What is it that makes us look left instead of right so we can see exactly what we need to see, or that makes us pick up an unknown book from a wall of thousands to find exactly what we need to read, or that leads us along a series of unusual choices to an unexpected—yet perfect—outcome?
We could credit these seemingly magic occurrences to luck and repudiate any deeper significance. Or we could explore the possibility that we might be able to heighten our awareness and connectivity to such a degree that we draw in (and send out) fantastic opportunities, inspiring people, life-enhancing events, and empowering information. I don’t know about you, but…
I would rather be attuned than lucky.
I would be shocked to find anyone on the planet who had not experienced at least one meaningful coincidence. Whether we think of them as serendipity, the subconscious, intuition, instinct, guardian angels, synchronicity, or apophenia… meaningful coincidences happen—perhaps to some more than others—but they do happen.
If we think of it as luck that cannot be influenced or enhanced, then the discussion is over: we can toss some salt over one shoulder and say a prayer of thanks. That’s about it. But if we think of this phenomenon as a result of being attuned in some way, we can then learn more about it through observation and action, and in so doing, perhaps learn to increase its frequency.
I choose the perspective that allows me to positively influence my experience of life.
How’s that for a statement? It might make an empowering affirmation, don’t you think? But a positive outlook still needs follow-up action if we want to make significant changes. So what can we do?
1) Observe what we notice and when we notice it.
When I was pregnant, the baby population magically quadrupled. Everywhere I looked someone was bouncing a kid or pushing a stroller! When my husband and I deliberated about a new car, people driving the exact color and model kept pulling up beside us. When half my face went paralyzed with Bell’s palsy, stories about celebrities who came down with it started popping up on television, and everyone I knew had a friend who went through what I thought was a bizarre occurrence.
I take notice of things that can benefit my life.
Of course, all of this makes a strong case for the false positive of apophenia—the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. But does it really matter? If we find value in the patterns we see and the connections we make, isn’t that a win?
If my perception enriches my life and the lives of those around me, I foster it.
2) Pay attention to seemingly chance timing.
This is similar to observation, but to me, it feels like I’m taking it to a deeper level. Sometimes it happens when I am searching for something—a piece of information, a topic for an article, a specialist of some kind—and it/they appears. More frequently, the perfect element pops up in my life after I have let it go or before I realize I need it.
When I was truly ready for a literary agent (not just when I wanted one), Cherry Weiner, who I had connected with in the past, popped up on my Facebook feed. This is remarkable for a few reasons: she’s almost never on social media, her name had come up in several conversations instigated by unrelated people, and I had stopped looking for an agent. So why was her brief post—no photo, nothing special—at the top of my feed? And why did I even notice?
When a meaningful coincidence occurs, I say, “Of course!”
Almost without exception, coincidences like this end up being highly meaningful for me and inevitably lead to countless synchronistic elements between me and that person. Naturally, that has been the case with Cherry, who is now my literary agent—Of course!
So what is synchronicity? It’s the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. That’s causal not casual. In other words, there’s no reason for that person and me to have mirrored experiences, similar projects, or even identical philosophies manifested in distinct ways. Sure, sometimes, those things might be expected, given the way we met—forum, conference, referral—but frequently these related elements come out of left field. That’s when I know, without a doubt, that this person has popped into my life for a reason.
3) Reinforce positive patterns.
I have this habit of picking up the perfect book to read while I’m writing. The genre might be unrelated, the subject matter irrelevant, and the author unlikely because of style or my unfamiliarity with them, but it doesn’t matter. If I’ve chosen to read the book at this time, I know it will have some element in it that will stimulate my creative, critical-thinking mind or provide me with a new perspective on structure, style, or craft. And this brings me to the next factor—
4) Trust what works.
“Trust you gut” is a popular saying for a good reason. Whether we ascribe the phenomenon of meaningful coincidences to luck, logic, or the paranormal, my feeling is…
If it works for me, I use it!
So… maybe we’ve taken notice, observed the patterns, and learned to trust whatever this is. How do we get it to happen more often?
5) Develop a calm mind through mediation and mindfulness.
When I clear the distracting noise from my thoughts, I can hear what is truly significant. When I erase the negative images from my mind (put there when I obsess on harmful memories), I can see what is truly of value to me at any given moment. When I free myself from afflicting emotions, I can feel who is right for me, when I need to act, and how I can best accomplish my goals.
A calm mind puts me in a heightened state of attraction and transmission so I can draw in and send out what I need and what others might need from me.
So, that’s my answer. Take what resonates, leave what doesn’t, and most of all, explore for yourself!
Please listen to MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. I was the GUEST for a change!
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This conversation was a result of a meaningful coincidence. I had been listening to a podcast about podcasting, hosted by my radio guru friend, Stephen Campbell, only to discover that his guest, Tom Evans, and I share similar philosophies about life, mediation, and manifestation. I reached out and invited him to be a guest on my show, Empowered Living Radio, to share tips for How to Live a Charmed Life (available for listening 7/20/15), and he immediately invited me onto his The Zone Show to share my thoughts on empowerment, protection, creativity, and how to stay in the zone. I even gave a guided meditation for empowering the spirit!
— Tori Eldridge (@ToriEldridge) July 20, 2015
If you found some value in this podcast or musing, please pass it along.
A little empowerment goes a long way.