THE BLOG
07/14/2013 01:13 am ET Updated Sep 10, 2013

Being Open to the Unexpected

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We can never really know what the universe has in store for us, but we can affect what happens by our thoughts, our feelings, and our resistance. And despite our best intentions, sometimes a chance encounter occurs that is so unexpected but changes everything, or a person you meet in passing affects the rest of your life, or you see something that makes you question all your choices. This is why we travel, not only to other countries but along the journey of life.

In Bali last week, after a night of hard rain, an extremely unexpected thing happened: an upside down rainbow appeared. Now I know what you're thinking: there is no such thing. Yet, there it was, like an upturned horseshoe holding onto all its good luck for anyone to glimpse it. It hung in the sky for perhaps an hour and then was gone forever. For those who saw it, something that special and unique can change the way that they look at the world.

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Sometimes it's an encounter with someone just in passing - on our last trip to Bali we stopped into a tiny warung, or café, where we met a Swiss doctor who has chosen to dedicate his life giving free medical care to underprivileged Balinese people. When we told the group leader about it she chose to open up the opportunity to raise money for their new clinic to all her guests, nearly 45 people. By the end of a single morning, they had raised two-thirds of the money for the new clinic, and she has since contributed more -- enough to pay for the entire thing. An unexpected occurrence that will not only change the doctor's life, but the lives of countless others for years to come.

And once in a blue moon, it's chance to meet someone your heart opens to immediately, someone who changes everything. In Morocco last month, on a trip he wasn't even supposed to be on, a dear friend encountered such a person. Now that they are back home, they are rearranging their entire lives to be together. Who knows how long it will last, or what the universe has in store? Yet being open to it, ensuring they did not miss the opportunity that presented itself, the unexpected ripples through their present and on into their futures, now intertwined.

Sometimes someone gets closer than your hands, as close as your own breathing -- in a single heartbeat of time. Being open to the unexpected, whether far away or at home, can catapult you into the present moment so you can snatch these opportunities for expansion, bringing you closer to who you are meant to be in this world. Take the chance, be open. You never know what great pleasures it may bring.