Over the past several years I’ve had countless encounters with the Universe that cause me more and more frequently to find myself wishing that I had sat down and recorded the incident in the moment. If there’s anything I continue to learn in this life, it’s that no matter how incredible, fascinating, or perplexing an event is, and how certain you are you’ll never forget the thing…the odds are good we will - especially as crazy cool things continue to happen in our lives that are even cooler than the previous thing we were sure we’d never forget. And then, sometimes, it’s only in retrospect that you even discover the cool thing in the first place. This is one of those stories.
So, in December of 2017, when I was about half way through writing my book, Divinely Queer, I was creating a vision board for 2018 and so I wanted to mock up a cover of the book to have as a visual to make it more realistic and help me to truly envision finishing and publishing in the new year. I had learned about a tool call Canva that allows you to design all kind of images and branding for social media - including book covers. So, I headed there to check it out.
After designing a cover I thought I liked, but still unfamiliar with all of the Canva features, I could not figure out how to print a copy of it that was a full page print. So, I saved the image in Canva, but went back to what I knew and created a second mockup of the booking cover using Pages on my iMac. Interestingly, I used a different image than I had in Canva, and that became the image I used on my vision board.
Fast forward about six months and it was time to work with a cover designer to actually create the real cover of Divinely Queer. By this time, I’d thought a lot about the cover of the book and how I wanted it to look. I’d looked at covers of books that I really loved and by authors that I really connected with and aspired to be like in some way. I knew that I wanted to use my book as a platform for public speaking and so having an image of myself on the cover of the book seemed like a good idea based on what other successful speakers were doing with their books.
After much contemplation and back and forth between a full body shot and a headshot, I’d chosen a headshot because of the direct eye contact that could be made with the reader. I felt that my eyes in the photo really created an authentic connection. So, I sent the headshot along with a mockup of what I envisioned it looking like to the cover design guy. I also sent another full body image with the intention of him completely cropping me out of the image and using the rainbow colors on the wall behind me for the back cover of the book.
After a week or so, the cover designer sent back two cover mockups. One was exactly what I had asked him for, with the headshot on the front. However, due to the closeness of the shot and the size of the book, it ended up looking two busy with the subtitle running into my hair and my name appearing over my chest. The other, he took the liberty of designing using the full body shot photo I’d sent him and I fell in LOVE with it as soon as I saw it. That is ultimately what became the cover of the book. So, here comes the magical part.
Several months later and well after the book was published, I went back into my Canva account. I’d learned a lot more about it and had been using it to create Instagram images to promote the book before and after it launched. As I scrolled back looking at old projects, I came across the very first image I’d ever created - the mockup of the book cover to use for my vision board - the one I couldn’t figure out how to print into a full page.
There, staring back at me, was essentially, the cover of Divinely Queer - with some minor differences. I gasped with surprise when I realized that the gorgeous cover that I’d fallen in love with, and was so grateful to the cover designer for creating, was actually conceptualized by ME several months before the book was even finished - and I’d completely forgotten about it. I had not shared this mockup with the cover designer or anyone else. Yet, the Universe delivered to me a dream that was even better than the one I’d cooked up on my own. This was further validation for me that I am indeed aligned with my life’s purpose and the reason I came into this life experience.
I continue to learn that when we take inspired action, and do the things our heart is called to do, the things that bring joy to ourselves and to others, that the Universe always, always, ALWAYS lines things up just as they need to be.
Never stop following your dreams. Watch for the signs along the way that help you know which way to go. And no matter what, trust that even if you make a "wrong" turn, the Universe is always conspiring to get you where you’re going. We just have to be open to the guidance and wiling to follow the signs.
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Jennifer Miracle-Best is an author and speaker whose Calling is to help victims of spiritual violence find healing.