Serendipity, Creativity and Awe

On Day Two of Quest2015, this prompt came from exuberant visionary thinker Jason Silva:

“In what ways might you artfully curate your life in 2015 to occasion serendipity, creativity and awe?”

“Ontological designing says: We design our world and the world designs us back. What are the linguistic and creative choices you can make in 2015 that will in turn act back upon you and transform you?”

For me, it all comes back to an openness of spirit; of being ready to be derailed from plans when something I didn’t expect comes along: to not leave the house so certain about what I’m going to find that day. For me, it’s keeping an internal ear open to those whispers that point to different directions, ideas, considerations that I hadn’t yet thought of in my oh so clever conscious, planning brain; it’s keeping the proverbial shoe in the door to allow the unexpected and unplanned find its way to me. It is a good practice. When I allow serendipity into my life, wonderful things both large and small occur.

Feeling an unexpectedly deep tug when I read Jeffrey Davis’s breath-stopping words “What are you waiting for?” and following that internal insistence to go ahead and attend Your Brave New Story this last fall was nothing short of a life-changing event. Hell, all I was doing was reading a blog post for goodness’ sake! Yeah, that’s Serendipity in action.

There are also smaller moments of Serendipity, none the less meaningful n their own way.

On a walk with my son yesterday (while in the back of my mind I was still pondering the mysteries and quirky glories of Serendipity), I spied a single playing card lying face down on the wet sidewalk. Now, I love playing-cards, love finding solitary ones in unlikely places. To me, they are like a message from the universe. Magical, almost. I picked up this card with some anticipation and turned it over. The Ace of Hearts. Well, in a word, wow. Being the first in the series of a suit, it is about beginnings; the heart, about love, or about any project that is truly heartfelt. The correlation in Tarot deck is Cups. Many interpretations exist, but all involve new beginnings, trusting your heart, venturing forth into new, heart-centered projects.  Whether you happen to believe in the divination arts or not, I still say finding that card on that day, at this time of my creative life, well, is Serendipity.

(A couple years ago in a writing workshop, a Joker card discovered in an assortment of items being offered up as writing prompts ended up revealing information about not one, but two characters in a book project I was working on.)

To allow for Serendipity in my life, there is the necessary step of just, well, getting over myself – meaning getting past any over-blown sense of my own self-importance and autonomy in the world, and be a bit more humble and grateful – and just open my eyes and my senses. The gifts will come. And Awe (which is akin to wonder, by the way) washes over, often unexpectedly, from the encountering of the small miracles of nature, the overwhelming realization of the largess of the world, creation, the universe. Awe is like a lightning bolt to the senses and the heart. Looking at my grown son and have the riveting to the bone reminder that I carried him within me for several months. That he is blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh. I am in awe. I am also in awe when I hear and see a formation of geese in their instinctual migratory flight overhead. I am often in awe when I hear a choir, witness the simple beauty that comes from the amalgamation of individual human voices.

Creativity? It is best spawned from hard work, buoyed by those amazing moments of serendipity and awe that bring inspiration and unexpected gifts to the creative work being undertaken.

It is the heart part, dancing in consort with the mind part, where the magic of creativity happens.

And what about curating?  To curate my life to attract Serendipity, Creativity and Awe is to select and gather about me those occasions and experiences and opportunities that have in them that possibility of unique discovery. To put myself in those places and mindsets where I can step out of my way and open myself to what’s more quietly there to discover.

We design our world and the world designs us back…What are the linguistic and creative choices you can make…that will in turn act back upon you and transform you?

If I choose to put myself out into the world open to moments of Serendipity – if I can create space for the unexpected little bits of inspiration and wisdom and who knows what all to cross my path – I will not only potentially gain some hopefully inspiring life-insights, but also have a wellspring of delicious fodder for writing. I find the best writing comes when I step aside and let the words and images flow through me, serendipitously.

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