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18 Examples Of Synchronicities & What To Do When They Happen To You

Tanya Carroll Richardson
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Updated on January 17, 2023
Tanya Carroll Richardson
By Tanya Carroll Richardson
mbg Contributor
Tanya Carroll Richardson is an author and professional intuitive, giving readings to clients all over the world.
Image by mbg creative X Javier Pardina / Stocksy
Last updated on January 17, 2023
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While some events in our lives are random, others are helpful signs from the universe that point us in the direction of our highest good, like smooth little stones forming an ideal path out of a dense forest. These signs are known as synchronicities.

As a professional intuitive who has read for thousands of clients all over the world and written many books on the sixth sense, synchronicity is—in my opinion—the best method of getting a second opinion from the universe on your own intuition.

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Here is a primer on what synchronicity really is, how to recognize it, how it differs from coincidence, and how to be more open to it in your life.

Synchronicity in psychology.

The term synchronicity was coined by Carl Jung—the famous Swiss author, thinker, and psychologist—as "a meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved."

The event is meaningful because what happens in the external world is mirroring something happening in your internal world. An example would be cleaning out a closet and finding pictures of an old friend from college whom you haven't connected with in 10 years—and days later, getting an email from that same old friend.

From a psychological viewpoint, synchronicities might help us notice the power of our minds beyond our understanding, like the ability of our minds to speak to us in dreams or connect with the minds of others across time and space.

According to author and Jungian magician Melissa Tipton, when you unexpectedly get that message from your old friend just when you were thinking of them, ideally "this 'coincidence' inspires you to take the occurrence seriously and devote time and energy to reconnecting with this person from your past."

Summary

The term synchronicity was coined by psychologist Carl Jung, and it occurs when our brains make connections across space and time.
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Synchronicity in spirituality.

From a spiritual perspective, synchronicity is a tangible form of divine guidance. "To me," Tipton explains, "synchronicity suggests that there is something in the cosmos that is interested in our development, something that understands what is lacking in our conscious view, and the entire universe then becomes a beautiful mechanism for reminding us of our wholeness."

Spirit, or any of your guides, will regularly send synchronicities as helpful nudges about your destiny and as invitations for healing and personal growth. Spiritual guides assist you in navigating every aspect of earthly life so you can receive practical guidance about anything and everything via synchronicity.

Intuition expert and author Sonia Choquette reminds us that external synchronicities can also come from our own soul or internal intuition. "Your intuition doesn't speak directly into your face… It's your energetic essence, so it communicates differently," she says.

Summary

Spiritually speaking, synchronicities occur when an external force (like spiritual guides or angels) or internal force (our intuition) wants to send us a message or provide guidance.

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Synchronicity in romance.

Regarding romance, synchronicities can lead you to a potential romantic partner, like meeting a lover because you were sitting next to them at a sporting event cheering for the same team or stuck together chatting in a long line at the concession stand.

Synchronicities can also provide helpful guidance at crucial points in a romantic relationship or show us where we could develop intimacy skills that lead to different, more fulfilling romantic relationships. Romantic synchronistic guidance is rarely about riding off into a Hollywood sunset, whether you're currently partnered, happily single, or looking to mingle. As coach Dain Dunston writes in Being Essential, "Synchronicity is being intensely open to what wants to happen next."

Summary

Synchronicities can lead us to new relationships or deepen our existing ones.
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Synchronicity and the law of attraction.

Like synchronicity, the law of attraction is a complex subject—and you do attract synchronicities. For years I'd wanted to write an oracle deck but couldn't find the right opportunity until it found me when an editorial director of a publishing imprint contacted me to write not one but two oracle decks. This editor had been searching the internet for people to partner with and kept being directed to books and articles written by me—a synchronicity for that editor.

For my part, I'd had a psychic tell me almost two decades previously that I would have twins, "Irish twins," she'd said, "one right after the other. Although you won't gain any weight." Not being a parent, I was always confused (though tickled as someone of Irish descent) when I thought back to this guidance from a well-respected psychic…until I received the offer to write two oracle decks, which will come out one right after the other in 2023.

The psychic's premonition about twins let me know this partnership was attracted to me by my destiny to help people better understand sensitivity and intuition. In this case, two people's opposite yet matching desires attracted them to each other to create the oracle decks. While like can attract like, we can also attract lessons or people and situations that encourage us to change, heal, and grow.

Summary

You can use the law of attraction to bring more synchronicity into your life. (Though there are other ways to do this, too.)
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Is it synchronicity or coincidence?

What about when you're not sure if something is a synchronicity or a mere coincidence? Consider the example of pulling up to a packed grocery-store parking lot just as someone in the front row is leaving, helping you score a prime spot. You might park, high-five your passenger, and tell them, "I've always been lucky!" It's a fun moment that lifts your mood.

This is very different from if you set out for the grocery store feeling low and wanting reassurance that your guides are watching over you as you navigate life challenges. You pull up to a packed parking lot and have a car leave the front row. And you notice that not only is this an amazing spot, but the car leaving is a red VW bug—the same car your mom always drove. You consider it a sign that your mom is winking at you from above. The moment is followed by chills or goose bumps, a message from your own intuition that the event is indeed a true synchronicity.

It's often through your intuition that you recognize the difference between a meaningful coincidence or sign from the universe and a random event. Your internal intuition can speak to you in many ways, primarily through the four psychic pathways: hearing guidance (clairaudience); seeing mental images (clairvoyance); knowing guidance as epiphanies, breakthrough thoughts, and mental downloads (claircognizance); and feeling guidance as emotions, energy, gut instincts, and even physical sensations like chills (clairsentience).

Clairsentience, or feeling guidance, is one of the most common psychic pathways and a great tool for sniffing out true synchronicities. As Choquette says, intuition involves "listening with your entire body."

Use these bench marks to discern synchronicities from coincidences in the moment:

  1. Notice if time seems to slow down when it happens, as if the moment is pregnant with meaning and you feel more alive or present.
  2. Pay attention to how your body responds, like getting chills or other physical cues from your intuition.
  3. Observe the energy around you. Does it change, becoming more heavy, electric, or light?
  4. Notice if the memory of this synchronicity keeps coming back to your mind hours, days, or weeks later.
  5. Give it a gut check. Did the synchronicity feel like the best guidance and the right call in your gut, even if it was unexpected information or an unwelcome revelation?
  6. Ask yourself, was the way in which the synchronicity happened somehow remarkable or amazing?
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We can sometimes mistake our own strong emotions or desires for genuine guidance. If you feel you keep getting the message from your internal intuition—like through dreams—to quit your full-time job and go back to school to train for a new career, pay attention to external synchronicities, like receiving a flyer in the mail about a college offering part-time study with flexible pacing for professionals with full-time jobs. Or being seated next to a stranger at a dinner party who shares that they just transitioned careers after putting themself through school while working 30 hours a week.

It would seem you should indeed go back to school to switch careers, yet doing so by quitting your full-time job altogether may not be the most optimal choice.

Also consider Tess Whitehurst's advice in her book Holistic Energy Magic, reminding us that the clue to a true synchronicity can be what we are thinking about right when it happens: "[An] important key to discerning a valid symbol…is to be alert and awake to your own inner thought process... For example, if you notice that you're feeling unsure about whether or not you should go ahead and invest in that trip to Hawaii, and right then you happen to glance ahead of you in traffic and you notice a Hawaii license plate or a license plate frame that says Aloha Spirit, go ahead and receive that message from the Universe: Hawaii, here you come."

Synchronicity categories & examples.

While synchronicities can show up in any form, there are some common ways they might appear:

  1. Numbers: Time stamp on an email being an angel number like 1:11 or your lucky number, 55, being in the address of a house for sale you're interested in.
  2. Golden opportunities: Bumping into a former colleague at the movies who shares that a new opportunity at their company just opened up that you would be perfect for.
  3. Musical messages: Walking into a coffee shop to meet up with someone for a first date and having one of your favorite romantic ballads start playing over the sound system.
  4. Repetitive synchronicities: Seeing a billboard ad for a certain book on your way home, then having a friend mention out of the blue that they're reading this same book, and then seeing a flyer that the author will be appearing at your neighborhood bookstore.
  5. People: Noticing that someone whom you don't know but works in your building and is very upbeat and friendly always seems to get on the elevator with you when you're grumpy.
  6. Colors: Setting the intention that you'd like to receive signs with the color indigo about ways to improve your mental health and then being handed an indigo-colored flyer about a new yoga studio near you opening up.
  7. Animals: Having an elephant be your favorite animal since childhood and walking into your first appointment at a fertility clinic to see a large picture of an elephant hanging in the lobby.
  8. Symbols: Pulling out of your driveway to attend a family reunion and wondering how you should handle a challenging relative when your neighbor flashes you the peace sign as a friendly hello when you drive past him.
  9. Sounds: Your oven timer dinging loudly right when you ask your partner if they think you two should consider moving.
  10. Nature: A strong wind kicking up out of nowhere as you ponder pulling back from a business partnership while taking your daily walk.
  11. Words of others: A friend mentioning casually that a supplement they tried really helped their mother's gut health issues when you have privately been wondering if there was a supplement to help your gut health.
  12. Divine timing: An unexpected windfall arriving in the mail the same day your sibling called and admitted they are struggling financially and could use a small loan.
  13. Unexplainable phenomena: Missing your grandfather who recently passed and going to your mailbox to find a single silver dollar inside, the exact coin he used to give you every birthday.  
  14. Dreams: Having a dream about moldy, rotten cheese, and the next day at your doctor's appointment being told that your physician suspects you may be suffering from a food allergy to something like dairy.
  15. Straightforward and obvious signs: Telling your roommate that you're thinking of investing in a new car and looking for a sign, and the next morning going to start your car and discovering the battery is dead.
  16. Something leaving: Realizing that you really need a vacation and going into your office to find that the client your company was going to spend the next two weeks working for has canceled.
  17. Specific information: Your partner being short and rude to you lately in the mornings and while in line at a local breakfast spot to grab something to eat for yourself you wonder what's going on with them and look up at a sign on the wall that says, Avoid Those Hangry Blood Sugar Blues!
  18. Trickster energy: Author and intuitive life strategist Robert Ohotto reminds us that trickster synchronicities are a real thing and can happen anytime. During a cycle like Mercury retrograde, a missed flight or a misspoken comment to a friend can be a synchronicity that "slows us down so we get all the helpful messages the cycle has to offer." 

 

How to be more open to synchronicity.

Sometimes it can only be in hindsight that we realize we actually received a lot of helpful synchronicities around a subject. To make space for more synchronicities, try:

  • Quieting your mind by practicing having more space between your thoughts. When your mind is less chatty, you'll be more present to what's going on around you.
  • Making a game of noticing synchronicities. On your train commute home from work or while walking your dog in the evening, make it a practice to review the day's synchronicities.
  • Journaling for a few minutes once a week about any major synchronicities you received, dissecting any patterns or themes that came up.
  • Staying open and flexible, as synchronicities can confirm your hopes and desires or be complete redirects that reveal inconvenient truths and blind spots.

While synchronicities appear organically, you can also ask for synchronicities. Call in more synchronicities by:

  • Silently setting the intention in your mind that you'd like guidance around a certain issue. The universe is so receptive and attuned to you that a clear, focused thought can be enough.
  • Saying a prayer for more synchronicities in general. Make your prayer to whatever benevolent spiritual force resonates with you.
  • Writing your request down in your journal. Working with a journal can deepen your relationship to synchronicity.
  • Not putting too many specifics on how your synchronicity will show up, like saying you want to see a pink tulip appear on Tuesday. Give your intuition and the universe carte blanche.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are synchronicities happening to me?

Synchronicities are a form of divine guidance. They are one way that your angels, spiritual guides, the Universe, or a higher power communicate with you.

Ohotto reminds us that synchronicity is "a powerful force that moves through all our lives…offering intuitive guidance, needed wake-up calls, signs, new opportunities, revelations of our life's purpose, open doors, and access to new unlived potential."

What should I do when I notice synchronicity?

When a synchronicity occurs, take appropriate action on this important guidance (weighing it with logical reason, of course, too).

Is synchronicity just coincidence?

Not quite. Synchronicities happen when our outer world lines up with our inner world via a meaningful or purposeful coincidence. You can tell that you're experiencing synchronicity if time seems to slow down, you have a physical reaction (like chills), the occurrence keeps coming back to mind, it was exceptionally remarkable, or the energy in and around you shifts noticeably.

The takeaway.

Synchronicities are a beautiful way that the universe communicates with us, and paying attention to them can help you access personal and spiritual growth. When we want guidance from Spirit, noticing synchronicities provides that deeper confirmation our soul craves, like a spiritual GPS system gently navigating us through life.

As I always remind clients, it's best to marry intuitive guidance with your own due diligence, like empirical research and the advice of experts. But when you do notice synchronicity in your daily life, it's something to pay attention to, celebrate, and learn from.

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Tanya Carroll Richardson
Tanya Carroll Richardson

Tanya Carroll Richardson is a professional intuitive, giving readings to clients all over the world. She’s also the author of seven nonfiction books including Angel Intuition, Are You an Earth Angel?, Self-Care for Empaths, Zen Teen, and Forever In My Heart: A Grief Journal.