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Episode 19: Recognizing Everyday Miracles

Please excuse the quality of this audio - as it turns out, the web application actually *wasn't* working.

Transcript:

[00:00:00] Hello, my beautiful friends. I am sitting here in my office and I was thinking to myself that my mom is always commenting to me about how weird things happen to me that, like, are just divinely timed. And so I started thinking about this and about how I tend to recognize these things when they happen.

[00:00:28] Like just a moment ago I was going to record this episode, but my podcasting software was offline because of some problem they were having and they had been offline for like four hours. And I was like, "oh, man, like I planned this whole day to come here and do all this and it's down. What am I going to do?" And so I answered an email that I had been putting on for a really long time. And when I went back and checked the software, it had come back online. So four hours it had been down for everyone and for me, it came back up right after I answered that email.

[00:01:08] Now, I'm not saying that the entire universe and everybody that is using the software has conspired to make this miracle work for me. But I am saying that it's a weird coincidence and I choose to look at it as kind of a miracle for myself.

[00:01:29] So I guess today I wanted to talk to you a little bit about these miracles in my life and how this perspective and this, you know, seeing things as miracles has changed my life in a way that's really positive. I started writing them down, and then when I was having a bad day or just a bad moment, I could reflect on the fact that, you know, life tends to work out. And I truly think this is true for most people. If they start to, like, really attempt to recognize this, you can choose to either think of nothing as a miracle or you can think of everything as a miracle. And I personally prefer to think of everything as a miracle, because if you're noticing things in a positive light, then things are positive. If you choose to ignore them or not notice them, then nothing is a miracle. Nothing is working out in your favor. And that's that's a bummer.

[00:02:31] So I tend to really try to pay attention and look for these things. And it's helped me with gratitude. It's helped me with faith that things are going to end up OK. And I just want to share a couple of examples, like bigger examples with you today.

[00:02:51] So the first one happened during my divorce and I started really noticing this stuff around my divorce when everything felt like it was going wrong. So I lived in Oakland, California, which is a super hip place to live, and it is also darn expensive. And the only apartments that I could afford there were in neighborhoods where the school districts weren't good. And as a single parent, I, honest to God, had so much stress, like I could not deal with the prospect of worrying about this. So I decided I was going to move to another city. And I followed my instincts and I started looking in a place across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco called Marin County. And Marin is known for lots of trees. It's also extremely affluent. Like if you think Oakland is expensive, Marin is equally expensive. I don't know what I was thinking . . . I don't know why I thought that I was going to get a better deal in Marin, but I apparently did. I was just following my instincts.

[00:04:00] So one day I found an incredibly cheap apartment and it was listed on Craigslist with zero pictures. And back in those days, if you found an apartment that was listed on Craigslist with no pictures, you were pretty much guaranteed it was a dump, not to mention the fact that this place was ridiculously cheap. And I just assumed that it was going to be a dump. But I was open to trying anything. I was pretty open minded at that point because I was desperate, frankly, but my daughter was napping, which basically never happened. And I did not want to wake her up.

[00:04:40] So I called my cousin, which I never asked for help. But for whatever reason, I was willing to ask my cousin to go and check out the apartment for me and just see . . . Like is it like garbage or could I potentially live there? So she did, and it turned out that her neighbor was leasing the apartment. And because of that connection, I got the apartment and there were probably 50 people that were in line for that apartment. Had my daughter not been napping, had I not asked for help, I would not have gotten that apartment, which was decidedly not a dump. And I lived there for many years. And it was really the perfect place for us for after my divorce. It was a two bedroom apartment in a safe neighborhood surrounded by trees, walking distance to a cute little downtown. And I felt like it was a miracle.

[00:05:34] I also have another apartment related miracle. We rent an apartment here in the wine country in Sonoma County now. When we decided to blend our families together, my daughter and I moved north to move in with my partner. And we got this apartment because I had another gut instinct that I should tell the landlord I was recovering from cancer. So again, I found this apartment — I mean, it's not an apartment, it's a house — I found it on Craigslist and it was beautiful, and it was in our price range and it was in the neighborhood where I wanted to go.

[00:06:18] And it felt like a long shot. But I just had this feeling that when I applied, I should send pictures of us and I should tell my story. So I did that. And it turns out that the landlord who was renting the house also was a cancer survivor. And my sharing my experience with her was a gift to her. And it got us the house. She also, because of, you know, our story, she was really reasonable and flexible about our moving date and, you know, just has been really awesome. So that also felt like a miracle. I was like, how does that happen?

[00:07:01] Oh, and another one is when I rented this office, it turns out that woman had had cancer in her 30s. And honestly, this happens to me so much, it feels like everybody's had cancer . . . but I think it's just somehow we're all connected to each other. And if I want to rent something, apparently all the cancer survivors who had it in the 30s rent to me. So part of acknowledging this, part of acknowledging that these things are miracles in my life is having faith that they will happen to me.

[00:07:37] And for me, I might not always know HOW I'm going to get to the place where I end up, but trusting that I will get there, and not being super, you know, attached to the HOW because I don't know how the miracles are going to show up. But somehow I have faith that they will. And when they do, I know that it will send me in the direction that I'm going.

[00:08:04] Like, if I envisioned my partner a certain way, for example . . . I am not an athletic person — like that is not . . . it's just not one of my values! As my dad would joke, I am allergic to sports. I'm allergic to exercise. Which isn't entirely true, I do like to move my body and be active, but I am not a weightlifting junkie or a gym rat or any of that. And if I had envisioned that my partner was going to be a certain way, I would have missed the opportunity to meet the person that I meant to be with. Because my partner is super athletic, like I watch him dive into the pool, and I'm like, "how did you get your body to do that?" I mean, he's just a whole different kind of person than I am. And yet his values are completely in line with mine. He's super family oriented. Like everything about him, we complement each other very well. And so my point is that you might not know the HOW. You might not . . . iF you're attached to the way things are going to look, you might miss something that's right in front of you. Had I closed myself off to people who were super athletic because of some, you know, insecurity that I have about my body type or my interests, I would have missed out on someone totally incredible. And the same thing goes for, you know, my apartment in Marin County. If I had been completely attached to, you know, things happening a certain way, I might have missed the opportunity to just check something out, even though it probably was going to be a dump.

[00:10:02] Anyway, my message to you today is think about your life as having unlimited possibilities and try not to get too attached to the outcome, because you might just be surprised by how things show up. I hope that you are having a wonderful week and I will talk to you next week.

Sara Olsher

Sara Olsher

Sara Olsher is the Founder + CEO of Mighty + Bright. She's a young cancer survivor, mom, and former single mom.

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