Four years ago (2014), my friend Marilyn was asking me about the mixed media art retreats I was attending all over the country. I invited her to join me for Art & Soul Retreat in Portland because that’s where one of her daughters and her grandkids live. She replied something to the effect that she was not “artistic” and concerned about not being able to produce “good” art. I told her I’d sign us up for a collage class – because I know we can use a pair of scissors and a glue stick – and an intuitive painting class – because how can you do that wrong? The teacher is certainly not going to tell you that you have bad intuition! She agreed and we met in Portland for our first class with collage artist Susan Schenk. This class was about “painting your pet with paper”. You bring a photo of your pet and she provides magazines, decorative papers and glue. Here is what I made:
Our next class was an intuitive painting class with Alena Hennessy. Here’s what I made (shown in stages):
Both classes were of course very fun and Marilyn truly surprised herself with the quality of art she created (her art work is not shown because I don’t have any photos of it – but it was great!) . As we drove from Portland to Seattle, where we were spending the weekend at her beach house, she talked excitedly about her experience and planted the seed for me to open an art studio in Billings and offer a variety of unique-to-Billings art classes designed with the first-time and beginning artist in mind. I had never even considered this direction for myself. We discussed the idea all weekend and I became really excited.
I just read the book When God Winks at You by SQuire Rushnell. Last week I drove to Barnes & Noble on a whim (I get this particular whim often). I saw this book when I first walked in the store and the title made me smile. The book is about “how God speaks to you through the power of coincidence”. I was hooked. Instead of completing any item on my to-do list, I read the entire book that afternoon. (Getting side-tracked is also something that happens to me often.) “What if through (an) odd little coincidence, or answered prayer, He’s sending you – you…out of all those billions of people (on the planet) – a direct, personal message of reassurance? …Every time you receive what some call a coincidence or an answered prayer, it’s a direct and personal message from God to you – what (the author) calls a godwink.” That is the essence of the book. It is full of true compelling stories demonstrating how God (The Universe, Spirit, whatever name you choose) does communicate with us, making incredible things happen in our lives almost every single day.
So let me continue the story…
About 7 years ago (3 years before our trip to Portland), Marilyn asked me if I wanted to help her open a women’s boutique. She has decades of experience in retail and operating retail stores. I had none. And as even my kindest friends would tell you I am certainly not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination. She didn’t need my help, but said that it would be fun to work on this project with a friend. I never imagined this type of opportunity would come my way, but hey, it sounded fun and interesting and challenging so I said yes!
We – meaning her and me, our husbands and her wonderfully talented adult kids – got started by refurbishing an old building in a great location. The space turned out gorgeous! Perfect for a fun fabulous boutique that was very successful. I hung out and shopped at the boutique often and always felt good in that space.
Fast forward to our trip to Portland and the mixed media art retreat. It was a few months later than she told me she was planning to retire and asked if I wanted to take over her lease and use the space for my art studio idea. I couldn’t believe it! One, she was retiring – I loved shopping at her store and knew I would miss it terribly (still do). Two, was my “art studio idea” real? Was this really going to happen? And three, was it really going to happen in that wonderful space that I felt so personally connected to?
Short answer – Yes.
Can you see the godwinks in this story? They are so obvious to me, looking back. I now actively look for these coincidences and serendipitous events in my life. They are truly exciting (often small and easily overlooked) and more abundant than I thought possible.
Has The Universe winked at you recently?
Thanks for stopping by,