About the author: After training in theatre and Laban dance, Angela Jeffs ( stepped sideways into London publishing. She worked freelance as an editor from 1973, then reinvented herself in Japan as a journalist and writer from 1986. She was a weekly columnist for The Japan Times for 22 years, and Japan Correspondent for Asia Magazine in Hong Kong from 1989-1996. Her book Insider's Tokyo, commissioned from Singapore, was published in 2001. Since 2005 she has been developing and facilitating a programme of therapeutic creative writing under the title Drawing on The Writer Within. Her latest book, Chasing Shooting Stars: A South American Paper Trail into the Past, can be ordered via
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