So what is it then? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, synchronicity is “the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (such as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality”. My interpretation is that things happen that seem related but have no reason to be and are still meaningful. And when things like this occur, it is time to take notice and look go deeper.
Here is my story of synchronicity to illustrate the point. In my Intuitive Plant Medicine class we are focusing on dreaming, which requires us to meditate and then keep a dream journal. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but I thought perhaps if my intention was to remember them, I would. The first night I had a nightmare. A couple broke into our house, and I laid in my bed unable to speak or move. I was paralyzed. Nobody hurt me, but the woman went outside and chopped down a tree in our backyard and there was a fire burning nearby. I woke up scared with my heart pounding. Part of our homework was to “dissect” a dream to find its meaning. I determined that this dream was related to my business and the fact that I felt stuck and without a voice. I vowed to make changes to get unstuck and find my voice and honor that dream.
One way I thought I could do that was through yoga, so when I saw a class titled “Yoga and the Goddesses”, it felt like the perfect class for my situation. (Synchronicity #1). The class was part of a series dedicated to learning about all the different goddesses and their qualities. Most of the people in the class had obviously had exposure to these goddesses, while I did not, as the instructor asked what goddess resonated with them the most. Several spouted out names I barely could pronounce, much less knew what qualities they embodied. Summoning up the courage to speak, I said this was my first class, and knew nothing about any of the goddesses.
The instructor said it was my lucky night (Synchronicity #2) – we were studying Shakti, the goddess of creation She provided a handout with the quote “Shakti, reveling in her own bliss, pours herself forth as the universe” by Maheshswarananda with the following picture:
This woman was strong. She’s holding the planets for Pete’s sake! She is reveling in her own bliss! I was starting to feel the empowerment I needed. We laid in various positions observing our breath when I felt a kick in the back. It was Ego. Ego was telling me I would never be as learned as the instructor or have as beautiful voice as she did chanting the “Nondual Invocation to the Divine”. Then Ego left me to dwell on that as it usually does. But I channeled my inner Shakti and my inner voice and shot that crap down cold. I left the class feeling light and floaty with a smile on my face. Later, when I looked up Shakti for more information, I discovered that “Shakti especially energizes communication skills, so that our words will be heard clearly and understood.” (Source: Goddess Shakti) (Synchronicity #3)
That evening as I was going through my bedtime gratitude list, I finished by asking the universe for a sign that I was on the right path. I asked it to show me a pink butterfly. I had a hard time falling asleep, and actually didn’t sleep well at all.
I awoke the next day and decided to head to the park to take a walk and be invigorated by Nature. The day was sunny and cool, and there were only a few people on the trail. As I walked off the trail to go around the lake, I saw a dead branch hanging from a tree. I pulled the branch down, thinking it was an offering from the tree. I carried it for the rest of my walk, and took it back to the beginning of the trail to lay in the woods as a symbol of my gratitude. I noticed some interesting looking bud-like things at the end of the branch, and thought they would be nice on my altar at home. I broke off the ends with the buds and took them with me.
After leaving the park I decided to stop at a garden store to look for some herb containers. I was looking up and down the aisles, and what did I see? A pink butterfly! (Synchronicity #4). It was made of sparkly pink plastic embedded in a stepping stone. I reached out my hand to touch it, with a huge grin on my face. I asked, and the universe responded. I am on the right path.
I then headed home to look up my tree to see what sort of meanings it may hold for me. Unfortunately I did not have the leaf, so I was struggling to find it online. Lucky for me (Synchronicity #5), my friend Marianne is a tree specialist. I sent her a picture of the bud-like things and she identified it immediately – European black alder. I put the name of the tree and “medicine” in the search engine and the first site that came up? www.thegoddesstree.com! (Synchronicity #6).
I started reading about the medicinal properties of the alder, and it was historically used to treat mouth ulcers and sore throats. Well right now I have a mouthpiece while I wait to get a tooth implant, and it is making my mouth very sore. Now I didn’t harvest some bark to make a gargle, but I did realize the tree was giving me a gift–an acknowledgement of my pain, and a source of energy for my throat, or voice. I continued to read down the page and came across this meaning when the Alder card comes up in the deck OGHAM The Celtic Oracle by Peter Pracownik and Andy Baggott:
You have an opportunity to set some firm foundations, although you need to guard against them being underminded by negative emotions. You have untapped emotional strength within you and spiritual help around you that you can call upon if the going gets tough. This is a time to build bridges, not burn them, so think carefully before decision making. Inspiration can come from beyond the physical world if you have the awareness to seek it. Hold steadfastly to what you know in your heart, listen to your intuition and seek guidance from the spiritual realm more than from your fellow man. Have faith in your path understanding that you make your own destiny. (Synchronicity #7)
The webpage on Alders ends with this:
I move forward with ease and grace.
I honor the energy of alder, for the protection of my inner oracle.
I will listen to the voice of the Goddess Within.
So mote it be.
And boom, I drop the mic on my last Synchronicity. What this whole long story says to me is this – trust the universe. The universe has my back, and will guide me in whatever way I need. I needed to find my voice, and it took me on a journey to find it. And I continue to discover it as I retell my story.
It is magical and beautiful, and it can happen to you! But in order to experience this you must be present and tuned into the world around you. You have to be observant and do things that seem weird (like pulling a dead tree branch from a tree). Trust yourself, and trust the universe – neither will let you down.