Note: This post was originally published in August 2016. Modifications have been made to the original post. This post also appears in our June 2019 newsletter. Get future newsletters by subscribing here.
Love has this amazing ability to spiral out into the Universe as a ripple effect. And love is something that all humans can draw on at any given time, in any given place, especially when others are in need. Our planet, and all the life it supports, needs love to ripple out in waves more than ever right now. But figuring out how to create such waves from a place of positivity, empowerment, and trueness can be puzzling and even debilitating. The first step in practicing the ripple effect is realizing that it starts with you.
I believe that love is not something we receive from the outside, but instead, something we find from within. Finding it, however, can be tricky. We must let our ego slip and allow ourselves to be present in the moment. This is not about what we "should" be doing for someone or something else. Instead, it's about believing in the inherent goodness of love and realizing that all of us are deserving of love. Only when we tap into our inner love in such a way, can we return the kind that genuinely radiates out into the world.
I always admired my parents for this gift they had of reaching out to those in need. But, I'm not sure it was always from a true place. By that I mean they were somewhat guilted into practice, as we all are, by norms and voices that say we should give to others. So, one of the first things you can do to practice the ripple effect is unravel the judgmental voice that we should do something. Now, this is a hard thing to tackle. I'd like to tell you a story of my own ripple effect experience in the hopes that it helps you create your own ripple.
"Love has this amazing ability to spiral out into the Universe as a ripple effect."
In 2016, I received a phone call from someone letting me know that a family member of mine was in jail. We didn't always have the best relationship growing up, but I knew then that this person needed my love. But before I could support them, I needed to forgive them. I worked on it and worked on it, both personally and with the professional help of others. But, that practice was worth it because when I drove to visit my family member in jail, I was able to meet them with unconditional love and support. This was the beginning of our journey to an amazing friendship and connection, which spanned beyond just us.
As I opened up my heart to this family member, they in return were able to open up their heart to their fellow inmates. One of those inmates continues to feel that ripple effect today. 'David' (as I'll refer to him here) has been incarcerated for 25 years and has many more to go, as he is carrying out a life sentence. I didn't know much about David other than he was friends with my family member, who told me that David often wanted to just 'give up' because he thought nobody cared about him.
One day, to David's surprise, he received a letter from a total stranger – me! I don't remember why I wrote that first letter and I'm not sure it really matters. What matters is that he felt love and connection from that letter. According to David, he felt as if God was saying, 'see I am worth it - you are loved!'
It's important to practice fully opening your heart and letting our ego-self and consciousness go – in that moment we can feel what true love is. We are not separate from one another. All living things are connected here on this Earth, sharing the same resources among one another. We could all use some strong, bold, and impactful ripple waves of love. So, start practicing. Let's keep the ripple going until it's a wave that has such force, we are all riding it together.
According to David, he felt as if God was saying, 'see I am worth it - you are loved!'
PS: The ripple is spreading – David received a surprise letter for the first time in 28 years from his son!
We recently celebrated Earth Day. In honor of our planet and the change of seasons, I'm sharing three health benefits that come from grounding with the Earth. By grounding, or making physical direct body contact with the Earth’s surface, we can reduce inflammation, improve our sleep and decrease stress. This concept is commonly referred to as 'earthing' or 'grounding.'
BENEFIT 1: REDUCED STRESS
If you go outside and put your toes in the grass, walk along the seashore, or touch the trees in your backyard, you'll likely experience a feeling of relaxation. When our body makes contact with the ground, it soaks up charged electrons that come from the Earth. Our nervous system is electrical and when we pump it with these negative electrons, we can induce a state of calmness and reduce stress.
BENEFIT 2: IMPROVED SLEEPING
While we no longer sleep on the ground as our ancestors did, we can still derive benefits from grounding with the Earth's surface. Emerging research suggests that earthing can shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and relaxation). In addition, scientists are finding that grounding the body during sleep might be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms.
BENEFIT 3: REDUCED INFLAMMATION
Earthing can enhance your health by reducing inflammation and pain in the body. The connection we have with the Earth enables free negative electrons to flow upward through the body, mitigating the effect of positively charged free radicals that are generated by inflammatory factors. Moreover, earthing normalizes cortisol levels, which can improve inflammation.
Wow! Now that is a proactive health boost that is doable, simple and loving to yourself. Let's pump our bodies with feel good vibes by soaking up those negative electrons. Take some time each day to make direct contact with the Earth. This simple act of earthing can help your body heal inflammation or pain, reduce stress, and help you sleep better.
Feel the gratitude and give thanks to the connection you have with Earth and the life that flows through everything!
How Wendy Practice Earthing
Gardening and nurturing plant life
Sitting on the ground or leaning against a tree, watching the surrounding insect and bird activity
Immersing her body in the water
Walking the beach and feeling the connection with the sand, rocks, shells and waves
Taking off her shoes before walking on her lawn
How will you practice grounding for your well-being? Share in the comments below and join our conversation in my private Facebook group, Mindset Masters Unite!
Start 2019 off with a deep peace that can be found in the stillness of the beautiful 80-acre Northwoods. Snowshoe across a small wildlife lake, sit amongst the trees, and listen to the winter birds, all in silence. Using a grounded balancing breath practice, we will explore the stillness within ourselves and around ourselves. Afterwards, we’ll take the opportunity to share our experiences with each other over refreshments and nutritious soup.
Why would we want to participate in a snowshoe into silence? Many of us spend our days thinking, moving, doing, judging, and evaluating. Our minds are scattered with a constant barrage of information, which can cause depression, anxiety, and stress. Aside from the almost instant feeling of calm and contentment that accompanies time outdoors, walking in nature and being nurtured by connection with others can alleviate anxiety and stress, improve concentration and focus, and reduce inflammation.
Foster deep well-being and experience the stillness and silence of the woods. Do you need to find some balance and clarity in your life? Join us on our magical 80-acres of sacred beauty. We offer participants a chance to tap into your own inner peace and well-being.
February is the time for hibernation in bear country, or the Northwoods, but for us humans, we hunker down in winter and call it ‘going within’!
Why would we want to focus on going within and what does that really mean anyways?
Going within is a process that helps us direct our awareness and attention down into our bodies, bringing ourselves into the present moment. This exercise allows us to accept whatever is happening in the moment and allow any emotions to surface and be released. Going within encourages us to point the finger toward ourselves and BE the change we wish to see in the world. Any time you are triggered or have a strong reaction to something going on in your life, that is a clue to go within to track where, when, and who your reaction is in transference too.
“The truth will set you free, but first it might piss you off!” - Gloria Steinem
Most of us spend a good chunk of our day focusing and pointing a finger outward -- we are always judging and evaluating everything that is going on around as as good, bad, right, or wrong. We act as if we are victims of the lives we live. What if we shifted our focus inward? How would a focused change of going inward instead of outward, affect our everyday life?
Take a minute to FEEL how that shift might feel in your body -- no judgements and no critical evaluations. Instead you might have a quiet mind and a feeling of peace, love or joy.
Have I convinced you to hunker down and start your journey of going within? If so, here are some tools and events that will help you get started. Having a silent breathing practice is they key to start you in the right direction.
1. My free PDF Breathwork Tool will help you practice your breathing, focus inward, and calm your mind down. If you practice enough, it will create a lasting change in your life. It sounds simple, but until you actually take on this mindful practice each day, you will not notice a change!
2. Check out my recurring event, Snowshoeing into the Silence, located on our beautiful 80-acres retreat, the Northwoods, just 15 minutes outside Traverse City. These snowshoe meditations are from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm on February 10th and 17th. After a silent snowshoe trek around the lake, hot drinks and nutritious soups will be served. And to finish the connection, we will have the opportunity to share our own experiences. If you can’t do a snowshoe with us, just go outside and connect, be silent and do some sort of movement.
Do you have any other pointers for going within in your life? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
What do you want to create with the precious time you have left in life?
No thinking...just answer the first thing that comes to your mind.
Ok, now write it down on the top of a piece of paper.
How does it make you feel?
Do you feel excited?
Depressed because you don't think there is a way to create what you wrote down?
How you feel about your answer will help determine the work you'll need to put in to move toward your answer.
Our intention and commitment are based on having a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset is stagnant, wanting perfection, and hoping that things will make you more — more happier, more lovable, etc. This orientation is an attempt to enhance and improve the ego.
A growth mindset is just that — you are focused on growth without a destination in mind. You are curious while on an adventure of the present moment. With a growth mindset, you're not giving up on yourself. The mindset can diminish and dissolve the ego, rather than enhance it. The ego cannot pursue a true aim, only presence can. Instead, your aim is to understand yourself now. It is the dance of life.
Life is not about where you want to go. It's not about waiting and striving to get someplace other than where you are right now.
Do you spend your day waiting for lunch time? Or, the end of the work week? Are you always looking forward to something different than what is happening right now in the present moment? If so, then you have a fixed mindset and you are living a future-orientated life and you have some work to do!
Do you enjoy your day no matter what time it is or what day of the week it is? Do you find joy in the ordinary and simple tasks you need to perform? If so, then you have a growth mindset and you're doing great!
"The growth mindset is the dance of life."
If you think you have a fixed mindset, then it is time to STOP meandering through your life with no directional compass, hoping someone will come and save you, or change it for you. YOU are it! When you are committed to ego-boosting activities, as you are with the fixed mindset, you're like a hamster on a wheel. When you reject the present reality and hope or imagine a future that will be better than what you have right now — you begin a pattern of rejection, hope, and desire. It then feeds into the belief that you are not enough. Such thoughts keep us stuck in our childhood and past core beliefs that simply don't serve us anymore.
So, what are you spending your precious time doing? Will you take the step to unravel your "stuck" places or habitual patterns today? Choose to accept the growth mindset!
Find more about the fixed and growth mindsets in Carol S. Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.