As a journalist, I know when I’m onto a good story when I hear it from three different sources. That’s why I know my Soul’s telling me something when the synchronicities line up in threes (often in one day!)
Synchronicity, in the words of the wonderful Carl Gustav Jung, are “meaningful coincidences”. They’re stuff that happen to you that can’t possibly be a coincidence, but they have a pattern and some meaning to you personally. They’re external happenings that have symbolic significance for what’s going on internally for you.
I take synchronicity as a sign that my Soul is talking to me. It wants to tell me that I’m on the right road, that all doors I push against will open without force, and that I’m evolving beyond just the skin I’m in.
Anyone on a spiritual path will know that at some point the Ego will surrender to the Soul. That surrender can take a while, and it can involve months and years of battle. One’s defences can take some dismantling. They cling on with their fingernails, refusing to give up. But when it’s time for the Ego to wave the white flag and admit time’s up, that’s when the Soul steps in. Ever graceful, ever elusive, the Soul has symbolic messages that the Ego has to be in a mood and state to receive and interpret.
I’m often in awe of how Soul can communicate. Here’s how it reached me three times in one hour:
1. The practical way: I was rushing out of the office at lunchtime, conscious that I had a meeting with one of the board directors just after lunch, thinking that I would need to freshen up as soon as I came back to the office. I realised I didn’t have a deodorant in my bag that day, and was thinking about buying a mini one once I’d had lunch and was on my way back to the office. On my way out the door to my floor, I saw a man’s roll-on deodorant on the floor. Not significant in itself, but hugely meaningful to me, as I’d just been thinking about deodorants before a meeting for which I’d prepared for hours, and which had an important outcome hanging on it. In short, I felt like I’d manifested the deodorant. (Significant though it was, I put in in my bag to hand back to its rightful owner once I was back after lunch).
2. The social media way: A casual search on Twitter for spirituality, in connection with a project I’m researching and writing on Jung, gifted me a beautiful article by the wonderful Dr Alice Chan. In Ego vs Soul, she writes with such honesty and wisdom, and I recognised so much of myself as she described the tussle between her authentic soul-self and her “carefully constructed life”. But it was the mention of MBTI – itself Jung based – that helped her message sink into my own Soul. I felt her blog post was written for me, as I’ve worked with MBTI for years and know how it transformed how I managed my teams.
3. The serendipitous way: Again during my lunch break, I was reflecting on how much work I had to do that afternoon, and how I never had any real time to sit down, switch off and take a break from the pressures of life. I happened to take a different route on the way to a shop I’d been recommended, when I passed by a church. The smell of incense lured me in. It’s not often in central London that happens. I must have walked this road dozens of times, but I’d never sensed this place before. I entered in, and sat for 15 minutes in meditation. Opening my eyes and feeling slightly dizzy, I saw a statue of the figure of Christ, taken from the cross and dying in his mother’s arms. For me and where I am in my life, this was a potent but gentle symbol of the persecuted persona representing the surrender of the Ego to a power greater than itself.
A lot to digest in one lunchtime. But three symbols from the real world touching my unconscious meant that I floated back to my office in the vibrant September sun. I may not have been as fresh as I would have liked for my post-lunch meeting, but I was buoyed by spiritual deodorant for the Soul.