Just as much as you want to connect with your loved ones on the Other Side, they want to connect with you, too. They want to let you know they’re OK. That they’re there for you. And they want you to speak to them, too.

They no longer have a physical body, but they’re still very much present and reaching out to you in your everyday life.

As a medium, I can connect with other people’s loved ones on the Other Side. It’s an ability that I was born with and have developed through rigorous training over the years.

By tapping into your own intuition, you can connect with your own loved ones — your spouse, other family members, friends and even pets who’ve transitioned.

This is truly a beautiful thing.

But once you connect (or think you’ve connected) … how do you know if you’re actually receiving a message … or just making things up?

If it feels like a sign, it probably is!

Trust and doubt are the two biggest hurdles to overcome in receiving messages from your loved ones. We want a sign, but when it comes, we rationalize it away. Our “voice of reason” is quick to dismiss many messages we’re sent.

And, when someone has recently passed (expected or unexpected), our natural grieving process can put us in a protective state. That state  prevents us from receiving any messages at all.

So:  How do you know if something is a sign, a memory or a figment of your imagination?

Signs come in very quickly. And usually when you aren’t looking for them.

Have you ever had a word or phrase drop right into the middle of your thoughts? That sudden dropping in is a common trait of signs and messages from the Other Side.

Or, do you ever get a feeling out of the blue? Or your attention is drawn so strongly to something, that you just can’t turn away? Those, too, are commonly signs.

Another common trait of a sign is that the experience happens too fast to even think about it. And, it usually comes with a sense of curiosity. You wonder things like, “Why am I drawn to this? Why is that animal behaving like that? How did this song end up on the radio right now? How did the channel changer end up over there? Why am I suddenly smelling Grandma’s perfume?”

If something makes you wonder how everything in that moment came together exactly as it did, you will know it’s a sign.

Communication from the Spirit world is much more efficient than in the physical realm.

Messages are short — usually just a single word or phrase. You probably won’t hear an entire sentence. You may be making dinner, for instance, and hear your deceased uncle, who loved to cook, tell you, “More pepper!” Messages can come through as simply as that.

Communications come through in the same style used by the person while they were still here in the physical world.

We all have different communication styles. Be sure to look for signs in the style of the person who has passed. That might not be your style!

Your loved ones communicate through the senses that are available to them. They especially use the ones  that they favored while alive. If your loved one was not a visual person, they may not send you images. They communicate from the Other Side like they did when they were here.

Also, personalities carry over into the Spirit world. If your husband had a great sense of humor, he might continue to joke around with you by playing tricks. (Remember that time you were sure you turned the TV off but as soon as you got upstairs, you heard it turn back on …. ?)

Messages often come in when you’re doing mundane, everyday tasks.

Messages from the Other Side frequently come in when your conscious mind is focused in a routine or repetitive way. That’s when you’ve done something SO many times that you’re almost on auto-pilot. Like your daily commute to work!

Although your brain is actively engaged in the activity (like driving), your mind is so used to doing this task that it enters something close to a meditative state. At these times, your mind is more open to receiving messages from your loved ones.

Imagination is a thought process. Signs and messages don’t follow a process.

When you’re imagining, you have a series of ideas and thoughts. Each one leads to the next one, on and on, bringing an entire scene or picture together in your mind. Suppose you see something that reminds you of someone. You bring forth a memory of that person, and then create a scene in your mind. That’s your imagination at work (not a sign).

The thoughts associated with imagination also come with dulled-out sensations (like taste and smell). When you get a sign, the sensations are vivid and real. It’s as if they’re actually occurring in that moment (they are!). But when you’re imagining, these sensations are less intense.

Still not sure if it’s a sign? Here are some examples.

You feel someone in the room with you — even though you’re the only one in the house. At the same time, your pet, who was quietly napping, raises its head and looks around before settling back to sleep. Ask, “Who is with me right now?”  Whoever pops into your mind first will likely be who is visiting. Thank them! And welcome them to visit more.

A phrase that your grandmother used to say all the time pops into your head at a seemingly random time. That’s a visit!

You catch a whiff of cigarettes, even though no one around you is smoking. Who does this remind you of? It’s probably that person.

A bird hovers around your patio while you’re outside enjoying your morning tea. You can ask, “Who is this gift from?”  Go with the person that pops into your mind first.

“Your” song comes on the radio in the car just when you need it. Who is the person on the Other Side that was your motivator? This is probably who is helping you.

While alone in a room, you feel a light touch on your shoulder. Who does this touch remind you of? You can always ask, “Is this who I think it is?” If you get a “yes,” thank them. No? Go down your list of loved ones on the Other Side until you get to a “yes.”

You find a coin in a random place. That could be a sign! Loved ones on the Other Side can more easily manipulate things with energetic frequencies, such as electricity and metallic objects like coins and keys. They may even find ways to make your phone ring but when you answer, no one is there. If any of these things happen, ask who is trying to connect with you and see whose name comes to mind.

You see a bumper sticker or a billboard that has a loved one’s name on it or a phrase used frequently by a loved one. Or perhaps the bumper sticker has a message that answers a question you’ve been asking. Those are signs!

You’re out in public and you smell a perfume that reminds you of your grandmother. Grandma is most likely with you at that moment!

You’re thinking about one thing and an entirely different, unrelated thought — like “Disney World” — pops in your head. Suddenly your mind drifts to back to the time you and your family took that fun vacation … and then you start thinking of your dad (who was much younger at the time) teaching you how to play volleyball on the beach. That Disney World thought was probably your dad sending you a sign from the Other Side.

You’re out running errands. The radio is on, and a song lyric catches your attention in a way that feels random to you. It could be a favorite phrase that one of your close friends (now on the Other Side) used to say all the time. Or it could be a song they loved. Pay attention to the words that come in — the main part of a lyric or song — or even just the artist. Any one of those things may be signs.

Each loved one is going to give you a different sign.

Over time, you will begin to recognize who is connecting with you because of the specific sign they repeatedly use.

Your guides will also connect with you in a very different way than your loved ones, so when you get a sign, it’s a great idea to make note of it. Write it down in a journal or keep track of it in another way that works for you.

Understanding signs and consistently recognizing them will help you build stronger communication channels so you can more easily connect with loved ones over time.

Remember to mind your manners!

In the excitement that comes with receiving a sign, we often forget to thank our loved ones for making the effort to connect with us. It takes a lot of work for them to send signs. Always be sure to send your appreciation back. Remember to say thank you and ask them to visit again, especially if you want to establish ongoing dialogue.

So, what happens next?

The more we thank our loved ones and the more we pay attention to the signs they send, the easier it becomes to recognize the messages and who is sending them — and the signs and messages will be different depending on the individuals. With practice over the course of time, the connections we’re building will strengthen and the deeper we’ll be able to go in our communications.