What is synchronicity? Conceived by Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist/psychoanalyst), the term was coined in the early 1900s. He defined it by saying, “Synchronicity could be understood as an ordering system by means of which ‘similar’ things coincide, without there being any apparent cause.” So, it is a matter of meaningful coincidences, or, as someone else said, “Synchronicity is when a coincidence shifts the motion of your life.”

There are some pitfalls with this notion. Many scientists view it as “apophenia,” a tendency to see false patterns in random data. The truth is, though, we are pattern-recognition machines. This ability helps us to make predictions that relate to our very survival, and it is critical to learning in general. Others put synchronicity in the category of “confirmation bias,” that is, we find it easy to notice and remember things that support our beliefs (and not things that don’t).

What if they are not mutually exclusive? We would certainly need to be aware of creating connections that are faulty and misleading; on the other hand, it seems unreasonable to ignore valid connections that can guide us to significant insights and better choices in life. Okay, how do we know the difference?

Since these experiences are non-repeatable, we are talking about an art-form of sorts, not science. It’s about potential – we have to be present, watch for signs, take action and evaluate what happens.

Determining which signs are relevant can be an enormous task if our mind isn’t clear. We do not want to go down a path due to doubt, worry, or to force an outcome. A great way to get clarity is through meditation. This will open and relax the mind and will lessen the effects of family, culture, outside influences, obligations, expectations and, of course, distractions. Click here to watch a useful guided meditation.

With a clear mind, practice noticing signs. A great way to start is to ask a question, then take a walk in nature. Keep repeating the question and notice what you become aware of or drawn to. Be present and curious; see if the sign evokes a deeper meaning or significance in your life. If the first few signs aren’t noteworthy, try asking the question in a different way and keep going.

Signs can also come in the form of dreams. Journalling, no matter what way signs present themselves, will go a long way towards deriving their meaning. Keep track of where and when they appear, as well as how you feel about them. In this way, you may see patterns – and synchronicities – that show up.

Remember that evaluating signs requires action. Pursue what feels right. As you demonstrate that you are paying attention to what the Universe is bringing you, look for additional signs that let you know you are on the right track. Persevere if at first, you feel confused or unsure; you are building trust in yourself, as well as in the Universe that holds everything that will help you.

As there is always Opportunity through Adversity, the most stressful times in life can expand the number of synchronicities you will experience. If you’re going through a crisis or some sort of major change in your life, be open to the signs that will help you get through the challenge in front of you.

The possibilities are endless for how synchronicities can show up on a daily basis. They can’t help you if you ignore them, so pay attention from a connected mind, body and heart.