The Sisterhood of Serendipity

A woman contacted me through LinkedIn. She is a fellow Know Tribe sister: a women-in-business group I joined earlier this year. She asked if we could meet for tea to see how we could support one another. I agreed.

I assumed we would find out about each other’s work and discover opportunities for collaboration. But as I sipped my too-hot-to-drink chamomile tea, listening to her talk across the table, I caught the unmistakable figure of serendipity approaching.

“I just had an accident this week. Whiplash. My second this year,” my Know sister said.

I smiled. “I’m in my third week of treatment for two old traumatic brain injuries,” I said. “One is a 30 year-old whiplash case, and the other is a 20 year-old concussion from a cycling accident.”

“What?” Tea sipping stopped as she stared at me. “My recent one was a bike accident too.”

“Have you heard of Myosymmetries? I asked. “It’s the clinic where I was recently assessed and receive treatment.”

“Someone just told me that name the other day,” she slid a piece of paper and pen toward me to write it down. “I have the name of the doctor here in my phone.” As she searched her contacts, I wrote the information. I slid the paper back across the table as she found his name and simultaneously read the one I had written down: Dr. Donaldson.

I felt the relief and gratitude that fell over her. I recognized it. It was the same cocktail of emotions I felt in An Accidental Awakening, when I was the one who received the gift of serendipity:

I sat on a park bench at a playground near my home, hoping to practice Metta Bhavana and reflect in nature while the kids played. One of the neighbourhood moms sat down beside me. I knew her only casually, a friendly lady, in the midst of surviving — and thriving through — breast cancer. She operated a day home, even while undergoing treatments, and brought her wards to the park to play.

“You know, I’m doing very well but I could use some exercising. The medications put on much of the weight.” She’d come to Canada from Iran. Her first Canadian home was Montreal. She went from speaking only Iranian to learning French, then she moved to Calgary and added English. My plan had been side-tracked. I realized she needed to share and that giving her my attention and the information she sought about exercise was more important than my meditation.

“Have you considered complementary alternative therapies like Reiki?” I asked her.

“Ah, yes, I go to Sophie.”

“Who?” I asked.

“You do not know Sophie? Ah! She is Reiki master. Gives beautiful treatments. Only a few houses away. Just there. You stay here and watch children while I go and get her number for you.”

The lady she spoke of lived almost directly behind me.

“Her fee is very good,” She said when she’d returned, handing me a piece of paper with Sophie’s number. “You go. You will love her.”

I realized my arrogance and ignorance. I was not in the park that day to share my knowledge with her. She had just shared hers with me — an unexpected gift for which I thanked her. It had been difficult for me to find the time and justify the expense for the regular Reiki treatments I had grown to love at the wellness centre nearby. I immediately booked my first treatment with the Reiki neighbour.

Sisterhood.

Serendipity.

Threads in the tapestry of life.

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