Have you ever been at the right place at the right time?
In an article on coincidences, “The Hidden Power of Coincidences,” Elizabeth Bernstein writes in the WSJ on how meaningful many people find coincidences. On the other hand, many others never give “coincidences” another thought.
After the “profound upheaval” (thanks to Covid), she continues, people are looking to make meaning these days. “And one way that some of us do this is by looking for guidance or comfort in coincidences, the unexpected concurrence of events.”
Ms. Bernstein reminds readers of the rainbows that appeared over Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace on the day that Queen Elizabeth II died last month.
Aaron Judge and the Magic of 61
Or how Yankee slugger Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the baseball season in September, tying Roger Maris’s American League single-season home-run record of 61 made in 1961, which was 61 years ago.
In an article titled the “Hidden Power of Coincidences,” Elizabeth Bernstein tells the story of Carla Kaufman Sloan, a mother who lost her older son in an accident eight years ago when her son was 7. Ms. Sloan began noticing heart shapes, often when she felt sad.
It started the first time she took her younger son back to a restaurant loved by both her boys. As she walked in, trying not to cry, she saw a heart-shaped leaf. “I showed it to my son, who declared it was from his brother,” says Ms. Kaufman Sloan, 54, who is a TV producer and writer in Miami.
Randomness vs Probability
Experts may disagree on the cause of coincidences, continues Ms. Bernstein.
Some say they are random and due to probability. Others see God or spiritual forces at work. Still others say it’s our subconscious making connections. No matter the cause, people who study coincidences say that paying attention to these moments may help us, especially in times of stress.
Moments of Joy
According to Ms. Kaufman Sloan, “It helps to realize that there is more to our daily lives than the surface.”
If you’d like to boost your ability to notice coincidences, suggests Ms. Bernstein, there are several strategies. Lisa Miller, a clinical psychologist who is founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University advises people to be open to them. “Write them down. Talk about them with others.”
Coincidence, Juju, Serendipity, Happy Accident?
“We really need this deep inner wisdom,” Ms. Miller advises.
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