The ripple effect

While walking home from yoga practice, I had a pretty profound realization.

I have always been obsessed with making a big splash in this life.  It’s not a lust for fame or anything like that.  That desire evaporated in graduate school when I decided that I no longer wanted to be a CNN news anchor or international on-air correspondent.  (Hilarious in retrospect, considering my college admission essay was titled, “I want more than 15 Minutes of Fame.”)  Instead, my “splash” evolved into something along the lines of making a real impact on people’s lives in some mind-blowing, positive way — without the annoyance and pressure of fame.  I embrace the sanctity of anonymity.

Yet, this path, while still somewhat murky, has always involved multiple people.  A crowd.  Masses.  My ability to help these masses, make a real difference, have an influence that transcends my time here on earth.

But on this walk home, after a deeply calming asana practice, the image of a still lake — blossoming with small ripples — entered my mind.  It just appeared.  Out of nowhere.  This image immediately trumped whatever was floating in mind at the time, and triggered this thought:

I needn’t cannon ball into the lake to make this “splash.”  If I can truly affect just one or two people, that energy will send a ripple onto others these people encounter, in this life and into generations that come well after me.  Even if I put all of my energy into improving the life of one person, as a mother would her son or daughter — oh, what an impact that can have!  Not only for that person … but for anyone he or she encounters … and anyone those people encounter … and so on … and so on.  That’s a profound energetic legacy right there.

It helped reinforce the mantra of just being there for everyone around me.  Truly there.  Because this impact, this small ripple that I can initiate, can create something much more beautiful across the lake of life.

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