“Serendipity is not seen as an “accident” at all, yet an attitude or kind of lifestyle in which you are always paying attention to these unexpected things that can bring a smile, joy and peace even in the most difficult times.”~ Christine Ramsay
My dear grandmother Alice, who was Armenian, came to the United States as an immigrant from Iran at 55 years old. She escaped war, was separated from her children, experienced grief when her husband passed away at a young age and left her entire life behind to come to a whole new country with no money in her pocket and not understanding a word of English.
Having to restart her life at 55 years old with my parents in a foreign country she managed to live life to her fullest. She raised my siblings and I as my parents worked, and she always had a smile on her face.
There was this sense of peace, a sense of calm within her and so much gratitude. I often wondered how a human who had gone through so much could have this sense of inner happiness and joy?
The Beauty of Serendipity
On March 20, 2019, my dear grandma Alice passed away and come to find out it was on International Happiness Day, a day celebrated by the UN to promote happiness and wellbeing as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of all human beings around the world.
This was what I like to call a joyous serendipity moment that started my awakening journey because I felt it was a wink from my grandmother to explore more about how to continue her legacy of creating ripples in society to promote happiness and wellbeing not only for ourselves but for others.
So, what is serendipity?
It’s finding something good without looking for it. It’s a universal sign of unexpected discovery of “happy accidents”. It encourages us to look for and notice the unexpected, good things that are always out there, if we have the eyes to see them.
The Beauty of Serendipity and How to Find Purpose, Happiness, and Peace in Difficult Times
Serendipity is not seen as an “accident” at all, yet an attitude or kind of lifestyle in which you are always paying attention to these unexpected things that can bring a smile, joy and peace even in the most difficult times.
A few weeks ago, I went to go get gas at lunch time and I grabbed a salad and instead of going home I needed to clear my head and decided to go to my favorite secret spot at Marsh Creek, this beautiful place by my house.
It’s this one bench I have been sitting on since 2019 after my grandmother Alice passed away that I discovered and it’s dedicated in loving memory to this person I don’t know named Bill.
I was always like saying Hi to Bill and I sit there and meditate, clear my head, and journal.
I am sitting on Bill’s bench and this woman out of the whole park comes and sits next to me with her lunch.
She goes “ I hope it’s okay I’m sitting here with you. This is my beloved husbands’ bench and it’s our anniversary today.”
We start to have a beautiful conversation and I ask her what her name is…. And she goes its Christine! I tell her with excitement that my name is Christine too! What are the odds of that. She goes on and my granddaughter’s name is Christine too!
There we were strangers and hugging…. She started to cry and tell stories about her beloved husband Bill and how he passed away from a sudden heart attack at 55. The spot she put the bench was his favorite place to go to when he needed some time and a place to relax. She now lives 2 hours away and comes and visits once a year on his bench.
I told her that he has my company for the past 3 years as this very spot and bench has been my saving grace! It’s the most beautiful, serene spot in the entire place.
She didn’t realize how much I needed her and how much she needed me that day.
The lesson here is we can all start by embracing and paying attention to the serendipity in our lives and raise our own levels of consciousness. By paying attention to these serendipitous experiences, it can help shape us, teach us some incredible life lessons, and bring peace and joy even in the most difficult times.
As a certified happiness and wellbeing coach, Diversity equity inclusion culture architect, and motivational keynote speaker for the last 10 years, I have created the S.M.I.L.E framework that uses principles and neuroscience concepts that tie in the science and art of “awe” or in our case “serendipity” to help people awaken their happiness and improve their overall well-being.
SMILE stands for the following:
S – Serve others by practicing cultural humility
M- Make mindfulness a habit
I – Intentionally choose happiness
E- Express Gratitude
I encourage you to start practicing these key principles daily for the next 30 days and experience joy and peace not only within yourself but in turn awakening happiness and wellbeing within humanity contributing to the world in the most positive and impactful ways.
So, let’s continue to be reminded of the power of Grandma Alice and Bill’s story and choose to seek Serendipity and SMILE.