Edited by M.L. Zervos
“Sometimes, the thing people call serendipity is just possibilities waiting to happen.”– Anonymous
Serendipity. What a splendid word! When I say it or even think of the word serendipity, it gives me a wonderful and lighthearted feeling inside because of its seemingly magical nature. When something unexpected, surprising and synergistic happens, that’s serendipitous. I’ve had many serendipitous experiences in my life, and I view these as gifts of joy, like an unexpected outburst of laughter. I do think it’s important to stay quite present with yourself so that you can recognize these moments and enjoy them more fully. This article is about exploring the notion of serendipity and what happens within us when such occurrences happen.
Let’s start in the left brain and move to the right, by talking about the word “serendipity” and its definition. One definition of serendipity is “a seeming gift for finding something good accidentally.” There are several parts to this definition that I like. One is the “gift” part. When something wonderful happens in our lives, it is a gift to be appreciated and valued. If we dismiss it as “nothing” then we are actually denying ourselves what I call a “yummy delicious” experience – one where we can feel that little flutter of happiness throughout our bodies and an inspired outlook in the present. The second part that touches me is discovering something “good”, which in and of itself is a wonderful thing. Who wouldn’t want to discover something good? Identifying experiences that make us feel good leads to more good feeling experiences. The other part described is “accidentally”, which means an unexpected surprise experience! Who wouldn’t be delighted by something wonderful happening “out of the blue”? I believe that many people could be walking around and may not even recognize a serendipitous experience when it happens, because they are not present enough to see it and feel the experience of it. We humans sometimes skate through life as if there is a race to “get” somewhere, instead of “being” right here and now savoring each and every moment and taking life in. We’re so quick to get to where we think we “should” be, we miss out on where we are now and any possible gift that might be offered.
If you believe that everything happens for a reason, whenever something happens, whether good or “bad”, it is probably a sign that it is meant to be. Serendipity is really a wonderful, life-giving experience that just sets up positive thoughts with reinforced feelings. It could be a way of identifying that you are allowing life to flow in such a way to demonstrate that you are in alignment with a “universal flow”. For me, serendipity is when a very exciting, unexpected possibility occurs, among millions of other possibilities that exist in the land of infinite possibilities. I much prefer to spend most of my time these days in the land of infinite possibilities, rather than in the land of limited possibilities, where very little is possible. Many people live in the land of limited possibilities, where everything is sure to turn out bad no matter what. It’s a place where everything bad always happens, where others have a great life, and those thinking this way have a sucky one, where questions and statements that echo, “Nothing good ever happens to me.”, or, “Why am I the only one who isn’t successful?”, or, “Why can’t I keep a relationship… “Why can’t make money?” “Why are they so lucky?” “It’s just my bad luck, that’s just the way it is, I’m unlucky.” Then they find evidence to prove it. Just what the ego wants, to be “right.” “I’m just not worth it.” “I don’t deserve to have good things happen to me.” These kinds of thoughts come from the land of victimhood, of limited possibilities, and it is highly unlikely that positive serendipitous experiences will happen there because even if they did, they may not be recognized.
As I’ve shared with you before, I used to inhabit that neighborhood of victimhood and decided to move neighborhoods. Frankly, these days I’d rather err on the side of living my life experiences in joy, no matter what they are. After all, THIS could be my LAST breath and if I’m not living it with endless possibilities, what’s the point? When we feel a sense of peace and well-being, anything wonderful magically seems to happen. Right now, life is unfolding in a natural organic way and I like it like that. I feel a sense of peace and well-being inside. It’s not even about the outcome. I can dream up something that feels wonderful now and watch how it all unfolds, how serendipitous experiences continue to happen when I least expect them. I will meet someone that is connected with something I am passionate about and something happens that leads me to the next step, whatever that step may be. I get to watch how everything progresses, how everything is connected energetically. What I am learning is that it’s about how we are feeling right here and now. If I’m not feeling in sync with myself and am not living my passion, then how can the universe conspire to help me have what I want and offer up serendipitous experiences? It’s part of the Law of Attraction, stating that we have the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on, regardless of age, nationality or religious belief. You know what I mean. If you buy a red car, all of a sudden, you begin to notice all the red cars on the road. As humans, we are ALL susceptible to the laws which govern the universe. If you really think about it, all thoughts become something eventually, whether good or bad. It’s up to us to manage where our energy goes and let the universe support us. Let’s face it, we’d have a much better chance of something wonderful happening if we engaged in the idea that wonderful possibilities are actually possible. Who really knows what tomorrow will bring?
When we are in a snit or depressed or believe we can’t change ourselves, we don’t recognize serendipity, even if it hits us in the face, because we get so consumed with feeling bad that we just don’t “see” the good in anything. We don’t see the infinite possibilities because, as Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.” It’s similar to not being able to see a connection with what unfolds in front of our eyes. How can we see something good happening when we feel disconnected? There were times in my life, I wouldn’t have recognized something serendipitous, because I was so unhappy inside. All that I saw was me feeling great shame being a burden on others with a total lack of self-worth.
I was opened to play with the whole notion of serendipity, however, because fortunately for me, I recognized a realm we couldn’t see that was pretty positive. I don’t’ remember the exact moment when this revelation unfolded, when I let go of bitter “victimhood” attitude towards some things. I just decided one day to let it go, and as time went on, I was able to recognize serendipitous experiences happening. It’s actually quite exciting and expansive. It’s like being connected to a universal flow, allowing all to unfold in that organic, natural way, leading us towards what we dream up.
I was curious to know where this word originated because language is another aspect that fascinates me. As humans, we have the ability to make up language, communicate with each other, and I’m always fascinated by how we make up words. Someone somewhere thought of the word and brought it into our awareness, and we had a collective agreement of its definition. My curiosity led me to discover that the man who is credited with coining the term “serendipity” was Horace Walpole in 1754. Apparently, he adapted the word from a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip (near Sri Lanka), which was based on the journeys and experiences of the princes, always making positive discoveries they didn’t expect. 4
Serendipity also affects our technological/industrial world. Can you imagine what our lives would be like without Velcro? That was serendipitously discovered by a hiker, named George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, who happened to be on a bird hunting trip. On one of the days he was hiking, he noticed lots of cockleburs all over his socks. He was fascinated by how many and why they stuck so well, so he looked under a microscope and found little hooks on the ends of the cocklebur and invented Velcro. Now, wouldn’t you say, THAT was a serendipitous experience? What about Post-its? You probably have some posted all over your brainstorming/affirmation walls. Who doesn’t have Post-its in their office?) Post-its were invented by Dr. Spencer Silver in 1968. Dr. Silver wanted to develop a super-strong adhesive, however, he accidentally created a low tack, reusable pressure-sensitive adhesive. The rest is history. By the way, the yellow paper color was an accident too, since that was the only scrap paper available at the time of his experiment, and the yellow paper that identifies a Post-it pretty much just “stuck”. LOL. Popsicles. Frank Epperson, aged 11, accidentally left a mix of water and soda powder outside, and the frozen result became the basis for Popsicles.
So, if you are on a path and good things happen to you, is it luck? What matters is that something good and possibly fun has happened. Is it meant to be? Destiny? Kismet? I say what difference does it make, as long as it contributes something back to life in an affirming way.
I can see how serendipity can be a result of being in alignment with a certain flow of the universe, allowing everything that happens to unfold organically, sweetly, without inhibiting the experience from our own limiting beliefs, so that we are able to discover treasures along the way that are unexpected and seem like magic! The question arises, do we all have the ability to have serendipitous experiences, appearing when we aware enough to recognize them? Absolutely yes!
When we are open to living in the land of infinite possibilities, we become more aware of what is possible and have a better chance of recognizing something serendipitous when it happens. When we feel connected to a flow without getting in the way, we have a better chance of experiencing life to the fullest, being able to recognize every experience we have. It seems that when we focus on something we are passionate about, we feel connected to that something, pulling us to a place that is inspiring and expansive. Is this serendipitous? Maybe. I believe that when we are in alignment with our soul’s journey’s purpose, we live a more relaxed way of living. We’re not so strung out on the outcome of what we are working on, because we feel joy and delight on the way and our minds are more able to create from a space of wonder.
Let yourself be adventurous! Walk the path with unlimited possibilities that steer you in the direction you want to go. Be bold! Live your dream and you will discover treasures along the way.
It’s your life. Enjoy the journey. And remember to bring love into everything you do.