While on vacation recently, my husband and I went in search of information about turtle hatchlings. We followed a meandering dirt road that led us past an old converted school bus parked on a nearby beach. A bit further down, we spotted a turtle sanctuary. On the entry gate was a handwritten sign that read “for information about turtles go to the school bus.”
What followed was perhaps the beginning of a life long friendship. The bus, as it turns out, was home to a family of nine, plus the parents (yes – 9. Not a typo!). Five of the children were grown and had moved on, but four still lived and traveled with their parents in their rolling home and one of their sons, is very interested in turtles, which was the reason they were parked on that beach.
As we talked, each family member eventually poked their head out of the bus and joined us. They were quiet, polite, thoughtful and oh-so-creative. Even making us sparkly water drinks with homemade umbrella’s and paper fans to keep us cool. The children’s mother and I launched into a conversation about serendipity (the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way), which was in fact rather synchronistic as the bed and breakfast we were staying at was called “Serindipity.”
She talked about how often those internal nudges or happenstance events led them out of harm’s way on their vast travels (250,000 kilometers to-date), or to amazing adventures and new friends.
So, what does synchronicity (the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection) have to do with life, leadership and business?
As I shared with my new friend, my feeling is that our culturally excepted ‘busy way of being’ has disconnected so many people from the winks and nods from the universe. Those internal nudges that say “yes, you’re on the right path” or happenstance meetings and conversations, that had you not been in such a rush, may have been the answer to a gnawing question, or the perfect connection to guide you to furthering your mission in life.
Here’s a tip for tapping into what Carl Jung called “meaningful coincidences”.
Build ‘down-time’ into your day – give your mind a rest! I promise you, this is a powerful life enhancing, mental bolstering and even productivity increasing strategy. Here’s why…
Did you know that your brain can only focus for 90 to 120 minutes? The reason is something called Ultradian Rhythm that presents itself during our sleep cycle and was first discovered by sleep researcher Nathan Kleitman – he called it the “basic rest-activity cycle”. In modern culture, we hit the ground running and push our way through the day. A practice that also pushes aside the ability to feel and hear those ‘winks and nods’ from the universe.
The point is to give your brain a rest – not to check social media, make personal phone calls or organize your desk. Set your timer for 90 minutes and commit to a minimum 5-minute break. If possible, take a walk outside, if needed, hide out in the toilet (seriously – I used to do this when there was no escape), pop your ear buds in and listen to calming meditative style music.
I think you’ll be surprised at how rejuvenating this can be and how after turning off your brain an idea, or happenstance circumstance will present itself.
For those of you who are motivated by challenges, here’s your challenge for the next five days – set your timer for 90 minutes and take your 5-minute (or longer) brain break.
I’d love to hear how it goes – did you feel less harried or that your day was less of a blur? Click the link below to comment, or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As for our new friends in the school bus – they will be visiting us this fall, unless of course, they receive a ‘nudge’ to go in a different direction.