I have written previously on this blog about occurrences of serendipity in my life. Of course, there are many other examples that I have not written about. I had another occurrence this week that was so incredible and shocking that I had to share. This still gives me shivers when I think about it.
I was sitting in my hotel room in Austin, Texas working on one of my blog posts. I was in Austin for a business trip so the rest of my family was home in Colorado. I had just finished eating my dinner that I brought back to my room and was sipping on my GT’s Synergy Kombucha drink and a small piece of after dinner chocolate. The Strawberry Serenity flavor drink and the chocolate pair nicely together.
I had hit a momentary speed bump and was having trouble finding the words for my post. Instead of banging my head against the wall, I took a break and hopped over to Facebook to see what was going on in the world. There at the top of the screen was a blue and white number one over the tiny image of the world. As any Facebook user knows this means that I had a notification.
Excited like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I quickly clicked the button anticipating the reward of seeing who had something to say to me. Oddly enough, it was a message from GT’s Synergy Kombucha’s Facebook page.
They have a section on their bottle’s label that is called “Words of Enlightenment” that always has a famous quote or a saying from someone. At the bottom of that section, they invite anyone to go to their Facebook page and submit their own words of enlightenment and if GT’s like it, they may put it on their bottles.
The previous night I had gone onto their Facebook page and posted a sentence that I had come up with after some classes that I had been taking regarding the teachings of Ernest Holmes. The quote was:
Thoughts are seeds for future results and you can’t create positive results with a negative mindset just like you can’t grow an apple with a tomato seed.
The notification from GT’s was that they loved my post and were asking if I had come up with that on my own. I hit send on my reply indicating that it was my words and explaining a little bit about why I came up with that phrase.
Here’s where it gets weird. I can feel the butterflies well up just thinking about it again.
I glanced over at the Synergy bottle that was sitting in front of me that I had just purchased earlier that night at the Whole Foods store a couple of blocks from my Austin hotel room.
It was the third bottle of Synergy that I had bought on this particular trip. I love the stuff and it really helps to quell my acid reflux because of the probiotics it contains. I had realized when I arrived in Austin that I had left my probiotic pills at home and my wife had said to drink a Synergy each day and that should get me through until I got home. Several years earlier, I had found that by taking probiotics religiously and instituting some dietary changes I could get off the acid reflux medication that I had been on for many years. This approach is much healthier and I am not cramming medications in my gut that are causing other side effects.
Have I stalled long enough?
On the bottle in front of me in the Words of Enlightenment section was my name with one of my sayings on it. No, not the one that I had submitted the previous day. That would have been mind bogglingly weird.
It was a saying (shown below) that I had posted on GT’s Facebook page several months prior. I was shocked and confused at first. I had no idea that my words would be on one of their bottles. Here I was in a totally different state having randomly picked a bottle off the shelves at a local store that I happened to find by my hotel and there was my name and my words staring me in the face.
That isn’t the really weird part either. No, it gets better.
I called my wife immediately and told her the story. We laughed and she replied a few times “na-ah”.
“Hang up and text me a picture” she exclaimed after my repeated replies that it was true.
Now back on the phone after sending the incriminating evidence, she went to the refrigerator at home…which like I said is in Colorado. Can you guess what happened next?
She broke out into excited laughter.
“Oh my God she exclaimed, your quote is on a half empty bottle in our fridge.”
Can you say serendipity?
I went back to Whole Foods on the last day of my trip to get one more Synergy and to see my words on the shelf since I didn’t notice it the previous times I was in the store.
Have you ever had anything like this happen?
Since It was introduced to me many years ago, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost has been my favorite poem. I have a book containing a collection of his poems that is worn and weary with the page containing this poem dog-eared and well used from its repeated reading.
I have had the intention to share this poem for a while now and to write about how I came across it and what it has meant to me. However as intentions often do, this particular intention had been collecting dust in one of my idea notebooks.
That is until recently. Over the last several weeks, I have been reminded of this poem repeatedly. In fact, so many times that I can’t ignore it any longer.
Tuesday night, when I posted the video by Kid President, I heard him recite those familiar words “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by”. It reminded me of my intention and I realized that I had heard this poem mentioned several times recently.
The next morning was the final straw when I turned on the radio and immediately heard a report on NPR about the 50th anniversary of Robert Frost’s death. About an hour later as I sat crossed legged on my yoga mat, the teacher set the intention for the class. You guessed it; the intention for the class came from the very same poem that I was being reminded of so frequently.
Ok Universe, I hear you. It’s time to dust off that intention and get the pen warmed up (or keyboard depending on the mood).
As I work on writing the words that my intention was leading me to and prepare a post that I hope to complete in the next day or two, I thought I would leave you with the poem in the meantime.
Enjoy! I would love to hear what the poem means to you.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost
Ok, so I was ambitious in my original intention to finish the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching by 12/12/2012 as I originally wrote about on my “The Journey” page. It was a good intention and it had some solid reasoning behind it, but let’s face it, things happen. Life steps in. Sometimes work was too busy, sometimes I was too tired and sometimes family life was too enticing.
Of course, there were also those periods where my mind played tricks on me. It would say things like “why are you doing this?”, “you are not a writer”, “this is a waste of time”, “you have more important things you should be doing”, “no one cares about what you are writing”. There were many more self-defeating thoughts, but you get the point.
Unfortunately, sometimes I would fall victim to these types of thoughts and I would step away from the keyboard and question if I should ever go back. This would have me feeling defeated.
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. – Marilyn vos Savant.
Regardless of how consuming those negative thoughts were, I always felt a pull to come back and continue. Eventually, I would snap myself out of the trance that had me trapped, and the positive thoughts about this journey would trample over the negative ones. Back at it I would go.
Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. – unknown
I have now finished 50 of the verses and its already been almost a year since I started this journey. I may not have reached my destination the way that I intended, but as we have learned from the Tao so far, we need to set our intentions, but not be attached to how we reach them.
Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. – Arthur Ashe
I can say without a doubt that the manner in which the journey has unfolded so far is the way that it was meant to unfold and I am exactly at the place in my journey where I need to be. How do I know that? Because this is where I am.
This has been a beautiful, mind-opening, and enlightening journey so far and I am grateful to have those that are following this journey along for the ride. Let’s see what the journey reveals next.
That which is shining in me is shining in everything. ~ MC Yogi a.k.a. Nicholas Giacomini
Today is the last day of the PostADay challenge where we attempted to write a post once a day for everyday during the month of November. I had a bad, bad, bad day today and was not going to write my last post for the challenge. However, before going to be I was browsing through the September issue of Yoga Journal and saw an article on MC Yogi. I read the quote shown above.
As I lay in bed attempting to go to sleep and leave the day behind, this phrase kept running through my mind. So since I wasn’t sleeping anyway and there were a few minutes left in this 30th day of November, I thought I would let this out by sharing it with you all.
This was kind of like the light in me attempting to shine through the dark, mucky fog that the day had left me feeling. Now that I have shared this phrase with everyone, I am off to sleep feeling like I have answered the calling inside that wouldn’t shut-up until I did. Lol…sweet dreams. I hope you enjoy this quote.
- Mc Yogi Debuts “Be the Change” Music Video Celebrating Gandhi’s Life + Legacy (yogapoga.wordpress.com)
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now!” ~ Paolo Coelho
Too many of us put off what really matters to us. We wait for the right time, or for the right circumstances, or for the right person to come along and help us. We come up with excuses for why today is not the day. Well, what if tomorrow doesn’t come? No one is promised tomorrow. All we have is today.
Whatever it is, make it happen. Go after that dream, tell that person you love them, go for that new job, write that book, compose that song. Don’t wait too long and let life pass you by with the dream still waiting inside you.
This reminds me of a book called N.O.W. (No Opportunity Wasted) by Phil Koeghan, the host of The Amazing Race. This book is about determining what it is you want to accomplish in your life, making a list of those things and putting forth a plan to accomplish them.
Today is the day. You can either fulfill your dreams or create regrets. Your choice.
This is a post that I started over the summer, but never finished. For some reason I felt compelled to complete it and post it today.
I am writing this post as I stare out my window at the snow covered trees and buildings that surround my one room cabin nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains. I have been spending two days at the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat. After a day of meditation, yoga and reflection in the peaceful, remote forest setting, I revisited some of the experiences from the day.
Earlier in the day, the yoga instructor opened the class with a statement about how the happiness that we seek is within us already. It is not somewhere outside that requires a certain set of circumstances in order to be realized. If we want to find it, we simply look within.
We tend to tie our happiness to extrinsic things, people or situations. We say that I will be happy if I get that new car or if my mate is in a good mood or if my boss doesn’t give me a hard time today.
In those scenarios, the happiness we feel is not from those things or those situations. It is drawn out from within us. We had it there all along. We just thought that we needed someone or something to help us pull it out.
If the happiness is already there, then we didn’t really need that external situation in order to feel the emotion. We could have just felt it on our own.
Try this simple exercise (This is something that I learned more recently at the 10 Day Vipassana Meditation Course):
Close your eyes and take a few minutes to focus your attention on your breath. Feel the breath coming in and out of your nostrils. Let any thoughts that come to your mind come and go. Don’t fight them and don’t follow them. Just notice them and let them pass. Once you are ready, bring a situation from your past to your attention that made you very happy. Don’t just see it, but be in that situation again. Feel the sensations in your body, hear the sounds that were around you and smell the scents that were in the air. Really be in that situation. Feel the happiness rise in your body and focus on that sensation. Give the sensation all your attention and energy and allow that feeling to grow. If you put yourself wholly in that situation, you will be able to feel that happiness fill your entire body.
What does this exercise prove? It proves that the happiness you seek is just a thought away.
Practice this exercise on a regular basis and learn to flex your happiness muscle. As you get better at this, you will find that you can perform this same exercise at any time you need it and not just when you are meditating.
By the way, this same exercise can work for any emotion that you want to feel; peace, love, contentment, etc.
I use this at the end of my daily meditation practice. I spend a minute or two on three different emotions; peace, love and happiness. It ends my meditation on a beautiful note and puts me in a pleasant state of mind to face the day.