Is The Universe Winking At You?
The Avocado Purse! by Betsey Johnson
About six months ago, I was hit with an idea for a children’s book. It didn’t start out as a book; it was just a nighttime story about an avocado tree I made up on the fly for my son. He kept asking for that story over and over again and one night, my husband heard too and said, “That’s a pretty good story, you should write it down.”
And, so I did.
My very rough draft took me about twenty minutes to write down but I was so excited, I sent it right off to my friend whom I knew would want to illustrate the book. (We’d casually discussed me writing and her illustrating a kid’s book “someday”)
She was instantly on board and started creating images. As she began to create what the story would look like, I dug back in to flush out the storyline. Things were flowing, and we started getting what I like to think of as “winks from the Universe.”
First, Mo (said friend/illustrator) received an email from Buzzfeed about avocados and crazy recipes for them. Not mind blowing but we took note of the fun timing.
Second, I was shopping at Macy’s and in a section I didn’t mean to be in (read; I was lost), when I found myself turning around to meet my first avocado purse. By Betsey Johnson.
The third wink I got from the Universe was an email I got from one of my favorite bands. (And when I say “favorite,” I mean like, they played live at our wedding). “Spencer The Gardener,” wrote and was sharing a song called, you guess it, The A.V.O.C.A.D.O. Song.
I immediately wrote to Spencer to see if he wanted to collaborate in some way. He did!
I honestly felt like the Universe was surrounding my avocado story in a cloud of loving inspiration and it was just going to grow and grow.
I began to share the story with a couple of industry professionals and got some very good feedback. I went back to the story to work on the notes I’d received and got stuck. That flowing inspiration was gone. “It,” just went away…
A few months went by; I’d sat down with the story a couple of times, but nothin’ was happening. Time passed; months in fact.
Have you had that disappointed feeling before? You know you’re supposed to see something to fruition, but you let it slide, and now it’s sitting in the corner of your mind, taking up mental space and creating guilt.
Well, THAT doesn’t feel good. And finally, that icky feeling + an amazing Jack Canfield training I went to, snapped my ass back into motion on the book.
And. I’m. Back.
When approaching any project, all you need to do is take some steps in the direction of your goal. I don’t mean to take the least amount of action possible. But, for example with me, the story line was still a struggle for me and even though a lot of time had passed, I still seemed to be struggling with that part.
So I changed my focus. I took some action, rather than NO action. I didn’t ignore the storyline. Oh no. “Sit with Avocado story” was still on my actions steps list every day, and I did sit with it. But, what else I did was to take a different actions step; I started talking about it again. Nothing gets the Universe’s attention more than words, said aloud or in your mind.
And, just like that, the Universe responded.
Literally, the only action steps I took with the book were to go back and look at the story every day and to bring it up in conversation when at all possible. I did this for exactly two days.
And on the third day, the Universe began to wink at me again.
The first wink (and possibly my favorite) was Holden asking me to tell him the avocado story to him again. It’d been months. Months since I’d told it to him, months since he’d asked me to, and months since I opened that story into my heart.
The second wink requires a short back story. Back in February when I’d originated this idea, I reached out to a children’s author I’d just met at a conference the year before. She’d just published her first children’s book around that time called “The Lemonade Hurricane”; A Story about Mindfulness & Meditation for children. I tagged her on Facebook in a group we’re both in and figured I should personally email her when I never heard back. Even after emailing, I still didn’t hear from her, so I let that go figuring she was busy and, or, forgot. It was fine really because I was in the process of shoving my book way to the side by that point anyway.
Cut to, magical day three; the author emails me back! She apologized for her delayed response and wrote me back an amazing email filled with lots of ideas and things to know when it comes to publishing. Honestly, her email was so valuable; I’m not sure how I can properly thank her.
This is all to say, if you get energized (AKA- “jazzed”) when the stars seem to be aligning, take. more. ACTION! Make it happen!
Take a step. Then take another one. You can do it, and when you start, you’ll get winks, signs, nudges, and even in some cases, flat out positive reinforcement. Take note of these and use them for the fuel they are to ignite your passion even further.
A quick footnote here for letting things go. Sometimes inspiration comes to us; we dabble, and then it goes. If you’re not upset by that absence, moving on is quite natural.
BUT, if you still feel the pull, the tug, and you miss your project… pick it back up. Because chances are, your project misses you too.