Universal Coffee

A few years ago The Law of Attraction was a big buzz word. The Secret was selling like crazy and all of a sudden people were obsessed with positive and negative energy. I didn’t want to read the book because, well, um,  geez, I don’t know why. I was in art school and I guess I felt the need to reject all things pop culture.

One day, while I was stuck in a train station in Boston, I perused the selection at a bookstore and picked up a copy of The Secret. I flipped to a random page and read something like this, “If you don’t believe the universe delivers, ask for something simple like a cup of coffee.” I rolled my eyes and asked, “hey universe, can I have a cup of joe?” I did not end up purchasing the book.

I moved to the lounge and waited to get the track number for my train. The lounge was busy and I needed to share a table with a stranger. As soon as I sat down the overhead speaker announced that all trains would be delayed for a half hour. The man next to me sighed, looked over at me, and asked if I would like a cup of coffee. Chills went down my back. I politely said no, trying not to scare the poor stranger with my revelation.

Looking back, I feel bad for not accepting that cup of coffee. I am currently reading The Artist’s Way, and she believes in the power of synchronicity – as soon as you know what to look for you’ll find it. She argues that most people don’t know what they want, and if they do  they aren’t afraid of not getting what they want, they’re actually afraid of getting it.

That day in Boston I was testing the universe. If I was never offered coffee I would have been fine with it. In fact it would have affirmed my skepticism in all things metaphysical. The simple offer of coffee forced me to question my beliefs. Could the universe actually care about what little old me wants? It also makes me wonder how many real opportunities I’ve turned down because it was scary. Have you ever turned down something you want because it scared you?