Just give me a sign

Article published in Holistic London Guide Magazine, Autumn 1998
By Brian Davis

Life is all about decisions. Some simple, some difficult. There are often several paths ahead. One path leads to relationship, another to confrontation. One leads to joy, another to boredom, depression or worse. Once leads to inspiration, another to desperation. We face countless choices and long for signs on the twisting highway of life.

In order to live our dreams we often have to travel paths where there are no maps. So like travellers of the past who did not have the benefit of road signs, we have to learn to read the stars and other secret signs in order to reach our goals.

Several years ago I attended a past-life workshop run by Denise Linn, a wonderful therapist who often draws on Red Indian shamanic energy. Surrounded by about 100 participants, Denise asked if anybody had begun to find feathers recently. Several people raised their hands and Denise explained that this was a clear sign that they were about to undergo transformation. At the time I thought little of it but was taken into a deep trance by her vivid meditation technique accompanied by drums.

 Some years later, I was creating a workshop of my own with a friend to help empower women in their search for new relationships and change, and feathers started to appear. Everywhere we walked, in the grounds beside the venue we planned to use and at various subsequent meetings feathers drifted into view. Once we even found the remains of a small egg shell with whispy white feathers. Each time I collected the feathers gratefully and put them on the mantelpiece at home. Never questioning, just accepting them as a sign. Eventually we did the workshop and it was a brilliant success. As for the feathers, I now consider they were a sign that our venture was going to fly.

Then I put together a musical show called dreamSEED, spending lots of time meditation about the venture, and feathers began to appear. No, birds don’t tend to moult significantly at that time of the year.

There seem to be a special link with birds. Several years ago I was going through a heartbreaking period after the collapse of my marriage. Everything seemed bleak and hopeless as I faced losing a long relationship, my home and regular contact with my kids. One Saturday I went along to an antique fair in Camden Passage in London, seeking some respite from my troubles. I certainly didn’t have enough money to buy antiques. I just sought the slight relief offered by looking at beautiful things, having a cup of coffee and a donut.

Passing a tiny stall full of little toys and porcelain figures I came across a wooden egg. For some reason it appeared appealing because of the rough carving, so I purchased it for £1. The following week I found a wooden egg with scribbling, another week it was a marble egg. People began to give me eggs, even the kids. Nobody knew why I was collecting them. I certainly didn’t but I trusted the process. Within a couple of years I had quite a collection.

During this time I attended regular workshops based on the ideas of Chuck Spezzano and ‘A Course in Miracles’ which helped me come to terms with my past and find a new beginning. One day I found I was really living life again, in a new flat with an on-off relationship and new friends. Suddenly there was no need for eggs. I haven’t bought one since (apart from making omlettes and pancakes!), but now I see the significance of being reborn.

A friend of mine in an artist. She too became obsessed with sculpting eggs of all shapes and sizes and even loaned me some the size of dinosaur eggs for the start of my Creative Dream Company. Mandee made dozens of eggs in all sorts of materials, from dainty jewelled versions of surreal visions. Now she’s pregnant it seems to have completed the cycle.

Another friend came back from a marathon workshop with tales of an extraordinary meditation I’d like to share here. She invited me to sit comfortably, shut my eyes and breathe gently, relaxing each and every part of my body. Letting everything go, until there was just peace. Beautiful peace. She suggested I stay like this for some time. Just being. Then gently ‘Ask for a sign’. She then suggested I reach out, cup my hands and clasp them to my heart. Without opening my eyes, she suggested I open my hands and look at what was held there with my mind’s eye.

‘What do you see?’ she enquired. ‘A crystal, a large dark crystal’ I said. ‘What does it mean?’ ‘I don’t know, maybe it’s something about that old Jim Henson movie starring David Bowie - ‘The Dark Crystal’. I’ve never had much to do with crystals’.

The next day, the phone rang around 9.30pm. An Indian girl I’d met in the street recently asked if I knew anyone who was looking for a flatmate. I said, coincidently I was seeking a flatmate; did she want to drop around some time to see the flat. Excitedly she said she’d come round immediately, even though it was late.

Later the doorbell rang. I opened the door and Bichelle was standing there clasping a large dark crystal in her hands. She skipped up the stairs to my flat, took a swift look around and a peeked inside the spare room and said: ‘It’s fine, I’ll move in on Saturday!’ without even asking the rent. That weekend Bichelle moved in. She was an extraordinary crystal healer and the flat was filled with crystals for over a year.

So what signs currently hold me under their spell? Originally I suggested to the Editor writing an articles on ‘How to find your perfect partner?’ He suggested: ‘How to find your perfect pet!’ In case some readers didn’t want a partner. Well use this information as you will. But noticing the right sign is also the secret of how I found my perfect partner.

I was sitting in a bar in Crouch End drinking coffee, having spent the day drawing and writing ideas in a journal in another favourite bar nearby. Suddenly I heard somebody mention Angels. There were two girls to my side and the one nearest explained that her friend had just been reading this extraordinary book called ‘Ask your Angels’ which suggested that anytime you wanted a sign, you should ‘Ask your Angels’.

Her friend was a beautiful French actress called Frédérique. I mentioned that if sounded a good idea as I also believed in signs. We spoke a few words and later I invited her for a coffee, and picnic the next day. We’ve been together ever since and are now due to get married. What’s more, angels keep appearing.

As I mentioned earlier, I started a new company called the Creative Dream Company to help people make their creative dreams come true. The offices are based in Angel, Islington. I went to a retreat over the New Year with William Bloom, and was suddenly invited to create a pack of angel cards. I also took my first ever photos around the grounds of Gaunts House. The prints proved amazing, with strange fairy light phenomena at midnight – developed by Angel Prints.

Inspired to ask Frédérique for her hand in marriage, I returned to London and went up to Highgate to seek inspiration and a sign. Taking out my new camera, the first sign I saw was a pub sign called The Angel. Beside that was an estate agent with a picture of our dream gothic house in the window. The angels, the feathers, the crystals, signs and signs.

I haven’t even mentioned my obsession with stuffed cartoon characters like Wallace and Gromit which led to my proposal made with a Betty Boop doll. The guy at the Vintage Magazine shop suggested I was suffering from winter depression, but I just trusted that the sudden desire to fill my flat with Tweetie Pie, Sylvester, Feathers and the Flintstones was just another sign.

Of course signs don’t have to be physical. It could be a special scent, Pine needles, jasmine, eucalyptus, lavender or coconut. Colours are also stimulating. Cabaret singer Hebe plans to move to Crete and surrounds herself with blue, the blue of the sea and a Mediterranean sky, blue pots and artefacts. The obsession draws her south long before her air ticket.

Another friend, Sheila kept hearing Angel Street by M People which triggered her to expand horizons and learn to sing. Soon she’s to appear in a cabaret show singing like Marlene Dietrich at 65-years young!

All of these signs have been positive. I supposed that’s how I see life, trying to look on the bright side but you could concentrate on omens of doom. Warning signs are out here too if you look out for them. We are often taught that we get what we concentrate on. So next time you want magic in your life, just ask for a sign.

Afterword: Frederique and I actually got married in September 2000 and now have a little son Zac.