We know that every action has a consequence, both positive or negative. So as we go out and interact with the world, we should be aware that the actions, words, things we do, create ripples. These ripples can disappear out into the ether via social media, a chat with a friend, a chance encounter at the office. They can grow and develop into stories which last long after the conversation or exchange has ended.
There is a school of thought that suggest we are only ever six people away from someone who knows us - commonly referred to as six degrees of separation. Given there are over 7.7 Bn people currently occupying this little blue dot (source: UN, 2019), that’s a LOT of people.
With this statistic literally blowing my mind right now. I started to ponder on the notion of the ripple effect of positivity. How can what I say, what I do and how I behave encourage more kindness, more generosity of spirit and more awareness of the challenges we face as a society dealing with massive economic, political, climatic and health issues?
Even if every single day I went about my business only sharing positive stories, smiling, opening doors, thinking of others needs before my own, what impact could my single action make? Well, this week I was given first hand evidence that it does indeed have a positive effect. Let me explain. A few months ago I was approached to do some work for a client. I declined to take on the work as I didn’t feel I had the right mix of skills to help them but recommended them to a fellow professional and asked them to keep in touch should they need anything in the future.
An email lands in my mailbox from a name I recognise but can’t place. As I start to read I immediately am transported back to a phone conversation with a potential client - this was from Sarah* (name changed to protect confidentiality) and she sounded very different.
Sarah wanted support for dealing with her emotions and thought coaching might be the answer. However, after talking with her, I felt what she really needed was counselling to deal with a long standing grief in her family. This grief had consumed her. It had held her in its grasp for two long painful years and until she could move past this traumatic event, all other aspects of her life felt like they were crumbling.
She told me about her experience over the previous 7 months of attending counselling sessions and how she had faced up to and come through some very difficult conversations in her immediate family which had allowed her to heal. By this point in the message I had tears rolling down my cheeks.
And then she ended her message with this... “When I rang you I was in a very dark place. I needed help but didn’t know what, I just wanted my thoughts to stop. You listened. You didn’t judge. You held space and then pointed me to someone who could help. And now, I’m able to do that same thing for someone else. I want you to know how grateful I am that you didn’t jump in to just book me. You told me what you thought I needed. This action was the start of setting myself free. Thank you.”
Just like that, the ripple I’d set in motion some months earlier came back ashore. It reaffirms my belief in the Universe. In people’s own innate abilities to heal themselves with the right support and that integrity and honestly will always stay at the heart of my practice.
So you see, ripples no matter how small, will always make a difference.
Love and light,