I’ve never thought of myself as a science fiction enthusiast, although I’ve loved movies like Star Wars, The Martian, and Inception, but after a quick decision to walk into a showing of Arrival, the 2016 Oscar nominated film, I now realize that I am a fan of the genre.
Amy Adams stars in this science fiction story about the emergence of a linguist who learns how to communicate with extraterrestrials. After they descend on planet earth, their message of hope is ignored by those convinced that the aliens have arrived to destroy their world. Adams’ character discovers their benevolent mission, but cannot convince her team, much less the rest of the world, that these visitors pose no threat.
With the alien’s help, she shifts her perception of time and experiences the entirety of her life in a single moment. I watched as she emerged from her melancholy to realize that the journey was much more than the end destination.
I enjoyed the movie, but after reading some of the negative, even hateful reviews online, I wondered if this polarizing film would get in the way of my story. Then three things happened within hours of each other that helped me decide:
- A friend encouraged me to move forward after I mentioned my concern;
- A collage by artist, Tomo Mori, called Regeneration, appeared when I decided to write my story. I thought the painting looked like the oxygenated capsule in the movie Mission to Mars;
- A reader responded to a recent article of mine, sending a stanza from the poem Journey Home by Rabindranath Tagore, a 1913 Nobel Prize winner:
“The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.”
I realized it was time for me to emerge from my safe place and forget about what other people would think.
When something emerges that calls to us as it comes into view, it can be an uplifting process. For instance, the present day American resistance movement emerged onto the political scene and emboldened a complacent population to speak out against injustices. I found my voice in the middle of this political upheaval, feeling confident to share my view, in part, because of the community of like-minded resistors.
A very different kind of emergence happens when we’re exposed after hiding for a long time. It feels heavy moving through this process. Unlike the freedom from which I found my voice in the resistance, it was much more difficult for me to emerge from the dissonance between my exterior life and who I really am on the inside.
For a significant period of my life, I hid the deepest part of me for fear that I might offend or be the subject of ridicule. After decades working in the masculinity of corporate life, I learned how to survive. I could strategize and problem solve; figure things out and get them done. I found ways to help customers succeed by analyzing their business processes. I led a sales team of the year and was well compensated. I also learned how to guard my competitive advantage and rely exclusively on myself. I was excited to move up the corporate ladder, but eventually recognized my anxiety was an indication that the left part of my brain was out of balance with the right.
Sitting in that movie theatre, watching Arrival with my niece, I remembered how I had struggled to align my outer being with my inner knowing. Merging these parts of myself required time to reflect and find new meaning in my experiences. I started to notice the synchronicity that I now believe has always swirled around me. When we finally connect with our true selves and come into our own, the new knowledge feels meaningful, yet light.
There will always be challenges in life, but our commitment to learn and grow and surround ourselves with people who lift us up, will always keep the beauty in life alive. That’s where awareness and synchronicity live in times of adversity. We need to trust that the answers are already within us.
Irrespective of life circumstances and whatever obstacles line your path, you have an ability to draw to you what you desire in people and situations. It’s a matter of quieting your mind and asking for help from whatever power sustains you. Whether it’s religious, spiritual, or your own awareness of an experience, answers often emerge. I say often because putting yourself out there, without a clear intention and trust that the answers exist, will leave you grasping for the help you cannot see.
I learned how to focus on my breath and breathe deeply, waiting to see what emerged. By waiting for the answers to come, I was forced to give up control in the moment. I learned how to be vulnerable, using my voice to ask for help and support. I learned the importance of compassion and showing up in a more visible way to be of service. I let things emerge between my doing and just being, and finally found ways to recognize and appreciate my life’s value.
As I sat outside in the California sunshine this week, embracing my new life in the most beautiful surroundings I could imagine, I thought about all the incessant worrying I experienced trying to figure things out. I catch myself more quickly now when I’m stuck in my thoughts and I move more easily to the intuitive nature of my heart. That’s when the synchronicity begins. Here are a few recent examples:
- My family opened their homes to me after I arrived in California, but many months had passed and I had to find a place to live. When I finally committed to the west coast and changed my online profile to the Golden Gate Bridge, a friend from over 30 years ago responded the minute I posted my picture. I am now renting her home.
- I was feeling sad thinking of what I had lost after 35 years with my late husband, and asked for help to be reminded that suffering is optional. Then I saw a quote that a friend had posted online: “What appears as a loss is a shift to a more subtle state of consciousness. And if you are open enough and courageous enough to take that shift, what appeared as a loss will come back to you in an infinitely more wonderful subtle form.”
- My daughter and I had been tense with each other for quite some time. We both felt like we were tiptoeing around for fear that any comment could spark an angry reaction. We sought outside help from a conscious communicator and I discovered that my worry had translated into judgment. I did not believe that my daughter was okay after her father’s death and her subsequent heart attack. Then on her son’s first birthday, I watched my daughter revel in her son’s silliness amidst all the laughter and lightness. She shared his birthday celebration on social media. Over 200 friends responded. I remembered that I had asked for help to laugh with her again and to know that she was okay.
My logical, left brain resists looking for “coincidences” when I stay in my thoughts, but as I keep reclaiming my intuitive nature, I remember to appreciate the journey. I remind myself that challenges help me learn and grow, and will be repeated when the lessons elude me.
By being aware of the synchronicity in life, we can learn how to appreciate and make our journeys that much more enjoyable.
Feel free to share your thoughts on my blog at glass-full.me, on Facebook at Margaret Simeone, or on Twitter at Margaret Simeone@meg_simeone. I’d love to hear from you.