I spent a recent weekend with my best friend, who I call Momma Bird. He and I went to the lake for one of our ongoing ceremonies.

Momma Bird and I walked down the steep and sometimes slick hill, from all the melting snow. It was one of the first truly warm weekends we’ve had in months and the warm sun felt like a soothing balm for the soul. Once we arrived at our “spot” along the shore, the clear blue expanse of lake stretched out like a hug from Nature. The waves were barely rippling the surface and the shore was covered by a long stretch of densely packed snow that created a shelf over the shore.


We were armed with intentions for what’s to come, some sweet grass, sage and the desire to clear the way so that with several open doors before us, we’re more ready than ever to walk through. The energy around the beach was crackling and pulsing like a firework right before it decorates the sky with beautiful multitudes of colour.

There’s something magnificent to be said for celebrating our milestones and signs of strength. When we’re young it happens all the time and the grips of adulthood don’t see us celebrating in the same way. It’s this marking of milestones, more than just birthdays, which make life extraordinary.

When’s the last time you celebrated your strength or real, genuine magic about yourself?

Maybe it was learning something new or having the courage to walk away from something or someone who no longer served you. It could’ve been the realization that the way you used to think about yourself needed to change. When did you stop ceremoniously announcing to the Universe that you’re paying attention to wonder and you’re aware of the magic of taking baby steps toward a long-term goal?

I used to go out for drinks with friends or spend a night out commemorating, but never truly taking in the next step with intention, and that is the key piece of the proverbial puzzle to consider.

There’s something majestic about taking time to intentionally say to the Universe, “I’m ready and here’s why; as much as you invite me to live every day, I’m inviting you back in as well, so here I am to listen.” It isn’t until we truly stop to appreciate where we’ve come from that we can see the beauty in who we’re becoming. We can focus on where we’re going, but time has taught me well that it has far more to do with who we become than where we are, in the unfolding of our soul’s journey.

We were surrounded by silence, interrupted only by the small waves caressing the shore and the occasional seagull soaring overhead. In that moment and in those spaces, when the energy is tuned so high and the intentions are so clear, it’s easy to hear the Universe talk back to you.

Without delay, Momma Bird and I were visualizing and meditating on relationships, speaking gratitude for what came before that moment, with excitement at what would be coming next, when the Universe talked back.

Shortly after we put the conversation on pause and started thinking about how it would feel to be at the end result of what we wanted for relationships and for love in our lives (romantic and otherwise), a group of massive swans rounded the edge of a small pier and came up so close we could see their eye colour. I ran to the edge wanting to make sure that I took a closer look at, and played well with, this gorgeous manifestation from the Universe.

Whether we believe in the power of a singular entity or more in ourselves, there are moments whose synchronicities are undeniable and truly mystifying.


There are circumstances and events that when they unfold could be taken as a sign of something more or as a simple reminder. The point of these ceremonies and rituals that we make is not to believe more in the sign than in ourselves, but instead to see them as gifts and trail markers to guide us back home when we lose faith. When we saw the swans, both of us said that it felt like there was a heart-shaped lightning bolt that shot through the moment for both of us as though the Universe was saying, “If you think those visualizations feel great, check this out- and yeah, this one was just to make you smile today.”

The Universe is always speaking to us, inviting us to celebrate alongside it- celebrating the good and the things we think are bad at first. The real question is not whether we’re getting what we want, but how open we are to what writers have referred to as “the still small voice within” through time.

Once we gain courage and confidence in the asking, our next great gift becomes our readiness to receive the wonders headed our way. Regardless of your walk of life or spiritual inclination, that’s something we could all use more of- dreams realized, hearts opening and daring to say, “I’m good enough to receive this. I am enough, and every inch of my being is worthy.” Marking our passages through lessons and our strengths is instrumental to staying open to receive.


When’s the last time you set time aside to intentionally mark your entrance into a new season within? Even if it is a Winter, there is still something to be said for making use of the time within it and finding comfort in the hope of what will come from it.

It’s your time and it’s your turn- remember to make the most of both.

Love, Light and Miracles,


About the Author

Cheryl Costello is the founder of The Finding Hearts Project, also writes for the Brampton Focus and formerly wrote at The Loving Instant. She has also worked with Fortune 500 and Financial Post 500 companies to bring greater attention, awareness and action for LGBTQ+ issues, giving the community a powerful voice. She has conducted workshops for LGBTQ+ students on the power of reclaiming their power through owning the stories they tell and was also a Keynote speaker at a Toronto World Pride event in 2014. If she isn't writing or organizing in the community, she's out with her camera, wandering a bookstore or out hiking among trees and water. Have a question you want to see answered on the blog? Stop by her page on Instagram, join in the good vibes and send her a message: @cherylalisoncostello