The Inside Scoop

By Katy Koontz

Denise Linn: Searching for Synchronicity

The Inside Scoop with Denise Linn

I first met Denise Linn (the subject of this issue’s “Listening in With …”) more than two decades ago while she was on a book tour for The Secret Language of Signs (Ballantine, 1996). She was scheduled to give a talk in the city where I live, and a publicist arranged for us to meet for dinner.

I immediately loved Linn’s warmth and wisdom, and we had a great time discussing the ideas in the book during our meal. I was fascinated by the topic and peppered her with questions. The Universe is always giving us messages, Linn assured me: They’re everywhere. We need only learn how to recognize these signs to receive insights. She recommended I pay special attention to synchronicities, which she explained were the Universe’s way of nudging us in the right direction. We parted as friends.

Months later, when I retrieved my usual large stack of envelopes from the mailbox (this was before email was popular), I found a response from a writing fellowship I’d applied for. I had wanted to take my writing in a new direction, and I was convinced this fellowship was the key. I opened the letter immediately—only to learn I hadn’t been accepted.

Dejected, I turned my attention to the rest of the mail. My treasured bronze unicorn letter opener had inexplicably vanished weeks before, and so I ripped open each envelope by hand, grumbling about both my lost fellowship opportunity and my lost letter opener. Clearly, I thought, stewing, this is proof that the world is against me.

At the very bottom of the pile was a lumpy manila envelope containing a folder of promotional materials from a zoo. When I flipped open the folder, I gasped—a wooden letter opener adorned with a carved rhino was tucked inside! This wasn’t just a letter opener, I instantly understood. This amazing example of synchronicity was a sign that the Universe would always deliver exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.

I later discovered that the fellowship required more travel than I initially expected. Because I had a young child, the rejection was actually a blessing in disguise. And as it turned out, the Universe had much more interesting work planned for me than what the fellowship would have steered me toward.

I still have the rhino letter opener, and Linn and I are still friends. (In fact, I’ll be in Phoenix this month to see her—and a slate of other well-known speakers—at the International Women’s Summit that Celebrate Your Life is sponsoring with Unity.) I still follow her advice about keeping a sharp lookout for signs and synchronicities. Linn was right. They are everywhere, and they never cease to nudge me in the right direction at exactly the right time.


The Inside Scoop provides a bit more background on our current cover subject. Katy Koontz is editor-in-chief of Unity Magazine. You can contact her at