Many times a day as we go about our lives we are having an impact, of course on ourselves, but also on others and the world around us.
When we are overwhelmed, or feeling stressed, operating from our animal nature, we become very self-centred. This means everything everyone does and everything that happens in the world is all about us…You get cut off in traffic – it’s a sign of disrespect, the barista gets your coffee order wrong – they wanted to annoy you on purpose, your neighbour doesn’t wave back – they hate you and so on… It is from this distorted place that we react, usually tit-for-tat… I’ll show you *insert frustrating, angry word here with fist-waving*.
Consider for a moment the impact of your reaction not just at that moment but as it’s carried and passed on for a while after – imagine how that energy is dispersed once you’ve released it.
One of the main benefits of our meditation practice is to give us space to respond. Holding the intention to positively impact those around us and then being able to act in any moment with an aligned response will also overflow past the point of action. What we do and say has an impact far beyond what we can imagine, reminding me of this story about the frogs…
“A group of frogs was traveling through the woods when suddenly two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were cheering him on and encouraging him the entire time.” [parable, author unknown]
As you’re going about your day and you’re in the moment about to respond, think of the ripples that you’re about to create, this will be your impact on the world.