Tag Archives: Extraordinary

Destined Coincidences

3 Feb

I personally believe that there are no coincidences. Having observed that most of the coincidences that have occurred in my life have been either life-changing or of a significant importance, I have concluded that there is no such thing as ‘accidental’. A coincidence is one of two things: a sign or destiny.

A coincidence is defined as “an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental”, or “a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance”, or even “when something uncanny, accidental and unexpected happens”. I have had some pretty weird coincidences in life: bumping into someone I know from London in a café on the other side of the world; meeting a future friend due to a decision based on flipping a coin; and most recently – being quoted on a website next to my favourite author.

This last one happened today. I searched my name on Google and found a page where a paragraph of an article that I’d written had been copied and pasted next to my favourite author’s quotes on the same topic. I had never heard of the website before and have no idea how they found and, most importantly, why they chose my work. But there it was – my words alongside those of an author who I have loved since the age of fifteen. I laughed out loud in sheer disbelief.

Although everything is obviously coincidental, ‘chance’ and ‘accidental’ somehow don’t describe this situation. My work was taken by strangers and posted on a website about a country to which I am soon moving. It happened to fit into a section about which a famous author had something to say. And not only is this a famous author, it is one of my favourite authors…who also happens to write about philosophy and spirituality.

At first, I did what we usually do when things like this happen: I laughed, said “What on earth?!” , and then got on with my day. Only a while later it hit me: this is a destined coincidence. Weird and wonderful things like this don’t happen for no reason! Calling this ‘mere chance’ would be a lame excuse to cover a lack of faith. A lack of faith in the extraordinary.

Many people don’t listen to intuition, or believe in signs or natural healing, because ‘there is no proof for it’. Nowadays, we need a contract, a bill, a letter, a statement, a signature or a certificate to believe in the validity or legitimacy of something. When we say “I trusted this man, because he is a lawyer” people nod in agreement. If we say “I trusted this man, because he had kind eyes” people take us for a lunatic. Yet we have forgotten that our intuition, the natural world and all the signs around us are stronger and more ‘valid’ than any contract or theory could ever be.

We do not need ‘proof’ to know that we love someone – we just know it. We do not need proof to think that it will rain in the afternoon – we just feel it. We do not need proof to sense that someone is looking at us – we just sense it.

In the same way, we do not need proof to know that a ‘coincidence’ is actually a sign. The only thing left for us to do is to allow ourselves to believe in it, and to follow this sign to wherever it may be pointing.

Surf Sea Sunset Beach

The Extraordinary Ordinary

23 Jan

“If I died today, I’d be happy with the life I’ve had,” my friend said at the age of eighteen. “I’ve had everything I needed: a good education, a roof over my head and food in my belly”. Her words have stuck with me since. At that age I had never heard anyone be grateful for such ‘basic’ things; most of the young people around me measured their happiness in clothes, in popularity, in money, in parties, in status, in partners. In my school, students avoided being ‘average’ at all costs. Now, this trend is spreading like a disease across the continent.

In Western society, being ‘happy with what you’ve got’ is often interpreted negatively as ‘settling for less’. Leading a life of calm contentment and simple pleasure is considered as lack of ambition, laziness, cowardliness and generally being a bore. We have become obsessed with the idea of ‘a life worth living’, which has come to mean living fast, achieving lots, having wild adventures and ‘trying everything once’. With so many opportunities and options open to us, we have come to believe that the way to enrich our lives is to fill them up with as many things as possible. “Quantity, not quality” seems to be society’s current motto.

The American golfer Walter Hagen famously said: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way”. He recognised that we should make the most of life, but his vision of the way in which this can be done is very different to what we witness today. His quote evokes a life of slow and calm movement. The pleasure he portrays of ‘smelling flowers’ is one that represents the simple pleasures of life. Hagen is encouraging us to appreciate the everyday things, and in doing so to turn something ‘average’ into something amazing.

Those who have tried this know that it takes effort, patience and courage to love the smaller things in life. Yet the rewards are much greater. When we realise that even plain objects are beautiful, that even ordinary events are meaningful and that even (so called)  ‘unexpeptional’ people are precious, we learn that everything we experience is a gift. Nothing and no-one is average – everything and everyone is exceptional. When we see the miracle in everything around us, we begin to love everything around us. Calm contentment and simple pleasure become our saviours; they are what give us energy, hope and happiness.

Most of our life is made up of what we call ‘everyday’, ‘mundane’ or ‘routine’ things. Therefore, we may as well make friends with these constant companions. When we stop taking things for granted, we realise that the ordinary is actually quite extraordinary.