Recently, I’ve been experiencing a flood of “serendipitous” events and that led to me thinking about how often serendipity shows up in our lives to let us now we’re heading the right direction. What is serendipity? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not looked for”. Aside from ending this statement with a preposition, this definition isn’t very satisfying as I think it misses the fuller nature of the word.
Vocabulary.com defines Serendipitous as “an adjective that describes accidentally being in the right place at the right time, like bumping into a good friend in some unusual location, or finding a hundred dollar bill on the ground.” This one comes closer, but I’d insert the word “seemingly” before “accidentally” to hit my nail more on the head.
The Oxford Dictionary does a somewhat better job in that its definition is “The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”. However, the “by chance” part isn’t quite on the mark. Perhaps another word better captures the nature of my experience…
The gist is as follows: When I am in need of something or someone specific, whether I know it clearly or not, the item or person shows up. For example, many years ago I was attending a gathering of the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM…is it any wonder they used an acronym?) and one of the breakout sessions I wanted to attend was already full when I arrived at the door. Wandering around the facility, I happened to stumble upon another breakout session that was just beginning. So, on a whim, I decided to attend.
The speaker was a wonderful man named Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, Ph.D. who strolled onstage and announced “I’m getting a sense we need a healing ceremony on the beach tonight”. He asked if anyone was interested and many hands went up. Not only were we on Hilton Head Island which has beautiful beaches, but, apparently, many of us wanted healing! For myself, shortly before attending this conference, I’d been told I needed a hysterectomy so I was excited about the opportunity to participate in the healing ceremony.
Lewis went on to state that he was at a bit of a disadvantage because, while he was on Hilton Head Island, his luggage had decided to make a detour to New York, so he was without his drums, sage, and other items he used for healing ceremonies. Someone in the audience shouted up to him that he had drums and someone else offered sage and we went on to have an amazing ceremony on the beach that night.
As part of the ceremony, those of us seeking healing were invited to come up and receive messages from our guides. When it was my turn, Lewis looked me in the eye and whispered “the angels REALLY like you!” I was so excited to hear this and made an extra appointment with my doc when I returned home, asking him to “just, please, check again to see if the surgery was really necessary”. He indulged my whim and was shocked to discover the cysts in my uterus were significantly smaller than they had been two weeks prior. Quite interesting…
Back to “serendipity”. The word for which I’m looking has more of a “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” feel to it. There’s a quality of Divine intervention operating that doesn’t seem overly reflected in the definitions I’ve listed. Another interesting example from more recent times involves my friend, Bobbi, inviting me to go along with her to a “dance church” in Lower Michigan. I had no idea what dance church was, but it sounded like a hoot, so I drove to Bobbi’s to pick her up, went over the Macinaw Bridge and down to Lower Michigan to the Song of the Morning Ranch where the event was being held.
We spent three glorious days dancing at the direction of a wonderful young woman named Carla Samson. Google her name if you want to see some amazing acrobatic work! Anyhoo, one outcome of the dance church was my increasing desire to do more energy-based work and to create a healing retreat center. Bobbi suggested we stop and talk to her friends, Bruce and Pat Hardwick, on our way back from the dance church because “they know everybody and might have ideas for you”.
When we walked in to their cute, little motel on Highway 2, I immediately felt at home and supported. As I explained what I wanted to do, Bruce and Pat looked at each other and one of them said “We’ve lived here for 34 years and this morning at breakfast was the first time we ever talked about maybe it’s time to sell”. Fast forward a half a year and we are awaiting an appraisal before moving forward with creating a healing retreat center at that very motel! Another example of whatever word I can’t seem to grasp yet.
As a footnote, I’m tickled to share that when I googled Lewis Mehl-Madrona’s name to get the correct spelling, I not only found out he had a Facebook page, but two of my acquaintances were already friends on the site! And, I learned he teaches at a center where another friend of mine often goes for retreats. This is the kind of “serendipity” to which I’m referring in this blog post. It just keeps happening!!
I would love to hear about your own experiences with this phenomenon. Please share here so all of us can enjoy your stories and become increasingly open to this wonderful experience.