The Extraordinary Project has gotten great press this summer, including a blog mention on NPR's CarTalk and a whole seven minutes on Chicago's WGN morning news. I'm thrilled the media is taking on a discussion of extraordinary experiences, and encouraging people to tell their truly incredible stories of connection, healing, recovery, and hope. So many submissions about premonitions, synchronicity, prophetic dreams and other coincidences have come in this summer. I hope you'll check out the media spots and tell me what you think.
I spent some time with my brother this summer, who told me he'd try his best to keep track of each time he noticed a coincidence--meaningful or not. I was so pleased at the idea that he is keeping an eye out for extraordinary moments. I wonder what he'll find.
As psychologist Bernard Beitman says, the meaning of coincidence is in the eye of the beholder. Not every coincidence is meaningful, and it's easy to over interpret if you happen to be paranoid or fantasy prone. That said, there are plenty of types of coincidences that happen--particularly when we travel--that seem to suggest meaning.
Synchronicity, for example, the simultaneous crossing of two thoughts, two patterns, or two people within a short period of time, is often observed by people when they travel. I have many personal experiences of bumping into old friends in the airport -- but I'm not the only one. Michelle V and Kathryn C both have fascinating synchronicity stories having to do with airports and airplanes. Why does this happen? I asked a travel researcher, who pointed out how many possible combinations of events could happen while one travels, making coincidence more likely. When we leave our regular routines, we change up the possibility of events that result. Me thinks it's more than simple math, however, so I'll be digging deeper. What do you think?