By Jim Kaminecki
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A class was being offered in Falls Church, Virginia on a Saturday in late March that sparked my interest. For weeks I debated whether to attend. About seven days before the event, the instructor Wanda Lasseter-Lundy informed me that one could attend in person since it was not yet sold out or it was possible to attend online.
The topic was something that I felt drawn to and I had known the instructor for over ten years, so the only question was whether to travel. My mind kept analyzing the costs: accommodations, wear and tear on the vehicle, fuel and opportunity costs of being away. The focus was also on all the things involved to attend in person and that needed to happen before driving seven hundred miles, each way. The commitment needed to travel and to be gone four days was significantly higher than going into an office, starting the computer, logging onto the internet and turning up the speakers on Saturday. The decision became easy once the focus shifted to just one thing: the experience.
In addition to choosing to travel, the other decision made that day was to have only minimal set plans. Where to stay Thursday night? That question remained unanswered at departure and would be figured out during the drive. This approach allowed for flexibility, and for the most part eliminated the stress of having too many deadlines.
The stop on Thursday evening ended up being in Pennsylvania. After taking a detour from the main expressway to shave ten miles off the trip, I turned south down a rural route. Coming from relatively flat Illinois, the GPS was not working well through the hilly PA countryside and became a perfect time to find lodging for the evening. Arriving at a Hilton, I walked inside and asked about availability. The friendly woman behind the counter informed me that they had rooms. Being an ‘out of towner’ I expressed my preference to stay somewhere local if possible and asked for suggestions. She had two. One was very close and the other was in her home town which was fifteen miles back in Meyersdale that she personally wanted to stay. Yes, disappointment briefly set in with the thought of having to backtrack to a town that was already passed. Despite having been on the road for ten hours I chose to listen to her recommendation and called to make sure there was a room. After driving for another twenty minutes, Brooke and Justin greeted this late arriver at 10:30pm just as they were getting ready to close down the Morguen Toole Hotel for the evening. Within minutes of arriving it was a decision that would not be questioned again. The hotel was a recent conversion of a building erected in the late 1800’s. Over the past four years it was converted into a restaurant, bar, event center and hotel. They kindly provided a private tour and the story only got better upon checking into the room. The guest book showed that Fallingwater was forty miles away. This specific house graces the cover of our home’s coffee table book. Fallingwater was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was built during the Depression. The Kaufman family of Pittsburgh had it commissioned as their summer home, situated on five hundred acres of their property that is part of what is now the five thousand acre Bear Run Nature Preserve. Its name is derived from the fact it was built on top of a small waterfall, a decision by Mr. Wright himself after surveying the property. His desire was for the family ‘to not simply look at the waterfalls but to live with them’. The departure for Virginia the next morning would have to wait a few hours longer. There was a forty mile detour now part of the plans in order to take the one hour guided tour. Yes, it involved heading back in the direction I came a second time. But the drive to the hotel no longer looked like backtracking. A new perspective showed that it instead brought me to a previously unknown destination on my path that was completely enjoyed and to another that I always wished to see, but almost missed entirely. Would any of this have happened without flexibility, without allowing things to come together in a way I could not have designed?
Let’s fast forward twenty four hours to Saturday morning’s arrival in Falls Church, Virginia. There was a warm and friendly group of twenty-five who arrived at the hotel for an all-day event: Creating and Manifesting Life Changes. We can’t go into detail about the class in this short article but it was well worth the investment. However, I do wish to mention one realization gleaned during the event. There was a point toward the end of the class where each attendee was asked about what they were experiencing in order to obtain direct feedback from the instructor. When it was my turn, I brought up an issue. Thus we started what was to become the longest individual discussion topic which really transitioned into more of a group discussion. It lasted forty minutes and brought participation from most if not all of the attendees. This was a distinct contrast to the other five minute, direct one-on-one conversations. Would the topic have been brought up if attendance was online instead?
The trip was worth the time and effort to attend. It was especially good to finally meet Wanda in person after all these years. It also afforded me the opportunity visit Dwight, a longtime client in Virginia, as I drove from Pennsylvania to Falls Church. Among other things, there were the unexpected but appreciated stops at Fallingwater and Morguen Toole. Almost equally unexpected was the idea that maybe, just maybe, the long drive and attendance at class was not simply for individual benefit but also for the benefit of everyone in attendance by getting that conversation started. The event would have been a success with or without my attendance, but there is little doubt that being there created a set of new circumstances. The same could be said about every single person in attendance.
You will never know the impact you may have during your journey. Sometimes, all that is required to make a positive contribution is to simply participate and allow for synchronicity to do the hard work.
Jim Kaminecki is a holistic health and wellness advocate; a lifelong learner; a sand volleyball, swimming, and skiing enthusiast; an amateur photographer; a career, investment, and business consultant; a music aficionado; a Shaolin Kung Fu, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi practitioner and occasional instructor.