Sign Language … And A Peacock in a Pineapple Tree


Ever wonder how to decipher “signs from the Universe?”

I have.

Why it was just recently that I spotted 11 sea turtles, 10 peacocks, some mongoose, several butterflies, two dragonflies and a white cat crossed my path, plus the book, “The Tao of Pooh”—all in the course of a few days.

What to do? What to do?

Well, I doubt ignoring it is wise. I lived in Northern California for a good 20 years. Like I am notgoing to notice something like 11 beached sea turtles taking a breather from ocean life in Maui—and not try to find some deeper meaning in it all. When you’re a Sign From God cheerleader, like me, you just can’t wait to raise your invisible pom poms and think the universe is talking to you.

But let’s back up, a bit.

How did all of those animals—plus the book—wind up crossing my path?

Let’s see—it could have been my incessant spiritual phone calls to God, The Universe—whatever you want to call it: Universe, thank you for gutting me out like a fish plucked from Lake Michigan when I embarked on writing about my Polish family’s Stalin saga. Thank you for listening to my pleas for guidance and therefore scraping off all the dead skin from my spiritual body when I realized that career burn-out, relationship burn-out, some health issues, mood swings and the wild card that was The Inter-generational Effects of Family Trauma all showed up to play in the living room of my soul—all at once—some time on a Wednesday afternoon … and then decided to stay there for a while noshing on the hors d’oeuvres of my psyche  … until I woke up and decided it must be time to receive assistance and empty out the ME that I knew ME to be only to become another ME. And thank you for bringing me to to Maui to look over baby olive trees … but really, that was plenty, really it was  … but, um, could you give me ANOTHER sign on what I’m supposed to do next with my life …?

Perhaps you get the picture. 

It’s like being in line at the Polish smorgasbord with a full plate of food—and wanting more. On the flipside … it seems like, for some reason, I have a decent calling plan with the Powers That Be, so, for this I remain grateful—in between noticing my habit for looking and asking for “more.”

However, this, too, I am learning: When we do not allow ourselves to sit with what is—right here, right now—we many never be satisfied with whatever we think we want OVER THERE.

I recall my interview with Geneen Roth, who so wonderfully articulated that in our attempts to feed the perceived emptiness we sense within—with food, with alcohol, with busy work, etc.—we miss out on fully participating in our own experience. We’re always on the search … for something other than our own power; our own source, to “fill us up.”

So, over the past week, as I was becoming more accustomed to overseeing a young olive grove here in Kula—takes keen observation and being in the moment—I have been reflecting more about all of this. And, hopefully, integrating what I am learning. For instance, all, the young olive trees aren’t telling themselves “to grow faster, dammit!”  They’re just being baby trees right where they are.

I also contemplated the life I (temporarily? officially?) left behind on the Mainland; a lush, lovely life for a time, which found me running a newspaper, writing for magazines and attending various red carpet events in Hollywood for TV and more. I have also been thinking more about “home’ and how, in the purging of many of my personal belongings last year—the physical contents of my “life” now fits into a small storage locker along the Central Coast of California—the absence of familiarity, structure and certain patterns offers one an opportunity to truly get to know themselves on a much deeper level.

This has been part of my journey here—a kind a reverse 9-to-5 Corporate America existence with existential waxings; opportunities to appreciate living in the moment a bit more while my own Inner Nature reboots its personal Operating System.

That said, seeing that I’m temporarily not climbing any corporate media ladder and I’m actually in Maui, it seems best to “be in Maui.”

And not in the past. Or the future.

My recent adventures took me to Ho’okipa Beach—enlightening at sunset with those turtles—The Garden of Eden (on the road to Hana where the peacocks thrived!) a black sand beach (past Hana), The Seven Sacred Pools (at Haleakala National Park) and some other beaches on the road to Lahaina, where I spotted a young surfer teach  his girlfriend how to surf. Trust in its finest moment.

Still, I’m human… I think I may have asked for a sign or two .. or seven … Uh… can’t recall …

But what’s different than some of the earlier experiences I had “asking for a signs” … is that I did not immediately register that some of the things I was experiencing were, or could have been, “signs.” I was in the moment, just having a stellar time. It was only afterward, when I recording my accounts of “daily good” in my journal, that I wondered whether the turtles and peacocks and others … could have, in fact, been “signs from above”—clues.

Progress? Maybe. But let’s do the spiritual math.

In animal totem vernacular, sea turtles represent “wisdom and teaches us about walking our path in peace and sticking to it with determination and serenity. Those who have the turtle as totem or spirit animal may be encouraged to take a break in their busy lives and look around or within themselves for more grounded, long-lasting solutions.”

Wow. Times that by 11 and add …

The Peacock: “here to remind that nothing, including beauty, should be taken too seriously. Be lighthearted but take time to stand by your beliefs, live by them and live your dreams.”

Phew. Multiply that by 10 and add …

The mongoose: “The appearance of the mongoose may indicate a struggle within you or another with the Kundalini energy, which may have sexual overtones.”

Hmm … that crush I still have on that unavailable shirtless male human on Facebook? Check. Now then …

Butterflies: “profound changes of the soul.”

Got it. (I think. Yeah. OK. Got it.) Letting it integrate. Add that to … 

The two dragonflies that keep flying around me outside my screen door: “symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.”

Whoa. Alright then, add that to …

The white cat: “white cats are associated frequently with happiness, good fortune and purity.”

So, let’s see: Draw a line underneath all of it and add it up. Carry the “one” here, a “two” there and the sum comes out to something like:


Sounds good. Now, dearest Greg, can you allow it all to unfold that smoothly?

Yes, me thinks. Yes. (Right? Yes….)

But just in case …

… let’s toss in a quote from “The Tao of Pooh,” gifted to me from two lovely visitors from California, Jonnie and Jackie:

How can you get very far,
If you don’t know Who You Are?
How can you do what you ought,
If you don’t know What You’ve Got?
And if you don’t know Which To Do
Of all the things in front of you,
Then What you’ll have when you are through
Is just a mess without a clue
Of all the best that can come true
If you know What and Which and Who.   


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