In Step with Synchronicity

September 14, 2012

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the phrase synchronicity, which means the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner.

So it was with my visit to the iPhone Doctor recently.

My iPhone was ill. After all that international travel, it could no longer pick up its indigenous phone signal, leaving it rather useless for someone who, well, needs a phone. I asked a local service provider if she knew something about iPhones. A few swipes on the screen told me she did not. With a solemn look, she gazed deeply into my eyes and said:

“This is a case for the iPhone Doctor.”

I could almost hear the creepy horror movie music play in the background as she spoke the words.

She carefully described how to get to his place. Take a left, then a right, then another right. I set off with great hope in my heart that the Doctor could help. But when I got to the address, that the local shop lady said several times and with the confidence of an insider, I couldn’t find a sign indicating anything about a doctor, much less an iPhone. That is, until a lady who appeared on the stoop next door gave me the same gaze the shop lady did and said:

“What are you searching for? Maybe I can help!”

I was about to tell her what I really wanted to know was the meaning of life, but stopped short as I realized perhaps asking for directions would be better.

“Ah yes, the iPhone Doctor. He’s there. Just push open the door and go upstairs. Last office on your left.”

Again, the creepy music played in my head and I swear her body language added: “He’s waiting for you.”

I climbed the stairs to be greeted by a smiling face that didn’t belong to the iPhone Doctor, but who had the same knowing look. “You’re going to see him, aren’t you?” the face seemed to say. I smiled weakly, then continued down the long corridor to the last office.

And then there he was: Jürgen, the iPhone Doctor, smiling like a Buddha as I walked into his space.

“I was on vacation, you see…” and he interrupted with a shudder. “Your phone got wet, didn’t it? Let me guess. Swimming pool? Jacuzzi?” He sized me up with a keen eye.

“None of the above! It’s simply cranky because I kept switching networks. You know. Swisscom, iWind, Orange France!”

He tooled around with it for a while, professionally swiping screen after screen, grunting quietly, then brushing away the detritus in the speaker with a toothbrush and buffing the screen with a woolly towel.

“Here you go! Good as new. But if all else fails, hit reset, okay?”

Which is what I ended up doing when I got home because my iPhone continued to act crazy. Jürgen’s backup advice worked. And that’s all I cared about.

The synchronicity of the moment made me realize there are guiding forces in our lives that show us the way when we can’t help ourselves. When we are present to them, life can be so much fun. When asked why he has no sign on his door, Jürgen revealed to me that his word-of-mouth strategy is ultimately more effective than advertising. It has more impact. He leverages the power of synchronicity because, as he says, “I want the people to come looking for me.”

What synchronicities can you find today? Look for them. They are there, waiting for you to see them so they can play too.

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The Land of the Lost

August 12, 2012

On days when I lose my keys, I know I have too much on my mind. Misplacing things is a sign of being overwhelmed. But sometimes things lose themselves in an energetic exchange that tells me now is the time to let them go.

Releasing is a spiritual practice because we tend to cling to things. They can be material items, relationships or expectations. There would be no need to release if we were in flow at all times.

My belongings often teach me the power of release by disappearing for a time. My magic necklace once took a six month journey in the pocket of my coat that I swear had been empty all this time. Just as I was searching for something else, it showed up in the moment that I truly needed it. Or my beloved sunglasses that I bought in New York City that I thought I had left on a plane back from the Cannes Film Festival showed up in that same bag (that I swear was empty!) on the way to the airport as I headed back to France.

It is as if these things are telling me “See! Nothing ever gets lost. It merely transforms.”

If you are struggling with loss right now, know that it may be the biggest transformation you get to witness in this lifetime. Energy is shifting into a new form. Sometimes it returns to its original state. Other times it moves into a new shape altogether. When we are in flow with ourselves, it doesn’t matter what shape things are in because we are originating from our truest form. And the energies that swirl about us move in and out freely like water under a bridge.

Flow is that single-minded immersion in something you love. Proposed by  positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the concept has revolutionized the way I think about life and the people in it.

We all have people in our lives that make us feel like time is suspended. You know you have a flow friend when you pick up where you left off no matter how long it’s been since you saw each other last. Flow friends make time melt away altogether. There is an innate knowing, a comfort level, a deep love and connection that you cannot fabricate. Flow friends are for life. They are for real.

You could say that they are soulmates. As Arielle Ford defines it in her book, The Soulmate Secret, you can have many soulmates of various ages. I am blessed to have deep connections with people in my life who bring flow into every conversation. They enhance my thoughts, feelings and awareness about pretty much everything. We share a laugh, a story, a memory and for a moment in time, we raise each other up just a little higher.

Flow friends are the best. Immerse yourself in a conversation with one of them today. It will be worth your time.

I promise.

Go with the flow

June 8, 2010

Slow makes things flow.

Doubt it? Have you ever noticed how traffic patterns are affected by one person going too fast behind you who then has to slam on the brakes because you aren’t going the same speed? Multiply the speed by the distance and the number of cars involved and you could have yourself a mighty fine traffic jam.

Such was my morning. As I gazed over the bridge above the autobahn, Munich-bound, I saw the cars lined up and at a halt. The sign above the bridge told me there was an accident. So I kept going straight, hoping my GPS would catch up. The voice persistently tried to get me to turn around until we got too far from the autobahn entrance. Then it readjusted and smartly got me back on track. I skirted around the traffic jam on backroads, then gracefully (and gratefully) hopped back on the highway. I breathed the slow and trusted in my belief about time abundance. I have more than enough time to do what is required to fulfill my ultimate purpose, I whispered to myself. GPS guy seemed to respond with his consistent voice of reason. “Now turn left.” And so I did.

The Truth Heals author Deborah King, whose book is coming out in German tomorrow, speaks of our chakras much like an autobahn. If our energy is blocked, we are in a jam. Depending on where our energy blockage is stored, we can have any number of health issues related to that blockage. In her book, she speaks about the healing power of truth. Dividing the body into seven power centers or chakras, she talks a lot about illnesses that correspond to that area where our energy is most jammed up.

Energy flow is immensely important for well-being. Much like the traffic example, when we go with the flow in slow style, we get there a lot faster than when we are either racing around or at a stand still.

Distraction or feeling as if you aren’t really here is an expression of our blocked root chakra located at the base of our spine. Our coccyx is what grounds us and connects us to the rest of our body. It connects to our feet, which keep us in the here and now. That energy, which flows from the base of our spine up to our heads, also races through our arms, feeds our brain and controls our attention. In effect, a flowing root chakra allows for slow while a blocked one is often expressed in fast-paced stress and a road to nowhere.

What does your personal highway look like today and how might you find more flow? I took the slow road today and it got me there faster. How about you?

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The weather smacks of summer, the breezy timelessness of youth strengthened by the sun’s pure will to warm the Earth. Despite the external circumstances, I’ve been breathless since 8 am.

It started when I used my mind as a calendar instead of that actual daytimer I lug about with me.

First call at 11 am. Check. That gives me enough time to run seven errands and be back in time to relax before my first official appointment.

Not so.

I had miscalculated the time of the call by one hour.

As I tooled down the road, I smugly grinned to myself about how patient I felt driving behind the slowpoke in front of me. That’s when my cell phone jangled. It was a call from Paris. Quick inhale. THE supposed 11 am CALL FROM PARIS.

flowOops. I pressed the accelerator, tossed the groceries in the fridge, and hooked my laptop up to reconnect with my Parisian contact via Skype . It seemed my equilibrium, that fragile hothouse flower of flow, was disrupted for the rest of the morning.

Despite my very best intentions, I pushed through until lunchtime with nary a deep breathe in the mix. At one point I managed to recognize squeezing in another phone call to Rome just as the kids were to come home for lunch was not a good idea. My old self would have forged on. My power of slow persona said Nada, lady.

Manifesting flow is easier when you become aware of the grip you try to have on time. Clock combat is incongruent with flow. In fact, it kills it.

It is almost 4 pm and I think I’ve caught my breath. It’s a long way from flow, but as the sun warms my face, I anticipate flow’s sweet return as I do the coming of summer.