To paraphrase Einstein, we can live as if everything is random or that nothing is random. The definitions of randomness, chaos, and conscious intention are not trivial ones and they speak to the very heart of our implied cosmology.
I don’t know if I even believe in luck anymore. I was walking back home a few nights ago at 9:30PM at night with my bachelor pizza in hand and thinking to myself, “I wonder if this is a good idea? Seems really unhealthy”. At that moment I was struck in the side of the head with a heavy flower which had fallen from the plants above. If I had not been carrying the pizza box, it wouldn’t have landed there for me to enjoy.
I have been getting very lucky since I lost my strong attachments to wealth, fame, and outcomes. I remember thinking recently that guessing a Mastermind code on my iPhone app on the second try was just luck, not Jedi power. So I intentionally challenged the universe to prove me wrong. I immediately guessed correctly the five colors in exact sequence of 3 which has a 1/125 chance of occurring.
I went golfing in June after not hitting a golf ball for a year and got a slam dunk hole-in-one. My only thought was “just do what you did last time you got a hole-in-one here.” The odds of that were about 1/12,000.
Last weekend, I sat down at a $40 poker table (having
only played casino poker 3 or 4 times before) and was treated to an improbable event of about 1/50,000: a “Bad Beat” jackpot in which the table won almost $21,000. Four players went “All-in” and my two Jacks became four of a kind, beating the full house and triggering the black swan event.
When something that our ego desires happens, we consider it good luck if the odds were low of that positive outcome; for a negative outcome, we consider that bad luck. We have fixed notions of the probability of events happening and if we get into a slow checker’s line at the grocery store or hit all red lights on the way home, we can think “why is the universe trying to slow me down?” or “what is wrong with these slow people?” or we can just accept that we are meant to be in the slow line and that we can choose to leave if that is how we are being guided.
I had some ‘good luck’ yesterday which made me question the nature of luck- it was an offer to come on board with leading publisher, Hay House, and write a book about telomeres for a large market. By the law of attraction (whatever that means) or by synchronicity, this is my dream publisher because their audience tends to be open to the ideas that healing comes from within as a result of their origins in the New Thought Movement of the late 19th century.
Luckily, I had already met one of their authors, Barbara DeAngelis, at an author summit. Then last year, Dr. Norm Shealy, another Hay House author and the founder of the American Holistic Medicine Institute, said he was drawn to our booth at the A4M conference in Las Vegas, prompting three great interviews and a friendship.
Luckily, I had met another Hay House author at the Longevity Now Conference. Dr. Rankin gave the most wonderful 90 minute talk about her life and what she has learned and I had to meet her. She was kind enough to sign a copy of her book, The Fear Cure, pose with me, and follow up by email about my hopes of writing a large platform book.
Her story was that she got into medicine because people brought injured squirrels to her as a child and she eventually became known as “The Squirrel Girl”. Life lead her on a path of a challenging Ob-Gyn practice and all things came to a head after a poignant letter sent by a patient telling her that Dr. Rankin didn’t take her hand off the doorknob or look up during their final brief encounter despite having to talk about a very serious problem with painful intercourse that threatened her marriage.
She was in the last trimester of pregnancy, depressed and seeing 40 patients a day, and had slept only a few hours in the last two days when she read the letter. She was most angry over the irony that she couldn’t even kill herself because of her unborn child! Then when she got into the slowest checkout line and had to deal with the teenager inefficiently scanning her items, she exploded on him saying “If I did my job like you did yours, there would be dead people everywhere!!” Ouch. Here comes the attitude adjustment you ordered, Dr. Rankin…
The universe decided to deliver her life-changing message on the drive home from humiliating that poor kid. The “Squirrel Girl” hit and killed a squirrel on that fateful morning. Random? Funny? Preordained? If she were open and living in the moment, she might have recognized this as only the most recent, not simply the clearest, message that she was out of alignment with her soul’s purpose.
Gary Player was once told after sinking a low probability golf shot “That was lucky!” He replied “Yes, and I find that the more I practice, the luckier I get.”
Certainly, one must “sharpen the saw” and be ready when fortune, good or bad, presents itself. Perhaps the universe does have a plan and that our egos just need to get out of the way to let that flow into our lives. There are no bad breaks, just the cards you are dealt and within what you perceive as a “Bad Beat” may be a good lesson. Keep in mind the fellow who I beat with my four Jacks took home twice what I did. Sometimes, when you lose, you win. Does this look like the face of man that was just beaten badly with a full house to some rank beginner??
So was it luck that I am getting signed by Hay House?
Yes, but I asked the universe a question and like the flower on my pizza box or the answer to my own skepticism about Mastermind, I find that the more I practice and relax, the luckier I get. It is the athlete “in the zone” or the soloist at play in Carnegie Hall. It is the Taoist concept of “Wu-Wei” or doing without trying that is the heart of health, happiness, and good fortune. When we are stuck in the past and have unhealthy ego-attachment to outcome, we welcome dis-ease, sadness, and misery into our cells, bodies, spirits, and homes.
So who gets to say what the odds of anything are? Our EGO (Latin for “I am”) is what always determines reality and probability but when we remove the blinders and open up, things can pass more freely into our lives for better or for even better. Good luck, everyone!!