“You cannot go through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall
How we show up ripples out and has an effect or impact on others, whether we know it or not. It is down to us as to whether that impact or effect is positive or whether what we are putting out there ripples out in a negative way, maybe more like an oil slick.
Often clients will bring up the fear of chasing dreams that seem really big, or changing something in their life that may be judged or frowned upon, and the question ‘Who am I?’ frequently arises. Who am I to go for that promotion? Who am I to pursue my dream of being a singer? Who am I to run my own business, go travelling, or go back to study? This is sometimes followed up with….. when others are struggling, or there is so much poverty, or others have nothing and her I am wanting more than I have. That can be a killer of dreams right there.
I understand the focus of where we are at and what we have and this is an essential part of any gratitude practice, but as discussed in this episode of Around the Fire with Juliet, the answer to that question is who are we not to? When we have the resources or the ideas or the dreams, who are we not to take steps to achieve these things?
Sometimes it is not even about forwarding these goals or dreams. Sometimes it is simply about showing up for ourselves, gaining the awareness, using the tools, doing those things that top us up, eating the foods that work for us, moving our bodies in ways that serve us and rocking the green zone more.
Sometimes that alone changes lives. We really never know who we are inspiring.
Did you read the story of Captain Tom Moore? British war veteran, 99 years old, wanted to do 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday and raise £1,000 for the National Health Service, the latest amount I saw was over £21 million.
This in turned inspired Margaret Payne in Scotland who loved mountaineering to climb the equivalent of Highland Peak Suilven using her staircase at home, latest total was over £300,000.
Other people inspired by Captain Tom Moore included 10 year old Dylan Betts here in New Plymouth to run the equivalent of a marathon over four days and raised money for the local food bank.
Frank Mills, a six year old with spina bifida in the UK who wouldn’t use his frame for walking, having seen Captain Tom’s efforts was inspired to walk with his frame and went on to raise £110,000 for the NHS.
It can be easy to think well these are pretty hefty missions, and yes they have had pretty big ripples, but did Captain Tom think that would ever be the outcome of his mission, no, he just wanted to do his bit
But even still, just by showing up for ourselves we have an impact. Nikki Williams and I enjoy real wholesome conversation when we meet up and at the beginning of lockdown decided to meet online and invite others to join us and see would see where the conversation went. One of the ladies who has loyally joined us each week shared that it was the first time she had done a video call, and went on to use video calling with her parents over this time, which has added something to the connection they have been having over this time.
The online Book Club, where we don’t all read the same book, we bring a book that we have read recently or has been important to us. The sharing leads to some great conversations. On the very first session a member brought along a book, that led to another member listening to it, which then led to her reaching out and reconnecting with a family member.
Another member brought along a book to Book Club, that I thought may possibly be useful for a client so told her about the book. Turns out the client already had it on her bookcase, and had not got round to reading it. That same member of the Book Club and I were having a convo at the weekend, and I recounted this and the conversation carried on and she mentioned another book that I thought as interesting, yes you guessed it, I had it on my bookcase and had not read it.
May have gone off topic here, but I have seen so many beautiful threads weaving through life recently. Is it a coincidence that it has been happening during lockdown, when maybe things have slowed down a bit more, we are open to connecting a bit more, we are more aware of how we are feeling and what is going on for us. A coincidence? I don’t think so.
Our latest catch up between Nikki, myself and the crew, our topic was on exactly this, showing up for ourselves and the difference this makes. There was a beautiful example of how one of the participants had been inspired by Nikki to become a Zumba instructor and she shared how this was a massive step outside her comfort zone, and we discussed how by fulfilling her dream, in turn, she would have inspired someone else to fulfil theirs, it may not be to become an instructor, but to make some changes that they might not have felt possible before.
The day of that catch up, Nikki watched the film The Wish Man, the story of how the Make A Wish Foundation was created, on again, exactly this theme, but I won’t spoilt it.
Sharing this film in a convo with my Landlord he told me about this TEDx Talk, where the heroes were someone on the street and a girl getting chemo. Two people simply showing up, and the effect that had on the speaker.
My point? I often talk about the magic happening in the green zone, we are more open to opportunities, we are more aligned, and it is when we are in this place, that it ripples out, that something we say, maybe something we post, something we do, something we share, will resonate or make a difference for someone. Will we always know when we have? Absolutely not, we are simply showing up and putting it out there.
I caught up with a friend in Taupo last year, we knew each other when we both lived in Auckland. Catching up she said, “well it’s because of you I ended up in Taupo,” I asked how was that the case. She replied “after that time we had coffee you made me realise I wanted to make some changes and that’s what those changes needed to be.” I thought I was just chatting away, doing my thing!
Sometimes in life we can feel we are drifting along, maybe with no clear direction or purpose. But when we make our purpose to show up as our true selves, things often start to change. When we go with who am I not to fulfil my dreams, and we start taking those steps, it is often beyond our imagination and certainly beyond our expectations as to where they might lead us….
These are uncertain times, we can feel like we are not in control. Sometimes we can feel simply in survival mode, and that’s the right thing for right then. Other times we may feel that we want to make some changes, step up and show up. Chances are there is someone out there right now, unbeknownst to you, and to them, that could really do with hearing your message, feeling your vibe or seeing you in action right now….
How are you showing up?