What is synchronicity-- and how can we use awareness of its appearances to take compelling leaps into new, more fruitful openings in our lives? Synchronicity can be thought of as happenings that coincide in ways that have deep meaning for the people involved. As such, they can offer clues or affirmation of where we want to go if we take the time to look deeper with our hearts and minds.
Phil Cousineau, in his book, Coincidence or Destiny?, says: “An experience of synchronicity is marked by elegance, symmetry, vividness, suddenness, poetry, or a truth that speaks to the heart.” Furthermore, “there are no accidents in the circle of synchronicity . . . at least, not when one is on the path with heart, the path of destiny.”
As a career and life coach, my interest is very much in supporting people in finding their “paths with heart,” where their inner longings for change transform into new ways of working and living that are rewarding and heartfelt. When my conscious attention is focused on finding and working with people at this level, I’m often aware of an energetic patterning within myself that appears to expand my opportunities to connect with them.
As clinical psychologist Dr. Kirby Surprise, author of the book, Synchronicity: The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind, says in a recent interview with the ezine, “SuperConsciousness”:
Synchronistic events happen when people see a meaningful connection between external events and their own internal states . . . As reflections of what people are thinking and feeling, most synchronistic events become very explainable . . . If you simply say, “Okay. What do I actually want?” and look for that, you get events that present you with the opportunities to pursue that pattern....
There are millions more patterns in the universe and in the room around you than you could possibly deal with. What this amazing supercomputer in your head [the brain] does is it only shows you the patterns that it thinks are most relevant to what you want to see.
So we do have the power to set up the context to call forth synchronistic events by combining the capacity of our brain with our conscious intention. Experiencing these events, however, often feels in the moment almost magical; and they do operate beyond linear cause and effect. Synchronicity is a web of connection that can reach into our lives in wholly unexpected ways-- through intuitive knowing, déjà vu, dreams, and sudden happenings that have an inner rightness but no explicit logic.
For example, I use the online network, LinkedIn, as a means of professional outreach. However, a recent connection with retired drama director, Stella, through LInkedIn about coaching had that amazing sense of "no accidents" that struck both of us.
One day, browsing through some LinkedIn messages, I “accidentally” hit a button saying “Connect” without knowing what I was connecting to. Over the next couple of days, I got dozens of acceptances to “connect” through LinkedIn from people I didn’t know, or know of, in fields wildly divergent from my own. Since I usually only connect with, or invite connections from, professionals on LinkedIn I know or know of, I didn't understand what was happening.
Then I got a LinkedIn message from Stella asking for a consultation about coaching. I knew I didn’t know who she was, so I asked her how she’d heard about me. She said she’d gotten an invitation to connect from me, but hadn’t known why, or who I was. So she checked out my LinkedIn profile and found I was a coach specializing in career and life transitions. This interested Stella, who was wanting to make major changes in creating a real community with meaningful friendships in her life.
She then checked out how I’d known about her and found that we did have a mutual LinkedIn connection-- though not among our primary contacts, but among the contacts of our primary contacts. Our mutual connection turned out to be a woman who is a good friend of mine. When Stella contacted her, my friend told her that I’d coached her at a critical time in her life when she needed support in making authentic life style changes. She gave me a very positive testimonial, which encouraged Stella to consult with me about how coaching could help her create new changes in her own life.
So somewhere between my awareness of whom I enjoy working with and Stella's conscious desire to make vital changes in her life, a field of connection appeared manifesting in a happening that surprised us both. This “synchronistic event” was the cue, and clue, that set the stage for a deeper level of understanding between us that has led to a coaching relationship with rewarding new possibilities for Stella.
“Synchronistic events can indeed be a way for those very intelligent and aware parts of the rest of your supercomputer [brain] to try to talk to you, to cooperate with you, helping you in whatever creative problem solving in your life that you want to do.”
-- from Synchronicity: The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind
Here’s another instance of a synchronistic event leading to “creative problem solving” with another coaching client of mine. A science researcher and mother of two young children, Lana was telling me that her life had lost some richness for her, because she felt she no longer had any time for spontaneous visits and calls with her women friends. Just as she said that, the doorbell rang. Lana excused herself to answer it and then laughed out loud. The friend that she’d particularly been thinking of as she talked with me had just come to the door with a birthday gift for her!
Simply by paying attention to her deep desire to have more unscheduled time with her close women friends, Lana opened a channel that had become less present in these relationships. The synchronicity of her friend showing up at her door without previous planning affirmed for her the possibility she has within herself to change an unrewarding life pattern into one of “vividness, suddenness, poetry, [and] a truth that speaks to the heart.”