“Synchronicity.” Try saying the word aloud. How does it feel in your mouth, how does it sound, what do you see in your mind as you say “synchronicity”? I hear the tinkling of wind chimes, the sound of glitter in the wind, and the whispers of angels and sprites.
I see a feather adrift in the breeze and a leaf twirling in a final dance to the ground in autumn. Synchronicity is a sparkly word, thanks to the sibilant sound of the letter “s.” Synchronicity feels and sounds like magic to me, which is fundamentally what it is. And magic is all around, you only have to be aware, expect it, and listen to the messages it flashes to your heart.
We have all had moments of synchronicity, more commonly known as coincidences. Yet, these kinds of coincidences are more astonishing at a deep, personal level, conveying a special message or validating a choice. You are thinking of a friend and minutes later they call you. You are absentmindedly scrolling down your Facebook newsfeed when the perfect meme tells you just what you need to handle a personal problem. You are grieving the loss of a friend and her favorite bird alights on the feeder outside your window keeping your connection with her alive. You feel discouraged with running as you struggle with an injury, then you find the perfect book on running at the Free Library box on your morning jog, and you know deep inside that you will stick with it.
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) was inspired by a coincidence during a psychotherapy session with a young woman, who suffered from consequences of an overly rational mind. She described to Jung a golden scarab beetle gem that was given to her as a gift in a dream. During the session Jung heard a tapping at the window, and looked over to see an insect flying about the pane on the outside. He opened the window and caught the insect as it flew in, finding it to be a scarabaeid beetle, a very close likeness to the ornamental scarab in his patient’s dream. He marveled that the creature appeared at just that moment, and felt it was a sign that the patient was making progress in accessing her subconscious to help her find solutions to her problems in the waking world. This event led Jung to introduce the concept of synchronicity in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until 1952 that he wrote in detail about it in“Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle,” in his book,The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche. He described it as the coming together of internal and external events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect, yet is meaningful to the observer. The meaningful coincidence does not have to make sense to anyone but you, and it is an opportunity for insight, as is reflecting on your dreams and the messages they may have for you from your inner self.
I would like to share a few synchronicities with you, one being the fact that I am writing about the topic for Wholly Holistics. I recently celebrated my 66th birthday. My tradition is that I get up at 3:33am, my time of birth. The number 3 has always been a favorite of mine, and I have awakened more times than I can count at exactly that time. I often happen to glance at my watch, cell phone, or a clock during the day at exactly 3:33. I consider it a nod from the universe that whatever I was thinking about or doing at the moment is the right thing. So in the wee hours of a rainy Beaufort night, I sat on my front porch like it was New Year’s Eve, waiting for the ball to descend in Times Square. My heart started pounding as my cell phone approached 3:33, and then, Happy Birthday to me! I reflected with gratitude for all the wonderful people, places, and things in my life, and asked the universe to help me focus on the right things to do in my retirement. Send me a project, I begged.
During the last two years, it occurred to me that writing is one of the things I loved to do as a child, and now I live in the Writing Mecca of Beaufort with the Pat Conroy Literary Center and a host of writing classes and workshops going on at all times. I have taken advantage of these and meet regularly with a couple of friends to do writing exercises, often wondering how I might write in service to my community. I happened to be thinking this as I took a walk through Pigeon Point on my birthday when my phone pinged with a text from our Wholly Holisticteam member, Chris Suddeth, proposing that I contribute as a guest columnist. Well, there was my answer from the universe! I was stunned and a bit nervous about what I would write when a little voice in my head said “synchronicity.” We all can use a reminder to pause in our lives and listen to the messages from our hearts and souls that can come to us in magical ways. This would be my topic.
I returned home, and was zapped with another synchronicity as I headed to the patio to sit and ground myself before I jotted down some thoughts. Right at that moment, a hefty box turtle trundled slowly cross the patio toward the dish of watermelon rinds we leave out for him. The turtle is my spirit animal that reminds me to stay grounded and move slowly and mindfully — just what I needed to hear as my mind started spinning around what to write.
Feeling the magic of a meaningful coincidence, a synchronicity, fills the heart with wonder and surprise. You just have to be open to it, pay attention, be present in the moment, and live mindfully with awareness, which is not easy in the multitasking, distracting kind of world we occupy in the 21st century. When we are pleasantly surprised, a good vibration swells in our hearts and a ripple effect goes out into the world around us. Even the smile that spreads across your face adds some magic to the space around you and can rub off on the folks you encounter. Don’t miss out on the magic!
“Synchronicity is an ever-present reality for those who have the eyes to see.” Carl Jung
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” Albert Einstein
Information on Carl Jung and Synchronicity from:
Carolyn Jirousek grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She and her husband, Bill, divide their time between Cleveland and Beaufort, enjoying the best of both worlds. She is a Reiki Practitioner, Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree in Art History, Master Naturalist, and volunteer in both North and South with several non-profit organizations.