Tag Archives: Coincidence

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

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By Deepak Chopra, MD, and Jordan Flesher, MA Psychology

 

The human mind can adapt to almost anything, but not chaos. No one can lead a completely random and chaotic life. The messy room of a teenager may look completely chaotic, but even there a decision was made. The choice was to be messy rather than straighten up the room, and as long as choices exist, true randomness isn’t in charge.

Yet clearly there are random events in Nature, and a vast body of science is based on them, from the random collision of atoms to the random mutations that drive Darwinian evolution. It’s hard to square the randomness in Nature with the incredible orderliness of human thought at its best (allowance must be made, unfortunately, for our own random impulses, which can be capricious, self-defeating, and violent.) Science tends to ignore the fact that the researcher who is driving to work in order to study random particles isn’t heading for a random place on the map. He is guided by purpose, meaning, and direction. Continue reading

Who Knew? Lucky Charms Actually Work

horseshoeAssay: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about superstition.

Superstition is the irrational belief that an object or behavior has the power to influence an outcome, when there’s no logical connection between them.

Most of us aren’t superstitious—but most of us are a littlestitious.

Relying on lucky charms is superstitious, but in fact, it actually works. Researchers have found that people who believe they have luck on their side feel greater “self-efficacy”—the belief that we’re capable of doing what we set out to do—and this belief actually boosts mental and physical performance. Many elite athletes, for instance, are deeply superstitious, and in one study, people who were told that a golf ball “has turned out to be a lucky ball” did  better putting than people who weren’t told that.

Any discussion of superstition reminds me of a perhaps-apocryphal story that I love, about physicist Niels Bohr. Bohr noticed that a friend had a horseshoe mailed above the door, and he asked why. When was told that it brought luck, he asked in astonishment, “Do you really believe in this?” His friend replied, “Oh, I don’t believe in it. But I am told it works even if you don’t believe in it.” (You can watch me tell the story in this video.)

To help herself quit drinking, a friend told me, she explicitly invoked the idea of luck. “I told myself, ‘The lucky parts of my life have been when I wasn’t drinking, so I need to stop drinking to get my luck back.’”

How about you? Do you have a lucky object, lucky ritual, or lucky item that you wear? I have a lucky perfume. I love beautiful smells, but I save one of my favorite perfumes to wear only when I feel like I need some extra luck.

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Are you interested in launching a group for people doing happiness projects together? These groups have sprung up all over the world, and one of my favorite things on my book tour was to meet some of the groups. Intrigued? Email me, and I’ll send you the “starter kit.” Read more here.

There Are No Accidents: Illuminate the Patterns That Hold You Back

SparkBy Rebeca Eigen

There are no accidents.

We’ve all said these words at one time or another in our lives, and I wonder how much we really believe them. When something occurs in the outer world as an ill-fated event, do we stop to understand the meaning or do we continue to play the victim and let life go on as usual?

Studying Carl Jung for many years and being especially fond of his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, I came to understand that the unconscious is always striving for wholeness and consciousness. It’s almost an irreverence and disrespect to the Universe when we ignore the feedback that it is giving us. As the Taoists say, when one lacks a sense of awe, there will be disaster.

Jung often said that the unconscious will work with you if you will work with it. If you choose to ignore it, then it will find a symbolic way to get your attention. Notice the events and relationship situations that you experience, and recognize their importance even to the minutest detail.

Glenn Perry, one of my favorite teachers, once said to me, “Who you’re with is where you’re at.” I never forgot this. Like is constantly attracting like. Usually there is an unconscious collusion between both parties from the very beginning and a dance that is destined to play itself out as situations and events will repeat.

Most of us attract people who are our opposites, which automatically creates problems. Opposites need each other to complete what is incomplete in themselves. And there it will be over and over, and we will experience firsthand that there are no accidents. We have created this “other” as an opportunity to learn to see our darker side, our “Shadow.”

You will know you are headed to healthier relationships when you begin to reflect on just what this opposite is doing in your life and what the Universe wants from you. And don’t be afraid of the term “darker side.” I know it sounds sinister and foreboding but “dark” just describes what is hidden from view or awareness. As we strive toward wholeness, we will be mysteriously drawn to only those people from whom we will learn about ourselves.

Opposites are not just about marriage partners; we all have relationships. Even if we are not married or in a significant relationship with the opposite sex or same sex, we will be experiencing relationships, and these, too, will act as messengers.

Let me give you an example. A woman came to me for a consultation (I will call her Mary), and she had a pattern of attracting men who were always somehow involved with someone else. They were either married, involved with another woman, or not really available. Mary would enter the relationship thinking this time it would be different, but as usual there was always this other woman in their lives.

And here is the repetitive clue: this “other woman” was usually someone who was rather sick in her outlook on life, alcoholic, escapist, or unable to differentiate and take any responsibility for her own behavior. As time passed Mary would see that her lover was addicted to this woman, regardless of how she treated him or behaved toward others. And finally she recognized that this was a pattern for herself to attract this same situation over and over.

Through honest introspection, Mary began to recognize a familiar theme. She had tried over and over again to get her mother to leave her alcoholic, abusive father. Her mother would not protect herself and more than that, she refused to acknowledge there was even a problem by pretending it didn’t exist. Every time some big fight would occur, it would all be swept under the rug. This was very frustrating to Mary watching all of this because she could clearly see even as a young child that this situation was unhealthy for her mother. But try as she might to get her mother to leave, she could not.

So Mary grew up with a distorted sense of her own worth because she could not get the love of a parent who could not give something away that she didn’t have for herself. We can love others only when we love ourselves. And the sins of the father, so to speak, get passed on to the children. Looking for love in all the wrong places, Mary continued a pattern that began long ago, a time she didn’t even remember because she was too young then to understand.

It always looks like an ill-fated event that brings it all to a head, but it’s a time bomb waiting to go off, as the situation has been there in the relationship from the very beginning. The unconscious is truly loving us to see who we really are. Even our dreams will warn us, but often we refuse to see until it hurts too much not to see, and that is when we do grow, and we do change. That is when the ball starts rolling in our favor, and it is always, as they say, the darkest before the dawn. Dawn is the time of illumination, the time of real love. Love of others and love of self go hand in hand.

The opposites occurring in this situation are actually only unconscious aspects of the Self. Each person in the triangle is the same. They cannot value themselves enough, but only because they don’t understand the pattern. Once the pattern and the truth emerge, each person has choices to make.

Make it a goal to be “real” with others who are willing to be “real” with you. Look at what is going on with yourself that is not chance anymore when it happens more than twice. The resulting awareness will be well worth the effort, and the synchronistic events will be clearly explaining what is next if we want to evolve. Because, as the saying goes, there are no accidents!

Photo credit: Wesley Eller

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RebecaEigen-72-dpiRebeca Eigen, an astrologer for 25+ years and author of The Shadow Dance & the Astrological 7th House Workbook, specializes in relationships. Using your time, date, and place of birth, she uses the astrological birth chart to evoke the symbolic and help you become more aware of your total Self. Her study of the Shadow using Astrological tools has given her an invaluable awareness of the unconscious and the role it plays in the relationships that we attract into our lives. For more information, visit her Web site: www.shadowdance.com.

Deepak Chopra: 7 Keys to Manifesting Your Desires

The Law of Attraction, manifestation, vision boards… With everything we know about the Universe and consciousness, there must be some way of drawing into our lives the circumstances we desire most. And yet, if it were easy wouldn’t we all be living our ideal lives?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak relays the seven key principles to manifesting your desires, and the process may be as easy or as difficult as you choose to see it:

The seven principles are:

  1. See the universe as an extension of yourself
  2. Evolve through the mirror of relationship
  3. Understand that intention has infinite organizing power
  4. Free yourself from emotional turbulence
  5. Harness the masculine and the feminine in your own being
  6. Never ignore a coincidence
  7. Always stay grounded and centered in yourself

 

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and start manifesting!

A Story of Fatherless Daughters and God’s Grace

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 5.05.19 PMPreface:

I haven’t seen my Pop in 20 years or so. I’ve forgiven him for skipping out on his fatherly duties and have accepted that he walks a path that leads him far away from home. His dreams were always much bigger than the reality his small suburban family could provide him. He wanted to change the world. And he did so through education.

He taught English through a bilingual program he developed at Boston English High School. He lectured passionately and positively about the growing Latino movement in Boston. He was even invited by Harvard University to do a lecture series about his work. I remember attending one of his lectures and was completely shocked when a swarm of undergrads rushed the lectern after his presentation, praising him for his work and his passion. His students loved him, his teacher community praised him, and his family thought he was nuts.

Pop walked down the street pinching a joint in one hand and flashing a peace sign in the other. His signature look was a “No Nukes” sweatshirt, overalls and long curly hair wrapped up in a red bandanna. No apologies. Crazy genius, I like to call him. I respect him for achieving some pretty amazing things as a teacher and advocate for the Latin community in Boston, though as a father he pretty much sucked.

Today’s story…

In 2001, my husband MG introduced me to Dorchester’s Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center, a tuition-free inner city middle school for bright girls of limited financial means. He’d been involved with the school’s fund-raising mission for some time and brought me to their annual spring event in Jamaica Plain. I remember being greeted by a bunch of smiling girls in plaid kilts, knee socks and over-sized red blazers with shoulder pads – all singing, chattering, laughing and doing double dutch. Suddenly an nun came out of nowhere and jumped between the ropes. She was really good. A couple of other nuns ran in and did the same. It was absolutely adorable. I laughed out loud. And so the love affair with MCAEC began.

After a few years of attending MCAEC’s Spring Gala, their annual fundraiser, I joined the planning committee, eventually co-chairing the event for 3 years. As my family grew, I’d take my babies along with me to the school for meetings. I would sit and breastfeed at the conference table and hand off my full-bellied baby to a friend when it was my turn to speak. I enjoyed the experiences, but longed for a real connection with the girls for whom I spent so much time raising money. Plus I was knee-deep in diapers and nap schedules. So in 2009, I took off my co-chair hat and signed up to mentor a student.

My girlfriends KF and CP also decided the time was right to reach out to one of these amazing Mother Caroline girls. So the three of us attended a meet and greet with the entire 8th grade class at a swank football party in a private box at Foxboro Stadium overlooking the 50 yard line (provided by a generous donor, of course). After a few awkward conversations, I came upon a charming girl, LR – well, “came upon” might be an unfair way to put it. Honestly, I practically gave CP the Heisman to get to her, interrupting their conversation and shoving myself between them. The reason for my boldness, though unknown to me at the time, would be revealed later.  ;-)

LR and I chatted easily for a long while, sharing some pretty personal things about each other and discovering lots of commonalities between us. She’s an old soul. Thoughtful, inquisitive, interesting, genuine, beautiful. I cornered the head of the mentoring program at the end of the game and gushed to her that I had a great conversation with LR and would love to have her as my mentee. As it turned out, LR liked me, too. So we were matched and spent the next few months getting to know each other.

The program head shared with us that typically mentor/mentee relationships start off slow. And I think that’s true for LR and me. Friendship and trust grows over time and as LR has told me, “We have a lot of years to do that.” So we’ve been sporadically setting up outings and getting to know each other. A couple of weeks ago LR and I were in the car together, talking about high schools. I mentioned that my Pop taught English to bilingual students at Boston English. She said, “My Mom went to Boston English.” Some quick math led us to realize that our parents were there at the same time. And LR’s Mom being Puerto Rican, the likelihood of her knowing my Pop was good. Really good. Really really good.

About 8:30 that night LR called and told me that her Mom had class with my Pop, “Mr. Cronin”, and remembered times staying after school with him when he’d tell her about my family and his days living in Honduras with the Peace Corps. Not only that, but she also spent a couple of years as a counselor at Pop’s summer camp “Campamento Hispano Internacional” in Waltham. I had also spent a fair amount of time at that summer camp as a kid, visiting with Pop. Weeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrd.

I’d just spent the last couple of days blogging about coincidences so I was certainly conscious of the ones happening in my life and was well-studied on synchronicities. And right there, on my family room couch, I was living through a pretty major one. I hung up the phone with LR and chewed on the idea for a minute. Then I proceeded to burst into tears. Fat ones. A full-on contorted-face-heaving-chest ugly cry.

I surveyed my mind to figure out why I was having a fit and realized that I was feeling the loving presence of my Pop for the first time in 20 years. I felt our intangible connection through the Universe. I saw the parallels between us, our mutual desire to make the world a better place, and the genetic gifts he gave me that have allowed me to be where I am today. I understood in that moment that God’s power is great. That there are no coincidences. That LR is my karmic gift, one that I am so happy to accept.

The things that had to happen and the timing of which those things had to occur was perfect. Divine. How on earth could something like this happen without God? God is perfection, organizing events in just the right way, even though to us it looks like total chaos. But it’s not total chaos, it’s divine chaos.

For me there has been a paradigm shift. LR fell away from my Mother Caroline family and neatly settled into my soul family. We are part of each others’ weaving labyrinth of life and always have been. And now we know. Now there’s no question, no surprise that I practically gave my dear friend a black eye to get to her at that football game over a year ago. Everything is written.

I thought about the series of events that had occurred over my lifetime and decided this…

Change (in some cases loss) is inevitable. Embrace it. Everything will be okay. And sometimes, what you think is lost forever is really not lost at all. God will bring it back to you in one form… or another.

Deepak Chopra: What is Synchronicity?

Do you ever feel an uncanny sense of things aligning in your life? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak explores the meaning of synchronicity in our lives.

The word derives from the root “chronos,” which means time. Thus “synchronicity” means “in time.” It is associated to coincidence, which is characterized by unexplainable or improbable events. This is what Deepak calls a “conspiracy of improbability.” Coincidences present opportunities all around us, as well as connection to the soul and core consciousness. Some tips to tap into synchronicity: See the world as an extension of yourself. See relationships as a mirror. Come from a place of detachment. Have clarity of your intentions. Don’t get involved in details. If you experience coincidence, ask yourself what it means. Understand that life is the harmonious interaction of the masculine and feminine. Have a relationship with archetypes. Try it out!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and tell us about an experience of synchronicity from your own life!

Wonder and Awe: Why We Need Miracles

Do you believe in miracles? Have you ever witnessed one?

The lines often blur between what constitutes miracle, coincidence, synchronicity, and plain science. There are of course certain scientific principles that govern much of the universe, but even the purists out there can’t deny that life is remarkable and sometimes brings us beyond logic. In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra explores what it means to call something “miraculous,” starting with some bizarre phenomena in recent current events.

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the enduring role of miracles in human history. Nearly every religious and spiritual tradition known to anthropologists has some kind of origin myth, characterized by a miraculous explanation for how the world and humankind came to be. It could be said that origin myths are, in fact, a defining feature of religion, setting it apart from other communal cultural systems. Whether the land grew off of a turtle’s back or an omnipotent Creator made all of existence in a matter of days, the origins of our world and species are the subject of countless miracle stories. (And that’s not to say that none of them is true, per se, but rather that we are no strangers to the miraculous.)

On a smaller scale, what about extraordinary occurrences in the everyday? Open the newspaper on a given day and you are bound to read about this miraculous recovery, or that unexplained phenomenon, or some synchronistic event, too wonderful and bizarre to even begin to dissect. How did a four-year-old in Colorado fall three stories and land on his feet? How, as Gotham describes, did a paralysed cyclist regain use of her legs after being struck by a car? Tree of AweA strictly science-minded person might say we just don’t know enough yet, but that science will certainly explain away the so-called “miraculous” in due time. Perhaps. But in the meantime, does it hurt to allow room in our worldviews for suspension of logic? By it’s very definition a miracle implies wonder, awe, and marvel. All things we could use more of in this age of skepticism.

As Gotham points out, our very ability to use logic and reason, invent technologies, and be aware of our own awareness are proof enough that the world is full of miracles. Existence, itself, is remarkable, whether we got here on a turtle’s back or evolved over billions of years from a single-celled organism.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well for more strange and miraculous “Holy Facts” every week!

photo by: camshafter

Coincidence (noun): a sequence of events that…

 …although accidental seem planned.

or are they?

I came across this site through a retweeted message from Deepak Chopra by his son, Gotham Chopra. After perusing Gotham’s twitter account I found this website and was intrigued by the name. I became "click happy" and was pleasantly surprised at my new discovery.

What a great way to inspire and be inspired. I thought.

See, the thing is, i’ve always wanted to have a blog but had no idea what I would write about. I have also been brainstorming and searching for an appropritate outlet for personal growth. This site will allow me to do that...and some!

I am happy and curious to see where this site takes me on my quest for overall growth and change. This is going to be a new year with challenges that will lie ahead.

The timing couldn’t be any better.

What a …conincidence?

Her Metamorphosis

Coincidence (noun): a sequence of events that…

 …although accidental seem planned.

or are they?

I came across this site through a retweeted message from Deepak Chopra by his son, Gotham Chopra. After perusing Gotham’s twitter account I found this website and was intrigued by the name. I became "click happy" and was pleasantly surprised at my new discovery.

What a great way to inspire and be inspired. I thought.

See, the thing is, i’ve always wanted to have a blog but had no idea what I would write about. I have also been brainstorming and searching for an appropritate outlet for personal growth. This site will allow me to do that...and some!

I am happy and curious to see where this site takes me on my quest for overall growth and change. This is going to be a new year with challenges that will lie ahead.

The timing couldn’t be any better.

What a …conincidence?

Her Metamorphosis

Interconnected Experiences: Noticing Synchronicity

Synchronicity may appear random, but at closer look you will see that the universe is giving what you asked for.

When events appear to fit together perfectly in our lives it may seem at first that they are random occurrences, things that are the result of coincidence. These synchronous happenings, though, are much more than that, for, if we look at them more closely they can show us that the universe is listening to us and gently communicating with us. Learning to pay attention to and link the things that occur on a daily basis can be a way for us to become more attuned to the fact that most everything happens in our lives for a reason – even when that reason is not clear right away. 

When we realize that things often go more smoothly than we can ever imagine, it allows us to take the time to reflect on the patterns in our lives. Even events that might not at first seem to be related to each other are indicators that the universe is working with, not against, us. This idea of synchronicity, then, means that we have to trust there is more to our lives than what we experience on a physical level. We need to be willing to look more closely at the bigger picture, accepting and having confidence in the fact that there is more to our experiences than immediately meets the eye. Being open to synchronicity also means that we have to understand that our lives are filled with both positive and negative events. Once we can recognize that one event is neither more desirable nor better than the other – they all have an overall purpose in our lives – then we are truly ready to listen to the messages the universe gives us. 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / ostrosky photography

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