So many of the truly memorable experiences in our lives occur accidentally. Sure, we can make plans for a project or a trip—or a lifetime for that matter—but isn’t it the delays, the unintentional side trips, the unexpected encounters that make the deepest impressions? Now I have nothing against planning—in fact, I’m a bit of a control freak myself—but, frankly, far more interesting stuff has happened in my life by coincidence than by intention.
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE
It may sound strange, but I don’t think coincidence necessarily happens all by itself. Haven’t you known people who seem to live charmed lives, for whom everything always just seems to fall into place? You know, the proverbial golden boy or golden girl? Is there something about them that influences that roll of the dice the rest of us depend on for our fortunes?
James Redfield, author of The Celestine Prophecy, sheds some light on this phenomenon:
For centuries, religious scriptures, poems, and philosophies have pointed to a latent power of mind within all of us that mysteriously helps to affect what occurs in the future. It has been called faith power, positive thinking, and the power of prayer. We are now taking this power seriously enough to bring a fuller knowledge of it into public awareness. We are finding that (it) is a field of intention, which moves out from us and can be extended and strengthened, especially when we connect with others in a common vision.OPEN HEARTS, OPEN DOORS
Redfield refers to coincidence as the opening of a door. He says that, when we're at our best—operating from our most secure, creative, aware inner core—we give off a sort of cosmic aura that everyone and everything responds to, and that this causes possibilities to open spontaneously for us.
For example, at times when he’s been searching for something (an idea, an inspiration, a helping angel), often, he says, that very thing has miraculously presented itself to him, without his having taken any conscious action to find it.
It may sound strange, but I don’t think coincidence necessarily happens all by itself.
|ILLUSTRATION: Katy Farina|
This kind of magic can occur for us at any time. I experience it most often when I’m in Nature, but it can also happen in our travels, while we’re at work, even in our relationships. The key is our willingness to deviate from the script and surrender to impulse.
For some people this is easier said than done, but when you come right down to it, it takes only two things: curiosity and faith. For it’s only when we’re curious that we notice those little doors of opportunity that open for us; and only faith tells us it’s okay to venture through them.
Occasionally the rewards of such spontaneity are small ones, modest gifts like surprise or delight. And then there are occasions—more than you might realize—when one surprise leads to another, and that to yet another and, eventually, you look back and say that was life-changing. Life’s complicated, so it’s not always easy to trace such a series of events back to that opening of the original, serendipitous “door,” but I can think of a few that have proven life-changing for me. Do any come to mind for you?
You’ll see them in the movement of a twig, the
waft of a new smell, or in any of a thousand
little questions that invite themselves into your consciousness.
HALF OPEN OR HALF CLOSED?
What coincidences have changed your life? Will your eyes, your ears, your heart and, perhaps most importantly, some sixth sense be aware of the next door that opens for you? It may appear in as obvious a form as an invitation to try something new, like a job, a volunteer position or a hobby.
Or it might be just a shift in your usual routine or a new acquaintance in your life. Sometimes it’s something even subtler, like that little voice we keep hearing from some corner of our consciousness urging us to do or say something.
Remember, opportunities sometimes come to us disguised as defeats, like getting laid off or divorced. How you perceive such setbacks depends, in part, on the lens through which you view them. If the doorwa seems mostly closed, try to keep your focus on the fact that it’s also partially open.
Even if the door appears to be swinging shut, sometimes that little pulse of positive energy is all it takes is to reverse its direction and change the sequence of events. From perception to belief; from belief to action; from action to reality.
Of course, there’s a parallel to all of this in our relationship with Nature. The opportunities, the doorways, are everywhere. You’ll see them in the movement of a twig, the waft of a new smell, or in any of a thousand little questions that invite themselves into your consciousness.
All it takes to see the sliver of light shining through is your surrender of mind and spirit. As I’ve said so many times, you cannot make it happen. You must let it happen. There's a big difference.