Serendipity Strikes Straight from Synergy

Bottle of Synergy

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.

Synergy Drink Words of Enlightenment

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.

All drinks on shelves

Synergy drinks on shelves

Have you ever had anything like this happen?

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4th Verse – Sharp Edges and Twisted Knots

View from Mt Sherman

The Tao is empty
but inexhaustible,
bottomless,
the ancestor of all.

Within it, the sharp edges become smooth;
the twisted knots loosen;
the sun is softened by a cloud;
the dust settles into place.

It is hidden but always present.
I do not know who gave birth to it.
It seems to be the common ancestor of all,
the father of things.

The Tao is empty because it has no physical form. We can’t see it or touch it, yet it exists in everything. Because it is in everything, it is inexhaustible. It has no ends.

In physics, they talk about the law of the conservation of energy which says that energy can change location and form, but can neither be created nor destroyed.

The same is true for the power of God, universal energy or whatever you want to call it. That energy never goes away because it flows through everything. We cannot see it or touch it and it is something that we cannot even comprehend. It is so far beyond the laws of our understanding of our physical world that we have no language to describe it. Yet is permeates through us and through everything that we comprehend.

Sharp Edges and Twisted Knots

The second stanza talks about how if we submit to the Tao and stop trying to control it (i.e. instead have faith like we talked about in the 1st verse) the “sharp edges” and “twisted knots” that we have created in our lives will be smoothed out and loosened and everything “will settle into place”.

Instead our typical response is to hold on tighter to those “sharp edges” and “twisted knots”, try to control them more, and put even more negative energy into them thinking that it will solve the problem. We hate, we lie, we get angry or depressed, we turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and we fight against God/Universe thinking that we can overcome our natural selves. All we are doing is sharpening those edges and tightening those knots even more.

In other words, we make things more difficult for ourselves. If instead we loosen our grasp on the knots, let go of the edge and open our minds to pay attention to the natural flow of things, everything will begin to happen according to our true purpose.

My Own Example

This concept is something that I myself have experienced recently. As I talked about in my first post, I have a successful career that provides a good life for my family and I. However, I have struggled for years feeling unfulfilled and knowing that I should be doing something different. I spent many hours reading career related articles and books, taking career finder tests, and talking to people in different fields. All of this time was spent trying to find something that resonated with me. Nothing did.

I now realize that this was me attempting to control and direct my own life for my own purposes. All I was doing was tightening the knots and sharpening the edges.

For years I have had ideas for books coming to me constantly. One particular book idea has been popping up in my mind for several years. I continually put it aside, ignored it and found excuses why being a writer didn’t make sense for me. I was supposed to be doing these other things that I was forcing myself into all those years.

Once I let go and opened up to let my purpose be revealed to me instead of trying to force it in a certain direction, I started to notice signs and “coincidences” that I had always ignored before. That led me to start this blog and to start letting out the creativity that I was holding inside for so long. This then allowed me to realize how strong my passion is for writing.

Now for me the knots feel like they are slowly untwisting and the sharp edges are smoothing out. This is allowing that natural energy of God/Universe to flow and things are starting to feel like they are falling into place.

How are you holding yourself back by clutching on tight to the knots and sharp edges in your life? What are you not paying attention to?

The “Coincidences” that Led Me to this Journey

The Path

Coincidence?

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.