Personal Experience: The Fallen Picture

A synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence, events that are connected by meaning even though they may be unconnected by distance or the normal laws of causality.  An example of a synchronicity would be a watch stopping at the moment of a loved one’s death.  A synchronicity is evidence of the connectedness of the inner and outer worlds.  Sometimes the meaning is clear and requires no further exploration.  Sometimes the meaning, like a dream, is obscure, leading us to see things not previously apparent.  In this case, the synchronicity was also an omen, suggesting that I act.  I believe it was a shamanistic event, propelled by helping spirits.

This particular synchronicity occurred when Naomi invited a close friend from a moderately distant state named Sarah to stay with us.  Looking back, Sarah was probably close to being in crisis, although Naomi didn’t realize it at the time.  Naomi did know that Sarah wanted to speak with her about important private matters.

It turned out that Sarah was having an affair with a married man and was seeking Naomi’s council.  Naomi had a huge capacity for counseling.  But for some reason, in this case, she was highly judgmental of Sarah, stating that Sarah was clearly being used by this man and should end the relationship.

As far as I was concerned, none of this was any of my business.  But Naomi was bothered that Sarah was so hurt by her opinion of the affair.  Naomi filled me in on the details.  I heard nothing to indicate that Sarah was in a positive or negative situation with her lover.  From what we heard, there was no way of knowing how the situation would turn out.  All we knew was that Sarah was almost desperately lonely, that Sarah loved Brad (names changed), and that she believed Brad loved her.  Apart from being married, it sounded like Brad was good to her.  We also knew that Sarah believed Brad would leave his wife for her.  Of course, this does not usually happen, but in this specific case we had no way of knowing.  I told Naomi that Sarah’s life without Brad was probably worse than her life with him, sad as that may or may not have seemed.  Naomi admitted that what I said was probably true, but didn’t feel she could accept Sarah’s situation.  I told Naomi it could cause a rift between them if she were not more accepting of Sarah’s affair. Naomi acknowledged that this additional insight was also probably true.

The next night Naomi was out on various errands and I was alone in the house with Sarah.  I decided that her personal life was none of my business and determined to stay out of it.  I was sitting on the couch reading.  Sarah was looking out the patio door only a short distance from me.  I became aware of the fact that she was crying.

I looked up at her from my position on the couch.  Almost immediately, I saw it happen.  I was looking directly at it.  Her mirror wall 2photograph, which had been sitting securely in its 5″ X 7″ wood frame on the mantle over the fireplace, fell to the floor.  The photograph had been leaning against the wall for some time, three or four inches from the mantle’s edge.  And yet it toppled over from the top down, as if someone had knocked it over.  Having watched it fall, I knew there was no logical explanation.  What had happened was more or less impossible, but it had happened nonetheless.  Perhaps helping spirits had utilized the emotional energy in the room to communicate to me.  I knew that the fallen picture was synchronous with the falling out that was occurring between Naomi and Sarah, that Sarah’s sadness was not limited to the dilemma of her love affair with Brad, but also extended to the rejection and lack of support she felt from Naomi.

I walked over and picked up the picture.  Sarah had also heard it fall.  “Wasn’t that odd,” I said.  “I have no idea how that picture possibly could’ve fallen off.”  But I did know.  Unseen Powers are always just behind the veil.  Circumstances occasionally allow them to shine through.  I don’t think Sarah cared why the picture fell.  Her pain was too intense for speculation.  But the event did create a space for discussion.  I recognized the synchronicity, not only as a description of internal events between Naomi and Sarah, but also as an omen for me to become involved.  My picking up her picture after it had fallen was symbolic of that.

“You’re sad because of your dilemma with Brad, and Naomi’s non-acceptance of the situation.”

She was very open for someone, anyone, to discuss this with.

“Naomi thinks Brad is just using you.  I don’t know Brad at all, so that has to be acknowledged as a possibility.”  She seemed worried that another judge had entered the room.

“But it’s also possible that Brad truly loves you.  It’s even possible he could leave his wife for you.”

She began to speak about her dilemma, but I could see she was going to do the same sort of wheel spinning she’d done with Naomi, and her sadness would only multiply.

“You know, it doesn’t matter to me if you have an affair or break it off.  I hope it doesn’t matter to you what I think you should or shouldn’t do.  I have no idea.  Neither does Naomi.”  I let the words sink in.  She was receptive, so I continued.

“All that matters is how you feel about this.  It’s important you understand that you don’t know for certain what the outcome of this affair will be.  If you understand that, and you’re willing to assume responsibility for the outcome, then what other people think becomes irrelevant.  Act out of your own center.”

It was like a burden was combed out of her hair.  “I can do that,” she said finally.  She wasn’t crying anymore.

I had no idea at the time whether she was truly assuming responsibility for the potential of either outcome, or if she was deluding herself that Brad loved her, and if only she believed it, that was enough.  I didn’t ask.  I had entered into conversation because her picture fell when it couldn’t possibly have fallen.  I spoke intuitively.  I wasn’t engaging in therapy.  At any rate, she was scheduled to leave soon, so there wouldn’t have been time for the process of therapeutic discovery.  I told Naomi what happened, and then forgot about it.  I didn’t fancy that I’d made any impact or difference one way or another.

Six months later, Brad divorced his wife and married Sarah.  She was passing through the Twin Cities on her way to somewhere else.  We were never close, and yet she chose to stop by my workplace in order to introduce me to her new husband.  At the time, I figured she was just so proud that she would’ve gone out of her way to introduce him to just about anybody.  Looking back, I can still see the joy in her eyes as she held him in front of an impartial witness.  I now know that she went out of her way to introduce us that day because I had walked across a room to pick up her fallen picture on a day that she was crying.

Open to omens:
I called this a shamanistic event because I was in the practice of going on shamanic walks.  As described by my helping spirits, a shamanic walk begins when you form intention and become mindful of your surrounding with that intention or question in mind.  For example, if you are wondering if you should make a particular change, and during your walk the sun breaks through the clouds, I would take that as an omen to pursue the change.  At this time, I was immersed in reading omens.  So the pattern may have led to this omen happening spontaneously. Because I was more likely to read the omen, the omen was more likely to appear.

Becoming a mindful observer:
In order to read omens as they are presented by spirits, and less by projection or wish fulfillment, it is necessary to train yourself to be a keen observer.  A discipline such as mindfulness training, yoga (or a physical mind/body art), or an art such as photography can help train you to pay closer attention to yourself and the world around you.  These are the same skills that make one an observer of omens.  When something just falls off a wall, it doesn’t take such great observational skills as much as being present and knowing that you are present.  I never asked: “Did I just see what I thought I saw?”  I knew.  When you are present, you don’t question your vision, but are prepared to take it to the next step.  Why did that happen?

If you liked this story, I recommend The Grief and Intimacy of my Dear Brothers Death, in which an object flies off the top of the book shelf at the time of my brother’s death.

If you like that, I recommend you check out my latest blog:  where I feature my new book (for as cheap as I can sell it). Or you can go to Amazon:

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15 Responses to Personal Experience: The Fallen Picture

  1. fortune says:

    On such a walk you might also pick up an object, a rock or stick whatever catches you minds eye, carry it with you and look at it for the purpose of shamanic divination. This has work well for me when i am very clear about my intention and the question i am asking and can provide much detail in answer.

  2. Shanti Land says:

    Thank you Jim, clearly and beautifully conveyed. I am about as far away from my lovely home in NZ as I can possibly be, literally half way around the world (for almost 5 months it will be). I’ve been a stay at home Mum to a large family since I was 17, so for me to be travelling now at the age of 44 and on my own is a huge step! Often I feel lost, and the language barrier contributes to that, for example causing me to miss my train because the changes to what my ticket states were announced over the intercom … though not always duplicated in English. Yet … I have observed a few times in such circumstances … things have happened … that I thought odd at the time … yet did not act … because in this example … my ticket clearly stated where I should be. Although in hind sight … I have realised the serendipitous connection even more, and still it would re enter my mind and I ponder it again wondering if it was a message or coincidence. I’ve had a few such happenings on my journey so far … and now with your prompting tale of confirmation … I will gratefully take my queue when next it is given. 🙂
    Thank you Jim – hugs and blessings – Shanti

  3. Yesteryear says:

    A bit same story. A love affair with the unknown. When desperate and after a fight, something happen quickly afterwards like sending a sign. It just happened tonite. Too recent to narrate. May be afterwards.

  4. Sophie says:

    So im having an experience with a picture of a loved one who passed last year. I have a picture of him on my window still, the picture fell 3 times. The first time it fell, my brother was in the room (Not related to my loved one) the second time it fell i was in bed, it made a really big bang, it landed on the floor face up. And the 3rd time it fell my brother was in the room. I feel very calm and relaxed with the pucture falling as i feel my loved one is giving me a sign that hes here and hes ok. I just dont understand why it doesnt fall when im in the room.

    • Jim says:

      What grand Mystery, the vibrations of “the other side” touching us in our own time. The fact that you heard it in the night makes you a witness (the face-up big bang — a rather unique signature). And the fact that you feel his love and assurance is an indication that a message is getting through.

  5. CysttalClear says:

    I had a very interesting series of events happen to me over the past 24 hours and I’d like to share with you and possibly get some feed back.
    Last night I heard a bang and went into the other room only to find a picture that was given to me by my best friend had not only fallen, but also landed face up on my prosperity grid and split one of my pieces of black tourmaline perfectly in half. (For those of y0u who work with crystals, black tourmaline has significant meaning as a protective crystal.) The picture, thankfully, did not suffer any damage. She gave this picture to me for Christmas in 2016. I felt uneasy with what the significance could be of the picture falling, the crystal grid being completely scattered and the black tourmaline breaking so perfectly in half!
    Then this morning, as I went through my usual routine, I opened up my blinds and the glass friendship globe, given to me by the same friend for Christmas in 2017, cracked as I raised the blinds, for no reason!
    Two gifts from the same friend within 24 hours.
    My friend has been going through an emotionally trying time for a few years. I have been supportive over the years, however I see she is going further down an emotional hole, and now with these 2 events, I’m even more concerned!
    Any thoughts?

    • Jim says:

      Sorry it took so long to reply. These events are, indeed, numinous. It seems difficult not to see them as ominous. One line of inquiry brings us to the possibility that what happened is a mirror — the leaking unconscious energy cracks open at a convenient portal, your power objects. A mirror is not personal, it just shows what is. If this is part of what is happening, it would suggest that your friend is encountering her own psychic unconscious contents, a difficult task that can lead to either increased integration or more confusion (a difficult journey). The other line of inquiry is that these events are portents — warnings of a possible loss of prosperity (friendship is, of course, a form of prosperity). There are probably other possibilities as well. Numinous events are like that.

      If there are clear paths to helping your friend get some form of help or support, that would be practical. In other words, if your friend continues to have problems you need not feel you are working alone in isolation to help. Help could be professional, it could be another network of friends…

      If you haven’t already done so, you might dream to or give space to how you might repair, energize, or remake your grid whole (or see that it is whole). It may just take some intention, care, perhaps even patience — that would be for you to see. If you use this space like an altar, you might consider times of vigil for your friend, placing her picture in the space made sacred. Allow the space to have space, to be spacious. Project love. Whatever other skills or methods you may have to attend to your friend and intend wholeness for her, the suggestion is to do it with love (or love on its own).

      I send these words with compassion, words with a prayer.

  6. cindy says:

    Unusual happenings in my home, first my kitty Jonah has been acting very strange for about a week and has left me so concerned I contacted my vet. Two nights ago the Shaman Sun purchased in Ecuador 4 years ago fell off the mantel and shattered. When this Shaman Sun was purchased it was at the equator and on a day I could not attend because I was sick in the hotel. Needless to say I cleaned up all the pieces and oh so slowly over the course of the two days I threw them away. I cannot explain why I felt the need to do it in a manner that seemed to feel tender. I still have one small piece of it left. Today my kitty Jonah walked me right to where I cleaned up the fall and there was a key, like an old clock key leaning up against the fireplace. It was not there when I cleaned things up. Any thoughts?

    • Jim says:

      Assuming that you’ve eliminated more ordinary causes, such as the cat knocked down the picture and a person placed the key or even that the kitty somehow ate the key (somehow this all seems unlikely to me, and probably irrelevant). I’ll proceed with a numinous exploration (yes, this does seem numinous). I’m not sure what a Shaman Sun is, though it seems reasonable that it is symbolic of the power of light. Again, this may not matter, the object was significant and was purchased at a time when you were sick. I assume you got better. How Fate arranged these events may not be knowable, though I often prefer to believe that Fate was stepping in to prevent a greater difficulty (especially when we are on our beam or path).

      So now, in the present, the object fell and shattered. You weren’t going to be able to just glue it back together. What makes sense to me is that the object’s function is complete, that if the object was holding some aspect of Fate for you, that is no longer necessary. Perhaps you were tenderly cleaning up and attending to an aspect of your life that is past, and is currently also activated (to a degree). Paying attention as you have done is helpful in acting through a process. Sometimes being mindful while energy is moving toward your field is sufficient. But you might further ask yourself if there is a process currently unfolding in your life that relates to these happenings. I do see a possible connection between your cat getting sick and your illness, though it does not feel strong to me. Time will tell.

      What you associate as an old clock key is a symbol of time — a key to time. Perhaps it is time that you claim more of your own power, perhaps the Shaman Sun as an object is not longer needed — you can integrate the symbol, be (participate with) the power that lights the sky.

      As long as you feel solid (not shattered), allow the numinous event to speak to you (use intuition, or, if you like, make an altar or circle and ritually ask — then bow to the experience when you are done). It is possible that the event itself released a balancing energy and that nothing further is suggested. But really, only you can know (or not know) for sure.

      • cindy says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful and prompt response.
        Jonah was not sick just completely inconsolable and weird- poor precious soul. I am by no means shattered, more like very aware and awake. I think all in I feel a bit like Jonah it is just that he sees it and I feel it. We need to get together on this topic.
        In gratitude for your insight

  7. David Haith says:

    That was an interesting story I found after this event today which I shared on my Facebook page
    I will perhaps copy it here for people not on Facebook…
    Below it I have referred readers to this blog and the above incident
    Here’s one for my ‘weird’ pals…
    Had a phone call today from a friend to tell me about a big glass framed photo of the Buddha which took itself for a levitated trip off a wall.
    He was doing his morning yoga and had just finished when he saw the picture was no longer on the wall in front of him. It was lying glass intact, face up neatly against the skirting board below.
    Now he knows it wasn’t on the floor when he entered the yoga room because he would have had to step over it.
    So perhaps it just fell off the wall…?
    Very unlikely considering the screw which it was hooked over is still firm and the metal catch which fits over the screw is unbent.
    And if the picture had fallen he would have heard it crash down while he was silently doing his poses. And no, his postures were many yards from the wall, so he couldn’t have dislodged the picture that way.
    There are no roads for heavy lorries to vibrate the building and as far as I know no earth tremors have been reported in Dorset!
    Unlike me, my friend is a firm materialist – but open to evidence that there might be more.
    The web is of course full of such occurrences – some say they are predictive of all sorts of events and some a sign of communication from deceased loved ones.
    I have just happened upon a blog about a similar event with a rather pleasant background story which suggests sometimes anomalous happenings can have some meaningful consequence.

  8. David Haith says:

    PS I believe your cover photo of the avenue of trees is a short distance from my home – I’ve photographed the scene many times

  9. Jim says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, and for having an open mind. The world is too mysterious for us to be either closed-minded or overly superstitious. We think we know a lot, but there is a lot more we just don’t know.

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