When I was a teenager, my best friend and I used to get together regularly and laugh our asses off.

We’d sit together in one of our bedrooms and comb through the Book of Totally Inappropriate Jokes (or whatever it was called), laughing ‘til we almost peed our pants, delighted that such sophomoric humor existed.

(Not that we needed joke books. When you’re, like, 15 years old. . . doesn’t everything seem funny? No alcohol required!)

One Friday night we were having a sleepover at her house, and we decided to go outside for awhile, probably to find some (relatively innocent) trouble to get ourselves into.

Somehow, we ended up climbing a fence. Or trying to.

As usual, we were cracking each other up with silly jokes - and trying to get over the fence while laughing hysterically proved to be a lot harder than we originally thought.

At one point I was perched directly on top of the fence, one leg draped over each side, my sternum, belly, and. . . y'know. . . ‘girlie parts’ pressed into the hard metal, struggling for a foothold on the other side that would allow me to swing my back leg over and start climbing down.

Giggling uncontrollably despite my discomfort, I called out to my friend,

I gotta get off this fence! I wanna be able to have children someday!

As much as I had wanted to climb that fence initially. . . well, once I was smack-dab in the middle of it, I wanted to be all the way over, and fast.

I wanted to get on with making mischief, which I couldn’t do while trapped on that fence. Because. . .

‘On the fence’ is not where brilliance happens.

It’s not where dreams are created.

And it feels (as I shared with my friend so articulately) like you’re stifling your ability to give birth to anything amazing.

I recently had the experience of getting off the fence about a professional relationship. I needed to decide: Am I in it or out of it? How do I really feel about this person and this relationship? Where do I want it to go?

Trusting the wisdom of the universe, I asked for a sign, and got it.

But. . . (shhhh, don’t tell anyone) I really, really, really wanted to get the answer I was hoping for.

The one that allowed me to live in La La Land and pretend everything was going my way and I was being treated fairly and if I just gave it enough time and masochism I would end up on the right side of things.

The universe, however, did not appear to cooperate. I got the exact opposite of what I was hoping for. I got the answer that meant I had to set boundaries for myself and let go of the fantasy I had created in my mind.

Dammit.

But here’s the super-juicy part.

Instead of arguing with the universe, calling ‘do-over!’, or refusing to admit that I had been given clear and concise direction from the Source Of All We Know (as I would have done 10 years ago). . .

I chose to trust.

I chose to allow the truth to permeate me, and I chose to completely let go. To climb down off that fence I was clinging to desperately, which was squishing (yes, squishing) the core of my passion and creativity.

And, amazingly, astonishingly, astoundingly. . . well, whaddya know, the universe was right.

Since that moment of letting go, my energy level has shot up (I didn’t realize it was down).

I’ve felt like I belong to myself completely again.

I’ve realized that I had been holding back parts of myself because of an agenda I had with this relationship (If I do this, then this will happen. . .).

I’ve realized that I had been spending waaaaay too much of my psychic energy roiling in thoughts about what this person might be thinking of me and wondering whether I was ‘doing’ the relationship right.

And I’ve realized that the answer the universe gave me was exactly the answer that the Real Me wanted all along.

The next time you find yourself trapped on the fence and unable to move, try this snazzy maneuver.

Ask the universe for a sign.

Any sign will do.

For instance, you could think of a specific make, model, and color of a car and then look out the window to see if it drives past you (I’ve done this and gotten chills as the obscure car drove by the restaurant I was sitting in at the exact moment I was breaking up with a man who was totally wrong for me).

You could ask for a phone call at a specific time to arrive, signaling a ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on one of your decisions.

You could request a Bible verse, or a passage in a book, and then go pick up that book and blindly turn to a page that is guaranteed to have your answer (Done this one too. Goosebumps, people.)

You could even ask for something silly like spam in your inbox with a title that carries your answer within it (you know, so you don’t actually have to OPEN the spam. . .).

The more you exercise this universe-asking muscle, the stronger it gets.

And the more you trust in the answers you are receiving, the more your faith grows.

Does this mean you will never find yourself on the fence again?

Probably not.

(You are human, after all.)

But it does mean that when you’re up there, you’ll be able to find a foothold on the other side quickly so you can scramble back down and find that (relatively innocent) mischief you were after in the first place.

PS - If you’re not out there climbing fences and making mischief, what are you waiting for? ;-)