A chance encounter…?

Do you believe that there are such things as “chance” encounters?  My gut tells me, No – that if we are living in accordance with our Intention, which means we are living with specific purpose, specific aims, specific requests, and specific needs, then along our path, specific and particular people/ideas/actions/thoughts/information/deeds will be delivered to you along your journey, and always when that specific thing is needed most. Funny thing is, you often may not even know that you are in need of that particular thing, until you receive it!


The other day, I met a man named Shanti at my local Trader Joes  (so many great encounters take place at Trader Joes! Such good people there:).  He was dressed all in white, had a kind face, a dark beard peppered with salt, and a thoughtful demeanor about him.  I struck up a conversation with him and we began to talk about yoga, and he asked which practice I aligned myself with.  When I told him “Kundalini” he responded in an unexpected way.  “Kundalini for men, yes…but for women, I don’t know,” he began…”for Kundalini’s aim is to cause Rise, and men need to rise – but women, they have nothing TO rise.” 

Of course, the rise of Kundalini is the “Serpent” (which is definitely an on-the-nose MAN thing!) but this Serpent has been taught to me, and to many many others, as the “sleeping serpent coiled at the base of our spines – a coil of Energy that when released, will allow us to Rise.”  I don’t feel the need to reorganize my thoughts, or my practice of Kundalini because of Shanti’s statement – I have studied, taught, and practiced this form of Yoga for over a decade and find it to be particularly effective in my being: mind, body, and spirit…so it works for me, serpent or no serpent!  But, Shanti’s perspective does add a new dimension to my understanding of this rich practice, and allows me to touch a bit of the unknown…after all, perhaps there is an element of truth to his statement.


Before Shanti and I parted ways, he asked if I also practiced meditation, to which I replied yes.  This was partially true – I have long been a practitioner of meditation, longer than I’ve practiced yoga, but over the past several years, life has gotten busy and my meditation practice has…slipped.  He asked if he might take my hand, which I gladly offered, and he told me to close my eyes and breathe, and to tell him what I felt.  As he held lightly to my hand, I could feel a surge of his energy rush through me – it was very strong.  Heat ran up my arm, spilled across my chest, and my face began to flush. I told him I could feel his energy and after a moment he smiled and released my hand.  “Your mind is VERY busy,” he told me softly.  To which I replied, Yes, it is!  Busy Mind seems to be the new normal…but that doesn’t make it Good…as we probably all know!.. (BTW: I reinstated my Meditation practice the very day I met Shanti…I thank him for re-inserting that into my life).

The really cool thing that came out of this encounter with Shanti (which was not a chance encounter at all, I’m quite certain) was his words of insight and truth before we parted.    “You must move down from your head, and into your  heart,” he told me.  “Men need to rise, but women, they need to Open…”

This was precisely why I encountered this man, at that moment, on that day.  There are SO many reasons why I NEEDED to be reminded of the role of my 4th Chakra, my Anahata, my Heart-song…and his whisper to this truth simply lit me up!  I’ve been having trouble re-connecting to my second novel, which I started last year.  Finding my “doorway” back in has been difficult. Shanti’s gentle insistence that I move back down to my heart, suddenly allowed me to understand that I had been approaching my novel from my Head, NOT from my Heart!…I had been trying to “think” my way back in.


As I was reminded this past weekend while talking with Steven Kotler at the Bulletproof Conference (which was AMAZING! Go next year if you can!) creating Art allows (requires us really) to tap into the state of FLOW.  Creating is about getting out of our heads, and moving into the rhythm and energy, the spirit and river, of the creative flow.  When I approach Creating, or perhaps LIFE in general, TOO much with my Head – it’s all about Reason, Mechanics, and the clunky act of Contrived Thought…but FLOW resides in water, in free movement, in Intuition and the unexpected, the unusual and the Surprise!  The Heart is all about TRUST, listening to your INTUITION, and LETTING GO!  It’s the leap off the trapeze as you fly free through mid-air, reaching your hands with great Trust toward the other who is there to catch you.

So from my heart to yours – I thank you Shanti…I thank all the Angels out there, meaning You, Me, All of Us – we are, and can be, Angels for each other – if we can keep our Hearts open, our Minds clear, and our Spirits Engaged and Free.

(an aside: in T.S. Eliot’s poem The Wasteland, he uses the word Shantih, which means: The peace which passeth understanding!Shanti at Trader Joes certainly passed this along to me)

*****PS…a Loud shout out on Steven Kotler: he is the author of The Rise of Superman (which is terrific!) and the co-author on the awesome book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think – highly recommend you all Read This Book!  It’s inspiring, hopeful, kick-ass, and brilliant!  Fill your noodles with the Awesome-ness in this book – and spread the word!

*****PPSS…: Don’t know what Bulletproof is?  You are Missing Out!  If you are an Athlete, an Experience Junky (such as myself), or simply a Person Interested in Personal Growth, you MUST check out the link above to Bulletproof!


3 thoughts on “A chance encounter…?”

    1. Hello dearest Suzanne! You are ever in my heart and my thoughts. Wish I could have you over and hang out with me for a few days:) …(planting a seed?) Hoping life is rich and full and opening new understanding, possibilities, interests, peace…
      my apologies for not calling you lately, life has been a bit busy and jam packed…all good stuff though:) Have finally broken through with my new novel…have been stuck and not finding its river, and just this afternoon after I picked the kids up from school and we were on our way for a treat, did I realize that I don’t have to make this another “dark” book…I can make this an inspiring book, uplifting, and filled with determination and strength. It’s a story about 2 young girls and I’m SO inspired now to dig in and build them as the amazing/powerful/strong in spirit and in mind young women that they are (just entering teen years)…makes me very excited to get busy! Our girls need strong role models! And they need to be reminded that they ARE powerful, and they do NOT need to be a “thing” that adorns the arm of someone else. Yay! :)
      Much love to you Suzanne…I think of you and carry you with me every day:)

  1. Another great post. Love it! Found myself picturing the scene of your encounter at Trader Joe’s, and smiling. A lot of days, the my most memorable moments are encounters like that and, for me, that’s often with a taxi driver or a new graphic designer, photographer or musician I come in contact with for a work project. Gotta treasure those encounters.
    But most of all your post got me really thinking about women and the need to “open” and what that takes, what it means, for me as a woman in my middle years, where the newness of life experiences is often diminished in the midst of well-defined work and home routines. (Ooh boy that is a LONG sentence! My editors at work would have a field day with that sentence.) keep the posts coming, Elli; keep me thinking and ‘opening’ to new ways of thinking about my place in a larger world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *