”The idea that everything is purposeful really changes the way you live. To think that everything that you do has a ripple effect, that every word that you speak, every action that you make affects other people and the planet.” – Victoria Moran
Having a daily practice of meditation and mindfulness is not just for you.
Yes, you get all the yummy benefits of your practice; things like more peace and calm, a clear receptive mind, an open heart, and real joy. And then you bring all that with you wherever you go. Every person, place, and thing you interact with gets a dose of you. You leave a mark. You make an impact even if you don’t realize it at the time.
Have you ever heard about the ripple effect? It’s based on the understanding that we’re all connected. Our thoughts, beliefs, and actions are like pebbles dropped into still water creating ripples that extend out affecting others. It’s really hard to say just how many lives we impact through the ripple effect — studies show on average it’s 80,000!
You’re the pebble.
How you show up in the world matters. Do you see how important your personal meditation practice is?
What ripples are you making?
Here are some ways you can practice being present for others in powerful ways.
Ask yourself what impact you want to make
We can so easily get lost in the grind and lose sight of the impact we’re having, and quickly lose the energy and enthusiasm it takes to keep going. Connect to your purpose by asking yourself, “What’s the impact my life, my work, my presence is having? What impact do I want to have?” Write it down and keep it close. Check in with yourself to see how aligned your thoughts, beliefs, and actions are to your intention.
Do one small thing every day
Little things make a big difference. There are thousands of ways to impact people in a positive way that are easy to do. They may seem “small” but you just never know what a difference they can make.
Ideas for random (and not so random) acts of kindness:
- Smile at someone. Look someone in the eyes and smile at your cashier, a stranger you pass on the sidewalk, your spouse, anybody!
- Give a genuine compliment.
- Send a Thank You text, email, or handwritten card to someone who has made a difference in your week.
- Be vulnerable. Share your struggles with someone you know is struggling, too. Let them know they are not alone.
- Make a phone call to a friend or family member just to say hi and ask how they’re doing. With no agenda but to be present, listen, and connect.
- Make (or order out) your child or spouse’s favorite dinner
- Pay for someone’s coffee in the drive-through or for their groceries at the grocery store.
- Leave a list of things you love about your partner or child for them to see.
- Leave an anonymous hand-written note on the desk of a co-worker telling them they’re appreciated.
- Leave a bigger than usual tip.
- Take some books to the used book store and leave a positive note between the pages.
Random acts of kindness are done without an agenda – other than extending kindness and love! The actual impact you make is out of your control and may never be known to you. You’ll get to enjoy the feeling of being a positive presence in someone’s life – a pebble that’s making ripples and probably even waves.
This post is part of my 2021 Lenten series, Your 40 Days: A guide for stillness during Lent to help you commit to your spiritual practice for deep renewal and transformation.