Ripples: What Impact are You Having Right Now? 3 (Powerful) Ways Make a Difference in the World

When walking in the woods the other morning, I paused to sit to just be fully present.  The rain was gently falling and the canopy of trees kept me fairly dry.  As I watched the rain fall on the lake, I saw the drops hit the surface creating ripple after ripple.  These concentric rings were transferring energy based on the force of the impact of the rain drops. It was so meditative to follow the undulation till it faded out or until it dissolved into and with another ripple.

Observing this process reminded me that the energy of our thoughts, beliefs and actions do much the same thing. Nothing is static. A common desire from people I coach (and not only in Mid-life) is that they “want to make more of a difference” in the world or they find themselves wondering how much of a difference they have made so far. As time becomes more precious as we age, we evaluate our priorities and how we spend our time. We may begin to make more effort to create changes that we deem worthwhile, whether it be at work, in our health, in our relationships, or by taking on volunteer projects.  But, we get impatient! This is another common trait I see in my clients is how disheartened they can get when they don’t see immediate (or quicker) results or they don’t see the results as they imagined them in their minds (think TedTalks, publishing a bestselling book, getting that promotion, saving the world).  It’s as if we have some unspoken expectation to quantify and qualify what ‘making a difference’ really looks like-and sometimes an unrealistic time frame.  We are looking for proof by measuring it in some form of tangible, external success. However, most often, we overlook the tremendous difference we can make and ARE making – just by the quality of the energy we emit- right NOW!

If there is to be peace on earth, it must begin with you and me.  Ask yourself right now, “What energy am I creating and generating?”  Then take responsibility for it and if it feels heavy, follow these powerful but simple steps below to generate what you really want to put into the world.

  1. Practicing mindfulness…I know, I know….you hear it everywhere. And there’s a reason.  Practicing mindfulness allows us to willingly create a space to be fully present.  It’s a conscious choice to pause and tell yourself you are going to practice being fully present say, for the next 5-10 minutes. Bring your full attention to it.  Notice your thoughts – notice what you see, feel, hear, taste, smell – and notice the arising and passing away of each moment.  It will feel more expansive. You become an observer to your experience – which allows you to be more detached – therefore more aware and able to choose.  If you practice this, then you will become more adept at noticing your reactions/responses and can more easily shift to make changes that create a more positive ripple.
  2. Notice your reactions and responses, and consciously adjust yourself accordingly-no matter where you are or what you’re doing. In any moment, we can simply ask ourselves if what we are doing right now feel like a “Yes!” or “No”?  We can ask ourselves does this feel yummy or yucky, or does this feel light or heavy with practically every thought we think and every choice we make.  Begin to check in and use the combination of words that work best for you to capture the choices that exists in the many paradoxes we face each day.  Use whatever metaphors work for you to ask yourself if you’re in alignment with what you want and who you want to be?  If you reacted negatively, check in, re-adjust, apologize and choose again.  Or, if you haven’t responded yet, take a few minutes and check in and make a more powerful and aligned choice.
  3. Be in full acceptance of what you have chosen: Have what you have.  Which means, even when life doesn’t feel good, when it doesn’t feel like a YES, and doesn’t seem yummy or light and when it just kind-of sucks, just have it.  Allow yourself to be ok with not feeling great.  This doesn’t give you a pass to act out, it gives you permission to be human.  Communicate with transparency to those you need to what exactly it is that you need.  Do you want a little extra TLC, or space, or encouragement, or silence, or a good meal out or someone else to do carpool? Whatever it is you feel would nourish you the most, do that, ask for it, and honor it. This is called restoration.  Restore yourself.  You can have a small pity party – but set a timer.  Don’t let yourself dwell in it for long.  Talk to someone and get it out. This will help keep you sane, healthy and most of all, keep you feeling better about yourself because you took responsibility for you. This in turn sends more positive energy into the world even if you don’t feel great. When we don’t do this, we tend to blame others or we succumb more easily to the negative emotions such as anger or shame or by harboring toxic resentments-thereby creating negative energy.

So, let’s keep the inner part of ourselves serene by choosing consciously.  Let’s go create some powerful and impact-full ripples of goodness in the cosmic ocean of life!

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