Instead of asking "How do I prove that this was a really meaningful coincidence?" I think it is more useful to ask "What should I look for as evidence of synchronicity and flow?" as Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around, you may miss it."
Today I saw the band U2 for the first time.
But I almost didn't. I was on retreat at my parents' house taking 24 hours away from my family to try and finish a paper, and my cousin Jon texted "Please call me about extra U2 tckt 2night!" I did NOT jump for joy. I moaned in frustration. Of COURSE I should see U2. It's the opportunity of a lifetime. They became popular while I was a freshman in high school and they are the sound track of my social awakening. I have never seen them before. The ticket was very expensive but free to me.
So I told Jon "maybe." I was BUSY! How hard had I worked to carve out that time for myself to focus? Yet I knew it was the right thing for me, I knew I had to let go of the plans in my head. How did I know? Using the LORRAX process, I had already Listened to the info, and Opened my mind to saying maybe. And when I Reflected on the situation, I knew in my heart that I was getting nowhere on my paper. I was banging my head against a wall and pretending it was progress. So then I Released my attachment to having a distraction-free night, and Acted, texting my cousin back "Yes! I want to come!" He texted "I'll let you know in an hour if it's still available." Maybe I missed my chance!
I saw the challenge. I buckled down, abandoned what wasn't working in my paper and saw what needed to happen to pull it together into a final state. I had two hours before having to leave for the concert, and in those two hours I achieved more than the previous 12 hours. I got my work where it needed to be, and Jon texted back "They're yours."
Interestingly, I had just added Bono to the list of people I want to write a blurb for my book (I mean, I have the Dalai Lama and Leonardo di Caprio too; I am not expecting a Yes). Jon and I had a wonderful evening, and at the show I made several attempts to share my info card with crew members of the band. After the show, I slipped onto the floor of the arena and asked one of the crew "Can you help me out? I want Bono to read my book." He was in a rush and apparently all he heard was "book"...he grabbed a copy of a book sitting on the stage and handed it to me--Lord of the Flies. I thought, "What's the relevance of this?"
The next crew member I asked politely stuck my card on the drummer's seat--maybe Larry Mullen Jr. will find it, who knows.
So I had done what I knew how to do, and we left to find the car. Then Jon asked what Bono had been reading during "Until the End of the World"? Was it Lord of the Flies? Suddenly I realized I was holding a souvenir from the show, the book Bono had actually read from during the act.
So, in summary, by following the LORRAX process to get into flow, I:
- Got to see U2 for the first time, thirty years later
- Made substantial progress on my work
- Had a great time out with my cousin
- Placed my synchronicity diagram on Larry Mullen's seat
- Got the copy of Lord of the Flies that Bono had just read from during the show that I saw
So rather than paying attention to how we prove whether something is synchronicity or random, I suggest just start paying attention. It will happen so frequently that the question of "how do I prove this" will start to feel a little absurd, or at least irrelevant.
PS. We still do have to prove it, and that's what my paper was on.