Denise Linn: Searching for Synchronicity
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.