Living serendipitously


Call it serendipity, call it amazing grace.  Call it whatever you want to call it, but I think there are forces at work in our universe which have been largely unrecognized and untapped.

It happens all the time if we are paying attention – the arrival of little gifts that occur when we are looking for something else.


It may come in the form of an unconscious warning to move out of the left lane. Two minutes later you round a corner and run up on a doe, standing in the left lane.  Because of that mental alarm, possible disaster was avoided.

Some people believe serendipity is God’s way of bringing into your life what is meant to be, and what is totally (and ecstatically) unexpected. You couldn’t have anticipated it because you didn’t even know it was there to anticipate. Author and mythologist Joseph Campbell called serendipity “a thousand unseen helping hands.”

The list of happy little serendipitous accidents is long.  From the  X-ray to the rubber band, many of the world’s greatest inventions were the result of accidents or coincidences. 

Rubber was an unreliable, smelly mess until Charles Goodyear mixed it with sulfur and accidentally dropped it on a hot stove. Again, serendipity.

Ex-Lax, nylon, NutraSweet, penicillin, the popsicle, velcro and viagra- the list of serendipity stories is as long as the history of discovery.

Writer Debbie Ellison offers suggestions on how to cultivate serendipity:

  1. Live life as an adventure. Boredom is the death of creativity.
  2. Expect the unexpected.
  3. Be insightful. When a seemingly chance event occurs, explore why it happened and its significance in your life. Listen with gentle intent and gratitude…and you will hear the secrets serendipity whispers to you.
  4. Trust your inner guidance. It is the prompting of your heart guiding you to do what is right for you. Accept what it tells you with grace; it is your destiny. Creativity is about listening…and then acting in untraditional ways.
  5. Be open to serendipity. Remember Peter Pan’s advice – “You only have to believe.” When you accept the possibility of serendipity, you will begin to notice it everywhere. Once you open to its gifts, things will “pop up” that seemed impossible before. Your creativity will run wild.
  6. Dip into life with serenity. Accept events in your life and let them flow. When you force things, they stop happening the way they were meant to happen. Creativity thrives when you do not hold it too tightly.

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