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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Synchronicity - Coincidence or Much, Much More ?

As a transformational psychotherapist and a spiritual coach, I always encourage people to look within themselves for answers. Occasionally, this leads to unexpected results.

One fall evening I received a frantic - and later to be realized, prophetic - phone call as I was sitting down to a special family dinner. It was from a client, and she sounded terribly frightened and confused. Something so strange and out of the ordinary had happened to her that she could not make sense of it.; yet she was sure that it contained a “message” for her.

I calmed my client down and asked her to tell me her story. It seems that she had been walking out the door to go to a special event of her own. She had dressed up for the occasion and had put on a certain pair of pierced earrings. She specifically remembered using extra care to secure the earring backs, as she wanted to be sure not to lose one of these earrings. They were very special to her and were expensive as well. Ready to go, she went into the garage to her car. Then she heard a small ping, and looking down spied an earring that had apparently fallen out, despite her efforts. However, her real surprise came when she retrieved the earring. Picking it up, she gasped. The earring was still together, with back and front connected. How was that possible? She knew that she had put the earring through her ear. The only way that it could fall was if it had come apart. But it hadn’t. What was going on?

I didn’t have an answer for her right away. The only thing that could think of was that she had apparently been offered a spiritual gift called synchronicity. Synchronicity takes many forms. Though it usually comes as a “coincidence” that is not really a coincidence (such as being in the right place at the right time to receive help just when you need it), synchronicity can also take a more “mysterious” form, such as the one mentioned above. The key element in synchronicity is that the incident offers a “message” to the participant. This message is often not recognized by others, who will see it as “mere” coincidence or misinformation. Yet for the person involved, the message they perceive serves to heighten their awareness of - and often their belief in - the spiritual realm. The mystery of synchronicity may be seen as a spiritual “hello,” a tap on the shoulder from the spiritual realm, as if to say, “Pay attention. We are here. Notice us and believe in us.”

I have seen this happen often to people who are new to the spiritual path. It is as if their spiritual “helpers” or “guardian angels” are using a bit of drama to assist them in the building of their belief, which is often difficult at first. While many people believe in a spiritual realm, few think of this realm as a place where spirits can actively interact with people and involve themselves in our daily affairs. To achieve this leap of faith we need “proof” and synchronicities, often appearing at a crucial stage in a believer’s path, provide this proof.
But beyond the belief building factor, synchronicities may serve a greater purpose as well. They may be used to establish, for the first time ever, a link between a person and their own intuition. Once belief in the existence of an interactive spiritual realm has established, a person often begins to listen for “messages” more directly. They may even come to expect and desire such messages. One tried and true avenue for these messages is intuition.

Intuition and synchronicities are very similar. They both involve messages from sources that are beyond those which are normally available to us. But while synchronicities may occur without our having to do anything, intuition is a two way street. We must purposefully and consciously open our minds to intuition as a form of communication if we are to further strengthen our initial contact with it - and through it, our contact with the spiritual realm. For it is through intuition, in reality, that all direct communication with the spiritual realm occurs. There are no telephone calls, no e-mails from space and spirit, only those subtle and fleeting thought-feelings that we call intuition. Even when we are gifted with a synchronicity, it is only through our intuitive faculties that we are able to discern the meaning and significance of such an event. Without intuition, synchronicities really are “mere coincidences”.

As we go through life, we change and grow, and hopefully evolve spiritually as well. Accessing intuition is an important part of that process. Once we begin to train our minds to become more aware of our own unique intuition cues, to understand how we receive our own particular intuitive messages, we can begin to discern which thoughts are true intuitions and which are the products of our wandering minds. This is an important step because only intuitions can “translate” messages from the spiritual realm and give us an accurate reading of our inner guidance.

Synchronicity can provide an important initial contact with the spiritual realm. It can open us up to our own spiritual natures and set us upon a spiritual path, which we then can follow with faith and confidence, secure in the belief that there really are spiritual “helpers” who can assist us along the way.

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