When I was a child, my grandmother often drove me and my siblings between our various French-child engagements, such as accordion lessons and pétanque sessions. Where I grew up in Nice, looking for a parking space is maddening- cars are parked in and out of parking lines while disrespectful drivers try to sneak in front of you to steal the tiny space you just spotted. The last big earthquake in Nice was caused by David Banner turning into Hulk when he couldn’t find a park.
My grandmother wasn’t worried though. On our way to someplace, she would say: “I’m thankful for the wonderful parking space that is waiting for me.” And most of the time, she found one right away.
This was an impressive trick – by contrast, my dad would always drive us around for at least 15 minutes before finding a space, getting madder and madder all the while (he never turned into Hulk though). The only difference between them was that my grandmother asked for the space.
I never received religious education but my grandmother used to talk to me and my siblings about spirituality. Although we found it annoying sometimes, it taught us the basics about the Bible and the different ways one could interpret it. Sometimes, she talked about “God” but other times, she just referred to “the divine presence”, or “the light”, or “the universe”.
My grandmother told us that when we had an unanswered question or when we really wanted something, we could just “ask the universe” and then trust that it will be taken care of.
Convinced by the car park trick, I started asking questions to the universe and I’ve always had some sort of answer. A few years ago, for example, I was attracted to a guy but wasn’t sure whether I should start a relationship with him. I asked the universe for a sign and the very next day, he cancelled our plan to go on a day trip at the last minute in a very rough manner (flimsy excuse, no apologies). I had my answer; I decided not to go any further than friendship with him.
More recently, I wasn’t sure if I should quit a corporate teaching job. It was every Monday afternoon and I hated it- unmotivated students, inconvenient location, unwelcoming atmosphere. The money was good but it gave a negative vibe to the start of each week. I wasn’t sure I should quit because I needed the money. Again, I asked: “Should I quit this job?” A few days later, I was contacted by 2 new potential students interested in taking lessons with me at a good rate. I had my answer. I sent my letter of resignation and now start the week with motivated, cool students.
One could argue it has nothing to do with the universe. It could just be that I’m more aware of everything happening after asking the question and that I see clues in random events. But whatever it is, it has helped me deal with my indecision several times.
I’ve also asked the universe to give me what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also proactive – waiting passively for the wanted thing to be delivered won’t get you anywhere. I always take the necessary steps to achieve my goals. Asking the universe is just a way to clearly formulate what it is that you want and then have a little extra kick of confidence to start working on it.
Three years ago, Nick and I were looking for a flat to move in together. Zürich is famous for being a very difficult place to find a flat. People usually visit places with 30 other couples looking for a place to live. We were prepared to go flat-huning for months before finding anything. We talked about what we wanted, wrote down all our criteria and I asked the universe for help. We did everything necessary to find the flat and 2 months later, we had the key to the 3 room apartment we had hoped for.
Unanswered questions and unfulfilled wishes potentially lead to obsession. This is counter-productive. Sometime we just need to let go and a solution will come our way. Asking the universe is trusting that things will turn out well eventually- no need to overdo anything.
To connect with the universe, you neither need wear a tie-dye robe with flowers in your hair nor burn candles and incense. My grandmother used to ask questions aloud or write them on paper. If she wanted something, she would write the specific details of what she wanted- it’s not enough to say “I want a job”, for example, you need to come up with a whole job description for better effect. Personally, I just ask for signs or things I want in my head. I also give thanks in advance and then I let it go until something comes my way. And it always does.
So next time you’re looking for a parking space, ask for it in advance to make sure there’s one waiting for you.
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