When it comes to the mystical, magical ways of the world, I’m neither a hardcore skeptic nor an avid believer. Rather, I am someone who has experienced enough so-called coincidences in life to suspend my disbelief.
We do not know what it is we do not know, and I am humble enough to know that what I do not know is a lot. And so, I entertain that anything is possible unless proven otherwise.
Of course, I could make it my life’s mission to prove otherwise (I know plenty of people who do), but why spend the limited time I have on this earth trying to do so? To protect me from looking like a fool? It’s too late for that! So, given the choice of thinking, “this is poppycock” versus “sure, I’ll give that a go,” I try (when it doesn’t pose a threat to my life) to suspend my disbelief and lean in.
Here are three ways that leaning in has enhanced my life.
1. I found true love by surrendering to the Universe.
On October 3, 2008, I reconnected with the man I consider to be My Biggest. Crush. Ever. We hadn’t seen one another for 19 years yet when we locked eyes that day our chemistry was every bit as KABOOM as it had been all those years ago. The magnetic pull was there. However, the cards weren’t exactly stacked in our favour.
My marriage had ended four months earlier.
His relationship had ended the month before. We both had daughters. He lived in New York and I lived in Toronto. To think this meet-up could evolve into anything meaningful (nevermind actually get off the ground given the distance between us) was extremely far-fetched. Still, I chose to suspend my disbelief.
A series of curious events had facilitated our reunion. Sure, they may have been coincidences but I chose to believe that the Universe had some kind of plan in mind. Had I not done so, I would have called it quits before it had even begun in order to protect myself against further heartache. But I didn’t. I chose to suspend my disbelief. And here we are, 11 years later.
2. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace by surrendering to Reiki.
I know little to nothing about Reiki but I know several Reiki masters who believe that they can help stimulate healing by channeling energy into others. Can they really?
Fact #1: I don’t know.
Fact #2: I don’t know = maybe they can.
So I leaned into the possibility of there being something to it and booked myself a couple of one-on-one Reiki sessions. At the time, I was feeling overwhelmed by physical pain and emotional angst — one no doubt causing the other but I’m uncertain of the order.
When I booked my appointments, I was well aware that I might be wasting my money, but when I showed up I surrendered to the experience and embraced the possibility of it bringing me some comfort.
In the days that followed, I noticed that I was feeling lighter. I could have attributed this relief to the acupuncture treatments I was getting at around the same time for a shoulder injury but that’s a bit selective, isn’t? Choosing to credit my wellbeing to one modality over another without hard facts to support which (if either) had actually worked its magic? So I continued to suspend my disbelief.
A few weeks later, I joined 15 or so women (two new acquaintances, the rest strangers) for an event that was held in the studio space behind Blossom + Tempest, a beautiful store just up the street from my house. There, we sat cross-legged on the floor exploring the topic of ritual and pampering ourselves with samples from a new organic skincare line called ClearLife. To wrap up the afternoon, Reiki Master Jennifer Clarke facilitated a Reiki circle.
We joined hands and she began the circle by summoning energy.
Once she had summoned it, she nodded to her neighbour to let her know she was about to channel that energy forward. Her neighbour then took a few moments to embrace the energy she’d received before nodding at me to let me know it was coming my way.
As my neighbour gave me the nod, she and I held each other’s gaze. My heart lit up with love and warmth and I started grinning from ear to ear. This immense sense of peace washed over me. She gave me the biggest smile back. I soaked in her energy and sat with it for a few moments before turning to my left and passing it on.
Was it Reiki at work? Were we really channeling energy? I can’t answer either of these questions with any certainty but I can tell you this for sure: had I not been willing to suspend my disbelief and participate in this exercise, I would have missed out on something I believe we could all do with more of, and that’s beautiful, shared human experiences.
3. I decided to pursue my goal because a card told me to.
A year or so ago, I seriously considered getting my life coaching certification but for reasons I can’t even recall, I set it aside. Clearly, I didn’t completely extinguish the fire, though. Last month, while attending an event with about 150 female entrepreneurs, this old goal of mine came a-knocking.
It was sudden. One moment I was immersed in the goings-on and the next I was like, ‘you want to do WHAT? I thought you were over that!’
While I threw myself into the glorious offerings of that event, I remained aware of this incessant nagging in the back of my mind. I wasn’t able to ignore this knock at the door nor was I able to answer it until that evening when something weird and wonderful happened.
For today I pick a new goal.
I could have picked any one of 42 cards — For today, I laugh or I am grateful or I connect with nature — but I didn’t. I picked the card that spoke to the very thing that had been nattering away at me all day. Sure, I could have chosen to write it off as a coincidence, but where’s the fun in that? There isn’t any, right?
That’s why I chose once again to suspend my disbelief. I chose to believe I picked that card for a reason. And I chose, that evening, to talk to my husband about pursuing my certification.
Now here’s another funny thing. When I told him I wanted to do this his response was, “you have to do what you have to do.” I’ve always hated it when he says that. It feels as thoughtful as the phrase, it is what it is, and makes me feel like a privileged brat. I wanted his genuine understanding and support.
“I don’t have to do this. I want to do this,” I said. His reply: “I know. Life’s short. You want to do this, which is why you need to do it.” I nearly cried.
If I hadn’t picked that card and interpreted it as a sign, there’s a good chance I would have decided he was just placating me and probably abandoned my goal a second time. But I trusted that card and I dug deeper only to be assured that I was on the right track. “You need to do it,” he said, and he’s right, and that’s the plan.
Is it all just a bunch of baloney?
That I can’t tell you, but I can tell you this: since suspending my disbelief and leaning into these forces beyond my control, I have manifested more love, courage, confidence, connection, ambition, and control than ever before, so I’m leaning in, no matter what the skeptics say.
Viv for today xo
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