I first learned about the word serendipity when Wes and I attended a fireside with my parents given by Linda and Richard Eyre. I totally fell in love with the concept and tried to recognize and write down as many serendipitous moments as possible, but these last couple months it fizzled out with all the other crazies going on.
Lucky for me, Richard serendipitously gave the same little speech (with some pretty entertaining embellishments) at the Power of Moms Retreat I attended this past weekend. And I loved it even more than I did the first time.
I think that was because it really has the best of both worlds - organized and spontaneous - and I've gone from one extreme to the other this past year. From learning Mind Organization last summer and incorporating it immediately (which completely changed my life), to getting sick and having to totally let life control me for awhile, serendipity seemed to pop out at me, because I think I'm learning that in my life right now.
SERENDIPITY: state of mind when a person through awareness and sensitivity frequently finds something better than that which he was seeking.
Don't you just love that?
That definition was preceded by two things that really stuck out to me. The first one being that we were asked two questions: Do we want to be a more spontaneous or structured person? Do we want to be a more proactive or reactive person? I raised my hand for spontaneous and proactive (as did most of us in the room and it was quickly pointed out that being spontaneous is a reactive quality. I had never really thought about it before, but isn't that so true? Light bulb moment for sure.
Then we heard a story about how the word serendipity came to be. I'll give you the shortened version: there is a story about three princes in Serendip (I think? In the ancient Middle East...) who went to find their fortunes and meet their goals. To make a long story short, none of them found what they had set out to find. One found Love, one found Loyalty, and the other found Peace....all three princes had found something even better than they had set out to find. I guess some old scholar in Europe read this story and created the word serendipity. Isn't that fabulous? Even the word itself has a story.
I think it stuck out to me even more because I'm right at the stage of finding the balance between planning and throwing those plans out. Life needs to be lived with purpose, and you can't do that without a plan or goals, and then the Lord steps in a gives us something even better than the dream we conjured up. Isn't that usually the way it goes?
I could go on and on, but really it's not a hard concept. Although I think it's something that's absolutely critical for a joyful, fulfilled life. Just understanding it and thinking about it brings so many times in my life when I set off to do something and something even better came along. It's all about the spice of life....serendipity gives life its flavor. I love it.
Something that I am going to try to EMBRACE more in my life is noticing and appreciating all of life's serendipities - big or small. It's kind of like a whole other dimension of gratitude (although you couldn't replace gratitude with serendipity), having both makes you feel an even deeper sense of meaning and appreciation in life. And that's what I was going for when I chose EMBRACE this year.
I am excited to see how having this awareness will enhance or better my goals and life experience this year, and many years to come. I'm hoping to keep a little log of some of my serendipities. Hopefully some or most of them will find their way here, and I've also decided to write them down daily in my Gratitude Journal. I wonder how many I could notice throughout my day if I was consciously thinking about it?
I love the word, its meaning, and its importance. I'm so grateful Richard serendipitously shared it with me and many others this past weekend.