By Sky Nelson

A synchronicity is a meaningful alignment of circumstances that we can’t predict in advance. If you have had one of these experiences, your natural reaction was likely to ask yourself, “What are the chances?” Whether it is a friend randomly calling you right when you need to talk to them, or running across a news article in the paper that relates perfectly to your life, these circumstances all have one thing in common: living in sync with life.

Now, I do try to live a centered life, striving to stay grounded and patient throughout my day. But with all the demands of family, friends, and work, there is no way to avoid getting caught up in the whirlwind before too long. I can easily forget that place of centered calmness that rejuvenates me. Yet synchronicity provides a simple way to reconnect even if I can’t take time away. It provides a realistic way to maintain composure and respond with grace to anything that comes along.

Follow the Guidance

The central practice of living in synchronicity is to follow the guidance around us. Although we are immersed in a busy world with many distractions, that same “world out there” contains guidance that can help us navigate its chaos. I have found that, when all else fails, I simply need to reflect back on what sort of guidance I have received lately that can help me through each decision.

Lately, I have to admit, I have had just enough composure to see the guidance but not enough composure to follow it. Yet even when I make mistakes in this way, reflecting back on the guidance I missed helps me feel held and mentored by whatever cosmic consciousness is out there. And sometimes that guidance comes straight out of the mouths of other people!

Listen (to Your Father-in-Law)

Take, for example, the other day when I went to a theatrical production with my wife’s parents. It was my kindergarten daughter’s first time watching a full length play, and it was Mother’s Day. I had arranged for a restaurant reservation afterwards and was very relieved to secure one on this busy holiday. As the play let out and we mingled in the lobby, I was anxious about being late to the restaurant, and I decided that a couple of us should leave right away and go secure the table. In my mind, I planned that my daughter would come in my car, which meant I needed to grab the booster seat from my father-in-law Steve’s car.

All of this was calculated in my head in a split second. I told Steve my plan and asked for his keys so I could get the booster. He politely objected and said we didn’t need to do that, it would work out just fine as it was. Yet I was insistent. He gave in and handed me the keys.

I knew in that moment that his resistance was a sort of guidance. However, my own worry about the timing of the reservation clouded my view. While the circumstances were essentially urging me to slow down, I kept moving quickly and went out to Steve’s car to get the booster seat.

I rushed there and back, returning to the group only to find that they had made a new plan. It involved my daughter riding with Steve to the restaurant, and yes, it was in fact a better plan than mine. I realized in that moment that my effort had been wasted. I sheepishly handed Steve the booster seat so he could take it right back to his car. I gave a little embarrassed smile, and we headed off to the restaurant.

To drive the point home, the restaurant wasn’t crowded and my concern about the timing turned out to be not worth the worry.

Watch Yourself Doing It

Even though I didn’t behave in a centered and grounded way, I did watch myself throughout the experience. I was fully aware that I was worrying and not listening to the ideas of others, and thought to myself that I was probably missing some helpful guidance. Although I didn’t have the presence of mind to stop myself and act differently, just this awareness helped me correct my course later in the evening. I gradually settled into the dinner, let go of the worry, and found myself able to begin listening once again to the guidance sent to me through the mouths of other people.

The difference between the two modes of operation is subtle but profound. When I am not able to hear the guidance, I find myself at odds with the people I am with, disagreeing on minor points and causing an air of unease. On the flip side, when I can hear the divine guidance in the words of others, I am likely to harmonize with them and contribute to an increasing vibe of positivity and connection. It is not only my relationships that improve, but also the decisions I make in general that become more aligned with the world out there.

Surround Yourself with Guides

We can even proactively set ourselves up for guidance! By working with a life coach, we can count on regularly receiving poignant words of wisdom. Let’s be clear, though: the words of wisdom may not come from the coach’s wisdom or great skill, it may simply be a casual remark they make that means something to you. After all, people don’t always know they are offering you guidance! It is the meaning that you take away from the situation that matters. But you can set yourself up for this by surrounding yourself with people who consistently help you reflect on your experiences.

If you feel out of sync with life, try taking a minute to think back on the dilemmas you are facing and see if you have received any guidance related to them lately. It could be comments from friends, a coach, or events that have happened that have encouraged you to see the situation a bit differently. If you recollect receiving some relevant guidance, and it feels right, try to let go of your struggle and step in the direction you are being guided. Hopefully the weight of trying to keep it all together will lessen, and you will immediately feel more connected to the “world out there.”

Sky Nelson
Sky Nelson is author of the book “What Are the Chances? Science, Serendipity, and Seizing the Moment”. Sky speaks to people who want to understand how the emerging science behind meaningful coincidences can impact their personal sense of satisfaction with life and work.