Many of my students have observed ‘the ripple effect’. But what’s actually going on here.
Let me tell you a story about Richard.
Richard isn’t his real name. I just chose Richard becomes it reminds me of the word ‘ripple’, and it’s the ripple effect that I really want to talk about today.
And I’m choosing Richard’s story because it’s not about money. It’s not about how Richard followed my method and made his fortune.
(Though that is totally a thing.)
No, this is about Richard’s journey with meditation. (But I’m not here to sell you on meditation either. This is about the ripple effect, and we’ll get to that.)
Anyway, at the start of our story, Richard wasn’t having all that much fun with life.
He was behind on his bills. He wasn’t sleeping well. His health cycled between average and “crapped out.” It seemed that every relationship that mattered to him was tense.
He described his life as a “cluster-f#$k”. An inter-tangled mess of a thing. He didn’t know where to start.
But for whatever reason, he decided to start with meditation. And while I said I’m not here to sell you on meditation, I can fully endorse this strategy. The mind is the key to everything we do. Get that house in order, and a lot of things will fall in to place.
And so that’s what Richard decided to do. He bought a Muse Headset because he’s a bit of a tech-head, and committed to just 10 minutes of meditation a day.
Before long, things started to change.
(Now, just to step out of this story a bit, I do believe there is a sort of magic just in the act of making and holding a commitment to yourself, regardless of what it is. I sometimes think that even if you made a seemingly useless commitment to yourself (e.g I will always stir my tea 9 times in a counter-clockwise direction), the act of holding the commitment itself would contain a transformative power…)
Anyway, things started to change for Richard. He started thinking clearer. He started sleeping better. He started arguing with his loved ones less. His health started cycling towards the better.
He created a virtuous circle, where everything in his life started to improve.
That was to be expected.
What Richard didn’t expect was the impact these changes would have on the world around him.
His world became a different place. It felt like his loved ones became more caring and considerate. It felt like his work became easier and less headache-prone. It felt like his boss became more compassionate. It felt like his bank manager became more generous.
It felt like God had just called off the slings and arrows of misfortune, and was smiling on him again.
This is the ripple effect.
It is not just that Richard changed. It was that Richards’s world changed too.
It is tempting to say that it was just Richard’s perception of things that changed. That as his life and mindset improved, he became a glass-half-full kind of guy. From his new perspective, things just appeared better, even though they hadn’t changed at all.
But I don’t think that’s right.
We all exist in a weave with the rest of our life. Change one small part on the pattern of a rug, and the whole rug changes in response.
I think it’s like this. As you step into a new way of being, the world starts responding to you differently. It meets the new version of you with a new version of itself.
The world changes around you.
This is the ripple effect.
And if that’s true, isn’t it one of the noblest, most generous things you can offer the world – to step into your highest, most joyful, most loving self?
Isn’t this where real change is born from?