We had lots of grey sky, can-see-your-own-breath days last week. It took me a little longer than I'd planned to get back into some sort of groove after the holidays, and then it was New Year's Eve and small adjustments had to be made all over again. So, today is the first day in a long while that moves to a rhythm I understand.
Over the weekend, my mom sent me an article (thanks, Mom!) on cultivating the art of serendipity; that is, the mysterious occurrence of finding that which you weren't even seeking. It's an exceptional piece by a writer named Pagan Kennedy that I recommend you read when you have a few moments. But, in case you don't, here's one brilliant bit I'd like to share:
You become a super-encounterer [of serendipity], [...] in part because you believe that you are one—it helps to assume that you possess special powers of perception, like an invisible set of antennas, that will lead you to clues.
The author credits information scientist, Dr. Sanda Erdelez, with coining the term 'super-encounterer' to refer to those folks "who reported that happy surprises popped up wherever they looked."
When I'm most open and receptive, the loosest and most limber in a process of exploration, this is exactly how I feel. It's a gift I've been able to access since childhood. Discovery has always been mine (and yours) for the taking. And it has long seemed that the more I pay attention to the creative thoughts and clues, insights and connections, bits of curious flotsam that wash up on their own, the more they occur to me. Paying attention means respecting them enough to follow their trails and document them in some way (a note jotted on the back of an envelope, a picture snapped with your camera phone), but, also, regarding yourself as someone who notices. Who sees. Who will continue to find more, whether looking or not.
What do you need to do to enhance your powers of observation? Commit to noticing more? Devote a tiny notebook to sharpening the skill? How about starting with your curiosity, with what most intrigues you, and seeing where that leads you? Year of Wonder might be right up your alley.
I'm working on website updates, which will soon include a small gallery of some of my own discoveries as a serendipiter. Stay tuned! And, as always, I'd love it if you hit 'reply' and told me a bit about your past week.
Notes from the week of December 27
+ scientific proof that "the way we talk about our feelings has a strong influence on how we actually feel" (my Love Interest knew what he was talking about back in November!)
+ full episodes of Nigella Bites are on YouTube (watching them brought me right back to the end of high school, when I first saw her show on TV)
+ Some Words for Living Locally (a delightful web journal about a woman's daily observations and experiences while living in rural Ireland; read it long ago, promptly forgot the name of it, and am thrilled to have found it once again; makes me seriously consider keeping a diary wherein I record a scant paragraph each day...)
MEALS EATEN, DRINKS DRUNK
+ champagne, natch
READ & NODDED MY HEAD
+ Randi Buckley's New Year's Eve newsletter (esp. these sentences: "So whatever day you happen to read this, please consider if seeking answers from the past is actually supporting where you want to be," & "So here I am honoring the deep pain that has been, but no longer living in the situations that caused it. [...] Healthy boundaries includes those with your past.")