Life’s Little Synchronicities

The train from Stuttgart sped along the late winter tracks as the grey light weighed down on me. Sitting in a six-person compartment with a man preoccupied with his iPhone, I wondered if I was making the right decision to set my sights on Freiburg as my new home.

Just as the cacophony in my head grew to a feverish pitch, the man looked up at me as if on cue and said in a thick accent:

“Man, I miss my home!”

I asked him where he was from, trying to guess by his accent that it might have been somewhere East of Germany.

“Freiburg!” his eyes grew bright as he waxed poetic about his beloved town he’s called home for 32 years. He had fled Albania with his uncle during the Communist regime and while he had tried to move away from Freiburg several times, the place just kept calling him back.

In that moment, I knew there were forces beyond my comprehension that were moving me there. That conversation was a pivotal moment I would never forget.

How could I thank this stranger who, in his own bright beauty, had given me the key to my future?

I had a chance to do that today.

Walking along my street, I heard a voice that sounded vaguely familiar. As I  strode by the group of people standing outside the mobile phone store, I recognized the man instantly. It was iPhone guy from the train! Three months later I had the opportunity to thank him for his kindness. He remembered me as well, smiling and beaming at me in that way only a person in love with life can.

At a music festival just yesterday I ran into a friend of a friend that I recognized on Facebook who was exhibiting his photography. Yet again I got the chance to connect with the miracles that life has to offer.

Synchronicities come when we are open, listening, and aware of what is happening beneath the surface of things. It is the Universe speaking to us.

It wants our best. It truly does.

 

Going to the Light

Miracles can only be seen in the light. If we are enshrouded by darkness, we only “see” our thoughts. But when our eyes are widened by the light, we take in so much more.

According to A Course in Miracles, “[d]enial of light leads to failure to perceive it. Failure to perceive light is to perceive darkness. The light is useless to you then, even though it is there…and the seeming reality of the darkness makes the idea of light meaningless.” (page 156)

In other words, we are sometimes blinded by our view of things, even when miracles surround us.

How will you know this to be true?

Try this experiment. Look for miracles. Seek them out. Shift your thinking from “There is no such thing as…” to “It is possible that…” Remove doubt from your mind as you entertain the idea that things are different than they seem.

Be the source of your own miracles. Open up. Say “yes” when you’d normally say “no”. Smile at people. Open your heart. Speak your truth. Be real.

Then notice how so-called coincidences, or synchronicities, start to happen. As your energy shifts, so does your fate.

We receive back the very energy we cast out into the world. Miracle energy is soft, unassuming, beautiful. It resides in the deepest part of ourselves where our inner knowing is also housed. It is patient, kind, loving. In fact, miracle energy is love.

And we could all use a lot more love in our lives, couldn’t we?

It takes courage to trust in miracles because you will need that strength when there is no external evidence that your miracle will occur. And sometimes miracles come in disguise in the form of something completely different. But it is a miracle just the same, perhaps by a different name.

Encourage miracles to enter your life by showing gratitude. Gratitude is the grease of your miracle engine.

Take time to listen in on your miracle network. It is there. Go to the light and you will see it more clearly. And watch as the exact people you need show up to join you too. That, in and of itself, is miraculous.

And when your life starts to become one big miracle, share your story with others so they can start to invite wonder into their lives as well.

Imagine a world of miracle believers. I think it’s possible. I really do.

The Heart of the Matter

The blessings of friendship are never more apparent than when you are going through tough times. Perhaps it is my rather Puritan upbringing that suggested doing things on my own without outside help was somehow noble and showed character, but as I discovered the power of slow, I realized doing things on one’s own all the time is really tiring.

We can all use a little help from our friends.

Every one of us is here to learn certain things. Some of us need to learn patience (me included!); others need to learn persistence or honesty or integrity. And when we stray for the lesson plan, Life has a way of bringing us back on track whether we like it or not.

In this lifetime I am learning the importance of asking for help. A consummate people pleaser, I used to think that being perfect and giving more than my fair share would somehow guarantee a place in people’s hearts. Oh it did, alright. But oftentimes it was in the hearts of those who weren’t good for me. Because people who are attracted to those who please are usually those who liked to be pleased without pleasing back. Makes sense, right?

So what is a people pleaser to do?

Here comes the fun part.

Direct the attention you typically shower on others on yourself. It feels weird at first to actually give yourself that level of kindness, but let me tell you this: it feels so good.

If you can make others feel good, you are certainly capable of doing that for yourself. Sometimes it just takes a little practice.

You are amazing. Your heart is bigger than the sea. You are noble and good and beautiful.

Who you are makes a difference.

If you doubt me, think about the friends who are in your life. Their lives would be poorer if you weren’t in it. Not because you please them, but simply because you exist.

You matter.

You really do.

In Deep Water

Cruising along the Danube from Linz to Passau with the top down and my spirits high, I realized how tenuous life can be.

Just a few weeks prior to that moment, the entire road I was driving had been covered in several tons of water.

The Danube, June 22, 2013

The Danube, June 22, 2013

The landscape is now covered with a film of silt that the river had hurled onto it. And yet, most everything survived, even if it changed form. Forever.

Life is like that. We experience a flood of emotions that cover us with a layer of sand, shifting our bodies, our hearts, our minds. Sometimes, in the storm of our feelings, we get rejected, like too much water that has spilled over our banks and into places that shouldn’t be. Or we get embraced so tightly we have nowhere else to go but over the edges of ourselves into spaces that once held supple verdancy, but suddenly got raked over by the forces of Nature.

I felt a compassion for the Earth in a completely new way

The Danube in Linz, June 4, 2013

The Danube in Linz, June 4, 2013, Courtesy of Mario Rader

as I motored over the miles of road that brought me back to Bavaria. The lovely grass that now lay barren, the trees that stood in their stoic silent power, the boats that floated upon the surface of the roaring river’s bend.

I am humbled by the strength and resilience of Nature. It teaches me time and again that I have less control than I sometimes believe. We are all subject to the unexpected. We must deal with that which we emit into the Universe.

It is a true mystery, this life.

If you find yourself in deep water, know that the tides will eventually recede. You may have to get your feet wet a few times in this lifetime, but that is why you are here.

Staying on dry land won’t form you. Jumping into the river will.

Besides, when you are in deep water, that’s when you truly know what you are capable of. You are stronger than you think. And it is in those moments that you can prove what you are made of.

It is the Universe’s intention to form us to our most beautiful potential.

I’m ready for it, come what may. Are you?

 

 

Dare to Dream

“Look for the good things to come…and they will.”

I posted that on Facebook yesterday. A great friend of mine from California quickly reminded me that those good things have already happened. It’s simply our job to remember them.

Calling forth good things is really like recalling a memory from your distant past. Remembering what it feels like to experience positive moments brings them back to you.

If you set an intention, the mysteries of the Universe will support you. Think of it like looking through your purse or your drawers for that favorite pen. The more frustrated and angry you get at not being able to find the pen, the more elusive the pen becomes. But the moment you release the expectation that the pen should show up exactly as you want it, it appears.

Anger, envy and jealousy chase dreams away. Love brings them closer.

Today I am travelling to Linz, Austria, to live out a dream come true. About four years ago I set the intention of becoming a TedX speaker. Tomorrow I will be one.

Dare to dream, my friends. Dream big. Nothing can stop you.

All you have to do is remember.

 

The Courage to Make a Mistake

A recent Workplace Mojo blog post got me to thinking about the fearlessness of failure. What if we were to fail. Big time. What if we were to fail so badly, we lost everything, only to begin again? What if we were to take risks that made us look foolish? Who would really care?

Failure is in the eye of the beholder. Risk is nothing more than uncertainty wrapped in opportunity.

If you want to live large, you’ll have to dance on the ledge of things sometimes.

If you want to live small, play it safe and watch from the windowsill.

I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced if we live with courage and truly trust ourselves, great things can come of it. Sure, we may fall, but it is only those who dare to dance that move forward.

The rest doesn’t move at all.

A Wish Come True

Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it!

The Universe works in mysterious ways. We spend so much of our time wishing this thing or that, all the while we are sending off messages to that Universal Power that aligns every time with our desires. Then we wonder why we get what we do, forgetting that we got exactly what we ordered. Maybe it’s because we didn’t realize what we were actually saying.

I’ve been told that the Universe does not hear the word ‘not’. So if you adamant about what you do NOT want, you will get exactly that. It goes along with the law of resistence. The more you resist things, the more they come scampering back into your life. It is only when you truly let go and accept that which is happening that the energy can flow again.

A friend recently posted the saying of an Indian sage on Facebook. He says that only when we accept, instead of expect, are we truly capable of joy.

Expectations are the source of much suffering.

Bliss resides in the acceptance of all things. That does not mean you have to be passive or resigned. Not at all! Embrace every possibility, breathe life into your dreams, wish upon a star.

Just remember that you always get that which you seek. And if you are wondering why you are not getting what you think you want, consider how you are asking for it. My guess is you are getting exactly what you put out there. It might just not be in the form you thought.

Seek the gifts. They are sometimes buried beneath the surface, but they are there for you to discover them. Everything you need is right there.

All in good time, my dear friends. All in good time.

 

The Story of a Perfectionist Junkie

Once upon a time there was a girl who only felt alive when she succeeded at something. She sought praise wherever she could. She only felt love when she did something ‘right’. She was looking for external reward to fill the hole inside herself. She thought if she tried hard enough, she would be okay and the world might not see the cracks she tried so hard to hide.

She acquired a case of trophies, awards and accolades. She received honors and rewards and public recognition. She thought she was living her life to the fullest until one day she saw it was all a façade.

Sitting at a pizza parlour with an old friend, she was asked how she was doing ~ really. She smiled and said, “Oh I’m just fine. I have nothing to complain about.” Her old friend sighed, wishing she would finally take off that mask of hers. The girl went home with an odd sense that she had let her friend down. But the more she thought about it, the more she realized she was the one letting herself down.

It took another few years of denials and smiles before she came to the realization that she was not happy at all. It took extreme situations and a huge dash of insanity for her to make her world right again.

She embarked on a journey that took her to places far and wide. She traveled on airplanes and trains and buses, picking up pieces of herself that she had left there long ago.

And when she returned home, she saw her world with new eyes. It was time to start from the beginning, pull off the mask of perfection once and for all, and to look at herself in the mirror.

What she saw was the most beautiful smile, a lofty spirit who had come into her own. She had had to cast off her desire to be perfect and assume a willingness to get messy, really messy. To risk everything so she could finally live her truth.

She went through that ring of fire to her deepest awareness and what she discovered was a light so bright she knew she had survived. More friends came to the surface to help her through, to tell her they loved her for who she was ~ imperfection and all.

Life isn’t perfect. Neither are you. But people love you exactly for that reason.

Be true to yourself. Dare to be different. Trust in your singular magnificence. Always.

A Benediction to Life

We all touch people’s lives in mysterious ways. Sometimes we aren’t aware of the effect someone has had on us until they are gone.

Today I learned that a person rather close to me at one time had passed away.  We met each other at a point when we were both at a crossroads in our lives. From him I learned courage and took strength from the way he managed the difficult decisions he faced. I helped him through the physical loss of his best friend. He helped me through the emotional loss of mine.

Even though we hadn’t seen each other in twenty-five years, I was moved to tears when I learned he had died. No matter how much time passes, the experiences we share with people tie us together forever.

It’s a beautiful thing.

When people we love die, we experience an unimaginable grief. But what have we really lost? That person’s personal bank account of time had been depleted. It’s a hard concept to comprehend, but the good news is we still have the memories of those people who touched us so profoundly. They shaped us. Became a part of our DNA. Maybe they rocked our world or merely caressed it for a moment. No matter what role they played, they fulfilled a necessary part of who we are today.

The depth of our influence is often only felt much later in life. It is hard to remain in awareness of all things at all times. We sometimes slip into complacency, assuming the people in our lives will be there forever.

And then they are gone.

After the tears had faded, I realized my friend is dancing with his best friend on a cloud somewhere now. I said a prayer to life and to the beyond where he now stands.

May we bless each other with love, forgive the wrongs and celebrate all that is right with our world.

You enrich my life simply by sharing this moment with me now.

Thank you.

 

Right Before My Very Eyes

Things aren’t always what they seem. You may feel lost when everything you really need is right in front of you.

A few weeks ago I got lost in the city. Walking through the freezing rain with my daughter in tow, we desperately searched for an office building for a business appointment. We had had a long journey already, taking the train into Munich, which itself had been delayed.

Time pressure along with the foul weather put me in a tailspin. We asked a few pedestrians how to get to the address we sought. We took lefts, then rights, then ended up back where we started. Finally, I flagged down a cab to get us there warm and dry. Sitting in the safety of the vehicle, I thought to recheck the address of the place. We had past it several times without noticing because I had mentally noted the wrong building number. We were 300 meters away from our destination all along.

The very location I desperately had wanted to reach was right before my very eyes the whole time. And I didn’t even see it.

Sometimes our vision is skewed. Whether our emotions are at play (and they very often are!) or our mental state hinders clarity of thought, we can be challenged by things merely because our inner state is in turmoil.

During a recent lecture by a Buddhist monk, I was reminded that all suffering begins, and ends, from within. No matter the external circumstances, our truest pain comes from the inside, from what we think about ourselves and others. We engage in consistent self-sabotage by making things mean something they do not. How we choose to see things, or be blinded by them, the monk said, informs how we experience them.

If you are experiencing pain of any kind, turn your attention to what brings you joy. Embrace those aspects of your life with all your might and you will watch them grow. Pretty soon the source of that pain will morph into the source of your utmost happiness.

You will see.

Remember: when a door slams shut, a window flies open. It’s the Universal Law of Equilibrium. Nothing is ever lost. It sometimes just changes form.

Celebrate life for all it has to offer you. Great things are in store for you. I can feel it. I really can!