A Serendipitous Pile of Dung!

Serendipitous:  occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

There’s been some interesting serendipities this year, especially when it comes to me giving presentations. 

One of my favourite stories comes from the book “Who ordered this truckload of dung?” by Ajahn Brahm.  Imagine you return home from your work today to find a truckload of dung on your driveway.  There are three things to know about this dung:

  1. You didn’t order it – it’s not your fault;
  2. No-one saw who put it there, so you can’t send it back, and
  3. It stinks!  And it’s hard to endure.

The dung is a metaphor for tragedy and adversity in life, and like the pile of dung, there’s three things to know about tragedy and adversity:

  1. You didn’t order it – it’s not your fault;
  2. No-one can do anything about it.  Not even your closest friends or family – it’s up to you to deal with it, and
  3. It can be painful, unpleasant and hard to endure.

In February I delivered a half-hour presentation to the Whangarei Business Womens’ Network on resilience and how to bounce back and I shared this story along with a number of strategies to develop resilience.  Shortly after that I found myself on a medical journey to discover why my shoulder was not moving the way it should be.  A pile of dung (translation = adversity), had arrived in the form of a frozen shoulder.  That was interesting. 

Last week I delivered a presentation to the Chamber of Commerce, ten slides in two minutes.  I shared the story once again of the dung and how out of adversity our wisdom tree can bear the sweet fruits of insight and learning which we can use for ourselves and share with others.   

Last night, I shared a shortened version of the dung story with the Whangarei Business Womens’ Network, along with one of the key strategies on how to maintain your resilience.  Well … guess what happened last night, sometime after I went to bed?  Delivered onto our driveway, (and our lawn), courtesy of a wandering bovine, one pile of dung!  I dunno … maybe it doesn’t seem that serendipitous as you read it here, however the story sat with me this morning as I shovelled the dung into the paddock and had a giggle to myself. 

What I do know is this – serendipities do happen, sometimes metaphorically and sometimes literally!