Also published here https://journal.thriveglobal.com/chasing-synchronicity-ac83dbc0c27f
Do you ever feel like some moments are more than just a coincidence?
'Someone else told me the same thing earlier...' 'I saw this so many times this week...' 'I was just thinking about you...'
Our lives have a very clever way of teaching us things. If we don't digest something the first time it will keep coming back to us.
I recently broke my wrist in a bicycle accident. It made me realise how addicted I had become to action as I spoke about in my last post which you can read here. With the newfound stillness, I started to notice more of these subtle messages that present themselves in daily life.
The morning before my accident I went to a talk by the Buddhist monk Haemin Sumin at my office speaking about his book ‘The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down’. I told myself I was calm, centred and much better than I used to be at taking things slow so I didn’t need to buy the book.
A couple of days after the accident I watched an episode of the show The Chef’s Table centred around another Buddhist monk and the following day I saw one in the street. Then I had to pay attention. Living in East London means monks aren’t an every day occurrence. I meditated on it. Slow down was the message that came back. I bought the book.
This is an example of synchronicity — a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are meaningful coincidences if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related. Introduced in the 1920s, Jung put forward a world that is intimately connected for the first time, including the collective unconscious of humankind.
I’ve been a fan of Jung’s concept for a long time, but I hadn’t allowed the space into my life for it to show its magic. After a few weeks of taking things at a new pace, I witnessed a synchronicity happening almost every day. The most powerful being two conversations that would change my life forever.
The first was with a music client of mine. When telling him about the accident he told me he’d been through something similar and it changed his life, that he wouldn’t be a successful musician without it happening. A few hours later I had a phone call with a friend, who told me that she was closing a big part of her business that day. A decision that had sprung from spraining her ankle a few months back.
I’d planned a long walk that day and over the course of it I began replaying the conversations. I started to consider if there was a deeper reason for the accident and recalled the images from my meditations that week — visions of crickets. Finally I got the message. JUMP!
One week later I told my staff and clients of the music PR company I’d founded almost a decade earlier that I was going to close it to concentrate on my coaching practise. It was something I knew was coming, but because I made the space to listen to my gut, it felt safe to do it sooner than I anticipated.
The reactions were varied — from shock, to sadness but across the board they were incredibly supportive. Some people called me crazy and some called me brave. All I knew is if I didn’t follow my heart a part of me would die. The fears I had were smaller than the excitement and I trusted the future for following the signs in front of me.
This is conscious living.
Deep down we all know what’s best for us, but it’s often drowned out by every day worries and mind clutter. In those moments that we can’t see clearly inside ourselves, there are a multitude of opportunities to see it from the outside if we can simply pay attention.
When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears [Chinese proverb]
Jung’s theory proposes that we are not acting within a separate sphere, that everything in our lives is interwoven, that we have a role to play not just for ourselves, but also for each other. When we see the true potential of this, our lives begin to shift fast and the growth becomes exponential.