Want to hear a crazy story?
A few months before I got pregnant with my daughter, I started to get into a daily meditation practice. I began with 5 minutes of focusing on my breath and worked my way up from there. As I was able to meditate for longer stretches of time, I began setting an intention for how I wanted that time to unfold. That made a huge difference in my daily practice, helping me go deeper than I had been able to previously.
And then one day, everything changed.
I began to feel some really intense physical sensations. First, I would feel like there was something around my neck. When I would allow myself to explore the discomfort, memories and old stories would come up for me to process and let go of. One particularly powerful session made me feel like I was going to puke. I had set the intention to release any blocks or stuck energy that was being held in my body, and within minutes I felt a ball of energy moving from my lower abdomen all the way up through my body and out my mouth.
It was intense and somewhat terrifying.
I reached out to friends who were more regular meditators immediately following that experience and was assured I was making incredible process and to keep at it.
About a week before we found out I was pregnant, I experienced a really loving and playful energy hanging around me during a meditation. In that moment, I knew that I was pregnant and would be taken care of throughout the duration of my pregnancy.
I also began to see a lot of white butterflies around this time.
At first, one or two would show up when I was outside with our dog or on the phone with my mom. And then I began to see them everywhere I turned — on the side of the road, on television, in pictures and advertisements. White butterflies even began to fly into the windshield of my car late at night.
Once I was pregnant, the butterflies began to show up even more frequently and in larger numbers. Instead of seeing one or two, I would see five and six at a time. I was eventually told that the butterflies were being sent by my grandfather (who had passed away before I was even born) as a sign.
After my daughter was born, my mother rediscovered my grandfather’s birth certificate. She hadn’t ever really paid attention to the information on it (why would she), and certainly hadn’t said anything to me about it (again, why would she). But something made her look more closely this time. That’s when she noticed it.
The name of the midwife listed on his birth certificate was my daughter’s name.
A name that we had chosen without telling anyone about until she was born.
Spelled exactly the same way.
I still get chills thinking about it.
Because, SERIOUSLY WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT HAPPENING?!
There were so. many. things. that had to happen for that exact scenario to play out. From my family moving to Pittsburgh when I was a kid, to choosing the middle school I went to, that led me to the group of friends who introduced me to my husband when we were in high school, to reconnecting 15+ years later, to getting married and taking on his name, to struggling with foods and fertility, to diving deep into meditation, seeing white butterflies, making the connection that it was coming from my deceased grandfather, to choosing that exact name for our daughter …
It absolutely boggles my mind.
And also gives me great comfort.
Because it means that there is a much bigger picture than you or I have access to.
So whenever I’m feeling stuck, or lost, or just plain unhappy with the way things are unfolding in my life (and the world), I remind myself that I am only privy to a seriously small piece of the puzzle. And it’s not an edge piece or a corner. It’s a piece in the middle that doesn’t even begin to make sense until you start to see what the other pieces do.
I’m hanging onto this as I continue to peel away the layers of myself and get clear on the direction my life takes.
And I’m most definitely hanging onto as tightly as I can during this current era of fear and hatred.
Every single action we take today is creating tomorrow’s opportunities.