We are intertwined with each other in ways we don’t even realize, the Western culture worships independence and yet what I know, even more clearly during this pandemic, is that we are inexorably interdependent. There is a saying that a mother is as happy as her least happy kid – this is definitely my experience – I am impacted by my kids and how they are handling the pandemic, school, growing up, you name it. And I’m impacting them – I hope mostly positively, but I also know that my stress plays itself out across our whole family unit and beyond. This is true of any family, team, group – our bodies, and the energy held within them, actually resonate with and co-regulate to each other – we are all walking tuning forks picking up on the vibrations all around us.
So this at first glance seems a bit overwhelming – yikes, you mean my feelings and thoughts and even my body are going to impact everyone around me? Of course I know this to be true and when I let that sink in, it leaves me wondering about my power and impact. What do I really want to create in the world – what is my ripple effect? And how do I intentionally move forward? This is the place of possibility and choice.
And it brings me back to throwing a stone in the water and creating and seeing the ripples. I see each of us as the metaphorical stone – our groundedness, along with our purpose and what we do to live into it, leads to our ripple effect. This means it is important that we tune into who we are, our essence, and what we want to create in the world. Tuning into purpose is a whole body endeavor – Amanda Blake in her book Your Body is Your Brain says “Care is a feeling. Purpose is palpable … It’s embodied self-awareness that lets you genuinely sense your care.” This felt sense of care for myself, others, and my purpose is the starting point for my ripple effect. So what is that for me? When I get really still and burrow below the layers of shoulds in my life I find my open, warm, and caring self; the self who is drawn to connecting, laughing, serving others and creating community – this is the start of my ripple effect.
There are lots of times when I'm tempted to focus all of my energy on perfecting my stone – it seems important to have a perfect understanding, a perfect message, or even a perfect body (along with a perfect outfit) – I want to shine and hone my stone and make it the most beautiful agate there is! Here’s what I’m realizing, the stone is where it starts, we are each unique and important, but it’s not the look of the stone, the outside of it that’s important, it’s the weight of the stone and the action of the stone that leads to the ripple effect. We are enough, that doesn’t mean we don’t have lots to learn or do, instead it means we start that learning and doing from the place of being enough. Harnessing our power and maximizing our impact happens when we get present, tune in, connect to purpose, and act from our enoughness – pause, breathe, and move. Would love to hear about you and your ripple effect – let's connect!
Caroline Cochran, PhD is a Certified Presence-Based® Coach and a Leadership Development Consultant with over 25 years of experience.