It’s a common belief that it is impossible to know what you want until you get it. As a result, our intentions are usually a mystery, even to ourselves. And yet, somehow, we still manage to make decisions and guide our lives along some unseen path.
In this article, I will share my experience on how synchronicity – the occurrence of meaningful coincidence – can reveal what we really want from life. You may be using this technique without realizing it already!
I have been practicing yoga for many years now. In the beginning, I searched around for new classes but never took anything too seriously since, deep down, I didn’t believe it would help me much in my quest of being a better person or lead me to any real inner peace.
That was until I found the perfect yogi for me – an extremely talented, knowledgeable, and humble teacher with a soothing voice and unique sense of humor who would guide us through our practice with wisdom, compassion, and grace. But even more importantly, every class would include powerful nuggets of information on how to live better lives in general. And they always came at precisely the right time for me!
For example, practicing the ability to see beyond surface appearances or not running away from life’s difficult moments is definitely something that everyone can benefit from. But it can be tough to take such advice when you feel overwhelmed by anger because your boss criticized you unfairly or experiencing yet another romantic disappointment. At those times, it feels as if nothing is the way you want, and all you really care about is yourself and how things should be different.
It was during those moments of anger or sadness that whatever I tried to push down would come up for me. When it came up, it always involved some problem with a person: either an enemy or a colleague at work, or someone I had recently met and who I couldn’t seem to get out of my mind. Sometimes, we didn’t even know each other! And it wasn’t just in my mind; somehow, Everything around me would reflect this frustration – from people acting like jerks on the street (invisible) to sudden traffic jams (seemingly caused by me, of course) that made me late for a Yoga class.
And then, I would have an experience at the end of a yoga class where she’d tell us stories of how even great yogis experienced difficulties with people in their lives and yet still found peace by practicing yoga. Yoga gave them the clarity they needed to see things differently. It was almost as if she knew what I was thinking! And always, the same message: “Everything is perfect right now. Just do your practice.” Suddenly the world around me would calm down, and it would become clear that no matter what situation I’m dealing with – whether self-created or not – nothing is more important than moving towards inner peace.
What is synchronicity?
From a metaphysical perspective, synchronicity is the universe giving you signs of something that you need to pay attention to right now without taking place in space or time. You may recognize it as your gut feeling whispering to you about what’s truly important and your heart beating fast, telling you “pay attention!” Only we usually ignore those messages because we don’t think they apply to us!
I had first heard of synchronicity in my early twenties but thought it was just some new-age mumbo jumbo that didn’t apply to real life. Little did I know that more than two decades later, life and yoga would teach me otherwise! And more than teaching me the mere definition of what “synchronicity” meant, it’s actually something we experience every day without realizing it.
Unfortunately, we can easily convince ourselves that whatever we are going through isn’t a coincidence at all but rather the result of our own genius planning. We know what we’re doing and why things happen the way they do – even when it makes absolutely no sense! So instead of those feelings and intuition, we end up with obsessive thinking – what we would call “monkey mind” in yoga.
Synchronicity is challenging to recognize because the more you try to apply your rationale, the less likely you will see it. In fact, neuroscience has proven how when we consciously look for meaning in things, our brain basically backs out of seeing anything meaningful at all! It’s a phenomenon called confirmation bias, and it happens due to a mental shortcut that helps us save energy while making quick judgments known as heuristics. So basically, even though we are knowledgeable human beings who navigate life every day, sometimes our best friend is our ego which cares only about satisfying its immediate emotional needs rather than seeing!
Remember, synchronicity is about paying attention to the universe’s whispers instead of stressing over your daily monkey mind chatter. The more you learn how to listen, the better your life will become! We need to be open to receiving those messages throughout our bodies and from everyone and Everything around us in life. Listen for them everywhere; it could come in any form – words, images, or even feelings inside you! Those are all synchronistic moments, gifts from the universe meant for you.
When constantly evaluating ourselves and our own success, it can be hard to see those minor signs. Because as our mind focuses on the millions of things not done or done wrong, we start to become blind to those few moments when Everything is working out perfectly! But instead of living in regret about how much work we have left to do, synchronicity is there for us: a gentle reminder that all that matters is that you’re moving forward and making progress no matter how small it seems.
So the next time you feel frustrated with your practice, whether it’s yoga or life itself, open up your awareness and see what’s going on around you. Did anyone make eye contact with you? Did anyone smile at you? Was there a bird singing outside the window? Pay attention to those little things just as much as you pay attention to what you’re not getting done.
Whether it’s in your work or personal relationships, when we take charge of our own destiny and acknowledge how we’re feeling inside – instead of saying “I’m okay” when we’re really exhausted, anxious, and overwhelmed- synchronicity will start surrounding us. Because once we learn how to stop ignoring what’s going on around us, life becomes a lot easier because the next step is always clear!
The definition of self-actualization, according to Maslow, is: “the full use and exploitation of talents, capacities, and capabilities .” Basically, it’s all about becoming your best self and making the most out of Everything we have to offer. This is typically the point in someone’s development when they finally see and accept their true potential and work hard towards maximizing it. When we feel like we’re not living up to our own standards, that’s where synchronicity shows up: as a sign that you’re doing just fine!
Remember, life isn’t an exam or race – there are no winners and losers, only lessons learned along the way. Some people achieve self-actualization in their later years, while for others, it happens in infancy. Either way, the outcome is always a better version of ourselves.
In yoga, we call this state Samadhi or bliss. In terms of achieving it, though, the only thing I can say from my own experience is that synchronicity will take you there – as long as you’re open to receiving it! That’s why the first step in making these connections just happens to be about being okay with not knowing Everything and relinquishing control over how Everything turns out.
Everything else? Well, that’s just details. 🙂
Over time, your life starts feeling more like a movie rather than a reality because, at some point along the way, you realize that all you have to do to create a fantastic outcome is simply trust! Trust yourself and your process, and remember why you chose to do all of this in the first place. Because if we’re brave enough to follow our paths, eventually we’ll be led home. 🙂