Tuesday, September 06, 2005


our impact

i woke up this morning feeling weighed down. after a great weekend away from technology, and for the most part news, returning to hear of the ongoing devastation in the southern united states left me feeling powerless and overwhelmed.

before i headed off to work i took a few moments to just sit and cry. it's amazing how when tragedies, like hurricane katrina, happen we so often allow ourselves no time to grieve. you may not know a single soul that lives in the affected area, but just watching as your fellow humans struggle to survive is devastating and fully deserving of grief and sadness.

as i moved on with my day and began sifting through the email i'd received over the weekend, a recurring message seemed to be coming my way. you are not powerless.

it was so useful for me to be reminded, both that grief is normal and that i do have an impact on my world. i figured you might also enjoy the reminder. so i thought i'd share the messages that showed up for me today.

the first was in an email from my former yoga instructor:

Many thoughts to the people experiencing all of the destruction from the hurricane. Sometimes when I end class, I like to say my favorite mantra, "Lokah Samasta, Suki No, Bavantu." Which translates to, "May all my thoughts and actions somehow contribute to the peace and happiness for all beings around the world." And ya know, it can be the little stuff like carpooling, riding a bike to work, mowing someone's lawn, making a healthy organic meal from local farmers, or taking the time to hear someone with your ears, eyes, body and soul by offering them your presence.

a few hours later i received this message from a listserv that i am on:

The transformation of society also consists of daily, ordinary and so called "small" actions that we all do. These may not be remembered by history, but they nevertheless determine it in a certain way. As I push myself to expand my circle of action and become bolder and more effective, I am struggling not to feel bad for not doing enough, or not doing the right thing, and to avoid the trap of "if you can't make it all, there is no use in your efforts" which usually leads to sitting back and doing nothing. It is also important to remember that while we prioritize our goals, that does not mean that we only have one goal. There is no such thing as negligible change - if you care about it, its worth the effort. Even if it is "only" number seventy five on the list, it will move us forward.
as we take the time to grieve and determine how we want to help in this tragedy and others, it is important for us keep in place a perspective that we are powerful and that we can and do have an impact on our world.

keeping this perspective in place helped me to start brainstorming what i wanted to do in response to hurricane katrina. i was able to decide to act, knowing that even if my contribution seems small, i will have an impact.

what impact have you had in the last week?

what impact do you want to have in the week to come?

as always i'd love to hear your thoughts, post them here!

dream big,

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