I went for a walk the other day as it rained. As I walked, I crossed a bridge that expanded over a small creek. I watched rain droplets hit the surface of the water in a chaotic but rhythmic form. Like the way fire works explode in the sky; hundreds of tiny explosions all canvasing into one magnificent view. As the droplets hit, I watched as the ripples flowed into one another. How they crossed over into multiple other ripples. Each wave impacting that of its neighbor. I then saw leaves passing through the stream being nudged and re-routed by each ripple. It was a beautiful symphony of elements.

That’s when I realized this is how I am connected to everyone and everything around. I started to visualize the ripples as energy. A strong word here, a violent action there, a smile to a passing stranger, or an aggressive honk in in traffic. All droplets, creating ripples. Each ripple effecting the energy of those around us. It’s clandestine in its nature. Most of us don’t even realize it’s happening. We take our step forward, and don’t see the impact it has on those around us. Positive, or negative. I started to recollect my actions recently, and I saw each one, in all their various forms, and the immediate outcome they have had on me, and in-turn the outcome they have had or could have on those I have interacted with —

What I eat.

What I drink.

What I say.

Where I go.

How I spend my money.

How I spend my time.

The books I read.

How I react, or don’t react.

One action right after the other. Yet as soon as the question presented itself to me “How do I pay more attention to these actions?”

The answer arrived — Being present.

As I stood there and continued to stare at the water as it passed under the bridge, I felt a calm come over me and focus arrive. I began to walk and I saw each item as I passed, and the potential impact an action could have related to it:

A mailbox: a birthday card from an old friend.

A basketball goal: a daughters memory of time spent with dad.

A rainy sky: a chance to stay inside and rest.

The negatives present themselves as well, but no need to reflect on those if not needed. Positive recollections produce joy. Negative recollections, although some initially create growth, often they keep us in the past. Reflect with the intention of producing more joy for yourself and courage to move forward.

Staying present is the goal.

The experience I had with the ripples is what is called Apophenia — “ The tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things.”

I encourage you all to try to produce this experience in being present today. See what sticks out. See how even the smallest of things or change in actions, can change your life or those around you. Find those meaningful connections between unrelated things.

Be good to yourself.

Be good to others.

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