Is there such a thing as coincidence or do things happen for a reason? You know that feeling you get when something happens that seems to be blaring “pay attention, this is a sign”, but you gloss over it thinking that it was just a random occurrence.
Do you ever grab hold of that “sign” even when it is something that you never would have thought of being a part of your life’s journey?
I usually don’t either. However, this time I decided to pause after a “random set of circumstances”, take notice and explore the possibilities.
This all started a few weeks prior to my revelation to start this journey. I had started to twice daily say a prayer to God, the universe, or whatever your preferred term is for a divine source. The prayer went something like this…
”Thank you for all that I have in my life and for the experiences that I have had. I am ready to give up the reigns of my life to you. I ask that you help guide me by giving me the strength and clarity to follow the path that will allow me to fulfill YOUR purpose for me in this life”.
And So It Begins
During the second week of doing this I received or stumbled upon several articles regarding blogging. It was like everywhere I turned the universe was sending me something related to blogging, bloggers, and the blogosphere. As an example, on Friday (1/20/2012) I received a newsletter from Oprah.com with an article called What’s Holding You Back? 9 Ways to Spark a Breakthrough. The very first method described in the article was about going public to keep your idea alive. It described a woman who decided to run 50 marathons in 50 states and to help motivate herself and keep her focused on her goal she started a blog. I didn’t pay much attention to these articles at the time, but they did plant a seed in my head.
The weekend that followed was horrible. It was the culmination of weeks of wrangling with frustration, negativity, self-doubt, and anger. I felt ready to give up. I felt at the end of my rope. I curled up in bed and recited the prayer over and over like a madman trying to stop the end of the world.
I awoke in the morning and felt a certain lightness which was different than the weight of the world that I seemed to be carrying the previous few days. Maybe it was a breakthrough or maybe it was attributed to the fact that I had just slept for 13 hours.
I proceeded downstairs where the rest of the house was already awake and going about their day. The TV was on and my wife was watching an episode of Oprah’s Soul Sunday. I grabbed my mug of Sunday coffee and curled up on the couch to watch the show.
Dr. Wayne Dyer was the guest on that particular episode and they were talking about the Tao Te Ching. I had a copy of Dr. Dyer’s interpretation of this book in my bedroom for a couple of years and had read through most of it. However, I had let my plans to really study it and make it a daily habit fall through as I had done with most of commitments that I made to myself.
He talked about how he had committed a year of his life to studying the Tao Te Ching, spending 4 days on each verse. The end product was the book that I tucked away somewhere upstairs. I remembered how much I enjoyed the book and thought about renewing my commitment to read it and live it.
I had a thought similar to the one that the woman had who decided to run all of those marathons. I thought that I should make that commitment publicly so that I would actually follow through this time. I could do that by starting a blog about my adventures reading the book and attempting to apply the teachings to my life. At that point, it was just a fading thought and I didn’t put much effort into it.
The Deflated Epiphany
Later, that morning as I was going to get something out of our bedroom closet I heard a dog barking outside and walked over by my wife’s side of the bed to the window that overlooks our back yard. I noticed a magazine on the floor and saw that it was the February edition of Yoga Journal magazine. I picked it up and opened to a random page. On that page was an announcement that Yoga Journal magazine was looking for bloggers. Like a Tsunami rushing through my mind, all of he signs that I had seen over the past week or so started to come back to me.
“That’s it”, I thought, “this has got to mean something”. I decided that I was going to take hold of these signs and pursue my thought from that morning.
As the day passed and I thought more about the idea and did some research, the typical negativity started to creep into my mind and the excitement waned. “You can’t do that. The blogs on that website are about Yoga, not your idea. You don’t have what it takes to follow through on that. You are not a writer”. The heaviness started to build through the day until I was back to where I had been prior to the morning’s feelings of peace.
The Final Straw
Monday morning while at work and having a hard time getting this notion of this potential journey out of my head and to focus on my duties on the job, I opened a new Excel Spreadsheet. I plugged in the current day’s date. Then in another cell, I told it to calculate today plus 324 days (the number of days that it would take to get through the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching spending 4 days on each verse). The end date came up to be 12/12/12.
“That’s strange”, I thought. Is this a coincidence or is this, as Oprah terms it, a God whisper? Is it a sign for me to pay attention to this journey that I had been contemplating? As these thoughts crossed my mind, I once again rehashed all of the “coincidences” that occurred around this idea.
I was teetering on the quandary to embark on this journey or ignore it like so many other potential journeys that I know I have passed up previously.
The heaviness lifted once more and the journey was born.
Are there signs or “coincidences” in your life that you have been ignoring or too afraid to pay attention to?
Maybe it’s time to pay attention.