I’ve seen many signs in my life. Some were small, some were life changing. They are all around us. They’re in the stories that we read and in the songs that we hear. They can be spelled out on the news or suggested in the clouds. They can be as subtle as a whisper or as blatant as a slap in the face.
Some say it’s all just coincidence, but I believe that signs are real. They’re out there just waiting to be read by anyone with an open mind and an open heart. We just need to make sure we’re paying enough attention to notice them.
I saw a sign toward the end of my first marriage. For a long time, it had been clear that we were going to separate. It was coming as surely as the tide. In one last ditch effort, my husband suggested we take a Caribbean vacation to see if there was anything left to save. Having a hard time dealing with the apparent end of our union, I agreed.
For a week, we relaxed and tried to reconnect, and to my surprise, I started to enjoy his company again. Sitting next to him on the beach, staring out at the glistening water, a long-dormant optimism began to bloom inside of me. But at the same time, no amount of paradise could silence the nagging questions swirling through my mind. Could I really make this marriage work? Could I really be happy? Was this warm feeling the rekindling of passion, or just the Caribbean sun on my skin?
In the end, it was my optimism that won, and as I boarded the plane, I said to myself: Yes. I can make this work.
An hour later, I turned on the in-flight movie. It was Serendipity, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. I love John Cusack, of course, so I was thrilled to settle in and watch. What I couldn’t have known was that I was about to see so much more than just a feel-good romantic comedy. I was about to see a sign.
As the plot unfolded, something incredible happened. I felt like the movie was talking directly to me. In the flick, John Cusack realizes he needs to make the hard choice to leave his fiancée because he knows his true love is out there and that he shouldn’t settle.
It was just the slap in the face I needed. As the movie ended, I couldn’t control my tears. I knew in that moment that my marriage was over. It was a tough message to hear, but it’s what forced me to realize that in order to be truly happy, I needed to make an extremely difficult decision. I needed to end my marriage. A few weeks later, I did just that.
Flash forward: Much like John Cusack, I ended up finding my true love, and we’ve been happily married for more than eleven years. My husband says that Serendipity is one of his favourite movies, if only because he would never have met me without it. He can be very charming.
Recently, another sign appeared. During my journey to figure out how I was going to make a bigger difference in life, I noticed that one of my favourite movies was playing on TV: Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner. The film’s iconic line, If you build it, he will come, resonated deeply with me that day. It actually gave me goosebumps.
For days, I couldn’t get the line out of my head and then one morning, while brushing my teeth, it suddenly morphed into: If you build it, they will come. The words stopped me dead in my tracks. I stared at myself, wide-eyed in the bathroom mirror. This was a sign. And right then, the idea for Positive People Army struck me.
We have all had moments in our lives when we have had to deal with something difficult or just felt alone or discouraged. In a time when we seem to be most connected via the online world, many of us are feeling more alone than ever. Plus, there seems to be more violence, bullying, hate and gossip ripping our world apart.
In my little world, I have always tried to spread as much positive energy as I can, but I have struggled for a long time, feeling it was never enough. Through the Positive People Army, I created a place where people can share their stories and feel like they are supported with an army of positive energy behind them. While I share my life experiences and invite guest authors to chime in, my mission is to help others share their stories.
I opened my mind and heart, and the signs were revealed to me. Will you do the same?
Heidi Allen began her journey as a wedding photographer but knew she was supposed to be doing something else. Her next careers—wedding gown store owner, lifestyle editor for a popular wedding magazine, co-host for a morning drive radio show—were the same. After working as a TV host, she landed on the Marilyn Denis Show team as a makeover producer, and all of a sudden, something changed. She began to love making a difference in people’s lives and she turned to making a difference in a bigger way. That’s how the Positive People Army was born.