Recognizing And Understanding Synchronicity

Recognizing And Understanding Synchronicity

Recognizing And Understanding Synchronicity

One thing we all look for on our spiritual path is signs. Signs help guide us, give us validation, and simply give us hints that there’s more to reality than meets the eye. We call those signs “synchronicities.”

In Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch, he introduces the concept that God is all around you and talking with you all the time, in ways you never really thought about: you need only pay attention.

What constitutes a synchronicity? It could really be anything. Once you begin paying attention, you’ll notice signs and synchronicities all around you. Some very big. Some very small, but they all have one thing in common–the feeling that comes with them. 

There’s an intuitive tug that can be felt when you recognize a synchronicity, typically in the heart or the brow, because it’s aligned with those chakras–you see it and you feel it.

A sure sign of synchronicity is repetition. When you see something or hear a song or phrase over and over, and the odds of that thing occurring that frequently are pretty low, and it catches your attention and makes you go, “Hmmm…,” you can safely assume that it was meant to do just that and you might be able to find meaning behind it.

Experiencing A Synchronicity vs. Reading Into a Synchronicity

Apophenia: is the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things, or see patterns in random data.

Synchronicity: the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

Upon first glance, these two things seem to be exactly the same, and by and large, people who are heavy into a modernist/materialist worldview believe they are. However, having experienced and observed the two in action, both within myself and others, for nearly 10 years, I’ve come to recognize them as having a fundamental difference.

Apophenia

Apophenia, I’ve noticed, is extremely common among people who are new to their spiritual path as well as people who are prone to what some would call “magical thinking.” In my observation, apophenia occurs when one is consciously or subconsciously looking for meaning where there is none.
Examples of apophenia that I’ve seen frequently over the years are:

  • Finding a feather on a beach laden with Sea Gulls and calling it a sign from spirit (when the odds of finding a feather on said beach is astronomical)
  • Searching for images in clouds (also known as pareidolia, which is a type of apophenia).
  • Insisting that perfectly common and replicable lens flares in photos are spirit orbs (I wrote an entire blog post on this here).
  • Many of the more far-fetched conspiracy theories actually require apophenia in order to make any sense of them.
  • Discussing something via Facebook messenger, then being served an ad for that thing, and assuming that is a sign from spirit rather than a social media algorithm at work.

Apophenia, it seems, is driven by a desire to find meaning.

Cloud Gazing

I used to see a lot of people posting pictures of clouds and asking, “Do you see (insert sign here)?” Effectively, they’re looking at the cloud and looking for a sign, and then finding the thing they’re looking for. That’s not synchronicity, because you’re looking for it. That’s pareidolia. Synchronicity occurs when you’re not actively looking for it.

Digital Syncs

You have to be careful when it comes to seeming synchroncities on digital properties like Facebook and Youtube and anything that has to do with online ads, because those platforms have algorithms that are specifically created to serve you content based on your online habits–what you’re talking about, what you’re posting about, what you’re searching for and even what you’re discussing in your private messages.

If you think something, but have never typed it in any of those places and it shows up as an ad–count it as a synch. But if you were just discussing it with your friend via a Facebook messenger and then you see an article served to you in your newsfeed on a similar topic, I wouldn’t read too much into it.

Synchroncity

Synchronicity, on the other hand, is the sort of odd coincidence that tends to smack you out of nowhere when you’re not looking, and it’s often accompanied by a feeling of incredulity and self-doubt: am I really seeing this? And then (at least in my experience) it keeps bombarding you in completely unrelated and impossible ways until you stop dismissing and fully acknowledge it.
A question that people often wonder when it comes to synchronicity is, “Am I making this up?” or “Is this just a coincidence?”

Synchronicity isn’t driven by a desire at all. It catches you off guard and gives you a small, eery glimpse into matrix.

A good general rule of thumb that I like to use to determine whether or not something is a synchronicity–aside from the intuitive tug–is whether or not it catches you off guard. If it catches you off guard, it’s most likely a sync. If you’re actively looking for it, it’s probably not.

You don’t find synchronicities, they find you. And that’s the big difference. All in all, follow your intuition. It’s your best guide.

Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Your Truth, But Be Forewarned…

Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Your Truth, But Be Forewarned…

Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Your Truth, But Be Forewarned…

 

 

Speak your truth.

I hear this phrase thrown around a lot, usually in situations where someone is, just has, or is about to say something that sounds a little bit…crazy – whether it be an opinion or an experience.

Yes, it’s true, we should all be allowed to speak our truth. Freedom of speech, after all! But just like freedom of speech, speaking your truth does not mean that you are protected from the consequences. Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one. Experiences are filtered through your beliefs, which happen to be the foundation of your opinions.

You see, it’s your truth, not the truth. Your truth is just a version, an interpretation of the Truth, and it can be as close to the absolute Truth or as far away from the absolute Truth as your current place in your spiritual evolution allows you to understand. And that’s the truth ;).

But we should be able to be who we are and believe what we believe!

Yes, that’s true, too, so long as you take one thing into consideration:

You have to be prepared for the inevitable lesson that what you find to be an absolute truth today will eventually no longer be so at some point in the future.

That’s the nature of evolution. Things change. You find out new information and what you once thought was a solid experience suddenly is seen in a new light, and you realize that perhaps what you originally thought wasn’t quite the way it actually was.

The problem with “speak your truth” is that people can become attached to that experience, and dependent on that experience, and they incorporate that experience into part of their identity, and then later when they find new information that broadens their original view, it creates an internal crisis, and they fall apart. The hard lesson learned.

I find that the best way to handle such things is to find a healthy balance between belief and skepticism, remain detached from the experience itself and refrain from making any conclusions about intuitive information until such a time as you’ve gotten “all the facts” so to speak.

Simply hold that thing as a possibility that may be proven right – or wrong – at any point in the near future. File it away under the “curios information” folder and see what else accumulates as you go along.

Speaking your truth takes on a whole new meaning when you become a spiritual teacher. As any kind of digital influencer, people with platforms are community leaders. Having those platforms is a form of power and influence, and to quote Uncle Ben from Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. Once again, even as a spiritual leader, our truth is not always the Truth. If we present our truth as the Truth we then leave the territory of personal opinion into recommendation.

As a spiritual teacher and digital influencer, you have a greater responsibility than simply to yourself. You have a responsibility to your community. That responsibility comes with the ability to both heal and harm people with the ideas that you share–particularly during a global health emergency–because you’ve built a community of people who look to you as someone who has knowledge.

When we reach this point, we are living our lives in service to the collective. It’s no longer about us. And that’s the life we choose.

If we want to go back to a life of “I can say whatever I want and share my opinions without consequence,” then we need to step away from being a community leader.

What kind of truth am I talking about exactly? Here’s a real life example:

My attention was brought to an online “spiritual” women’s coach with a large audience on Facebook who made a post chastising women who experienced coerced rape as having porous boundaries and told them, “Regret isn’t rape.”

Anyone who is even remotely trauma-informed, has a background in psychology, or is simply educated about rape culture knows how much shame and guilt rape victims deal with. For one of them to then go online and see a person that they respect and and whose opinion they believe is “Truth” to effectively validate their worst fear–that what someone else did to them was their fault–is incredibly harmful, and extremely ignorant on behalf of this “coach” who has claimed that they are here to heal people.

Said coach is entitled to her opinion. I might even go so far as to say that this coach has likely experienced coerced rape at some point in her life and internalized her own shame and guilt around it, has convinced herself that it was her fault for not having better boundaries (newsflash: the only people who take advantage of people with bad boundaries are people who have no respect for boundaries. I.e. abusers) and is now projecting her own experience onto other women. Not to mention she is only holding the victim accountable and more or less absolving the abuser of any wrongdoing in the process.

But as a coach and a healer, she has a responsibility to her audience and her paying clients to educate herself about women’s issues, and to be responsible with what she says in that regard. Her careless victim shaming can lead someone into a shame spiral that ends in suicide.

No, as individuals, we aren’t directly responsible for another person’s thoughts or feelings or choices. But our actions and words do contribute to the climate that people live in which informs their thoughts about themselves, and as coaches, healers, influencers and the like, we hold a form of power over the people who look up to us as a role model and it is our duty to wield that power responsibly so that we, ourselves, do not become an abuser toward the people we are purporting to help.

Spiritual Materialism

Spiritual Materialism

Spiritual Materialism

Back when I was just coming into my spiritual path, about ten years ago now, the concept of materialism–that is, the valuing of material possessions, fame, and wealth above spirituality–was a very common topic discussed by spiritual teachers.

It was understood that greed and a sense of lack–not just materially, but spiritually: a feeling of being less-than–were at the root of the desire for wealth, power, and possessions, and it was understood that this desire was a driving force behind the imbalances on our planet. We were taught that true happiness does not come from material wealth–it comes from within. That the desire for material wealth is one that is based in ego, and when one does the work to tame their ego, the desire for material wealth subsides.

But over the course of the last ten years, as spirituality has become more mainstream and more and more people discover things like The Secret and Abraham Hicks (Law of Attraction), spirituality and “the work” has become more about changing your mindset to manifest whatever you desire rather than questioning those desires, and treating the universe as though it were some sort of genie in a bottle that exists to grant your wishes. 

“Do the inner work and you can have whatever you want!” A new age prosperity gospel. The marriage of capitalism and faux spirituality.

It’s also resulted in swaths of spiritual people believing they can positive-think their way out of addressing systemic inequality like poverty, racism, and patriarchy. You know. Spiritual bypassing and toxic positivity.

I don’t talk about manifesting much because there’s no point in manifesting anything if you haven’t done the work. You’ll manifest a bunch of shit and suddenly realize you’re still a miserable human being. And anyway, one who is manifesting from a place of “less than” will always feel “less than” regardless of what they manage to obtain, and one who has done the work and no longer feels less than will not desire the same things they once did, because they know those things do not bring happiness.

I’m not saying that in order to be spiritual one must take a poverty vow. I’m saying spirituality brings one into true balance with the world around them through the recognition that we are all connected and a part of a whole, only requiring that which meets their actual needs to live a humble and comfortable life, recognizing their place within the community, and above all else, living a life where purpose matters more than success.

These “manifesting” teachers don’t teach you to question your desires or to address their root causes. And if they’re not teaching you self-inquiry, they’re not teaching you self awareness. They’re just teaching you how to delude yourself into believing your ego is right.

Xo, 

 

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Is There A Correct Spiritual Path?

Is There A Correct Spiritual Path?

Is There A Correct Spiritual Path?

Question from a reader:

“Do you know of any spiritual teachers or mentors that could possibly guide someone in the right direction without charging a fee? I read a lot of emails and articles and this is the first I’ve ever seen about credibility. I’m basically blindly doing my spiritual journey on my own. I don’t have anyone to direct me into the correct path and I’m confused on a couple of things.”

It’s been ages since I’ve done a Q&A post, but this was submitted as a comment on my post about spiritual teacher credibility and I thought it was worth addressing for a broader audience.

Blindly doing your spiritual journey on your own is, to some degree, the right thing to do!

A lot of people, especially in the beginning, get hung up seeking answers from outside of themselves, looking for people to tell us what is the “correct” path. I’ll tell you there is no correct path, as they all tend to lead to the same destination in the end. What does tend to happen, though, is people get stuck somewhere on their chosen path and stop progressing because they got mired in some kind of belief system that only applies to that specific path. That’s where things are a bit tricky.

A good spiritual teacher will guide you, certainly, but they’re always going to direct you back to yourself.

Reading articles is the right thing to do! And, as the adage goes, take what resonates and leave the rest. If something doesn’t resonate, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong. It could mean that it’s a belief you’ve outgrown, or it could mean you haven’t grown into it yet. Our world views can, do, and should change as we grow, spiritually.

Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

If you’ve been in spiritual circles for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard some form of the idea that we create our reality, and we manifest our experiences, and as such, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our experiences in order to create the outcomes we desire.

This concept becomes dangerously twisted, however, when applied to victims of abuse such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, rape, and systemic oppression. That doesn’t stop many well-meaning spiritual people from using it to dismiss and otherwise invalidate the very real experiences of abuse victims. I’ve come across some form of it a lot over the course of my spiritual development, particularly in the early stages, including touting it as channeled information from spirit guides, etc.

At the time, I wasn’t educated enough on the subject to know better, and I took the word of psychics and channelers. Having had many years to grow in understanding and develop spiritually, I now realize how this is an over-simplification and only serves to damage and shame victims of abuse.

Some of the forms of this message have been:

  • Your souls contracted for this experience.
  • Your thoughts create your reality, therefore, your victim mentality created this situation.
  • There’s an energy exchange between abuser and the abused, and if the abused wasn’t putting out that kind of energy they wouldn’t attract this experience.

I’d like to break each one of these down and explain why this is misunderstood and damaging.

“Your souls contracted for this experience”

If soul contracts in these situations are such a thing, then the ONLY purpose I can see for them is that it is a contract to bring light to these dynamics so that they can be healed and ended. That does NOT mean that we simply dismiss it as “well you signed up for this” and forget about it. It means that it’s a contract between YOU and the people involved as well, and THEIR dynamic is meant to teach YOU empathy and what it means to protect the vulnerable.

“Your thoughts create your reality, therefore, your victim mentality created this situation”

As I’ve said before… a victim mentality only exists when the abuse is imaginary… but victim mentalities are often rooted in real trauma and abuse. In that case, we must go back to the source. A person’s first experience with abuse can never be the result of their own thoughts because the experience has never entered into their awareness.

Abusive experiences and patterns are ALMOST ALWAYS ancestral, handed down from one generation and inflicted onto the next. By simply incarnating into that ancestral line, one will experience that abuse. This, you might call a soul contract. But soul contracts are not only experiences, they are opportunities to heal. As an observer of that contract, you become a part of the collective contract and you are offered an opportunity to heal group karma that enables abusers through rape culture, systemic racism, and other destructive social climates.

By telling someone that they manifested their abuse, you are absolving the abuser of accountability, and thus AIDING in the manifestation of that experience.

“There’s an energy exchange between abuser and the abused, and if the the abused wasn’t putting out that kind of energy they wouldn’t attract this experience”

With regard to there being an energy exchange between abuser and the abused – what this really means is boundaries.

People can only abuse you if you continue to allow it, and often times that requires learning to uphold and maintain healthy boundaries. But many times, power dynamics make upholding boundaries extremely difficult. It’s called abuse because the person or group who has the the most power is using that power to abuse a person or group who has less of it. This, too, is ancestral, because the only way a person or group obtains more power than another is by accumulating it over time (the only exception being a parent/child dynamic in which case it exists from the moment the child is born).

Who allowed that person to accumulate that power, unchecked?

Who continues to enable them to wield that power without consequence?

The answer is the collective. The family members who don’t speak up or step in. The friends who never say anything. The “good” cops who don’t report the bad cops. The people who say “boys will be boys.” The well-to-do family who protects their sons and daughters from the consequences of their actions. 

All of the people who see this abuse taking place and say nothing? They are just as responsible, because they allow abusers to avoid being held accountable.

You can’t tell someone that they’ve manifested their own oppression or abuse without pointing the finger at yourself for being a part of the collective that allowed it to happen.

So… let’s shut this toxic shit down wherever we see it. Okay?

Is There A Correct Spiritual Path?

Do Not Look Away

Do Not Look Away

This post is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. Truth be told, it’s meant to make you feel uncomfortable. As spiritual people on a healing journey, learning to recognize our discomfort and sit with it, examine it, find the root of it, and heal it is what we call “the work” of examining our shadow.

Shadow work was never meant to be easy. It was never meant to be comfortable. It is messy and painful and sometimes, downright ugly.

Any strong emotional reaction you have to what I’m about to say is indicative of something unhealed within you that needs to be addressed, and it’s calling you to look at it, sit with it, and to not look away until you’ve come face-to-face with it in the mirror of your reality.

I ran a little social experiment in a Facebook group years ago that literally proved that it was almost impossible for the majority of people to do this. I posted this blog post in the group and asked people to do the exercise contained therein, and to comment not with their opinion about the article, but with what types of emotions were arising within them as they read it.

Nearly every single commenter failed. They immediately launched into their defense mechanisms, commenting with their beliefs and opinions about the article rather than paying attention to what was happening within them, emotionally. Even with further instruction and guidance, many of them continued to react from their subconscious programming.

So here I am, six years later, writing yet another post which is going to challenge you to sit through your discomfort and refrain from reacting out of your own wounds. Can you do it without looking away?  Let’s find out.

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BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

Do not look away. What are you feeling in your body right now?

Did your pulse quicken? Your heart start beating heavier? Your chest get tight? Brow furrow, perhaps? That almost uncontrollable urge to instantly react and tell me that all lives matter? Or perhaps your reaction is to shut down, stop reading, and immediately click away to avoid having to sit with those very physical feelings?

Do not look away.

If your coping mechanism is avoidance, the urge to run from these feelings is probably going to win out. You’ve most likely already stopped reading.

Do not look away.

The other possible outcome is that you’re already formulating all the arguments in your head to contradict the concept that Black Lives Matter, all of the reasons that justify what you are feeling right now and makes it righteous. This is another type of coping mechanism at work.

DO NOT LOOK AWAY.

Your instant emotional reaction and physiological response to Black Lives Matter is what we call feeling “triggered.” A person becomes triggered when a similar, yet unconnected environmental stimulus causes them to subconsciously recall unresolved emotional wounds from past experiences.

Still here? Still reading? Still able to sit with all of those uncomfortable feelings? Ready to explore them? Good. Let’s dig in.

Every time I write Black Lives Matter, I am intentionally triggering you. But how and why?

More than likely, you believe that acknowledging that black lives matter means that you don’t matter. That somehow, by acknowledging the pain of people of color, that your pain is being ignored. Your own unhealed wound is screaming so loud for acknowledgment and love that you can’t hear, see, or feel the collective pain of an entire group of oppressed people. And so you dismiss their pain or demand that they also acknowledge your wound. You may have wrapped this up in some kind of political rhetoric as a way to justify your feelings, but underneath that justification is your own core wound. Acknowledging that black lives matter somehow, for some reason, makes you feel less than.

In the spiritual community especially, this justification has become wrapped in the flowery language of peace, love, and light… which leads me to–you guessed it–SPIRITUAL BYPASSING.

Spiritual Bypassing: Spiritual Bypassing is a term coined by psychologist Robert Masters to describe the practice of empty spirituality devoid of real personal development. In spiritual bypassing, a person uses over-simplified spirituality to avoid actually doing the internal work to develop real spiritual understanding, often resulting in stunted spiritual growth, repressed emotions, inflated ideas about their own level of enlightenment, and a plethora of other detrimental activities and ideas.

This sort of empty spirituality doesn’t facilitate conscious expansion or enlightenment, but rather feeds one’s own ego and keeps its proponents trapped in the lowest levels of conscious awareness.

Here’s a clear example of using spirituality to bypass:

You cannot heal yourself without sitting with your own discomfort. When you haven’t healed yourself, your gaping wound can block your ability to empathize  with the plight of others, and that aspect of your shadow is reflected back to you in the world around you. In the case of Black Lives Matter, the anger that people feel around black people asking for the acknowledgement of the generational trauma inflicted on them by a biased system stems from feelings of resentment that your own pain hasn’t been acknowledged (and therefore, why the hell should anyone else’s be?).

Acknowledging the collective pain of black people doesn’t invalidate your own pain. That’s you invalidating yourself. That internal invalidation has informed your beliefs about yourself and the world around you. It’s the foundation of how you see the world. It’s informed your politics. It’s informed your actions, which include willfully ignorant blindness to the systemic oppression of people who don’t look like you.

And that, my friend, is how you create your own reality, and how that reality gets reflected back to you–until you heal.

That’s a hard pill to swallow. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a wounded person, blinded by your own pain. You can forgive yourself. You can recognize your wound. You can begin your own healing process, and in that process, you can contribute to healing the world–including the generational trauma of millions of Black people.

Xo, 

 

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