"Synchronicity is the coming together of the inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer." Carl Jung
Does this explain times and moments in your life? It does from me. Just this week, I had a conversation with a fellow Coach about Ikigai. He asked me if I had heard of the concept. I have and have pondered it over a coffee, but never read the book. He suggested I do. Literally the next day, a package arrived from my parents in Australia which they sent before Christmas. My present?
The book Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Frances Miralles. Coincidence? I have never talked to my parents about Ikigai and they didn't tell me what was in the package. It appeared in my life, just as I thought yes, this applies to my Career Coaching and I want to read it. The next day, someone I follow, who is a thought leader on LinkedIn, shares a post about Ikigai. Strange?
The point is, for me, that often we are given signs about certain things. At the moment, the study of Ikigai and how it relates to my work appears to be what I need to read and implement. I can trust it will lead somewhere at some point. Being open to the experience is what I have always valued. I am exploring this with Ikigai.
The quote above is by Carl Jung who invented the word synchronicity. I first heard about it from James Redfield in the Celestine Prophecy when I read the book in 1997. This book started my adventure in Personal Development and taught me to look out for synchronicity in my life. Is it part of my imagination though? Am I interpreting these events right?
I am interested to know how you have experienced synchronicity or a 'sign' that you are meant to be doing something. When did you get interested in synchronistic explanations for your life events?
When I first started singing in 2003 or so, I received a lot of signs. I went to a Clairvoyant on my 23rd birthday (19 years ago tomorrow), who suggested I use my voice. "Radio, singing, that kind of thing, do it you will be good at it." Two weeks later I started with my first teacher John Lander. During my first few weeks of singing, I kept thinking in my mind, 'well if I am good, when can I.... start performing, start doing roles, doing more etc'. Oddly, before I had even opened my mouth, several times, John would mention they need a male chorister for this production, a Freddy Einsford-Hill for this etc, and so I would go, follow this lead and get the part. It was more than just a coincidence and I began to truly believe I was being given signs that I am meant to be a professional singer. The fact that I thought the thought, then the event showed up in mind life, started to change my trajectory. It helped me develop the strong belief that I was going to be a professional singer. I didn't will it, but intelligently made decisions and took chances that lead to specific outcomes.
For instance, before I moved to Sydney to study Opera, I received a newspaper article titled 'where are all the tenors?' in an industry magazine from a recital I sang at, from a person I had never met nor would again, invited by my pianist. I auditioned for the course and got in. I wouldn't have heard about it, were it not for the person who came into my life at that exact moment with the information I needed to hear.
My life changed dramatically after that and I have since found my calling. I worked in Opera for 8 years, before moving into Coaching. My start in Coaching came at a time when I was faced with a crisis in my Operatic life and I turned to a great friend Eddie, and said 'I want to do more of this'. This being Coaching and conversations that were inspiring. Being uplifted from my conversations with Eddie, I sought out a Coaching qualification I could do while doing Opera fulltime. Right when I had my annual leave holidays from Opera Australia, a Mastery Weekend course kicked off with the Life Coaching Academy. It was a direct fit. It lined up! There was no struggle. Things seemed to flow.
Two years on, when my wife and I made the choice to try and move to Europe, we both auditioned for the Vienna Opera Award. My grandfather had been sick at the time and one the day of his funeral, my wife found out she had won the award and that we would be moving to Vienna in January. One chapter closed and another opened. It was really more than coincidental. Synchronistic you could say.
Since living in Vienna, there has been many other examples, equally as awe inspiring about things we have needed or wanted turning up, right when they should. It feels right to be here and things really do feel in flow sometimes. Often, I forget to look for synchronicity but perhaps when it hits me in face, I do remember it is about the meaning I give it. It is our experience of things and how we individually choose to give meaning to something. The events of the last week around the topic of Ikigai, might be imaginary by me, but they have meaning for me. I have delved into the book and cannot wait to here why my parents chose it for me and they came across it. Conversations will be sparked and my story can be told to add to the mystery. Either way, I like Synchronicity in my life, and will continue to look for it and be amazed by it when it turns up. The meeting of inner and outer events, that goes beyond regular rational thought, into something different. Something more meaningful.
Tell me about some of your experiences with Synchronicity. How has it helped you discover a 'feeling of purpose' in your life? What decisions did you make as a result of your synchonistic events?
2021 is now upon us and the world has changed rapidly before our eyes. With COVID still causing problems, we might be wondering during these early days of January, just where are we going? Where are you going?
I like reading and listening to Podcasts and among the many things I have absorbed recently, one particular thing stood out to me. Often in conversation, especially as things change for us, we say 'I was a ......' or 'I used to be a......'. These phrases don't really help to paint us in a good light.
What if instead, we mentioned who we are becoming? This might create a green light discussion. This could lead to a new connection with someone instead. Most people want to help others out, and so mentioning how you are becoming or working towards something, could open doors. At least it give the opportunity and means people don't pity you.
In my own life, I realised that I have carried the 'I used to be a Professional Opera Singer' card for quite a few years now. Even this website, until today had Executive Voice Coach - Opera Singer.
Take another look, I have removed it. Perhaps this is the last point in my transformation. I don't know. My Operatic life informs my current life but it is not who I am becoming. 'Career Mentor' is something I am becoming as I realise another dream I have always to do. I want to help others design their careers. I leave up my 'Opera Repetoire' page as like any CV, it is shining record of all I did accomplish.
Now as a Coach, I get a real kick out of exploring the future, looking over the past and finding through Coaching, what makes peoples faces light up. What makes their heart sing! It might be a small thing, that, when nurtured turns out to be a major life changer. This is the power of Coaching.
For myself, I thought when I left school I would be a Psychologist. At 25 I moved to Sydney and by 26 was a Professional Opera Singer. At 36, we moved to Vienna and have become a full fledged Coach approved by the ICF. Now in my 40's I feel after 2 major career changes, that I am 'becoming' the person I want to be. This road hasn't been easy and I have had to look deep within myself and shine a light in the darkness. With the help of Jason Irving, my mentor, I have done that and am now ready to seek where I am going.
So who are you becoming? Where is your road and journey taking you? I would love to hear from you and chat about your career direction, sorted or not. It fascinates me to learn about why people do what they do and how they got there. Let's connect.
2020 is now well upon us and it is time perhaps to consider what steps are you taking in your personal communication. Do you need to upskill by learning a new language, working on your voice or perhaps some other aspect of your personal development.
As an Executive Voice Coach based in Vienna, Austria, I help people all over the world improve their spoken communication skills. Whether at the FH Wien der WKW, Die Schule des Sprechens or at MHC Business Language training, I see similar patterns across many people. They fear speaking infront of other for a variety of reasons. To me, these include:
These are some of the many things I help people with in 2020 and I want to continue to do so. Book a virtual catchup with me and let's talk about your personal development for 2020, so that in the future you can be better prepared and in a position to help yourself get your message across.
Personal Development has always been a keen interest to me. When I was 19 I first discovered the self-help section of the bookstore as a Psychology student and became interested in various topics from Flow, to Emotional Intelligence and alternative forms of Spirituality. My interests were eclectic but I favoured this section through most of my twenties.
Now in my thirties, having been a professional opera singer for the last 10 years, I didn't have an much time to read while learning notes and studying roles, but when I did, I tried to find the titles that suited my personal development interests at the time. Now with the Internet giving us mountains of information it is also possible to add Youtube clips, TED talks and Apps to your diet of self-development. There are many different mediums to connect with inspirational sources.
Over the years I have come to realise that we all need to develop ourselves in 5 areas. Our
This doesn't mean perfection in these areas, but attention. Attention towards growth and some kind of progress. Neglecting one of these areas results in potential failure across all. This is not a new concept and my influences on this topic come from speakers and authors like Jim Rohn, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins and Matthew Kelly.
For me, the point is working in one area can also effect other areas. Singing has always been something I have loved doing, even if I am not currently being paid to do it. It nourishes me physically, mentally by learning others languages, spiritually by the feeling of flow I get from a good performance and it can be a social activity. I am currently singing with two choirs here in Vienna and really enjoying music for the sake of music.
So what are you doing to develop yourself in these 5 areas? What are your personal development strategies for the year. To lead by example I list mine here! Let's see how 2017 turns out for these.
My 2017 PD strategies -
Somehow we are now in October 2016 and part of me thinks, wow, where did 2016 go? When I reflect on what I have been up to thus far, I see a fair amount has happened. Some of the highlights of my year so far have been...
Of course, the year is not over but my intention with this section of my website is to look at issues I find interesting, discuss developments and ideas I am working on and to allow people to see what I am doing.