When "coincidences" happen, I pay attention.
Say that I'm a few marbles short of a full bag if you must--I know this theory cannot be scientifically proven--but I believe that synchronicity is meant to draw our attention towards something important.
It's meant to lead us in an important direction, or at least to make us aware of something we need to learn.
Which brings me to my story from last week.
I think you know how much I love photography. As a whole, the art makes my soul sing to the tune of a hand-clapping chorus of angels. When I capture a glimpse of a person's soul with my camera--their ESSENCE--it feels like I am experiencing God.
It's a spiritual experience.
And then there's the back-end of photography: the editing of the RAW files and other tasks that go along with the business. Dorothy Parker, a 20th century American poet, once said, "I hate writing; I love having written." Glennon Melton famously drew a parallel between that quote and the challenges of parenting.
That's how I feel about editing. For me, the editing process hits the Gouge-Your-Own-Eyes-with-a-Spoon tier of the Mundaneness Meter.
But I DO love having edited. And I most certainly love having photographed.
Not to worry: I've devised a helpful practice to keep me out of my utensil drawer while editing. To keep myself from even THINKING about spoons, I merely distract my brain. First, I listen to something that feeds my inner Joyologist…anything from the en*theos Academy for Optimal Living will do.
Then, when wisdom begins dripping out my ears from over-saturation, I make the jump to something funny, such as the Brian Regan station on Pandora.
Funniness is like a defibrillator for a depleted brain.
Important aside: Have you ever heard of the comedian Brian Regan? He is a very, very funny man.
Last week, I had a lot of editing to do. I kicked things off with the Philosopher's Note on "The Power of Full Engagement." In the note, Brian Johnson (not comedian Brian but philosopher Brian - the guy I interviewed a few weeks ago) quoted this paragraph from that book:
The idea of mental "junk food" caught my attention. I don't watch a lot of TV, but I wondered, "Self: if you are what you eat, what is YOUR mental junk food?"
At that moment, I was nursing a Social Comparison Hangover, which happens almost every time I check Facebook. I'm not sure whether I love Facebook or whether I hate it. In fact, if you ask me the status of my relationship with Facebook, I'll tell you: it's complicated.
Given that I was actively nursing a Facebook-induced Social Comparison Hangover when I posed myself the question about mental junk food, it's probably not shocking that a voice in my head immediately answered, "Facebook. Facebook is your junk food. It doesn't make you feel good. Facebook is like McDonald's for your soul."
I half-smiled. I find myself amusing at times.
At that point I was tired of thinking so I switched to my favorite comedy station on Pandora, since I still had a lot of editing in front of me.
Here's where it DID get shocking.
Within less than five minutes, I heard the following very funny skit by Jim Gaffigan. (The whole thing is funny but if you're in a hurry, skip to the 5:40 mark to see the coincidence):
Ummm…that's…WEIRD, right? That is a weird coincidence, if you do say so yourself, yes?
To me, it was so freakishly weird that it gave me chills. I stopped what I was doing: there was something here that I needed to chew on.
And I have. I've been chewing it and chewing it.
Before I delve into all the reasons I think this coincidence popped up in my life at that moment, I must remind myself that no one likes long blog posts and that I AM bunting, after all. No need to be so thorough.
But maybe this "coincidence" happened to me, not only for what I needed to learn in my own life, but because I'm also meant to share it with you today.
Maybe you need to consider this concept, too.
Maybe you're not one to go to McDonalds or indulge in lots of television or even Facebook, but what else do you do that you know is not good for you?
Something likely immediately came to mind as you read that question: A recurring thought you need to let go of? An unhealthy relationship that is depleting you? An indulgent habit like staying up late?
Hey: that's still McDonald's. It's just served up a little different.
It's McDonald's of the soul.
What's YOUR McDonald's?
I love to hear from you! :)