I was introduced to the concept of synchronicity in Julia Cameron’s landmark text The Artist Way. Cameron describes synchronicity as a coincidence (or series of coincidences) that occurs during the artistic process. In fact, she believes that when artists get out of their own way and commit to doing the work of creating their art, Divine intervention steps in and makes things happen to facilitate the creative process. As I committed to writing and publishing my writing more consistently, I noticed the coincidences that followed. I became a believer in the concept of synchronicity. I knew that the Divine would work on my behalf if I kept up my end of the bargain as a creative.
Although Cameron may have brought this concept to the masses, psychologist Carl Jung first coined the term synchronicity. “It is about acausal connection of two or more psycho-physic phenomena. This concept was inspired to him by a patient's case that was in situation of impasse in treatment. Her exaggerate rationalism (animus inflation) was holding her back from assimilating unconscious materials. One night, the patient dreamt a golden scarab - cetonia aurata. The next day, during the psychotherapy session, a real insect this time, hit against the Jung's cabinet window. Jung caught it and discovered surprisingly that it was a golden scarab; a very rare presence for that climate.” (Source: http://www.carl-jung.net/synchronicity.html)
I hadn’t seen many instances of synchronicity in my life recently. It was much the opposite. I wrote last week about how stuck I had been with my two BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS writing projects. I knew that time wasn’t the real issue; fear was. I was afraid I couldn’t finish the projects. I was afraid that what I produced would be really bad. I was afraid no one would ever read it, or would tell me how horrible it was. I was thinking more about the response I would receive to my work before I even finished it. I also had stopped trusting in the Divine to work out some of the details on my behalf. That changed last weekend.
I created my DC Bucket List of things I want to see and do before I move to California this summer. Visiting Thomas Jefferson's Monticello was on my list. I made arrangements to head out there with my good friend Kim on last Saturday. Thursday evening before our trip, the service light appeared on my car’s dashboard. There was a problem with the pressure in my front, left tire. It wasn’t flat, and I could drive on it up to 50 miles an hour. But I would need to take it in to be repaired. Most of Friday, I wrestled with whether or not to cancel the trip or make the drive on a tire that should last but would steadily lose pressure. In the end, I decided to go for it. I would fill it with air before leaving, and then as often as possible to make the 250-mile round trip. I decided to take a chance.
I work up early the morning of April 1--about an hour before my alarm went off. I had plenty of time to meditate, read my devotional books, write my morning pages and pray. I decided that I would use my morning pages to test out ideas for one of my BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS projects. The writing wasn’t great. It was pretty bad in fact. But it felt good to actually put pen to paper and begin. When my morning sadhana (devotional time) was complete, I dressed and headed out the door a few minutes ahead of schedule. I picked up Kim, and we hit the road.
The navigation suggested we take I-95 South to Fredericksburg, and then head west on a bunch of local country roads. After a few minutes, I realized we were about to pass the dealership where I could get my tire fixed. With Kim’s permission, I took the next exit and headed to the MINI service area. I called on the phone while I was driving, and the person said she could switch my appointment from Thursday to that day. I dropped off the keys, and picked up a loaner car. Kim and I were back on the road before she even had a chance to finish her cup of coffee.
My experience was a case of synchronicity. When I drove to Lynchburg a few weeks ago, I took a different route to Charlottesville. When I found out about my tire issue, I didn’t even think about dropping off my car on the way. But the Divine stepped in and helped me see an opportunity that I had missed. My tire was fixed. We didn’t have to chance the long trip on a flat tire, and I was spared 250 miles on my car.
The next day, I shared what happened during the dharma talk of a yoga class that I was teaching. I don’t normally teach on Sunday afternoons, but the regular teacher was unavailable, and I offered to help. I shared my story as an example of Divine intervention--how He/She/It shows up and works things out on our behalf, even when we don’t ask for the help. After class, one of the students (who I had never met before) asked me if I would like some boxes for my move. I said of course. When I went to pick them up, I knew the only way I could have fit those boxes was with the larger, four-door MINI that the dealership had loaned me. Now, that’s synchronicity. I knew I needed a tire replaced, and I would have figured out a way to get it done. I had no plans to go out and buy a bunch of boxes from U-Haul and Home Depot, yet I got $60 worth free of charge when I shared how the Divine had worked in my life.
There’s one final twist: On Tuesday, I went up to Philadelphia for my monthly acupuncture treatment. As I was walking through the streets afterwards, I decided I would go to Reading Terminal for dinner. I had a few errands to run, and then began making my way there. I thought of my dear friend Ellen, who I met during my final years as an elementary school teacher. I decided to give Ellen a call to see if we could arrange a visit before Memorial Day. Ellen answered the phone, and asked if I was in Philadelphia. I said I was. She asked if I felt like meeting her for dinner at Reading Terminal. I said I was already on my way. We met up 10 minutes later, and had an hour-long conversation catching up on life and work. That’s synchronicity.
Julia Cameron believes that when we stop making excuses, and we put in the work, the Divine shows up to ease the process through inexplicable coincidences that make life easier. My fixed tire, free boxes, and unscheduled dinner date with a dear friend were all examples of synchronicity. I’m with Julia Cameron. I do not believe it is a coincidence that I have experienced so many coincidences the very week that I started work on my BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS writing projects. It’s almost like God wanted to encourage me to stay on track and keep going by taking care of some of the smaller details, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about them.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.