I lost all faith in the universe the day we lost her.

My happy little life shattered in an instant. Instead of the universe rewarding us with our first daughter and the start of a growing family, she left us with a vacant womb, empty arms, and a broken heart. I questioned everything I knew about the universe the day our Bella Rose was stillborn at 20 weeks pregnant. Why was Bella so sick? What did I do to make this happen to us? And most importantly, will it happen again? I cried out for answers but was given dark paths to travel, a river of tears to shed, and a universe that left me feeling exhausted, empty, and alone.

But somehow I was still standing.

Still putting one foot in front of the other.

Still plastering a smile of my face in the world and pretending I was ok.

It was all I could do to convince myself that maybe, just maybe the universe still loved me.

Then one brisk autumn afternoon I was walking to clear my head. I plucked a single leaf off the tree, pointed it to the sky, and in that instant I realized the universe was always looking out for me after all. I just had to open myself up to receive her gifts. When I looked up, there was my Bella washing me over with radiant rays of warmth.

And now, the universe continues bringing her to me in the most subtle ways.

Sometimes she speaks to me as she paints the sky the colors of the sunrise.

Other times she whispers my name in the rays of light streaming through the windows.

And every now and then she calls out to me in the golden light radiating from behind the trees and plants.

Light. Bella is my guiding light.

And now, even if I’ve been denied the ability to hold her in my arms, I can still keep her close to me. I have found her in the little gifts the universe leaves me. I just have to open my heart up to receive them.

Today let’s explore opening ourselves up and allowing the universe to speak to us in beautiful ways.

Is there a symbol in nature that brings you peace? Makes you feel closer to your angel? Dragonflies? Angels? Trees? Flowers? Butterflies? Light? Or is there a color that calms you? A hue that brings you a bit of tranquility? Let’s grab a camera and photograph these things. Capture the sweet reminders that the universe does still hold you in her heart, that there are still gifts out there waiting just for you. Open yourself up to receive them, and get ready to capture their beauty.

After you’re done, I encourage you to create a tranquility space in your home. Paper Coterie has some beautiful options for you to get these images off your camera and begin creating your own peaceful spot. Here are some of my ideas on how to make this space work for you:

1) Print your images poster size and and hang them up on the wall. Go to your tranquility space and look at them when you need a reminders of perspective, balance, and peace.
2) Use your images on the cover of a journal. Go to this space to unwind and write your thoughts.
3) Create a calendar filled with your inspirational images. Place it in this space and allow it to leave a smile on your face each time to look at it.
4) Use your images on a memory box where you can store precious reminders of this time in your life.

In the comments below I’d love it if you’d please share with me and with each other how the universe brings you gifts of peace and healing during these turbulent times. What symbols or colors do you gravitate towards most? Have you snapped photos of theses things? Feel free to share today in images or words.