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Looking for “a sign”? A message from the Universe? Something to let you know that things are going to be okay?

Have you ever thought that perhaps it’s none of our business what the future holds? Instead, maybe it’s our responsibility to recognize that the present is the most valuable and workable place to be in.

We are not victims of our stories, but co-creators of our experience; it’s us, hand in hand with our journey, gently weaving a web and moving us forward. Our job is to show up, be compassionate to others and ourselves and to work with what our journey brings. Our job is to communicate with our experience, and it is then that we start to receive those “signs” and realize they were around us all along.

Here are five ways you can start receiving messages from your YOUniverse:

1. Get into an expansive frame of mind

This requires faith and trust. To have faith, you do not need to believe in a certain religion or God. Faith can be formed simply from an empowered decision to believe in your own experience.

Your expansive state of mind is where you are able to connect to your highest energy, as well as external spirits around you (if that is something you are interested in!).

When we are feeling controlling or full of fear, we tend to view our lives and our world in tunnel vision. We start to see everything through a crack in the wall and feel so disconnected and hopeless. All the good stuff is usually found in the space outside our restrictive tunnel.

This is normal and completely okay to not feel okay; but it’s also changeable. We have the ability to shift our vision just by being willing to believe that there might be another way of looking at things. Consider—even in those moments where you feel the most stuck—that a different perspective is possible and experiment with the idea that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

When you feel stuck in tunnel vision, use the mantra, “How can I see this more expansively?” to instantly stretch out your mind frame and zap you back into the present.

2. Set your intentions

Instead of throwing your hands up in the air and demanding a sign, direct your energy appropriately so that you can request help. Define your needs by asking yourself some questions:

What is it that you feel you need guidance about?

How are you feeling disconnected from yourself?

In what ways are you feeling lost, stuck or anxious?

Are you jumping out of the present and wanting to know the future?

3. Ask

This is the enjoyable bit and totally unique to you in terms of the guidance you need and from what or whom. I love to view the signs around me as confirmation that I’m where I’m supposed to be. It helps me tremendously when I’m in a state of challenge. For instance, right now during a changeable time, I keep seeing white butterflies everywhere—the ultimate symbol of transformation. It’s reassuring.

The most important thing is to try and keep your asks in that expansive and empowered mind frame and then have some fun. So, you could sit and have a think about what you would like your “message” to be. Perhaps it’s a certain animal or bird, a white feather or some sort of shape. It can be as weird or as wonderful as you like. I have friends and clients who have chosen symbols including everything from hearts to kumquats, and dinosaurs to rainbows.

Make your request during your mediation or morning practice. You could try saying something like the following:

“Thank you for showing me [this symbol] to remind me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”

It might be that you are asking for comfort during a particular challenge or even just experimenting with this whole idea of messages from the Universe. Make it fun!

4. Surrender

As always, the surrender practice can help you. Step back from being obsessed about wanting one certain thing, and be open to the idea that you might just receive what you need. This is extending that expansive way of thinking. Yes, we always have an ideal or an outcome in mind, but we must let that have flow. It’s amazing how often we are surprised by something more useful than our original idea.

You don’t need to sit around waiting for magical lightning bolts to come from the sky, revealing a huge banner with your life purpose on it. Set your intention, let it go and get on with your day.

5. Keep your eyes open and take notes

The fun part of your new connection to this wide eyed space is that the more you start to notice these symbols on your path, the more often you will see them.

You can turn this practice into a writing exercise, too noting how, where and when your messages appear. You might also discover how this is an exercise of trusting in simplicity, that you become more connected to nature and the real world.

Finally, remember that you do not need someone or something to bestow permission for you to feel a certain way or for you to follow a certain dream. Trust that your journey has your back and guidance will start coming through in coordination with your own self-care and empowered action.

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