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Synchronicity – The Beauty of Coincidences

Photo by Mike Bailey-Gates
Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident. ~Mark Twain

I missed Yoga this AM, as I thought it was Wednesday instead of Tuesday . . . a recent side effect of finding it hard to sleep and easy to wake up. The irony of all this is I sent the above quote streaming into Twitter space right before I rushed into an empty yoga room. Accident–the greatest of all inventors.

My newly gained, completely open hour gave me the opportunity to write this piece, spend more time in meditation, and just allow my day to flow as it is.

As I approached my 28th year last month, I’ve learned that mistakes, “accidents” and synchronicities are a recurring open door that provide us with an opportunity to address what really needs our attention. While a simple analogy, sometimes it is in the most ordinary moments of our day where there is wisdom to be found…even in missed yoga.

Perhaps I needed to slow down this morning, outside of the daily ritual I was accustomed to of being with my breath. And instead, get my head out of the clouds (a place where I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately) to be grounded and aware of my thoughts.

Perhaps I needed to break my wellness routine, just for one day, to take a different view of all the possibilities and elements that make up each morning. Perhaps the exploration of morning writing was more meaningful than late at night.

Or, perhaps, thinking it was the wrong day of the week just meant I needed to sleep more–according to my body–regardless of how excited my mind and spirit are, and how the two always want to be awake.

I’m a big believer in the concept of synchronicity, or as more commonly put, “everything happens for a reason.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of Synchronicity is:

The experience of two or more events that are apparently casually unrelated, occurring together, in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung in the 1920s.”

A favorite read of mine is Deepak Chopra‘s book on exploring how synchronistic events in our lives are never accidents or coincidences.

In The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, Deepak introduces the powerful concept of, what he coins, Synchrodestiny. He talks about how to transform your deepest desires and intentions into destiny; how to recognize the possibilities surrounding you; and how to create what you want with the clues that already exist. In this book, Deepak deepened my awareness of synchronicity with the science behind how fish swim:

The final stage of living synchrodestiny occurs when you become fully aware of the interrelatedness to all things, how each affects the next, how they are all “in synch” with one another. “In synch” is a coloquial of saying “in synchronicity,” which means in unison, as one.

Picture a school of fish swimming in one direction, and then in a flash, all the fish change direction. There is no leader giving directions.

The fish don’t think, “The fish in front of me turned left, so I should turn left.”

It all happens simultaneously. The synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.

When we learn to live from the level of the soul, many things happen. We become aware of the exquisite patterns and synchronous rhythms that govern all life. We understand the lifetime of memories and experience that have molded us into the people we are today.

I would venture to guess that if Deepak was to complete Mark Twain’s quote, it would read something like this: “Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident—Or not at all.”

The bumps on our journey are the most powerful, transformational encounter. While these bumps may be disguised as interruptions, annoyances, something unplanned and unwanted in our day, there is meaning in its appearance.

Whether one believes in the concept of synchronicity or not, I invite you to approach the mishaps as gifts; the accidents as not so much of an accident; and the people we encounter as someone we can always learn and grow from.

The way you experience your day will shift. Moments will be full of discovery and fulfillment: the messages, the awareness, the blessings, and the abundance that are constantly surrounding us—in this very moment—will glow with significance.

I would like to believe that my accidentally missed yoga this morning allowed this synchronous piece to be created, so I could share a perspective changing concept with you: the universe is gracious and inviting in showing us the way, if we are open to recognizing its power.

* Where did synchronicity showed up for you recently? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comment section. See you there!

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About the author

Cat is a recent corporate escapee, now practicing as a full-time Zen Student. Her home, for the next year or so, is on various meditation cushions in the world.

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24 thoughts on Synchronicity – The Beauty of Coincidences

  1. Marie

    Just wanted to comment on the photo! It’s absolutely amazing! I love the red leaves.

  2. adrienne crunden

    I love this concept > I have been called an idealist and took offense until now ! thank you for being confident in your ideas and so generous to share them with the world !!!!! Blessings and please keep sharing. I love the concepts in this article !!

  3. I experience synchronicity frequently–or maybe I’m just paying attention to it more than I used to–but I had an amazing ‘coincidence’ happen after the birth of my daughter. It was the day before I was supposed to return to work from maternity leave, and it hit me that I didn’t want to go back–I wanted to be home. As my husband and I had a ton of graduate school student loans, I knew being home wasn’t an option, and I started to cry (which I never do). A sudden sense of peace came over me, and an inner voice told me something would change, though I had no idea what could possibly change in 24 hours. That SAME day, my husband came home from work and told me not to be mad, but he’d applied for a promotion 5 weeks earlier and found out that day he got the job. It was enough extra money that I could quit. I read a great book called “There Are No Accidents” and I’m a believer. :)

  4. Kristi~ I feel very moved by your story (chills and a bit teary!). It makes sharing this post all worth it. So happy for you and your family.

    Adrienne~ I think the general thinking of an “idealist” is someone who is impractical. I don’t find this true. The philosophical definition simply states that an idealist is one that believes reality is created by the individual thinker. Our world is only as real as we think it is, the stories we tell, the way we perceive things. Blessings to you, too :)

  5. Nicole

    Two years ago, my mother and I both lost our jobs. Despite living in different states and working in different fields, neither of us was able to secure work. My mother’s path led to the loss of the apartment where she’d lived for the last 25 years, to transitional housing with a generous friend. When the friend was going to be moving to a nursing home, the question arose: how do we keep my unemployed, uninsured, mentally and chronically ill mother from becoming homeless? I was a candidate for a high paying, 60 – 80 hour a week job, and even though the money would have made us financially secure, I was fortuitously not chosen, which allowed me the time to invest in helping my mother find economical housing. For my own personal health, my mom cannot live with me. A series of synchronous events: I found a bargain foreclosure in nearly move-in shape, just before signing on the house, my mom found a job that, though temporary, earned enough money for her to be able to pay her moving expenses. The day she lost her job, I got offered a new one, providing our household the extra income we need to support her. She will never need to worry about being evicted again, we now have a valuable asset with which to prepare for our future.
    Thanks for your post. It’s good to see that I’m not crazy for thinking that somehow this was all too connected to be true.

  6. Nicole~ What a wonderful daughter you are. It seems that we are able to create abundance through synchronous events when our heart and intentions are in the right place.

    Your timing for this comment is quite ideal, as I am working through some similar transitions of my own; and with your story, I can take a deeper reflection.

    Thank you for sharing :)

  7. Manoli

    Just a little story (sorry for my English…). These last weeks, I found out for the 1st time in my life that all the love songs I used to cherish since my chilhood seemed to perfectly fit one person… In this state of mind, on last friday, I was searching for the name of one more song I was sure could also fit this wonderful person. It was a hit song of 2000 or 2001, but I couldn’t remember the song name or the artist. On saturday morning, I went to the supermarket and just a few minutes after my daughter and I came in, the local radio played this song… Just amazing…. That is really NOT the kind of music we have in that little French territory in South America… :)
    May be this person is the one…

  8. Manoli~ First of all, your English is pretty flawless. When we are in the flow of life, we seem to be in tune to see (or hear in this case) the messages. I hope that you will be able to connect with this special person :)

  9. I’d never heard of synchronicity till I read the Artists Way but now I notice examples of it on an almost daily basis!
    One example: I had to sell my old car because I’d bought a new one. I was stressed in case I couldn’t sell it or get a decent price. I phoned the mechanic who services the car to ask him to fix a minor fault before advertising it and he said, “Oh one of my other customers was asking about your car just yesterday! He really wants to buy it!”
    As of 10 a.m. yesterday, my old car is no longer mine!

  10. HealingProf

    I decided yesterday to start recording the “happy accidents” in my life; I seem to have many of them. Yesterday’s synchronicity? After searching 100′s of listings for a summer vacation rental, I selected one. As the property owner and I exchanged a few very short email messages we learned that HER BROTHER had been MY SURGEON 5 years ago. Now retired, he works part-time for the SAME EMPLOYER I work for (but in different locations). THOUSANDS of miles separate us (Chicago, West Palm Beach, and Cape Cod, MA). Yet we find ourselves connected beyond the landlord – tenant relationship.

    A second reason for journaling about synchronicity? The day after I decided to journal about this topic your blog “appears”. I better get started….. tomorrow is another day and another opportunity for an “accident”!

  11. What a beautiful life perspective. “Moments will be full of discovery and fulfillment.”

    I really do latch onto this belief. Those bumps on our path are really opportunities to grow. Some things in my life still are unclear, but it is very hard to see the meaning in things looking forward. When we look back it all makes sense.

    One hurdle for me was a job I didn’t get. And of course I was so sure I was going to get it, picturing what it would be like going into work, coming up with big ideas, making friends with my co-workers and with one phone call from HR, I was seriously let down.

    A month later I came across the opportunity to work with a company called Be Legendary. Centered around the belief that every person can make a difference one person, one action, one cause at a time, this company helps people rediscovery their inner legendary selves.

    This amazing opportunity would never have happened if I was sipping coffee in the break room with a co-worker for the job I didn’t get.

    Some things don’t happen the way they expect them to, but they happen none the less.

    Alexander Graham Bell was trying to invent a hearing aid when he discovered the telephone. George Crum sliced a potato to thin to give us potato chips and Joseph Priestley invented carbonated water while he was investigating the chemistry of air.

    Accident, coincidence, destiny…whatever you believe in, they are opportunities to grow, and if you don’t get to your intended destination, it doesn’t mean you’re not getting somewhere!

    Cheers!

  12. JenP~ I love synchronous gifts :) Congrats on the new car!

    HealingProf~ I think it’s a great idea to journal about synchronicity: this way we can continually bring awareness to the events in our life. Journal on!

    Chris~ “Some things don’t happen the way they expect them to, but they happen none the less.” Yes!

    Sometimes we’re not aware of the bigger plan that is more fulfilling than we could have conceptually imagined on our own. I’m a believer that there is an abundance of opportunity that follows “perceived” challenges or hardships. Your story is another example of this.

    Cheers to your new, amazing opportunity at Be Legendary!

  13. Colleen

    Several years ago my friend was living in Hong Kong and I made plans to come visit her when the SARS virus broke out. Her family returned early from their supposed 2 year stint and my hopes of ever visiting the East were dashed. I was so disappointed! After another year or two, her family was sent back to Hong Kong for a 5 year stint. This time I was able to make the trip where on our first night out on the town I met my now husband. I wasn’t looking for love, but apparently it was there waiting for me and now we have a beautiful son that proves my delayed visit was no coincidence.

  14. I like your approach to missing your class. Instead of letting it ruin your day, you turned it into an opportunity. It is a wonderful way of looking at life and keeps things exciting and new.

  15. Manoli

    I come back to you just to share my happiness with you.
    You said to me : “I hope that you will be able to connect with this special person”…
    And that’s exactly what I did… We had never met before, he saw me in a fully public crowded place and did a very special thing for me…
    Moreover, I had the perfect result of the visualisation (and even more) I made the 2 last months….

    Of course now, he will choose whether he wants to keep the connection or not, but the first step is done :)

    Think it, Believe it, See it and it will happen.

  16. Manoli~ How wonderful, truly!

    The mind is so powerful–when we ask, genuinely, what we want–little miracles appear everywhere. The universe is so abundant and awesome, isn’t it?

    Wishing you happiness, and all to unfold as it should with your new special person :)

    Thank for you for sharing with me…I woke up to a smile reading this.

    Love,

    ~Cat

  17. Manoli

    You’re welcome… Thank you for your very kind words :)

  18. Laura

    Colleen, what a wonderful story, so happy for you.

  19. Colleen~ I love your story. Makes me really happy :) You are a testimony to the wisdom that there are really no coincidences.

    Best to you and your hubby.

    ~Cat

  20. Simon

    Great article!

    I have many synchronistic events happen on a daily basis.
    The last major one was when I was working in a town and had stopped for lunch. I thought back to when I was younger and was dating a girl that used to live in that town…about 22 years ago. Seconds later a girl that looked like my ex (22 years ago) it made me smile. Minutes later I received a text from a person I had not heard from in ten years, ” hi mate, long time no speak. You will never guess who I just bumped into….Lou !!!”
    Now that was kind of freaky but there is more, I went back to the place I was working at, a local school. I was thinking about how odd the recent events were, I was about to start work when I noticed a painting on the wall of the room I was working in….a self portrait of the girl that looked like me ex!!! At that moment I knew I would marry her…my ex that is…..all it fell into place, she was the first girl I fell in love with and it would be perfect if she was the last. I found her using google and sent an email that evening, she replied saying ” wow I was just thinking of you”
    We emailed each other for a week and then met up, it was so amazing. I told her by email there was something I needed to talk to her about. After hours of talking she asked what it was I couldn’t mention by email? I took her outside and explained to her I had a series if strange events and that I knew we were going to get married….she screamed with excitement, jumped on
    Me screaming ” oh my god” it was the best day of my life”

  21. Jonathab

    Hi I loved this article even though this was a while ago, most of the comments here date back to 2011. Anyways recently i have started to notice these alot. 44 seems to fancy me, always appearing so much. A grand example of one i remember is i had started looking into horoscopes one day, learning more about the star signs. Later that day my friend and I are hanging out on break at work and says lets talk about something. I had this feeling sweep over me like i knew what he was going to talk about, and he starts talking about horoscopes! Since then i have had so many “coincidences” occur that i can no longer deny it. So i’m going to follow this trail now, see where it takes me.

  22. Carolyn Alexander

    Ever since 1995, when I read “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, I have paid attention to synchronicities. It was like becoming friends with someone new, getting to know them, getting acquainted, learning their nature. It was like a dance of meaning. They would occur and I would wonder about them. Along the way, I understood just how powerful a guide they can be. But never more so than since New Year’s Day of this year.

    I chose not to make a resolution, but instead a commitment to the Universe to fully embrace every single synchronicity that came my way, even if I didn’t fully understand it, and let it guide me. Previously, I had received them openly, but sometimes doubted whether they truly meant the exciting truth they were bringing to me….could I really jump in with both feet? So I made this promise to myself and to Life.

    Then they started rolling out. For many years, I had wanted to write my story of how bipolar mood disorder healed me of a psychic wound I received as a child, growing up in Burundi, Africa, where my physician parents ran mission hospitals. Then, as if having a life of its own, my story, “Vugizo and the Belgians: Bipolar Mood Disorder, my experience with the healing side”, flowed from me like a living waterfall. Page after page came to life on my clipboard where I wrote with a mechanical pencil. I had doubts about whether I really did want to go public with mental illness, which I’d had since 1998, when I was forty-four years old, but each time, a synchronistic message came along which I received as affirmation to continue.

    They guided me to the place where my story was finished and I published it to a dedicated blog at http://wellspringofmind.blogspot.com

    Synchronicity was and continues to be my guide. They have been so specific, so tailor made, so personal that I have no doubt that Life and I are partners in a magical dance of creativity and love. I know that I am meant to tell my story and to help de-stigmatize mental illness. They say we should not die with our song unsung. “Vugizo and the Belgians” is a part of my song. It is what it is because Life took me by the hand and led me every step of the way.

    I want to make it easier, in this small way, for those who have disorders of the mind/brain to get help.

  23. Carolyn Alexander

    I would like to add that my story is one of everyday triumph, which each of us can experience. It is the story of the Phoenix rising, which is archetypal truth accessible to every living soul. It is the story of the universality of Life’s goodness and nearness. It is the story of relentless joy that can be ours at any given moment.

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