Have you ever experienced a seemingly random event that ended up changing the course of your life in a significant way? Have you ever noticed how similar people tend to hook up? What about moments lining up that seem coincidental but end up proving to be connected and meaningful? These are all examples of synchronicity in action!
The formal definition of synchronicity is "the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible casual connection.” It boils down to people, places, and/or things crossing your life's path which seem serendipitous, perhaps even improbable, but always highly notable.
I have an example of a sublimely synchronistic day in my life. In the fall of 2009 I was sitting in my folding camp chair on a small island on the west side of Vancouver Island. I glanced up from whatever I was penning in my journal at that moment and something happened to catch my eye. It was the glint of paddles coming my way. I squinted and started counting. One, two, three, TEN paddle blades! Soon a gaggle of bows scrubbed up on the gravel beach below me and people big and small, young and old, scrambled ashore. My first impression was how respectful they were of my space. Apologetic even. We exchanged pleasant but brief "hellos" and went on to our respective adventures. I returned to my journal entry and eventually looked up to observe their camp area come to life. Multiple tents began to fill the space and they all seemed very similar in design. I noticed the same thing with the rest of their gear, including sleeping bags, camping mattresses, dry bags and other items. I had to ask: "Who are you guys?"
It was at that moment when I was introduced to not only three generations of adventurers but also to the EXPED brand of outdoor equipment. My now-friends Kaj and Ted had recently acquired the U.S. faction of a thriving Swiss company. And we all know what the Swiss are known for, right?! Quality. Perfection. Attention to detail. (Yeah, like the watches and Swiss army knives!) This brand of outdoor gear was no exception. Once I returned home I immediately began scouring their website and soon had some of my own EXPED gear—gear that would keep me warm, safe, dry, and comfortable on many expeditions to come.
Now, as an expedition paddler, author, and adventurer, I am an ambassador for this outstanding company. This means that I get to use and abuse some of the best outdoor gear out there with phenomenal behind-the-scenes support. EXPED has been an ongoing sponsor of my book tour and my upcoming Inside Passage expedition from Lummi Island to Sitka, Alaska. I am forever grateful that what began as a synchronistic encounter on a remote island in British Columbia, has magically morphed into a friendship and a collaboration to further spread our shared passions of adventure and the great outdoors.
I don't believe in luck. There are no accidents. I’ve always been a firm believer that everything happens in our lives at a specific time for a specific reason. As I'm accumulating "years of wisdom," I've learned that synchronicity will happen when I align myself with the flow of the Universe rather than insisting the Universe flow my way. I believe cues are being put in our paths and we need to pay attention to those signals. We need to tune into the right frequency!
What synchronistic events have altered your life?