Find a Penny, Pick It Up

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“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” by Mark Twain

Have you ever had something great happen in your life that you could trace back to a trivial event, something so seemingly insignificant that you said “yes” or “why not” to? I call these events pennies. Just like real pennies, by itself, there’s not much value to it nor is its potential obvious. However, if invested properly, one penny can turn into hundreds of dollars, just like a small act of kindness, a business opportunity, or a personal activity can lead to great adventures. Joining meetup.com was a penny for me. Many great opportunities resulted from following up on the referral to that site, joining, then attending events sponsored by two groups. Another personal example is when CoSozo unexpectedly asked me to write an article on Reiki. I said yes to the opportunity, even though I had my doubts. One year later, you are reading my fifth published article, I was the featured author for the March 2014 edition, and I’ve discovered a passion I did not know existed within me.

Sometimes, we consciously take action in our lives in hopes of a positive outcome. For example, a stay-at-home mom decided to go back to school so she could re-enter the workforce in the same, ever-growing field she left 8 years ago. Even though the hope was there for a good job, she had doubts about her hire-ability, especially because of her unique scheduling needs. Immediately after graduation, she was approached and hired by a company that can accommodate her scheduling needs. The job is fun, challenging, and allows her to express her creativity on a schedule that fully supports her being a full-time mom.

The common denominators to the unforeseen opportunities and the projected ones are trust and faith. When we trust that the Universe has a plan for us, we can relax into every intentional decision we make and every unexpected turn life throws our way. Having faith that we are exactly where we are supposed to be and that everything happens for a reason overrides regret. The stronger our trust and faith is in our life’s path, the less regret and fear we will have. Regret keeps us in the past, worrying about events we cannot change. That time and energy is better spent on trusting the process, enjoying the present moment, having faith in our future and being grateful for the lessons and the blessings along the way.

Life is NOT “Supposed to be Fair.”
Know that there is no single way that life is “supposed” to be.
Demanding that life meet our expectations
is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence.
Life is a game with no rules.
Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions.
Our only path to happiness lies in being open
to receiving whatever life throws at us –
with Gratitude. Have NO Expectations of life.
–  by Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The more we trust the Universe, have faith in ourselves and the journey, and express gratitude for even the smallest of blessings, the more we become aware that every event and action, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, will open the door to many more blessings. Invest in yourself, pick up that penny, say yes to those opportunities, especially the ones that spark fear and doubt, for they will bring the most rewarding blessing. Say yes to the opportunities that seem too good for you. Pick up that penny, you will be pleasantly surprised by the pennies that follow. Nourish your investment with genuine gratitude and watch your pennies multiple. Not taking advantage of an opportunity of any magnitude because of fear, doubt and/or unworthiness, is equivalent to telling the Universe “No, I am not interested in improving my finances, my relationships, my personal growth or my life.” We all have a least one friend that is constantly complaining about poor health conditions, a lack of financial freedom, and unhealthy relationships but rejects every opportunity for improvement and has a hundred excuses why he/she cannot pursue his/her dreams, let alone improve his/her daily life style. Fear is paralyzing. All the excuses are ultimately based out of fear. To succeed and be happy in life, we must push through the fear or at least keep going despite it. The joy we seek is on the other side of that fear. Trusting and having faith in yourself will temper the fear. The more often you face your fears, the easier it becomes to reduce or overcome them. The less intense your fears, the more opportunities you are apt to take. The more positive outcomes you experience from saying yes to life, the more likely you are to say yes again. The more times you say yes, the more opportunities the Universe will offer you. So, the next time fear and doubt tries to stop you from saying YES to an opportunity of any capacity, gather up your trust, faith and gratitude, take a deep breath, say “yes” and push through the fear. Your future self will thank you!

–Beverly Bates

Originally published Aug 2014, updated Feb 2021

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