Synchronicity is a fact of life. Compelling, meaningful coincidences can guide and nudge us to our optimal life path. Appreciating the relevance of uncanny coincidences in shaping our destiny can be greatly energising and add meaning to our existence. This promotes well-being as surely as other interventions from the field of positive psychology.
These are the contentions in my new book, Synchronicity: Empower your life with the gift of coincidence, released in Australia in November. The book was released by Watkins Publishing in the UK and US in September.
Synchronicity is an uncanny timing of events that seems to go well beyond chance. It is experienced as relevant and meaningful in the context of what is happening in our lives at the time. It includes such phenomena as clocks stopping when an owner dies, thinking of someone and then expecting receiving a phone call from that person out of the blue, or repeatedly seeing 11:11 on a digital clock. It may involve us changing plans on an intuitive whim, leading us to some unexpected advantage or perhaps avoiding an accident. In such situations, we may have a sense of a guardian angel looking over us.
Synchronicity is a mystical concept in that it is impossible to fully explain in rational terms, and it implies an organising force or universal will beyond our own personal consciousness. But that makes it no less real. As one person put it to me, “I view synchronicity is as real as the law of gravity”. Many who have had such experiences, and appreciated the positive impact it has had on their lives, feel the same way. Others might use more subtle expressions, such as that something that happened was “meant to be”, or that it “must have happened for a reason”. My own expression is that synchronicity is most often a “tick from the universe” that you are heading in the right direction on the path you are pursuing. Synchronistic experiences can help things fall into place in your life like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together, revealing an underlying pattern or design.
This is not usual thinking for a conventionally trained clinical psychologist like myself, well schooled in scientific method. At least it is not usual thinking in public arenas. I find that many psychologists express such views much more readily in private. This is not altogether surprising. A number of influential pioneers in psychology, including Carl Jung, William James and Abraham Maslow have emphasised a transpersonal realm, or transcendent spiritual dimension, in human development. They have had a significant impact in the development of positive psychology, a field that encourages people to seek well-being beyond the norm.
However, the transpersonal or mystical aspects of these leaders’ work are often deemphasised because they go beyond the rational. In my view, our whole culture, including our Western educational systems, are overly wedded to an almost exclusive focus on the rational. Many other important aspects of life are ignored, which relate more to intuitive ways of appreciating our lives and the nature of the world we live in.
These themes are explored in detail in Synchronicity. Several chapters relate to scientific and spiritual themes, and how viewpoints from these areas can be linked rather than completely separate as they are often presumed to be. There are many anecdotes from others, from my clients and from my own life to help illustrate how synchronistic experiences over a lifetime can have a particular flavour which accords with a sense of personal destiny. Readers are encouraged throughout to reflect on the impact of uncanny coincidences in their own lives.
I believe that there is an advantage in appreciating the relevance and meaning of synchronistic experiences as they unfold. However this requires a degree of intuitive and symbolic interpretation, similar to how we might make sense of our dreams. The book describes practical strategies to help interpret the potential personal meaning of synchronistic experiences. In positive psychology terms, doing so can enhance our subjective sense of well-being, our engagement in life roles, our relationships and sense of connection with others, our sense of personal meaning and our accomplishment of personal goals.
I have certainly found the drawing on synchronicity has greatly enhanced my well-being in each of these areas, and has done so for many of my clients. My motivation in writing about synchronicity is to assist others to do similarly draw on this phenomenon, and to benefit from what I refer to as “the power of supra-rational thinking”.
Synchronicity: Empower your life with the gift of coincidence, is now released in Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK. It’s about harnessing the power of striking coincidences to enhance your life meaning and purpose. For related blogs and info on the book, see the new website… www.synchronicityunwrapped.com.au