Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected, by Leeann Renninger and Tania Luna, is a sprightly and entertaining celebration of surprises. The authors point out that our brains are hardwired to deal with this quality in our lives, and they outline its unfolding through a series of steps: Freeze, Find, Shift, and Share. Renninger and Luna affirm resilience as a tension buster that makes it easier to embrace surprise and reframe the positive sides of negative developments.
To cope with the unexpected we need to get creative, seize people's attention, and stretch their capacity for wonder. The authors regale us with stories about individuals who have discovered that surprise is immersive, memorable, and transformative. If you read this book, which was a 2015 S&P Award Winner, you will be well on your way to being a "surprisologist."
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a mesmerizing fable about the journey we all must take to fulfill our dreams and play out our destinies. Here is a training manual for dealing with surprises and improvisation.
To Bless the Space between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue offers a salute to blessings as surprising gifts of grace that break down barriers between people and open new doors to fresh possibilities. They are sources of meaning, beauty, wonder, healing, and transformation.
Breakfast Epiphanies: Finding Wonder in the Everyday by David Anderson gives us plenty of examples of the wonderful revelations that often take us by surprise while we are doing chores at home or attending to work in the office.
Circle of the Way by Ken Arnold is a spiritual journey about illness, being present, and an epiphany that makes all the difference in the world.
Coincidence or Destiny? Stories of Synchronicity That Illuminate Our Lives by Phil Cousineau presents 80 accounts of "the uncanny and inexplicable ways the outer world sometimes parallels the inner world."
Everyday Epiphanies: Seeing the Sacred in Everything by Melannie Svoboda delivers a keen and exuberant celebration of everyday spirituality. In one essay, she sees Easter as a day to open ourselves up to surprises.
The Play of Light: Observations and Epiphanies in the Everyday World by Louis Masson contains elegant essays that tutor us in the sacramental showings of the Divine that we often miss in the tug and pull of our busy lives.
Leaping: Revelations and Epiphanies by Brian Doyle is a sparkling collection of essays on the mighty and subtle movements of grace in this world. He is constantly awash with wonder and gratitude for all these surprises.
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence by Deepak Chopra encourages us to explore what happens to us when we pay attention to the "miracles (that) streak across our consciousness every day."
Surprises Around the Bend: 50 Adventuresome Walkers by Richard A. Hasler makes a good case for this form of exercise as a training ground for alertness and the unexpected.
Unexpected Miracles: The Gift of Synchronicity and How to Open It by David Richo delves into the meaningful coincidences as moments when destiny summons us to move on and to let go of our egos. This transitional time can lead to big surprises.