Many years ago, one of my first “life” teachers said to me, “Nothing happens to you. Things happen through you and will effect at least six other people.”
The simple understanding that nothing happens to us, but rather through us, can completely transform how we experience life. Suddenly, it’s not just about me or about you. It’s not about isolated events and experiences. It’s about the matrix of energy that connects everyone and everything. Losing a job, being offered a new opportunity, being diagnosed with a serious illness, having an accident, winning the lottery, or losing a lot of money in an investment gone sour – none of these things happen to just one person. They happen through individuals and have direct and indirect impacts on the lives and experiences of others. Different pebbles drop into the water through each of us, and they immediately begin rippling out to impact others.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of this simple yet profound truth as the Six-Ripple Effect. The six layers of the Ripple Effect could be named in many ways. You might name them as people, organizations, and/or circumstances, such as: Self, Partner or Spouse, Family Members, Friends, Co-workers, and your Company. Or you might think of the ripples on a grander scale: Self, Intimate Circle (spouse, partner, children, intimate friends), Extended Family and Friends, Local Community (including your workplace and organizations to which you belong), Mass Consciousness (how society thinks, perceives, and engages with one another), and the World.
As an example, Frank recently experienced a short but serious illness. He was not able to take care of himself for several weeks, and often not able to walk without support. Suddenly, not only had his life changed, but also his wife’s. She became the primary caretaker, having to reorganize her work schedule and step out of other commitments. Over the next few weeks, his children had to take on more responsibilities around the house. Tension and stress increased between family members, yet at the same time, they also experienced a greater awareness that life can change quickly. In the end, the experience brought them a greater appreciation of one another.
Frank’s co-workers suddenly had to adjust their workloads so that they could take on a big project that he had been leading. This resulted in more responsibility for some of his colleagues, yet at the same time helped them recognize strengths and abilities they hadn’t realized they had. His attitude about his illness and recovery was remarkably positive and uplifting. This gave great inspiration to others, and many people shared his story with the people in their lives, thus taking this inspiration much farther out into the world.
The illness didn’t happen to Frank; it happened through him and touched the lives of many others. When you drop a pebble in water, the first layers of ripples are the strongest. Then the intensity diminishes as the ripples go further out. The impact of Frank’s illness was the strongest for he and his wife, their children, and his co-workers, yet there were nonetheless ripples further out to extended family members and friends of friends as well.
Consider something that is happening right now through you. How is it impacting you? How are you responding?
How is the event impacting the people who are closest to you? What impact is your response to what is happening having on others?
How is this event that is happening through you impacting your colleagues and your community? How is the energy of what is happening through you also showing up in the mass consciousness, or even on a global level? At first glance, the connection to societal and global levels may not be obvious. Yet if you look more closely, you may see how the underlying energy of what is happening through you is present on a broader scale as well.
“Nothing happens to you. Things happen through you and impact at least six other people.”
Things happen all the time. We can choose to let events define our experiences for us, or we can choose how we respond with clear intention and focus. This simple truth invites us to be aware of how we respond to events in our lives and to the choices and decisions we make, the actions we take, and the ways we approach life. Our approaches, choices, and actions have an impact on others. We can choose to be intentional about the energy and effects that those ripples carry.
The next time you catch yourself thinking that something has happened to you, shift your perspective. Remember the Six-Ripple Effect and see how your response and resulting experience changes.
P.S. The Six-Ripple Effect is an example of the Hermetic Principle of Correspondence: As above, so below; as below so above. This principle can help us understand a lot about the interconnectedness of all things in our world and what that means in our daily lives. You can find more about the Principle of Correspondence on pages 103 – 113 of my latest book, Create A World That Works. The book is also available in digital format.
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