8 Ways To Recognize Synchronicity

I did not create this image-I noticed it while I was walking in a neighborhood where Joe and I use to buy Italian beef sandwiches. The first letter of Joe’s name and the first two letters of my name.  


Recently, I was corrected when I attributed the word synchronicity to the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung; I was told that Steve Job coined the word! Later that same day, I was waiting for my coffee at Starbucks when two friends ran into one another unexpectedly. They noticed that they were both carrying the exact same paperback book. They laughed and tried to remember “that word” for a “coincidence” That night, one of the words Cole needed to define for his vocabulary list was synchronicity.

This blog post was inspired by synchronicity.

The word synchronicity, coined by Carl Jung, comes from two Greek phrases meaning “joined with” and “time.” According to Jung, “Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and is meaningful to the observer.” Simply put, synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence.

Synchronicity helps me navigate my inner world, connect to those that have moved beyond this life, and reroute my life when I’m heading in the wrong direction. If you’re interested in learning how to recognize or invite more synchronicity into your life, here are a few suggestions.

Seek: Synchronicity is always present in your life; start looking for it, and banish the words “it’s just a coincidence” from your vocabulary. However, keep in mind that people who walk around saying, “Well, you know, there are no coincidences in life” are universally annoying.

Acceptance: The universe resents being second guessed and being dismissed as a just a coincidence or luck. When the unexpected happens, greet it with curiosity. Don’t short-change the experience by trying to explain it way or looking for a logical explanation. On the other hand, if someone unexpectedly gives you cookies, don’t interrogate them about the true meaning of their gift. Just say thank you and give them a hug.

Acknowledgement: Synchronicity loves to be noticed (don’t we all). If you want to shout, “Hey! Hey! I feel synchronicity” and do a little hop, skip, and a jump, I certainly won’t stand in your way, but a quiet “Wow!” to yourself when you notice synchronicity at work in your life will suffice.

Act Now: Do you remember the story about the guy who stood on his roof during the flood waiting for God to save him? Two boats and a helicopter offered to rescue him, but he passed on each offer because he had faith that God would save him. The man drowned and arrived in heaven demanding to know why God hadn’t saved him. “What more do you want from me?” asked God. “I sent you two boats and a helicopter.” This man clearly missed the synchronicity boat. Follow up with the person whose photograph shows up unexpectedly between the pages of a book, call the number on the business card that falls out of your wallet and lands at your feet, and invite the friend who has been on your mind to lunch.

Creativity: When inspiration leaves you high and dry, and you feel like you’ll never have another good idea or be able to solve the problem you are confronted with, take a break, do something different, and watch what happens. More often than not, a friend will show up to offer you exactly what you need; or a book, or overheard conversation will provide the perfect solution. Synchronicity loves to surprise you when you feel at your wit’s end.

Stress: Life passages such as births, romances, and deaths are times when the worries of daily life recede as we are drawn into the currents of a larger existence. Our ordinary routines are disrupted, our thoughts focus on the changes in process, and our senses are wide open. We know that when the child is born, when the wedding is over, when the funeral is done, our lives will be different in ways we can only dimly perceive now. We probably have a jumble of conflicting feelings. Along with our joy at a birth may come fear about our new financial responsibility; along with the grief of death may come relief at the end of suffering. We might be looking for direction, for answers, for reassurance that the good and right thing is happening. During these times, synchronicity often shows up to reassure us, point us in a whole new direction, or give us the missing piece we need to make everything work out.

Synchronistic Clusters: When something or somebody shows up in your life more than once, synchronicity wants your full attention and often wants you to act on a suggestion or request even if it seems irrational or unreasonable in the moment.

Cosmic Giggle: Have you ever started a diet and then immediately been given a dozen donuts? A friend of mine announced that he would quit smoking after he finished his last pack of cigarettes—that was almost a year ago, and he’s still at it! Before he pulls the  last cigarette out of the pack, someone always drops off or offers him a new pack or even a carton. He joked that while he may not be healthier, he was richer as he hadn’t bought a pack of cigarettes in almost a year. How do we ward off this kind of synchronicity? Very lightly. The universe knows that most of us would rather eat donuts over celery sticks and that most ex-smokers would continue to smoke if it wasn’t a deadly addiction. Our best bet to is first appreciate the donuts or cigarettes and then watch for synchronicity moments that will help us align more fully with our goal.

This blog post was inspired by synchronicity and has taken me outside my comfort zone. I am certainly not a synchronicity scholar, and I have no idea if my suggestions will resonate with you; what I do know is that this post will be much richer when you share your thoughts and stories about the role synchronicity plays in your life.

Odd Loves Company!

Synchronicity Stories:


Dead Ex-Husband…Alive at the DMV! (Part 1) (read all 5 parts)

The cosmic Wink: The Whole Bat Story: 

Joe Offers a Sign

Music Sounds Of Sorrow 

17 thoughts on “8 Ways To Recognize Synchronicity

  1. This is great. I knew a little about synchronicity but always thought it happened in those big AH HA moments. I never considered that it could be happening around us all the time. The other day I really needed to go to the library to pick up a book for one of my kids projects but was I was super pressed for time. A friend called me 15 minutes before I was ready to leave and mentioned she was going to the library–I see her every morning when I take my kids to school. She was happy to pick up the book. When I hung up my first thought was WOW what a happy coincidence. That was a synchronicity moment, right?
    Thanks again for sharing! I am going to start paying more attention.

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  3. Kb, you never cease to amaze me — what a fascinating glimpse into something that’s far beyond our earthly knowledge. What you call Synchronicity I tend to think of as answered prayer. Regardless of how we label it, we should sit up and take notice, shouldn’t we?!

  4. I love it when you step outside of your comfort zone. It inspires me. Great post! And this: ‘However, keep in mind that people who walk around saying, “Well, you know, there are no coincidences in life” are universally annoying.’ is good to know…..

  5. I seem to get messages when I need them the most: My mother lived with me and my family for 13 years, for the last 4 of those years, she had a stroke and sufferered from dementia. Needlesstosay, she never remembered my birthday. My mom died in January at the age of 90. When she died, I took a vase with 4 plastic edelweiss flowers in it that she had on her dresser and put it on my dresser. In November on my birthday I was looking through a drawer in my kitchen where I have telephone books, etc. I removed everything from the drawer looking for whatever I was looking for. As I took out one of the telephone books, one of the plastic edelweiss flowers fell out of the book. My mom had put the flower there to say happy birthday to me after all those years. It was the best birthday present I could have hoped for.
    The second time it happened – when my boys made their communion, we gave them medals to wear on a chain. My oldest son was looking for his medal and couldn’t find it anywhere – we looked for it all summer long and couldn’t find it. On his second day of lawschool. I was in another room, which my youngest son had just moved out of to go back to school. I spotted something on the desk in the room, which was cleared off when my son went back to school. In a tarnished lump on the desk, was his medal. We couldn’t believe it – I told my son that his grandpa, who he was extremely close to, put the medal there for him because he knew he needed it. I polished it up, and he has worn it ever since.
    I live for moments like these because it lets you know that we do have angels looking out for us.

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