When I do something, like make a change, or a choice about my life, it has a ripple effect on a whole bunch of people. Some of those people I know. Some people even tell me the ways in which my change, choice, or decision has impacted on them. And most of the time (if it's been a good change, choice or decision) it's awesome to get that feedback. To hear that in some way you've inspired someone to make a change themselves, or think differently about something they were stuck with.
But then there's all those invisible folks. Those ones who are impacted by me in ways I can't even imagine or begin to get my head around. Perhaps it was a glance on the bus, or a throwaway remark that got overheard at the school gate, a thought I had.....the possibilities are infinite. But, in short, whether I want to or not, I am going through life making ripples.
And so are you.
And so is everyone.
Whether we mean to, or want to, or try to, we're doing it.
We're affecting others.
Perhaps we're doing something in a very active sense. Or perhaps we're not doing anything. Either way, the ripples are happening. We can't stop the ripples from happening. Whether we want it to be the case or not, our very breath sends vibrations down the spiderweb of humanity, and is felt by someone, somewhere in some way.
Which is a staggering thought. Really staggering. But undeniably true. The very fact that you exist is enough. Your very existence sends ripples. Your very existence contains an energy. A vibration.
If you're alive, you're transmitting.
You can't turn off the ripples however hard you try. You can't turn off the ripples by underachieving. You can't turn off the ripples by screwing up royally and landing on your arse. You just can't.
You emit ripples.
You impact the world by virtue of being you.
That's just the way it is.
So, given that there's no off button, and that this is not an optional function like predictive text on a smartphone, you may as well embrace it. You may as well accept that you are shooting out ripples all over the shop. That you are an unstoppable rippling machine. That you are the ripples and the ripples are you, and nothing, but nothing can ever stop that being the case.
You ripple. Deal with it.
And when you stop and think about it, if your rippling is getting all up in other people's faces whether you mean it to or not - that's kind of a big responsibility. Actually, that's a huge rippling deal.
All thoughts carry an energy - the good and the bad. And next time your mind gets all tangled in judgemental and angry knots - remember this - these negative thoughts are belching out a toxic cloud into the ethers. A stinky, grey murky cloud of misery and discontent. A cloud that will pollute, and cause dis-ease more widely than you'd like to imagine.
And sure, none of us intend this to be the case when we silently judge another in the confines of our minds. None of us intend this to be the case when we lose ourselves in anxiety and self recrimination. We don't want to send a cloud of misery out into the world. But we do. Because we can't control that bit.
We exist. Therefore we ripple.
And if our energy is shitty, and our thoughts negative, then we ripple in a shitty and negative way. Which is a bit troubling and unsettling.
But is also awesome news.
Let me tell you why.
Because there's a huge part of this ethereal jigsaw that you do control. A huge piece of the pie that is yours to create. And that's the kind of thoughts you have, and the kind of ripples you emit as a result.
That's up to you.
You are absolutely and completely at choice here. It's a massive responsibility, sure. But it's definitely in your hands.
And that takes some work.
In fact, that takes a shedload of work, a good dollop of self awareness and some very conscious choices. But it's absolutely possible to change that funky, poisonous cloud into an emission that's altogether more sweet smelling and alluring.
This post was originally featured on Michaela's blog Parenting in Public. Read more from her there.