The Serendipitous Life

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that rather than resolutions, each New Year’s Eve I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2013 it was peace and all of its derivatives.

This year my word is Serendipitythe occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Serendipitousa magical approach to life.

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl. A magical surprise — the flame draws toward you — when you blow on it with a knife in-between. © Laurie Buchanan 2013.

An enthusiastic proponent of affirmations, this year’s positive supporting statement — I see things I didn’t know I was looking for — targets how I choose to be in the world.

Jose Manuel Barroso said, “What people call serendipity sometimes is just having your eyes open.” And that’s precisely what I will do in this shiny new year — see joyful, beneficial things I might have otherwise missed.

Do you have a focus word this year?



136 thoughts on “The Serendipitous Life

  1. Laurie, I love your word! Serendipity – wow! What a lovely way to see the world. I’m inspired by your posts week after week. Thank you so much for your presence and for sharing your gifts all through the year. Have a magical and serendipitous New Years, Dyan

  2. Love serendipitous … and being so opening to related synchronicity. I have experienced how this unfolds. Delightful.
    Beforec opening your blog I had just posted my resolution/intention for 2014 … to be more peace-filled, peaceful in heart, mind, spirit and actions.
    And remembering the old song “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me” … invited others (my first public post) to join me to be ripples of peace. Some may see it as naive.
    I know it is the only true path to peace. I am open and curious to what synchronistic response will flow from it.
    Elizabeth Lesser had just posted Mary Oliver’s poem with the phrase “I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.” I’ve started again!
    To make it practical, I’ll start by taking on the quality practice gifted by one of my life teachers Wendy Palmer …reflecting “If I was just a little more peace-filled what would that look like?”
    Thanks for allowing me to share this with you and all others who post with you. … like spirited folks.♥

  3. I haven’t picked a single word yet as my star to steer by for 2014, but I do have a quote that matches the sentiment of “serendipity” from Thoreau’s Walden: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his (her) dreams, and endeavors to live the life which s/he imagined, s/he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

    During my last 10 months as a blogger, I have met so many wonderful people like you who inspire me to reach for the stars! Open to wonderful surprises — Marian, plain and fancy girl.

  4. I love this approach and the word you chose. A word that keeps coming back to me whenever I think about moving forward through 2014 is simplify. Maybe the simpler my life, the more serendipitously I can live it. 🙂

  5. I love serendipity. Good word, great when it happens to me.

    My focus word will be some sort of combination of discipline, tenacity, organization, determination, focus, and creativity. Dis-ten-org-de-foc-cre?


  6. Thank you for this magic filled post. The word that it concurred in my mind is: keep
    ‘Keep’ working toward my goal.
    ‘Keep’ writing.
    ‘Keep’ believing in myself
    ‘Keep’ sharing my gifts with others
    ‘Keep’ building my supportive blog community
    ‘Keep’ relishing my author journey
    ‘Keep’ enjoying my life
    Keep–it’s such a simple word. Its simplicitly made me doubt its appropriateness. And yet the word kept calling to me.

    I can’t wait to try your magic trick. : )

    • Leanne – No wonder it was calling to you, KEEP is a wonderful focus word!

      When you do the magic trick, it will be hard for you to see the flame because the knife blade will be blocking it from your view. Have your husband watch as you do it, and then you watch as he does it. Len took the photograph from the angle that each of you will see it 🙂

    • Good one Leanne !… Interesting too !…one needs lot of TENACITY & WILL POWER to KEEP doing what he/she wants to day after day ….

  7. I like your perspective, Laurie, and even before I read your blog, I thought in answer to your short question, of the word “receptivity”; and in many ways, I think our perspectives on the new year are similar.

    • Ted – yes, Yes, YES! You and Ailsa live such rich and abundant lives in all of the positive domains: health, happiness, liberty, food, friends, family, geographic location, interests, skill sets, shared wisdom, and laughter! I know you two are constantly cracking each other up 🙂

  8. Serendipitous.. Such a wonderful word. Thank you ,Laurie.
    May wonderful happenings await you in the coming New Year my friend.
    Love and warm wishes, Cindy

  9. I decided to look up your wonderful word ‘serendipity ‘ because I like to read the origins of words . I won’t bore you with my finding ( of which I might add I found really interesting ). Then ‘by chance’ my eyes wondered to the next word in the dictionary , which was, ‘serene’ …well I was smitten . This is without doubt my word of 2014 …calm,peaceful and untroubled . This is also my wish for the world and for you dear Laurie .
    Cherry x

  10. Yes! Considering that one of my core desired feelings is “magical”, I wholeheartedly endorse the word “serendipity” for 2014! LOVE IT!

    I believe that finding magic is all about keeping our eyes open, too. May 2014 be filled with serendipity for you, Laurie!

    PS: As you already know, my word for 2014 is “ease”. 🙂

  11. Oh yes, Laurie Buchanan! I LOVE this serendipitous living and way of being in the world. I especially love your statement that you see what you didn’t know you were looking for…isn’t that how it goes in the most magical of moments? So glad you shared your link on my site…and I’m looking forward to the most sensual, serendipitous 2014 for us both! xoxo

  12. I love this Laurie. To see things I didn’t know I was looking for is to also listen to my heart. Because my heart will tell me to stay looking at those ‘things” and my gut will tell me that these ‘things’ have something to tell me and show me. So perhaps my word is stillness. To create that space in which I can see, feel and hear those ‘things’ I wasn’t looking for. Thank you. x

  13. I don’t have a focus word yet, Laurie, but have been thinking about this all day. Have been noticing the ways I am still not compassionate toward myself and thinking perhaps “compassion” or “love” but not sure if that encompasses it yet. Wondering if there’s one word that can describe it. Thank you for this and Happy 2014 to you!

  14. I love the simplicity of picking one word for a year. I don’t know if I could keep my focus that long! But, I’m going to give it a try. Serendipity is a good one, for sure. Mine is “manifest”. 🙂 Happy New Year, Laurie. Thanks for sharing your journey and your thoughts. You always inspire me!

  15. The very best year ever in 2014 for Laurie and Len!

    What a fabulous word you have chosen for the new year Laurie. Well let’s see, we can dream about a mega millions lottery win, or another unexpected windfall. Ha! Well, your word puts everything in the proper perspective and it does disarm those who tend to deal with everything with a heavier hand. I certainly do love the approach.

    I guess the word for us is ‘health’ after some not-so-heartening developments in 2013. I know it’s been a key word for you too Laurie, and paired up with serendipity I think we’ll all be just fine.

  16. Serendipity, one of my favorite words. I do spend some time looking for it in my life and in the lives of those around me. Such a wonder and delight when it falls to you to enjoy a serendipitous event, you can spend days just reveling in it, watching things fall into place, something like a domino effect. This year I think I am going to focus on Creation. Not only the Creation I see in abundance around me everyday, but the creative ability that flows through me when I allow myself to be a willing channel. I am creating when working in a garden, when preparing a meal, making a plan for later in the year, mostly though I think of it while painting. When I find myself lost in the process, totally immersed in the Zone, this is my apex of my creative ability, It comes as a gift from a much Higher Power who has given me the Gift of being a Co-Creator. I suspect it is my job.

    • Sandi – I, too, suspect co-creation is your job! You’re one of the most wonderful CREATIVE channels I have the privilege to know. Indoors, outdoors, with humans and animals alike – you leave a trail of magic in your wake. I can hardly wait to see what you give birth to on your canvases this year 🙂

  17. I love that word too!! If I had to choose one, mine would be diligence. I want to work harder in school and take risks and also make the best out of what I have! 🙂 HAPPY NEW YEAR

  18. My word is Magic! Life is magic. It’s all magic. I’ve been practicing a bit lately 🙂
    I could write a whole post or two on serendipity. Oh wait . . . . . . .
    Much joy and blessings to you for the new year

  19. You’d think I would have answered this sooner seeing how I had the whole day off, but I can’t commit to just ONE word! I want them ALL! Story of my life. Let’s see . . . very important to me this year are purpose and possibility and emergence and create and presence and belief and positive. Can I have one each day of the week?

  20. How wonderful to begin another year filled with your Tuesdays! You know, I get so much from your posts and the wonderful comments they bring into the world. Serendipity indeed.
    The one word I’ll be referring to this year is ‘action’. I really feel the need to engage with causes I feel passionate about. This quote from Rafael Wugalter (on sums up exactly where I’m coming from:
    “If you’ve been afforded freedom and a privileged life, then it’s your responsibility to stand up for those who want the same thing as you, but are being coerced to live differently.”
    Happy New Year and thanks for our family pod-visit in 2013. xx

  21. I am serendipitiously late for Tuesday with Laurie! Great word, it is a magical experience to realize the serendipity of a situation or gift. Being in the world aware and awake allows the magic to happen.

    The word that came up upon reading the question was “change”! Creating change, embracing change…

    Grateful for your presence in my life !!! ((Hugs))

  22. serendipity has always had a place in my life. I love watching things flower, unfold in front of my eyes. My ‘motto’ for last year (and moving forward) was ‘inch wide miles deep’, as I tend to have SOS …shiny object syndrome (searching for a 12 step program for that as we speak).
    But if I had to choose one word it would be ‘DO’…damn the consequences and DO!
    Going all Nike on it this year DO it! Yes I know thats tech 2 words but its the Do that matters.
    Love your blog, have I mentioned that lately. Peace for your new year!

  23. Serendipity is my and my husband’s favorite word. Love the movie, too 🙂 It’s a feel good word with a touch of magic for sure. At first I wasn’t going to chose a word for this year because I always treat them like resolutions and quickly get tired of them and end up pushing them to the side. But I think this has more to do with not having chosen the right words in the first place, they just never resonated on that deep knowing level. Alas, it seems that a word has kind of found me this year: “awaken”. If you ask me how I would like to feel this time next year I would say without hesitation “I want to feel awake.”

  24. May your day Be Blessed
    with wondrous quest
    May your New Year
    Be one of many more
    and may you know you are always know you are wished within
    the energy of what is yet to be the best…
    Hope you have a wonderful New Year…
    Take Care….You Matter…
    ( I like your word! mine is experience..hmmmm ?)

  25. You have changed my perception about serendipity Laurie! I have always thought of it as leaving life to fate. I now realize that living a serendipitous life is more geared towards a purposeful life because you will be more aware of things that surround you and be able to take actions.
    Happy New Year!

  26. Oooo that’s such a mystical word, just saying it inspires faith, magic and trust. Our most benevolent & wise universal genie always grant our wish, so we better be conscious and receive the gifts offered to us every single moment. Laurie, thanks for sharing your beautiful spirit with us throughout the year, wishing you a prosperous fulfilling year ahead. The Happiest New Year to you and your Loved Ones!!♥

  27. I have the word Serendipity matted and framed on the wall of my office, I like it so much. I’d never heard Barroso’s quote before, but I totally agree!
    Here’s to keeping our eyes wide open and looking for our Good in 2014. 🙂

  28. – My Focus Word for all the Years ahead is CONTENTMENT !!…
    – I first came across the Word SERENDIPITY some 45 years ago when I was still studying in College … The Chief-editor of the Local Daily had started a Weekly Column and word he had chosen to deal with was – SERENDIPITY …and that’s how this beautiful word entered my Vocabulary !….
    – I’ve two more Focus Words which keep me Alive, Alert, Active & Agile at 65 – Physically, Mentally & Spiritually – SWIMMING & BOOKS !!… I Simply Love them and the action Involved therein – one Physical & the other Mental & Spiritual !!…
    – Thank You for Sharing the Beautiful Word and the Sentiments going with it Laurie !…Wish you a Great New year full of Health, Happiness & Joy !….

  29. I love your word for the year. And I love the image of the flame reaching toward you when a knife is inserted (lots of symbolic material there!)

    The last word-of-the-year I chose was one for 2012: pioneer. I needed that kind of energy in order to finish my manuscript and get through the editing process of my book Blush.

    I think the word Connect works for me in 2014. it attracts other c-words, like conversation, creativity, and complete. I want to travel, speak, and write with a sense of abundance, gratitude, completion. I want to be fully present to myself and others, always conscious of the web of connection to the divine underneath and around us.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Re-meeting you in 2013 was serendipitous for me!


  30. What a magical word, serendipity! It always speaks to me of being watched over, aided, protected and lifted up on fairy wings. It whispers flow and ease and wonder. I’m loving your word, Laurie. Much love to you for the year ahead. Nicole xx

  31. Hi Laurie – My word this year is “Calling.” Not in the sense of yelling, of course, but in the sense and balance through Purpose = Calling. I will need to do lots of listening. And add a large dash of being Open so Serendipity can guide me. Cheers, D

  32. My spirit guide for this year is Buffalo = more trust, gratitude and prayer. I must keep on saying my truth and sharing the sometimes hard things I know and others need to hear – with compassion. Others are dependent on my teachings and I need not be concerned with their acceptance and the outcome will be abundance.
    Already the number of authors asking to send me copies of their new books and 3 publishing companies have contacted me about more book reviews this year and I manifested a new KINDLE HD fire 8.9 inch tablet to replace my defunct second KINDLE and this one reads to me – even in the bathtub!
    My young friend Megan Bord says I must work on flow and not stopping the process..

    …and today is the first day I am on the computer in over a week. Trying to flow into this New Year and get my emails answered. WOW
    Now I am trying to imagine getting 94 comments! on a post…You have certainly found magic with this one and I just love your picture at the top – a gem

  33. I love your choice of focus word! My focus word for this year is “flow”. It’s funny that I saw it just above my comment when I had started writing it! I want to let new things flow freely into my life w/o resistance – and enjoy whatever life brings.

  34. Happy new year Laurie! I love the word serendipity, just the sound of the word itself suggests that magic is about to happen! My word for 2014 is “Authentic”, it’s my year to focus on keeping real. 🙂

  35. Oh my Laurie….I have two words. Burn and Instigate. They both relate to my inner life and my outer life…and what they have in common is Ignition. Today, original is rolling around in my soul….instigate burning with original______? Burning with Original Instigation? ….hmmm. Sleeping on this. Happy New Year! xo S

  36. LOVE that word, Laurie. And I love the idea of focusing on a single word over the course of a year.

    Sorry to have been away since Christmas. We had guests from the US and then did some traveling around our new country. Didn’t always have internet. I’m trying now to get back into the swing of things.

    Hope you had a great holiday. Happy New Year.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  37. Can I use your word too? Serendipity is one of my favorite words/ideas/philosophies. All of life is serendipity, I believe. May you have a new year full of serendipity. I look forward to continuing to read your enlightening blog.

  38. totally believe in magic. you have to allow it when it comes! 🙂 and fashion it when it doesn’t…;)

    Heyyy…just belatedly got the association: the Morrie/Laurie thing…der-de-der. I am sharp as a beach ball, all right…;)

  39. I love the word serendipity, so full of hope and adventure. Without realizing it I’ve done the same thing with two words – protection and provision. Something I learned on my journey but have let it fall to the back of my mind. This post made me realize I need to take it seriously if I want to see some changes.

  40. What a really great word for 2014 … it leaves so much room for adventure and happiness and awareness, and just wiggles with the promise of bountiful gifts, just waiting to be appreciated. Great word!

  41. Laurie – I just heard a phrase on another blog that I knew you would like:

    It’s not a New Year’s Resolution, it’s a New Year’s Intention! It’s from Isabel Martin-Ventura.

    I’m really trying to keep things positive over here, and be more selective when it comes to the energy allowed in my blog space. I think her blog is under “Life Coach.”

  42. Laurie, I love your word for this year and think I will copy you. I love the magical approach to life. Every time I get out of my own way, things magically align in a beneficial way. Imagine that!

    Thanks for inspiring so many people with your awesome posts!

    🙂 KMC

    Serendipity—the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Serendipitous—a magical approach to life.

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