One of my favourite books is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I think it was originally intended as a method for writers with writers’ block and other blocked creatives to free themselves up but I started it because my friend Alison had started it and quite frankly, it sounded like fun.
It was in The Artist’s Way that I first came across the term “synchronicity”. It’s hard to define synchronicity but I suppose it means those strange coincidences that keep happening in life, that can’t be explained.
Julia says: Answered prayers are scary. They imply responsibility. You asked for it. Now that you’ve got it, what are you going to do about it? Why else the cautionary phrase, “Watch out for what you pray for; you might just get it”? Answered prayers deliver us back to our own hand. This is not comfortable. We find it easier to accept them as examples of synchronicity.
I suppose it’s as the same that notion of asking the universe for what you want and than accepting that the universe will provide. In my case, I believe that it’s God providing.
Sometimes synchronicity seems to happen without me asking for it. I might have fleetingly thought about something, then forgotten about it, but then it pops into my life again in some way. Like a recent incident that I’ve already written about on Help100.
Before Christmas, I spent some time googling for homeless projects in Halifax (where I live) that I could get involved with as part of my Help100 project. I couldn’t find any. I gave up. A few weeks ago, I was out walking on a group ramble and happened to meet a man who said that he’d been helping out with his friend’s homeless project in …. yes, you’ve guessed it, Halifax.
When I rang his friend up, he turned out not only to run a homeless project in Halifax that I can go and help with but he’s also in the video industry, like I used to be before a left the BBC!
Another example: a few weeks ago, my friend J and I were having coffee in a café in Manchester when her vicar walked in. He was a bit of an unlikely looking vicar but very nice and he joined us for coffee. Actually, I think we were drinking tea – for the sake of accuracy I feel compelled to point that out! During the course of our conversation, he mentioned a place called Medugorje. Which I’d never heard of and I’m not sure I’ve spelt it right! Apparently it’s a shrine in somewhere like Croatia where the Virgin Mary frequently appears. I thought, that sounds interesting. I’ll have to go there one day.
Two days later, a magazine from the charity Mary’s Meals arrived through the post. I flicked casually through it. Mary’s Meals isn’t even a charity that I support (though I’ve been meaning to!): they provide a daily meal at school to thousands of children, enabling them not only to eat properly but to learn better as they aren’t worrying about their empty stomachs. Strangely enough, in this magazine, there was a little notice asking for people to go on a pilgrimage to Medugorje to pray for Mary’s Meals and it happens to be a week when I have nothing in my diary. Synchronicity, God, fate, the universe….whatever you want to call it, it’s definitely at work.