Over the past few years, I have occasionally noticed how things line up – events or chance meetings with people occur that positively affect my life. Sometimes it almost feels too surprising to be just by chance. You might hear of something, then a friend tells you about it that very same day, and then the next day as you are getting out of your car someone walks by wearing the t shirt or carrying this very same thing – perhaps it is a book. Often it is a particular person everyone keeps suggesting you meet.
The idea of Synchronicity – first articulated by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung in the 1920s – is defined as the experience of two or more events as being meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be causally related. The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence, although the events need not be exactly simultaneous in time.
I no longer doubt this principle of Synchronicity exists. For me it happens frequently with particular books that just show up at the right time – often there is some kind of learning associated with the arrival or chance finding of a particular book. I recently found a book someone years ago had given me – I can’t even remember who, but once I opened it there was already underlining and highlighting of the particular information that happened to be absolutely relevant to my life. Last week I went to throw out the garbage and on top of the garbage can was another book, “Perfect Spy” by John Le Carre. I don’t know anything about this book. I do know that my Father’s favorite book, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” is by this same author. I have not cracked it open yet. It sits upon my table waiting for me to do so. I know there is something here for me but I don’t yet know what.
What is most interesting to me, however, is that Synchronicity seems to only happen at certain times. I forget about it and then all of sudden things would start happening again…then it would die down. What I am now realizing is that synchronicity, the surprising, personal aligning of occurrences of people, situations or events, seems to happen more when I am involved with things that inspire me.
It seems to happen more when I am rested instead of tired. It seems to happen more when I am going slower and paying attention to what is going on around me. It definitely happens more when I am feeling joyful. Most importantly, however, it is right when I am in the ebb and flow of things, feeling good, that I make my best art. My creativity is just simply alive. During these times, I can do more paintings, come up with way more ideas and even sleep less because I am so excited from all the possibilities.
Is it the state of contentedness that invites serendipitous, seemingly connected events in? Or is it that this buoyant state is somehow supported or caused by these occurrences? Whichever way it is, it just plain feels good to know that the tide of life can sometimes be moving in the same direction as you.
I used to think this was just something that happened to me. I now not only know that this is not the case but I am beginning to believe that the principle of Synchronicity is not only real but also a universal truth. It is like a stream that is always full and moving. Sometimes you are standing upon the riverbank watching the water pass by and then at other times you are swiftly carried within it, absolutely effortlessly.
Does this sound familiar to you? I would be interested to see what you think.
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.