Do you see the same sequences of numbers, symbols or images over and over again? Do you often experience ‘coincidences’ that don’t feel like coincidences?
Are you confused about what might be happening or what it means?
This is what we might call “synchronicity” and you certainly aren’t alone.
What is Synchronicity?
Synchronicity is not exactly a word in everyone’s vocabulary, so before we go ahead I’ll clarify what exactly a synchronicity is.
The term synchronicity was originally coined by psychiatrist Carl Jung, it refers to seemingly coincidental events in our lives which upon further inspection, appear to have a deeper interconnected meaning.
I think most of us can look back and recalls events that seemed far too unlikely to be coincidences. Times where you felt a visceral interconnection between the physical and non-physical, the sense of ‘this must have a deeper meaning’.
There are many ways in which we can conceptualize these events outside of mere coincidence. Some people might view this as the work of God, as a a miracle, others might see it as a sign from the Universe, a spirit guide or angel.
Synchronicity reveals the meaningful connection between the subjective and objective world.Carl Jung
Synchronicity has also been associated with cognitive bias (confirmation bias) by Jung himself, which is where our experience of it is predicated by our tendency towards or search for it – we find what we are looking for, even if it isn’t there.
In this context, discussing synchronicities can be useful so long as they used to further the exploration of our consciousness (to find patterns in our experience we were unaware of) rather than a way to encourage an overly-superstitious outlook. There needs to be some objectivity.
Types of Synchronicity
- Repeating number patterns or symbols
- Thinking about someone and randomly crossing paths with them or receiving a phone call
- Dreaming about something and seeing it the next day
- Events/dates lining up in the perfect order
- Overhearing a random conversation that answers a question we had
Usually when we refer to synchronicity we are usually talking about these seeming coincidences, and the occurrence of different number sequences, sometimes called angel numbers.
I think what makes synchronicity distinct from coincidence is the awareness that is present. When we experience an event that seems far too convenient to be a coincidence, but even more so, that we perceive a kind of interconnection underneath it.
Synchronicity is considered different to coincidence in that synchronicity lines up the path in front of us, and leads us to things that are for our higher good. Events and dates line up in such a way it feels like destiny.
You get your dream job just after losing a job you were holding on out of fear, you meet someone at just the right time, you come upon knowledge right when you need it. Everything falls into place.
My Experience with Synchronicity
When I went on my first backpacking trip I met a girl at a hostel, we discussed the people we had met on our travels and how easy it was to forget to ask for contact details. You get so engrossed in the connection and having fun, you might form a deep connection before even asking their name.
She said that if the connection was truly there you’d remember to stay in touch, that stuck in my mind. She left rather quickly a few days later and I hadn’t asked for her contact details, which I regretted.
A month later, in a completely different country, I had just finished kayaking and was back on the beach. I lost my sense of direction after coming out of the water and walked across the beach onto the road to see if I could spot some kind of a landmark.
At that exact moment I stepped out of the beach onto the road I saw the same girl passing by. We hugged and she said she was on her way to catch a flight, we finally exchanged contact details.
Was this a mere coincidence? Synchronicity? Or something else?
What stood out to me was just how lined up everything was, had I kayaked for five minutes longer or stepped out at a different part of the road, the encounter would have never happened.
I’m not so interested in the label, but more so in the experience in itself and observing this interconnected nature of things.
The Spiritual Meaning of Synchronicity
Synchronicity occurs when we begin to make the connection between the spiritual and physical worlds. These experiences are more common after a spiritual awakening but are a natural extension of this new level of awareness.
We begin to see that everything is connected at an energetic level, even when it isn’t so obvious or we can’t see it with our physical eyes, there is a energy that permeates all of existence, a web that brings everything together.
As I’ve mentioned before, the reason these experiences are distinct from mere coincidences is the visceral sensation that comes with them – an epiphany or connecting of the dots that is undeniable.
Synchronicity is also a sign you are on the right path. Synchronicity light up the path for us, they push us in the right direction and act as confirmation of what we can already know inside. Synchronicity is said to be a wink from the Universe, and I would say that description is rather apt.
Other interpretations of synchronicity
- Mere coincidence
- Confirmation bias
- Apophenia (a tendency to find patterns in unrelated or random things)
I think it’s important that we acknowledge the other interpretations of synchronicity so that we know what we are working with. Sometimes we are looking too far into something, or make the wrong connection.
Even on the spiritual path we can become over concerned with labels and categorizing things in a specific way. The ability to let go of labels, take a step back and allow things to just be as they are, whether they align in a spiritual way or not is a practice in letting go – which is also important.
It’s also true that the ego can take over and create stories where there are none. Being able to observe things objectively is helpful and despite what you might think, actually works alongside the intuition not against it.
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Overthinking and Synchronicity
This is a side to synchronicity that I often don’t see mentioned but is super important – how overthinking can distort the spiritual messages we receive.
There is a debate about how valid synchronicity is, many people believe we should always trust the signs we receive and others believe synchronicity is simply overthinking in action. I can see both sides to this.
It’s easy to become hyperfixated on numbers, signs and symbols that we lose our objectivity. It’s also true that we can fall into confirmation bias. We can see this more obviously with numbers, and how a lot of people take on synchronicity as a kind of hunt for numbers.
For me it’s less about fixating on numbers and more so about aligning with our intuition so the right messages reach us at the right moment. We don’t always need signs and symbols on our journey, and shouldn’t focus too intently on them.
Rather, when we do receive a symbol, take our time to meditate on it, but ultimately move along.
After all our intuition is what should be guiding us. Often we look for signs as a way to distract ourselves from what we already know in our gut, rather than looking for clarification we look for validation.
How to Interpret Synchronicity
There are many ways to interpret synchronicity, here I’ll outline some of the ways that have worked for me.
1. Meditate on the signs you receive
The first step I recommend after experiencing synchronicity is to meditate. When we receive a sign or symbol it’s important not to get too caught up in the sign itself; there are subtler messages underneath.
Getting fixated on a specific number sequence or a particular symbol that we see can often just leave us having a mental debate with ourselves about what it means. Meditating allows us to observe a symbol on a level beyond just mental.
Notice what other information, sensations, emotions or memories come up when you focus on the sign you have received.
2. Learn about symbolism
It can also be helpful to learn some basic symbolism. I learned a lot of symbolism through reading tarot cards, a lot of the same principles applies here.
Numbers 1-10 often have a particular meaning attached to them, culturally and spiritually. Starting with 0 which could be seen as nothingness, a state of possibilities, up to 10 which can symbolize completion.
You can research these meanings on the internet or find a good book of symbols. Most of all, refer back to your intuition consistently. What does this symbol mean for you in your life? After all, the symbols you receive are filtered through what you already know.
Once again it’s important to not get too bogged down in exact meanings which can create rigidity in the way you view things, but leave some room for uncertainty and further exploration. It’s not about forcing things to fit if they don’t.
3. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal of the synchronicities you experience has two purposes: firstly you create something physical you can reference which keeps things grounded, secondly you can identify patterns and see what is coming up for you consistently.
4. Records your dreams
Similar to above, keeping a dream journal will help you identify and lay out the common symbols you receive in dreams. Over time you are going to see that they relate to themes which are present during different periods of time in your life.
Keeping a dream journal allows us to observe this connection between our physical and non-physical lives. Even without taking a spiritual interpretation, we can see how our persistent thoughts patterns shift our outlook or daily experience.
How to attract synchronicity
The simplest thing you can do to attract more synchronicities into your life is to simply be more present.
This means practicing mindfulness everyday rather than regulating it to specific sessions each week. We can incorporate mindfulness into any activity however mundane; as we do the dishes, walk to work, pick up the children from school.
This opens us up to a wider world if you will, to a level of perception and awareness beyond simply the physical. In this state we are able to pick up on the synchronicities and signs that are always coming through.
Tune into your intuition
Make tuning into your intuition a daily practice. Rather than waking up and tuning into social media or the new right away, take a few minutes to tune in with yourself.
What are you thinking, feeling, doing? Notice your state of being? Notice what is consistently drawing your attention throughout the day, and inquire within on why that might be.
If you are confused about a specific path or don’t know where to focus, practice sitting with yourself in a meditation and asking questions. Notice what sensations, phrases or prompts naturally come up. As you go about your day, notice the signs that follow.
Let go of expectations
Finally, let go of expectations. In order to experience more synchronicity we have to be in a receptive state of being. This is where we aren’t so attached to a specific outcome or plan.
We might have an idea of where we want to get in our lives, but we move with the knowledge that things don’t always go to plan. When we are open to the unexpected, we can view life as it is (in all its magic) rather than how we want it to be.
Overall, I think we can approach synchronicity in two ways. We can close our mind off and become hyper-focus, we can become too focused on this type of experience or even chase it. Or we can take the experience as it is but continue to let go and deepen our connection with our environment, the Universe at large.
What has your experience with synchronicity been?