The Universe Provides… Books!

This is a story of a sacrifice being rewarded three-fold.

To honor the first anniversary of The Artist’s Road, I decided to emulate other bloggers with a book giveaway. I felt it should be a valuable prize, and that I should have to sacrifice a bit as a show of gratitude to my readers. So I made the hard decision to give away a choice of one of my favorite books on creativity from my own collection. The winner selected Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

I experienced the Universe providing, or more accurately Tara and Andrew Barney of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, providing, while crossing eastern Oregon (above) on my cross-country US road trip. There was no place to stop to eat for miles and miles, but the tasty banana bread Tara and Andrew had sent me on my way with days earlier provided on this desolate stretch of road.

Three days later I attended the Creativity in Business Conference 2011 in Georgetown, D.C. At a seminar, memory guru James Jorasch said he’d give away a copy of the book that inspired him to improve his memory–Use Your Perfect Memory by Tony Buzan–to the attendee who through audience participation said something he liked. Somehow that person proved to be me, and he handed me the book.

That evening I joined some of the speakers and attendees for dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner I was chatting with creativity and innovation blogger Gregg Fraley, and he gave me a signed copy of his business novel Jack’s Notebook.

Fast forward to Sunday, when I received an e-mail from conference organizer Michelle James.  Apparently my business card had been drawn from a fish bowl placed at the conference’s registration table. (I don’t remember putting it in there, but it was not even 9 am on a Sunday and I was low on coffee.) My prize? The book Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning by Kat Koppett. Kat had so impressed me at the conference that it was her presentation I chose to blog about.

I chose to give away a book that inspired my creative journey, and the universe gave me three creativity books in return. All three of these books will help me on my personal journey of an art-committed life, but will also benefit my consulting business.

I don’t know if I could replicate this experiment. It’s possible it worked because I did not expect anything in return for my sacrifice. But I’m very pleased it worked out this way. My only problem: I’m really backed up on my MFA reading, so it may be awhile before I can get to these. Perhaps I should read the memory book first, so I retain more of the other two.

Do you believe in the idea of the Universe providing returns?

8 thoughts on “The Universe Provides… Books!

  1. So much weirdness here. First, I have a copy of Jack’s Notebook that I want to find a home for. We could have swapped!

    Secondly, after I won the book from you, Carole Treggett suggested I buy a lottery ticket. I didn’t, but a couple of days later, I saw in the local news that someone had bought a $1 million lottery ticket that very night in the very store I would have bought mine, if I’d followed Carole’s advice.

    Thirdly, I knew I was getting that book the moment I left the comment. I can’t tell you how, but I just had a feeling I would. When you emailed saying I’d won, there was no feeling of surprise at all.

    Add to that your receiving three books right afterward, and I think we officially have a spooky situation here. I do believe our thoughts and energy influence events. There’s only anecdotal evidence, like this, but in the absence of anything disproving it, I choose to believe. 🙂

    As a pay it forward, if anyone else would like my copy of Jack’s Notebook, let me know and I’ll send it to you!


    1. Amazing how you knew you’d win, good vibes. I think about 30 people were in that drawing, so better odds than the lottery, but still… 🙂

      And I love NaBoReMo, and not just because it’s so fun to say aloud!


  2. Forgot to mention that I received the book yesterday. Thank you very much! I promise your sacrifice will not be in vain! Instead of NaNoWriMo, I’m doing my own NaBoReMo (National Book Reading Month). ;-D


  3. Love this post and all the synchronicity in it, as well as everything Sue Mitchell recounts as well! Yes, I truly believe the universe provides returns according to how we think and act. The trick is to be in that wonderful flow of believing and receiving. Don’t ask me how to be in it, because I don’t know for sure, though I do know that prayer, meditation and good old fashioned positive thinking sure help.


  4. Oh, I absolutely believe in the Universe taking care of us, Patrick. That’s been proven to me time and again over the years. I try and keep my expectations open-ended, that is to say, I don’t try and tell the Universe exactly how my Good should show up. I just trust that it will. Wish I had known (trusted) in this principle earlier in life, but better late than never, as we say. I’m grateful every day, for all the abundance. There’s plenty to go around too, if we don’t hoard…money, food, everything everyone needs. (Hoarding blocks the flow.)
    It was really raining books for you wasn’t it! I’d say you received a clear benediction for your path.


  5. I believe that the Universe steps in to give us what we need. I also (strongly!) believe that books choose their readers. This has been proven to me time and time again when I somehow manage to pick up the exact book I needed at that precise time. So clearly, those books needed to be with you. 🙂


  6. @Cynthia, there are so many things I wish I had understood earlier in life! Better to find your way to knowledge later than you might have than not to have found your way there at all. As to hoarding, I’m actually a bit of a book hoarder, so I’m not sure this gift helped with that!

    @Julie, I like the idea that these books need to be with me. It’s remarkable how perfect they are for the personal exploration I’m engaged in right now.


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