And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.
All life is a circle. The moon is round and circles the earth, which is round and circles the sun. A birds builds its nest in a circle. Water going down the drain goes in a circle, not a square, or a triangle, though that would be interesting to see. When you throw a pebble in a placid pond, (got to love alliteration), it causes ripples that go outward.
We are the pebbles in the pond. The things we say and do can have a ripple affect touching and affecting others. If we are not in balance, we can take on the negative ripples from others and have them affect us as well. Case in point. My daughter was all excited when she was with me last week. That Friday night felt an air of excitement and expectation, not only because of the holiday, but because my daughter was heading up to New Hampshire to stay with her boyfriend and his family for a few days. However, the very next morning found her fit to be tied. She stomped around the house slamming things. That air of excitement was gone and a dark pall was over the house. As it turned out, her mother had called her and told her that she was calling the boyfriends mother and setting ground rules for her visit. They were not to be left alone. They couldn’t go snowmobiling and various other rules. My daughter was fit to be tied. I tried to find out what was going on and got a curt answer. So, I got caught up in it and responded in kind.
“Well, I guess we are going to have to put up with a pissy attitude all day!”. Fortunately, age and wisdom intervened and I realized that I was getting caught up in it. I told her that we would talk about this when I took her to work. It was good for her to get it out. I asked her why she was wasting all of this energy for something that has not happened yet. I explained to her how I used to do the same thing. I would leave work for the three hour ride to pick them up expecting a confrontation with their mother over some silly thing and would be ranting and raving in the car all the way down. Ninety percent of the time, I never saw their mother and their was no conflict, but I had gotten all worked up and it affected my mood with them for the night. I told her to just get back thinking about being with him. Forget what her mother said and just deal with whatever comes, that the most important thing was that she was going to be with him. Her mood changed, my mood changed, and we were both the better for it.
Now, the effects we have on others isn’t always negative. Sometimes those ripples can be very amazing. Just this past Christmas, I believe in was in Pennsylvania, there was a diner that experienced the ripples of goodness. As a man went up to the counter to pay his tab, he looked back over the people eating and told the waitress to give him another tables bill also. He paid both and went out. The waitress thought, what a wonderful thing to do for someone you don’t even know. Well, the person whose tab he paid came up to pay their bill and was told that it was paid for by the man who just left. Instead of just saying, gee great, and walking out, that person then turned and said, I will pay theirs, and paid it and walked out. This went on for most of the day. The waitress was almost in tears seeing the generosity of this one person spreading through all of these others. When she was interviewed, she told the reporter that never, in all her years of waitressing, had she ever experienced such a thing.
The Lakota have a saying, Mitakuye Oyasin, “We are all related” or “All My Relations”. Quantum Physics tells us that we are all connected. Our mood, our actions, can have a ripple affect that touches many people. Those people can touch others, and they in turn others. We can have a positive or negative affect on many people in this way. So it is very important that we find balance for ourselves so that we can absorb some of the negative without passing that on, and put forth positive influences. In most cases, all it takes is for us to take note of how we are acting and learn to live in the moment.
How many moments do we miss because we got caught up in someone else’s drama, or worrying about something that has not happened yet. The latter being my major weakness. Try something with me. Take a dime and trace around it. Now take your pen or pencil and think back through your life at all the positive moments. Keep going until you can’t think of anymore. If you run out of space inside your dime, pull out a quarter and trace a larger circle around the dime. Continue on until you just can’t think of anymore. Now, look at all those dots. Think hard about how many of those moments there are and how many you missed because you were upset, angry, or worrying about something else. How many of them did you miss when you didn’t have to? Maybe if we become more aware that we are in a moment, we can purposefully put aside the worry, anger, or other negative feeling and take advantage of the moment. Be “in the moment” and enjoy it for what it is. Maybe if we can break the paradigm of worry and anger and start taking up more and more of these moments, or even starting to make them, we can increase the positive energy that we put out. In this way, the ripples that emanate from our pebbles have a positive affect on people. I will try over the coming year to be positive and upbeat in my writings. Sorry, as Yoda said, “There is no try, there is only do and not do”. I will over the coming year, work to be more positive and upbeat. I will put forth a more positive attitude and break the paradigm of worry and anger that has plagued me. So I guess I will just have to laugh and sing more.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.