Allow for Miracles – Serendipity Stories
Miracle comes from the Latin word miraculum (mirroraculoom), meaning to wonder or marvel. I believe in miracles. Today I’ve got some stories to tell you…yes, stories about unlikely happenings happening.
In the mornings I say an abundance prayer. I learned it from my friend Tony and it goes something like this: “Thank you for the joyful abundance in my life and in the life of my family and friends. Thank you for the abundance that will come into my life today. And thank you for the abundance that I can bring to others today.” Every time I say the part about “thank you for the abundance that will come into our lives today,” I get excited. I’m like a kid waiting for his birthday, waiting to see what abundance and wonderful things will show up as the day progresses. It’s an exciting way to live – always waiting for the next generous miracle to show up.
Stories are our lives in language. Welcome to the Love Your Story podcast. I’m Lori Lee, and I’m excited for our future together of telling stories, evaluating our own stories, and lifting ourselves and others to greater places because of our control over our stories. This podcast is about empowerment and giving you, the listener, ideas to work with in making your stories work for you. Power serves you best when you know how to use it.
Last week was our second leadership episode where we talked about how to use the archetypes of the hero’s journey as a strategy tool for getting your team headed onto their next adventure of accomplishment. This week I’m going to share some stories, that as far as I’m concerned, show us that the universe has our back.
You’ve heard the word Serendipity? The word comes from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip. It is the phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. In the story the three princes regularly discovered pleasant things that they weren’t searching for. I once had an acquaintance suggest that another way to think of serendipity is that it is the phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things in a way not before envisioned. In other words, things work out as they should, but more often than not, not as you thought they would. There is a space of allowing there.
Miracles go beyond serendipity. We often beg for miracles, search for miracles, or manifest miracles by our faith. Christ said before he did any miracle, “Be it unto you according to your faith.” I find that fascinating. So, according to this, I might draw the conclusion that first one must believe before miracles occur. Do you believe God can do miracles? Do you believe you can create miracles because you believe strongly in a course of action? That belief in God, in ourselves, in the power of Universal law and power being willing to bend for our good, despite our current limited understanding, seems to be crucial toward the manifestation of the miracle. But often, with things of a serendipitous nature, it simply appears that the Universe is looking out for us with little thought from ourselves.
In 2004 I started a project collecting serendipity stories. Everyone has them if they pay attention, but there are many who do NOT pay attention. I figured if I collected serendipity stories, and shared them, that we would all become more aware of how there are forces in the universe, angels, God, that truly have our back. These moments of magic are not distributed according to religion or region, color or culture, gender or gentry. They are across-the-board human experiences and they are crazy cool.
I want to share a few because I believe in miracles and I believe in serendipity, and I still believe that if we share these stories we will all become more aware of the wonderful miracles that go on around all of us every day. And, if we start realizing how many magical coincidences, serendipitous experiences, and downright miracles are constantly around us, we are bound to have hope, to feel less alone, and know that someone/some force has our back.
As I share these stories I’ll use their initials instead of their names.
M.B. from Golden Colorado was debating about whether or not to get Lasik surgery on her eyes. She was pretty much blind without glasses and had started having problems with her contacts. Leading an active lifestyle had become more difficult, but there was a giant problem to having the issue fixed. To even consider someone touching her eye was enough to make her sick. She had an inexplicable fear of her eyes being touched and when people would suggest she get Lasik she would seize up with panic. At the time Lasik cost $5000, and this was a sum she did not have, so she came up with a grand solution. When others recommended it she said, “if $5000 fell out of the sky, I’d do it in a minute, but I just can’t afford it.” This kept the well-wishers at bay and MB in her comfort zone, but it certainly didn’t solve the problem with her eyes. A few weeks of using this splendid excuse passed by, and soon she had herself believing that if she got $5000 she would surely jump right into Lasik. Well, a few weeks later her 94-year-old grandmother passed away. When the will was read she had left her $5000 with the instructions to spend it in a way that would always remind MB of her grandmother. “I can’t think of a better way to remember my grandmother,” she said to me, “than to wake up every morning with 20/20 vision. Every morning when I wake up, I think of her.” Her grandmother had never heard her excuse of not having the money for Lasik. But her angels had her back.
L.H. lost her watch. She kept thinking about getting another one, but she put it off and put it off. For months she was watchless, but it never seemed like the right time and it just became something that needed to be done. One day she and her friends were hiking in the eastern Sierras. They struggled up a 2000 foot climb, and tired and hungry they found a spot to pitch their tens near a chain of high mountain lakes. It was a difficult approach and the area was not highly used. The second night in camp, after a nice dinner and tantalizing scattering of ghost stories, LH put on her headlamp and headed out into the woods for a bathroom break. As she rounded a bend her headlamp caught a glimmer that startled her, especially after the ghost stories. She started to turn and head back to the campfire, but instead thought better of it and braved the unknown, turning back to the large boulder. Perched on top she found a beautiful watch sitting there, unharmed by the elements. She looked at it in wonder, picked it up, and of course at the trailhead the next morning she looked for any postings put up for a lost watch. Nothing had been posted. “This treasure was meant to be on my wrist,” she told me. There was a reason she hadn’t felt urgency in replacing her watch. I say this, because many a time I have pushed forward getting things done that “needed to be done” only to find later that if I had gone with the flow that I had felt, instead of surrendering to the pressure of the checklist, things would have worked out better, and as they needed to.
C.L. from Salt Lake City, Utah was starting her own fishing skirt company. She and her husband were bonefishing at Boca Paila in the Yucatan in Mexico, the place where the inspiration for the Macabi skirt was actually received. The idea for her skirt had been conceived on her first trip here, and back for her second trip, she had brought 3 or 4 prototypes. She asked her friends to use them and give her feedback, and after a day of fishing one woman returned and enthusiastically explained that a good friend of theirs, a photographer, would be flying in the next day. She felt he might be persuaded to take some photos of the new product. While everyone else, CL included, was planning to leave early the next morning, there was little hope this fabulous idea would come together. As it turned out, the photographer got in early, CL and her friends got out late, and this professional photographer was willing and able to bless CL with what became some of her favorite product photos. “I was just amazed at my good fortune,” she said.
J.A. was an accomplished ocean swimmer. For a time he was a lifeguard on Maui and he had experienced many types of eddies, currents and mild riptides. Often he used them to his advantage, where he let them pull him in the direction he needed to go. One beautiful, sunny day J.A. found himself on one of his favorite beaches in Kauai, but he found himself in an unusual situation. He was stuck in the water. No matter which direction he swam, he couldn’t get out. The water wasn’t pulling him out very quickly, but even with the aid of flippers he was unable to break free of the water’s control. Wearing his snorkel gear, he wasn’t panicked, but certainly uneasy and a fit frightened. “I can remember how loud it seemed as I was breathing through the snorkel. It amplified every breath. Then I noticed movement in the water below me,” he said. “My curiosity caused me to forget my current circumstance for the moment, and as it moved toward me I felt confused. It looked like a rock or a piece of the reef floating toward me. Then I could see it clearly. A very large sea turtle with a chipped beak. I had seen turtles before, but never this close, and it was amazing. I had completely forgotten about my predicament and instead only wanted to touch the turtle. He came up to me, less than a foot away. I dove down the extra foot to meet this beautiful creature. I grabbed onto both sides of his shell.” Well, this is when the next adventure began. J.A. said, “I had seen turtles move gracefully through the water, but I had no idea how powerful they were under the water. He took off very fast, with me holding on. My snorkel gear peeled from my face and I road for a period of time until I needed to resurface to breathe. I let go and the turtle surfaced as well and looked back at me. Perfect eye contact, almost communication, and then, was gone. It was amazing! It wasn’t until he was gone that I realized I was some distance closer to the beach and no longer in the dangerous waters.” He swam safely to the beach. It was one of the most sacred experiences of his life.
There are more of these, lots more, your mom, your sister, your brother, your neighbor….they all have them.
One time a girl told me how she had run out of money and had to live in a trailer. She found $5000 that had been hidden in the stove at some point by an unknown party.
Another gal was trying to save money to go to Porto Rico but was falling terribly short of what she needed, until she realized that she had a certain type of mushrooms on her land that had begun to grow abundantly. She found she could sell them, and came up with just the right amount of money she needed for her trip.
After I got my contract for my first book, Wild Weekends in Utah, a multisport adventure guidebook, I was preparing to head out on months of weekend adventures. To be honest, I knew my way around many places, but not all of the wonderful Southern Utah canyons that were to be a big part of these adventures were familiar to me. I was willing to head out and figure out the lay of the land, but I also didn’t know what I didn’t know. There were a number of incredible adventures that were completely off my radar. I found this out when serendipitously I met Spence. Spence was an experienced Canyonlands adventurer, and he’d worked as an editor. Just when I needed him, he showed up. Together, we embarked on canoe trips, backpack trips, and canyoneering trips that he introduced me to. His advice and companionship, editing and ideas were exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. He was a miracle that showed up to play this crucial role, and then he moved out of my life. But his presence made the book significantly stronger.
Other stories are told of events and circumstances aligning so someone ended up in their dream home, or getting their dream job. Sometimes the miracles are big, sometimes the coincidences are small, but isn’t it fascinating that so often we are blessed with just the thing we need, right when we need it?
Of course, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the things we want most we don’t get at all, which just makes the unpredictability of the magic even more entertaining. What will show up today?
Martha Beck, the revered life coach and columnist for Oprah magazine, talks about something similar in her book Steering by Starlight. In her comments on how things unfold when people get started on the right path to living their best life – fulfilling their destiny, she says, “Circumstances beyond your control will begin aligning as if to facilitate your actions. I’ve see this so often it should no longer surprise me, but it always does. I have no explanation for the magical things I’ve seen happening as my clients begin making maps of their future lives.”
Do you remember in episode 7 when I talked about the events that come together to propel me into the long-time dream of getting my master’s degree. There is no question in my mind that it would have been nearly impossible for me to wrap my mind around making that happen had my friend Sandy not come into my life and showed me how to do it. Our paths and approaches are different, but had she not showed up in the way that she did, with the information that she did, I would never have stepped on that path at the time I did. I look at it as a miracle; as if I were being guided down a path that was desired, but also meant to be. In hindsight, I can clearly see how my masters work on the personal narrative was key to all this work I’m doing with story. It was the foundation, and in a way a legitimizer for me, to do what I’m doing now. That is pretty amazing and it makes me feel like I’m on the right path. And, that is the reason why noticing the miracles and talking about the serendipity is good for the soul. Dog on it – suddenly we feel like there are forces supporting us, that we’re not just here to make it happen or die trying, we aren’t alone.
When I was in the process of creating this podcast, I was starting from scratch. I had no idea what type of equipment I needed, I had no idea how to edit, how to launch, how to record. A series of declarations had led me to the path, and I was ready to walk it, but I had been working long, long hours for a couple months and was hitting my head against a thick, heavy brick wall when it came to the technical side of the production. One day the thought crossed my mind that I needed a partner. The idea was actually a pretty good one, but where was I going to find the right person who would get my dream and be as invested in making this happen – someone that I would trust enough to let them in on the project. I dismissed it, but on a coaching call the next week I ended up telling my coach about the idea. “I can hear it in your voice,” she said. “It’s going to happen. Declare it!” By the time I got off the phone I was excited about the idea. I declared it and to be honest, had NO idea or expectation that it would really come to pass. It took only one week. I was walking my dog and my neighbors were walking their kids to school. We passed on the sidewalk and I stopped to talk to these dear friends who I see only occasionally. Matt started telling me about the project he was working on called Story Trek, where he travels all over the country as the camera man for a TV show recording people’s stories in random towns across the U.S. “We have to talk,” I said, not sure how our paths were going to cross, but figuring he’d have some fun and interesting information about what he was doing. The idea of him being my partner was way in the back of my head, but when we eventually met up the following week it unfolded in minutes, as if it was meant to be. I said, “I don’t know what this is going to look like, maybe I’ll hire you to do videos, or,” I threw in, “I’ve been looking for a partner…” as I said it everything seemed to align. His wife looked up and said, “I’ve been saying he should partner with you.” I looked at him and he shook his head in the affirmative. And, just like that we were on the same path. This was far more than serendipity, this was a miracle; an answer to prayers; even a sign I am on the right path, because I hadn’t believed I would find him…he was a gift.
Wayne Dyer was a huge promoter of manifesting miracles. In his book Wishes Fulfilled, he says, “I’ve seen firsthand how virtually every wish or desire I’ve placed my attention on has transformed from a mental thought into an objective fact.” Dr. Dyer was a manifesting genius and spent his life speaking, writing, and living the art of manifesting, of creating miracles by his belief in himself and his ability to use the god within him to literally create what he wanted. His life is a prime example of his teachings – he grew up as an orphan and at a young age deciding he wanted to guide others. He manifested a life even beyond his imaginings, and he guided and taught so many, many others in this way of belief, manifestation, and creation.
We can create miracles – we come from a universe that is based in abundance. If it were not, life would not regenerate as it does on all levels. We were created by a creator, and thus we are the children of a creator, that means we are also creators. What if one of the big things we are here to learn in this life is how to use those powers? The power of belief is key to any act of creation. If you didn’t believe that putting ingredients in a bowl, mixing them and baking them would create a cake, you would never embark on the mission to bake a cake in the first place. Belief is first, then action.
In the case of Serendipity, I believe those moments are just gifts. A kiss from God, a slight nudge in the right direction, or just a tiny hug to let you know you are not alone in the Universe.
So, here’s a question for you – to what do you attribute serendipity? Go to www.loveyourstorypodcast.com and go to the ‘contact us’ page and tell us your thoughts. While you’re at it, if you have a story of miracles or serendipity, will you share with me? Your assignment for the week is to watch for your daily miracles and feel the arms of love around you. Start to pay attention to the universal support, to God at your back, to just the right thing, at just the right time.
Have a great time telling your stories this week, and if you know someone who would enjoy this podcast, please pass it on! We’ll see you next Wednesday for the next episode of Love Your Story podcast.