Serendipity

serendipity

Source: Google Images

Serendipity, defined as fate, destiny, luck, kismet, fortune, coincidence or karma – if you believe in that sort of thing, presented me with an interesting (and not coincidental?) meet this morning.

But first, let me back up.

Last night, the little red battery on my Jeep’s instrument panel popped up while driving home, around 10:30pm. Once parked, I perused the 500+-page manual (a huge pdf on my phone) to find out why. Seems it was telling me there was an issue with low power. Okay… I was taking the car to the garage this morning anyway for an oil change and figured I’d have them check it out.

battery light

The car started no problem this morning and the little red battery didn’t come on. Okay, I thought, maybe it was just a fluke or an electrical fart, used cars can have these issues. About ten minutes later, there it was, taunting me, daring me to continue driving. I arrived at the parking garage of the local Co-op where I have breakfast when I realized I hadn’t had my lights on while on the highway (it was around 7am and still a bit dark). I turned them on just to make sure there wasn’t an issue and BOOM – dashboard lights went crazy and the car died in the parking spot. At 7:15am. When I tried turning the key, all I heard was a ‘click’ sound – oh, joy; that  likely meant the alternator was the culprit and had eaten up the battery power (which would explain the little red battery on the instrument panel).

I called my insurance company and requested a tow – a 45-minute wait. I was surprisingly calm, considering the situation. I decided to forego breakfast and instead gathered a few things from the car that I would need while it was getting fixed at my regular garage, luckily not far from where I was stranded. The tow truck showed up almost exactly 45 minutes later, a jovial fellow at the wheel. The sticky problem was that he couldn’t get his flatbed tow truck into the parking garage, so he had to push my car with me behind the wheel steering, out to the road. (Poor guy; awfully early for that kind of physical demand but he managed wonderfully.)

Fast forward:

I knew there was a Starbucks up the street from my garage so I made for it with the intent of getting an overpriced breakfast and latte. Being a Saturday morning downtown, it’s usually slow (it’s more of a Mon-Fri business district) but hordes of women were piling in and the line came close to running out the door. While waiting for my order, a woman standing nearby struck up a chat with me. Turns out they’re here for a health and wellness convention and she’s a certified nutrition counselor. Hmmm…..

Needless to say, we got to chatting and I told her about my nutrition book, that I’d published three books, taught nutrition classes, etc. She told me that she’s writing a nutrition book (outline complete and chapter 1 in the works) and speaks about her personal experience (she’s lost over 200 pounds) at universities and other small venues. When she explained she was considering self-publishing, I launched into a short explanation of the self-publishing process and offered more information if she had any questions down the road.

We ended up talking for about half an hour and exchanged emails with a promise from her that she’d contact me. I offered proofreading and editing services and also offered to provide her with more in-depth information about self-publishing and traditional publishing based on my twelve years of delving into it. She also gave me the title of book she highly recommends I read, The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. I recognized the title but forgot that I’d perused this book when it came out and found it to not be a good fit for me. It’s a good book and I recommend it if you haven’t read it; it just wasn’t for me. Maybe something about his writing style, but I found his information useful only if you have a strong financial foundation (meaning you’ve got a good amount of money in the bank to invest or available credit cards with high limits, and I have neither at the moment) and a strong support base (which is important for success in any venture).

Serendipity, For Sure

Anyway, I felt it was a serendipitous meeting for both of us, as it lit a lightly dampened fire within me in regards to marketing my nutrition book and finishing some projects and, it motivated her more to complete her nutrition book. Her light and enthusiasm were genuine and contagious and I hope to make contact with her again. Who knows what the outcome can be, but I’m sure it can only be good. People like her are destined for success and I would consider myself fortunate to be able to go along for at least part of the ride.

Has karma surprised you lately? Have you had an unexpected but positive meeting or conversation with another like-minded writer/artist? Like attracts like, after all; perhaps some folks are just meant to connect.

May you have serendipitous moments in the near future to help move you along your writing path.

Getting What We Want, Getting What We Need and a Leap of Faith

believe in yourself

Source: Google Images/ successserieslic.com

Pondering

Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell the difference between something that feels good and something that feels right.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to distinguish between something that I need and something that I want.

So when a serendipitous moment or situation arrives, is it truly so? Or am I too focused on it being something I want? This is what scares me: that I will make a decision because I believe it to be an opportunity when really it’s not, when it’s something I want over something I need. Or just the opposite, when I make a decision based on believing it’s something I need over something I want.

I believe the Universe gives us what we need, not what we want (wouldn’t that cause a host of problems in already too-self-centered world), so maybe all situations are serendipitous, and how we respond is where we succeed or err.

Saturn Opposition Moon is still kicking my ass but has backed off somewhat since Mercury (the planet of communications) left retrograde on August 2nd and is moving forward again (big sigh of relief; no more miscommunications, misunderstandings, for a few months). I still feel philosophical, though I’m working more hours and writing/creating less – which means more money but less time for creative projects. My mind is constantly wandering off to some creative adventure I’d like to begin or complete.

Reviewing

I like to reread my posts; they can often inspire a new blog topic. As I reread my July 12th post on freely living a creative life, one of the quotes I included in the post bothered me. Author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote that whether or not we earn a living from a creative life isn’t the point.

I suppose it’s easy for her to write that, since she does earn a living from her writing.

How many writers/artists/creatives would agree with that statement, I wonder?  

Are you truly happy just creating? I am, to a certain extent, but I admit I’d like to be able to rely, at least partially, on my creativity to support me (I’ll bet many of you would as well). Because creating something (a new novel, a painting, refinished furniture, a sculpture, etc.) is important but to earn a living from that creativity would allow us to be self-sufficient, independent, and not reliant on some J-O-B (with idiot bosses and stupid rules) so we can live our lives as we choose. Earning a living from our creativity would provide the freedom to work to live, not live to work, as so many Americans stuck in the daily grind must do.

Fear of the (Necessary) Big Leap

My biggest fear is to make the leap into 100% creativity, 100% of the time. When I think about it, I question whether I want or can create 100% of the time, since creative juices naturally ebb and flow. Caution in making deep-dive decisions come with age; thirty years ago I would have leaped into the unknown without thinking twice. Now I have responsibilities. Yet something continues to gnaw at me deep inside (could be that Saturn Opposition Moon thing). I’m not living an authentic life because I’m too concerned with that “just get a job” mantra drummed into me by my parents (that I cannot seem to let go of, for some insane reason).

What I want, then, is perhaps exactly what I need – to live creatively, freely, without doubt, without fear, always creating, always moving forward without regrets.

That is the leap of faith I (and you) must take.