14/01/2014 05:26 GMT | Updated 15/03/2014 05:59 GMT

Open Your Eyes

I always say the universe sends you signs.

Let's use the example of having a weight problem.

First the universe will tap you on the shoulder.

Might be when you walk to the letterbox you notice you're out of breath.

You pay no attention. It's hot, you haven't drank much water today, and you are a bit tired anyway.

Second, it will gently nudge you.

You start sweating profusely while laying in bed one day and notice you're unusually tired.

You pay no attention. You ate dinner late that evening, and you're stressed about getting up early for work.

Third, it will give you a downright shove.

You start experiencing chest pain, and numbness in your left arm.

You ignore it. You put it down to anxiety. You've been stressed out after all.

There's some explanation for all of it.

Finally, it will floor you. Bring you to your knees.

You are sitting there watching tv one night. The chest pains are back. Your breathing is shallow. Your left arm is now cramped up and you're suffering the worst case of heartburn you've ever encountered. You're having a heart attack.

In life, the universe, or whatever you'd like to call it, sends you signals when something has to change. Signs. It's up to us to interpret those signs.

Your body, or intuition, is the most important thing you will ever need to listen to.

When the universe wants you to change something, wants you to learn some sort of lesson, it will give you many opportunities to pay attention. To observe what it is trying to tell you.

If you choose to ignore the initial sign, it will continue to repeat the lesson. Only a more profound lesson each time. Until it becomes blindingly obvious. Sometimes it actually has to spell it out for you.

But take solace in knowing that it is all happening for a reason. Perhaps you need to be floored in order to recognise what actually needs to happen. For the step you need to take next.

To an observer, they might think it's clearer than day. You're overweight, so of course your heart is working overtime. A heart attack is inevitable.

It doesn't make any difference what these outsiders attempt to convince you of.

Sometimes you need to have the evidence of it yourself.

To the observers of the lesson learner. Have patience. Nobody can do anything until they are ready to do it. It has to be in them. And sometimes, the universe has to test them several times over before they finally "get it". Before that lesson has permeated every part of their being. Know it is not your battle to be fought.

These observers may claim you are a fool. They may tell you that you "never listen". They may abandon you. Give up on you. Not realising that what it's going to take is that final blow of knocking the wind out of you before you can see clearly enough to take the next step.

And when it does get to that point, you really only have two options. To either roll over and die, or do something about it and change your life forever.

What signs are the universe sending you? What are you ignoring? What problem are you hiding from? What life lessons do you continue to experience over and over, each time with greater intensity? What do you need to change? What's it going to take to make that change? Are you going to roll over and die? Or are you going to fight to save yourself?

A friend once sent me a quote. It's one of the most profound quotes I've read. Packed with meaning about ignoring the signs the universe is sending you.

So today, I leave you with this quote, and implore you to pay attention. Open your eyes.

"You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from a problem. Like the defense on a football field, putting all focus on evading only one defender is asking to be blindsided."

― Criss Jami