By Natalie Amsden
Have you ever felt the wonder and alignment of a seemingly chance coincidence that you felt in your core was cosmically orchestrated? My entire life has been a seamless string of synchronistic events. Starting at about 13, I became aware of a particular number, 23, that appeared for me more often than any other number and could not be explained by chance. Throughout my life, this number has persistently (sometimes obnoxiously) caught my attention and delivered significant messages. Although psychiatrists might consider it “number fixation,” those of us who understand the synchronistic nature of the Universe recognize that numbers are just one of many signs that produce meaningful coincidences in our lives.
If it was not ME telling the stories, even I would think the degree of significance surrounding my synchronicity number and how it has impacted my life were absurd. Some of my experiences have been simple reminders that I am aligned with a higher power, such as taking a nap on a road trip and waking up just in time to pass exit 23 followed by a giant “23” billboard with nothing else on it, among countless other occurrences in that single day.
Other times, life-changing messages have been guided from this number, such as the time I woke up late, which made me get in the car at the EXACT moment that the radio host said, “The time is now 23 minutes before 8.” He went on to talk about a concert coming up on November 23rd, stating, “Oh wait, it’s not on the 23rd, it’s on the 24th. I don’t know why I said that.” I knew why—because I had gotten in the car at that moment. The car ride to work revealed, no joke, over 25 “23s” along my route. I became so overwhelmed that I asked, out loud, “What are you trying to tell me?” Just then a song came on the radio that I’d never heard. It was a Christmas song by Josh Groban and the words were about the faith and wonder we have as children, which we often lose as adults. The defining phrase in the song repeats over and over again with the remedy for adults’ disconnection from the “magic” of life: “You have everything you need IF YOU JUST BELIEVE, if you just believe, if you just believe…”
The song was ending as I pulled into my parking space. I paused for a moment to hear it, and just after the last note played the radio host said, “That’s Josh Groban, whose concert is coming on November 24.” This was the same concert he had mentioned as I began my morning journey. Had I not left late for work, I would not have entered the car at “23 minutes of 8” (Who says that anyway?) or in time to hear the mistaken date of November 23rd. Had I not seen what seemed like a million 23s on the way to work, I never would have verbally asked what “It” was trying to tell me and never would have been open to hear my answer. In the time leading up to this moment, I had been struggling to remember the magic, to feel my connection to life. This song’s meaning in my life unfolded over the next several years and that moment acted as a catalyst for transformation in my life. It ultimately led me to the work I do today.
Never underestimate the power of a simple synchronicity and a willing soul!
The term “synchronicity” was first use by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who saw “coincidental” occurrences as a phenomenon of a “different world order”. Beyond the three-dimensional world of cause and effect, synchronicities give us the experience of that which is beyond. Often referred to as “God winks,” it’s as if these beyond-chance occurrences are orchestrated to give us proof that Divine forces are at play in our lives. These events are totally unrelated; however, they align in special, unexpected, unexplainable ways beyond what can be rationalized. When people experience a synchronicity, they are often left in awe, recognizing that this is no “mere coincidence”—some greater meaning or purpose is behind the seemingly random alignment.
Have you ever had a friend tell you about a new book and then accidentally knocked a book off the shelf at the store the next day only to realize it’s the same book your friend recommended the day before? Have you ever thumbed through a photo album and saw a photo of an old friend and then received a phone call from him or her that same day?
There is more going on than meets the eye!
Just like a phone message from your dry cleaner doesn’t have the same importance as a phone message from your partner, there are different levels of meaning contained within synchronistic messages. Sometimes you have an experience and you just KNOW it’s a clear sign. Other chance occurrences seem obviously aligned but do not contain any clear meaning.
Follow these steps the next time you experience a synchronicity:
- Become still. Take note of how you are feeling.
- Let your mind wander by relaxing your thoughts so you can tune into your intuition.
- Ask yourself, “What questions have I been asking lately?”
- Consider whether the experience seems connected in any way to another area of your life currently.
- Observe whether you feel energized.
- If you continue running into someone or continue making eye contact, follow through and start a conversation with that individual.
- When in conversation, follow your intuition if you feel tugged to say something.
- Consider whether there may be something you are able to offer the other person (the synchronistic meaning may be more for him or her than you).
- After the event has passed, reflect on its potential meaning without over-analyzing. Often the subtle meaning is picked up only at the unconscious level.
Not all coincidental experiences are going to be profound “aha” moments. Most synchronicities are gentle nudges that you are on the right path. As with all things in life, the more you focus on the meaning in life and appreciate the synchronicity, the more you will attract, notice, and experience these tiny miracles!
Synchronicities can hold the secrets that unlock the mystery of our ultimate purpose in life.
Looking back at the trajectory of your life, you may find that synchronistic occurrences have led you to where you are today. Often we experience unexpected events that are pivotal. Whether we view them as positive or negative, these life-changing experiences are almost always synchronistic. Think back over your life and list any events that occurred that fit into the following descriptions:
- Just at the very moment that I needed ______, ______ happened.
- If I hadn’t ______, then ______ this would never have happened.
- Even though ______ was hard, I see now how it was exactly what I needed.
- I can see how ______ happening to me prepared me for ______.
- I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today if it wasn’t for ______.
- I was so sure I wanted ______, but when I didn’t get it, I realized how it lead me to something even better.
- If ______ hadn’t gone wrong, I never would have met ______ and ______ never would have happened.
Make a timeline of the major decision or changes that have occurred in your life. Make note of any unexpected changes or any coincidences that influenced your decisions.
- Are there any obvious synchronicities?
- Can you see the path that has emerged?
- What does it all seem to be pointing you toward?
- Can you see the direction it may be heading?
- Is there anything that people regularly “tell you” you’d be good at?
- Is there anything you’ve said along the lines of, “I would love to do _____” but never followed the desire?
Below is a wonderful example of a woman whose synchronistic life experiences led her to her purposeful path. In the 1980s Mary Lee tried convincing her professors to let her create her own “holistic medicine” degree and was told there would be no future in it. (Ha!) Today, she is the founder of Earth Tribe, a successful essential oil company, and she is living in alignment with her true purpose. Mary Lee experienced four major life events that led her to her purpose.
1. As a child, her mother and grandmother used medicines of the earth.
2. She experienced a gas fire and received second-degree burns all over her body and face, which she healed using the essential oil of lavender.
3. She had twin boys and used essential oils during pregnancy, inspiring her to want to share this unknown modality with other pregnant women.
4. She wrote about essential oils in Woman’s Day magazine and received hundreds of envelops from women wanting to know more. Her husband said to her, “You should probably start doing this as a business. If you just sit in your room no one will hear your message.” And so she did!
Meaning evolves along every step of our path if we remain open to the subtle guidance that is eternally being offered! Synchronicities are our reminder to experience the joy in daily life and our confirmation that we are on the journey of our greatest purpose.
Be alert with wonder. You never know where your next inspiration is coming from!
Natalie Amsden, Publisher of Transformation Magazine, is a life coach who has worked with thousands of people seeking to live a life of purpose and genuine relationship with their true selves, others, and their world. She is the former Director of a counseling center for teenagers and their parents. She is also a public speaker and leads workshops and retreats on Practical Spirituality, Finding Joy, Discovering Your Purpose, and Enlightened Relationships. www.transformationservices.org