the power of looking up

Non-coincidences happen all the time. Whether you make it possible to notice them is up to you.

What are non-coincidences? A non-coincidence is a term I coined in Something Like Fate to describe how we are connected in magnificent ways. We are only beginning to understand the forces of energy around us. The Universe works in mysterious ways, but one thing is clear: We are all connected. The more open we are to welcoming in the energy, the more opportunities we have to witness non-coincidences. David Life of Jivamukti Yoga said, “If you believe in coincidence, then you aren’t paying attention.” That quote is included at the beginning of Something Like Fate. Non-coincidences happen when the Universe brings two people, things, or events together in profound ways, both big and small.

Everything is connected...

An example of a small non-coincidence involves Zayn Malik leaving One Direction and my cell phone. How are these two things connected? The day I broke my Guinness World Record lifetime trifecta of never owning a cell phone/TV/microwave by getting my first ever cell phone was March 25, 2015. March 25, 2015 was also the day Zayn left One Direction. See, I knew breaking that Guinness World Record would have disastrous consequences. Just kidding. Sort of. A lot of events happened on that date. There might not be a connection between those two. But I don’t know…part of me feels like this was a non-coincidence reflecting that Zayn and I were both embarking on major changes.

One Direction

There are much larger non-coincidences. Like my Gram dying on my 30th birthday. I had a Knowing she would die on my 30th birthday a long time before she did. Non-coincidence. Then there was the time I took the subway at a time of day I’m never on the subway, a line I rarely take. I was reading while I was waiting for the subway. When the train pulled up, I had a sudden feeling to run ahead to the next car and get on that one instead. So of course an old friend I hadn’t seen in years who doesn’t even live here got on my subway car a few stops later. We would have never seen each other if I hadn’t run ahead to that other car or if I hadn’t looked up from my book. Non-coincidence. Sometimes the Universe does that, pulling people together in ways we don’t even realize to make sure we connect in a way that will help us with the next chapter of our lives. But again, this phenomenon really only happens when at least one of the people involved is open to that positive energy. And that person is looking up.

The more you look up and connect with the world around you, the more you will notice non-coincidences. Like the other day when I ran into a friend on the street. That kind of thing happens all the time in New York. Way more than the probability of those interactions statistically occurring in a city of 8.5 million people. But this wasn’t one of those times. This was a non-coincidence. About half an hour before, I had brought two big bags of donations over to Housing Works, only to be greeted by a locked door and sign in the window saying they were closed unexpectedly. I lugged the bags back home in the heat, bummed that I would have to lug them back another day. I’m one of those people who like to cross things off my to-do list and be done. The day was just challenging me in general and I was feeling scraggly. But as I left my apartment again and headed out for an adventure to hopefully turn things around, I reminded myself that as long as I keep my attitude bright and face the world with smiles and lots of positive energy, the day would get better. Stay strong. Never give up.

Felicity Porter, rooftop

So I was on my way to the Dean and DeLuca from Felicity. I am a hardcore Felicity fangirl. I have lived in New York City for almost 20 years. Yet I’ve never ventured down to the exact Dean & DeLuca where Felicity and Ben worked, even though it’s only like a 20-minute walk from my place. That’s one thing I love about New York. Every day brings the potential to discover something new, even after all this time. My goal was to go there and get back in time for my gym class later that evening. I was waiting for a light to change at 12th Street when, just like that day waiting for the subway I never take at a time I never take it, I had this sudden feeling to turn down the street and head west instead of crossing it to go south. Which is when the non-coincidence happened.

I was about half a block down 12th Street when I heard, “Susane!” I looked up. And there was my gym instructor for the class I was taking that evening. She’s also my friend and I really enjoy talking to her. Fortunately for me, she was looking up and noticed me. I might have walked right past her. While I like looking up at buildings and the sky and stuff, I don’t look up at people I’m passing on the street as much as I probably should. But she was looking up and was also walking down 12th randomly because she was going to walk this whole other way and then switched directions for a reason she couldn’t explain. We stood there and talked for like an hour. The conversation shifted towards a project she’s working on that she needs a translator for. Two good friends of mine own a translation company! I hooked her up with their contact info. That’s a conversation we probably wouldn’t have had at the gym, and it provided her with contacts that could help her in amazing ways. This is the kind of example I’m talking about when I say that looking up opens doors of possibility for you.

You might be wondering how Dean & DeLuca was. Dude, I was bummed. I was expecting to go in and sit at the table where Ben gave Felicity that necklace and have this meta New York City experience. But it wasn’t like that at all. The tables were only brought in for filming the show. That Dean & DeLuca location is actually a grocery store! But the marble countertop at the cashier station was familiar. Same with the placement of the coffee makers. And the view out the window was the same. Of course I documented it for you.

Felicity Dean & DeLuca

Akhmose was another friendly neighbor who looked up and noticed me on the street. He wasn’t even going to walk that way. But it was the second really beautiful day of spring and the trees were calling to him down my street so he went that way. He was just about to take out his phone when something told him not to. Something told him to enjoy the day, be in the Now. I’ve had that same feeling many times before. That’s the Universe telling you to look up. Akhmose looked up and saw me and came up to me like, “Excuse me, but are you an author?” He remembered me from five years ago when we met outside the New York Public Library on 9th Street. He was selling scrolls of encouragements he used to write and decorate. It was one of those New York City moments I love, discovering something new and connecting with someone fabulous, that I documented here on my blog. Akhmose is a motivational artist who went by the name KIMM back then. Now he’s affiliated with The Future Project, encouraging children and teens to live extraordinary lives of passion and purpose.

Maybe one of you reading this post right now will be inspired to connect with The Future Project…which might change your life or the life of someone you know. That’s the magic non-coincidences. That’s the power of looking up. They can have infinite reach.

When you look up, you notice possibilities you otherwise would have missed. You connect with the world around you in a spectacular way. You allow the energy to open doors for you that you didn’t realize even existed. You wake up.

What will you see today?

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small town news

I used to listen to NPR a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean hours a day. NPR has the most insightful interviews and best news coverage, IMHO. They are my people. These days I’m listening to some of their podcasts online, but also a bunch of Elvis Duran and Z100. That’s why I love my daily NPR Morning Brief. Snaps for yesterday’s headline: “Hot Trend in Men’s Grooming: Not Being a Slob.” And snaps for the shout-out to my fave summer song.

NPR summer breeze

Media love rocks on. The New Jersey Hills Media Group interviewed me about City Love, the importance of positive energy in my life and books, and how to know when you’ve met a soul mate. The feature was printed in my hometown area paper. A friend from high school still lives in the area and posted a pic of the article on Facebook.

Susane Colasanti, New Jersey Hills Media Group

A sweet full-circle moment is seeing an article about yourself in your hometown paper, especially when you felt like such an outsider back then. This interview was part of a feature on the Morristown Festival of Books. I will be at the festival on Saturday, October 3. Hope to see those of you in the Morristown, NJ area there!

You can read the full article here.

Enjoy the summer breeze, friendly neighbors 🙂

city love sampler

Can you believe July is half over? I can’t. Last thing I remember it was June and I was writing about how we had all of July ahead of us, the best month of summer vacay. But since I am an eternal optimist, I am choosing to look at this in a glass-half-full sort of way. We have a whole other half of July left!

There’s something about writing when everyone else is on vacay that really appeals to me. I love the sensation of getting work done when no one else is. Sundays are my fave days to work. I always feel like I’m twice as productive on Sundays, when New York City slows down and everyone else is having two-hour brunches and kicking back at the park.

My second half of July will be filled with outlining the last book of the City Love trilogy! Such a wild thing, considering the first City Love book has only been out for three months. I finished revising the second book a couple months ago, which will be out in 2016. Thinking about getting into the City Love trilogy? You can read some sample chapters in this City Love Sampler!

What else is on my agenda for the rest of July? I’m planning to finally post Help Wanted 3 on my YouTube. Then the Help Wanted party will be moving over to Periscope (find me there at @susanecolasanti) where I will start doing Help Wanted Live! I’ll be doing a summer reading giveaway across several social sites. And I’m working on a top secret project. This project is so top secret I can’t even tell you what it’s about. But this quote kind of gives you a hint…

City Love by Susane Colasanti quote

Hopefully I can share good news about this with you soon.

Have a fantastic glass half full of July 🙂

you are not alone

Thanks to everyone who participated in my Facebook Q&A last week! It was super fun. So fun that I’m planning another one for later this summer with an international giveaway of City Love. Thanks also to No BS Book Reviews for taking it all off in this City Love edition of Novel Nudity. And this Justin’s Book Blog interview in which I was asked only one question: How has your life impacted your writing? I could have rambled forever on that one!

There was one question during the Q&A that I started to answer, but decided to answer more completely here when it was taking up too much time. Catherine S. asked, “What advice do you have for dealing with loneliness?”

I know what it’s like to feel so alone that you can hardy breathe. To feel like no one will ever love you or even understand you. To feel like you will never have a true best friend or find people who are really your people. Feeling alone makes everything in your life an enormous struggle. Things that seem easy for everyone else are almost impossible for you. You feel like you’re living in a foreign country where you can’t speak the language and don’t know the local customs. I wish I could have told myself back then what I know now. But I can tell you, and if you are feeling alone, hopefully it will help.

Here’s the first thing I need you to know: You are not alone. This phrase gets thrown around a lot. Kind of like It gets better and You are loved. These three encouragements would have done pretty much nothing to make me feel better in my teen years. My argument would have shot them down like this: Yes I am totally alone, things getting better later does nothing to help me now, and no one loves me. I felt so trapped in my small world that it was extremely difficult to see the bigger picture.

The thing that helped me survive the most in high school was hope. Hope that I would eventually create a happy life. That life felt like it was a million years away, but I knew it was actually four years away, then three, then two. Senior year was much easier since every experience was the last. The best advice I can offer is to find your hope. What do you hope for that will make your life better? Carry that hope in your heart. Remind yourself of that hope every morning, every night, and as many times during the day as you need to. Believe with everything you are that what you hope for will happen. Hope is a really good reason to keep holding on.

You are the architect of your own destiny. That means whatever you are hoping for is in your hands. Your actions in this present moment are shaping your future life. How will you achieve your most important goals? What can you start doing right now to begin working towards turning your dreams into reality? Identify at least one thing you can do every day that will bring you a step closer to achieving your goals. Then make that action a daily priority. Taking control of the things you can in a situation where so much is out of your control will make you feel more connected to your world, and inspire you to build connections with new people who are on your wavelength.

Books were my best friends in high school. My favorite time of day was after school when I could go home and read on my bed. Books, shows, movies, and of course music saved me. They made me feel less alone. Because even if I was only connecting with characters in books and on TV, that sense of connection and validation helped me feel understood. The work that authors, show writers, directors, and musicians were creating inspired me. They gave me safe places. They gave me a sense of community. Now you can go online and find actual communities of people who love what you do. Find your happy. Let the things that make you happy show you that people are out there who are dealing with the same challenges you are.

Are there already people in your life who want to help you, but you’re not letting them in? I kept my high school friends at a distance. There were so many embarrassing parts of my life I was too busy hiding from my friends to show them the real me. But if I had opened up to them, I would have realized that I was not alone. And I was already loved. And it could have gotten better just by reaching out to the people who were right in front of me.

Volunteer work helped me feel less alone in high school. I was a candy striper and a Girl Scout leader-in-training, both of which gave me a sense of purpose and places to belong. Find your people in the places you love. If you love bookstores, coffeehouses, and parks, your people love them, too. Connect with them. Build new friendships. Do not let fear hold you back. A world of possibility is waiting for you to discover abundant happiness. What are you waiting for?

You are loved.

It gets better.

You are not alone.

top five, july edition

Welcome July! July really is the best month of summer. It’s usually warm without too many hot days. It’s not August with the impending sense of summer vacay coming to an end. July is an entire month to live on your own terms, chill days to kick back included.

Here are some things July is bringing.

1. I will be doing my first Facebook Q&A tomorrow, July 2, 7:00-8:00pm EST on my Facebook page. Everyone who asks a question will be entered to win this signed copy of City Love.

Susane Colasanti with City Love

The winning address must be in the US, but everyone is welcome to participate. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about life, love, writing…anything at all. Hope to see you then!

2. Speaking of City Love, Too Many Books Not Enough Shelves posted this sweet review. Can we please get this girl some more shelf space? Savvy Naddy’s review contains a LOT of spoilers, so proceed with caution!

3. As of today, Styrofoam is banned in New York City. That is freaking awesome news. Every time I see one of those horribly disrespectful coffee cups (because, duh, we’re the only ones who can protect our planet), I want to scream. Styrofoam is a massive problem. It’s not recyclable, takes up tons of landfill space, and contaminates waterways. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. have already prohibited the use of this nasty product. Here’s hoping more states step up to advocate for this important step in protecting our environment!

4. I adore this diagram for combining two of my fave things: moon phases and watermelon.

Melon PhasesSee, this is yet another reason why I have the best readers. A reader knew I would love this and shared it with me on Twitter. How amazing is she?

5. Summertime is amusement park time. And you know I get down with Disco Cookie.

Susane Colasanti with Disco Cookie

Going back to Sesame Place 33 years later was a fun full-circle moment. Something tells me July will bring a few more of those.

Wishing this summer is your best one ever, friendly neighbors 😀