The Butterfly Effect
It is said that when a butterfly beats its delicate wings somewhere on the opposite side of the world the ripple effect of this action will be felt. This is known as the butterfly effect, or for all my budding mathematicians, chaos theory.
In both the butterfly effect and chaos theory most of the studies circle the impact of a seemingly tiny source action towards a larger more ‘chaotic’ result. For example, the wing beat of the butterfly in relation to a huge shift in weather or climate elsewhere.
If you haven’t ever come across these concepts, I’m sure at some point in your life someone sensible has pointed out to you the theory of cause and effect.
Today I would like to explore the idea of this eddying effect in a more general and everyday way. In theory, based on the power of a butterfly’s tiny wing beat, the very blink of our eyes must have an effect beyond ourselves of some kind, and I imagine, though I don’t know your personal circumstances, that you have done a lot more than just blink today - for starters you made your way to a computer or phone to read this blog! (Thank you!)
Every day we live and breathe and speak and act, going about our business and lives, hopefully considering the effect we have on our environment, community, selves and directly upon the people we have contact with. But how often do we really consider or know what that effect is?
Earlier this week this idea was brought to my attention when a friend of mine told me I had “saved their life”. They said that something I had written had impacted them so strongly that they were able to survive a terrifying and by all accounts hideous dental appointment.
When I had written what I had written, I had no idea that my words would even be read, let alone digested, considered, and built on in such a way. It reminded me that we never really know what is going on for someone and the effect we have on other people - physically, consciously, spiritually, energetically etc. Aside from the ego boost and giggle at the dramatic recount of the excavator in the mouth description, the jaw-breaking, dry-drilling, tooth-yanking, terror of the house of the white chair (sorry dentists!), I loved the deeper sense of universal oneness that this brought up for me. The sense that we are all connected and part of something so much bigger and more magnificent than we can even comprehend.
It is easy to sit comfortably in the folds of the seeming randomness of life and allow our humanness to get a little caught up with itself, believing that we are seperate and living our own life, detached from those around us.
Feel free to agree or disagree here, but I believe we are individual parts contributing to one spectacular whole and that somewhere in every word, action, storm, disaster, dental appointment, blink of an eye, there is a ripple effect that we may or may not ever become aware of. It’s as if there is the most complicated, intricate web of the butterfly effect magically unfolding every microsecond of the universe’s existence. One glorious being delicately folding and unfolding, creating and recreating itself throughout time, in which we are each a beautiful cell-cluster contributing our unique energy and essence to the greater whole.
Beyond the literal cause and effect of our words and actions, there is the less literal effects which we can’t see and the causes we perhaps forget to give constant consideration to. I am reminded here of the beautiful work of Masaru Emoto, who studied the effect and power of energy upon water. Masaru undertook an experiment where he; played music, showed pictures to, spoke prayers and repeated words with contrasting energies to water, studying then the crystals that were formed when the water was frozen. The result was nothing short of astonishing - or perhaps when you consider the butterfly effect is ‘to be expected’? For me, the most affecting images are of the water particles that had received positive loving energy and produced magnificent crystals perfectly formed and beautiful, in contrast to the water particles that had received constant negative energies and were muddy and lost.
I remember considering at the time the link between our bodies being around 60% water and thinking of all the words and energies that we allow to filter through our lives and minds on a daily basis. Including but not limited to; the criticisms we give to ourselves, the judgments we make of others, the content we choose to expose ourselves to in the news and media and music, and the people and environments we surround ourselves with. I recommend you have a look at Masaru Emoto’s experiment and see for yourself the difference between the two, because when you do, speaking words that are less than loving to yourself and the world around you suddenly holds a different weight. The delicacy and intricacy of cause and effect, the butterfly effect and/or chaos theory are suddenly realised.
Now, perhaps this blog has got you thinking about maths, butterflies or dentists, but I hope that you will also join me in considering the following:
Can you think of a moment in your life where something somebody said to you stayed with you so strongly that it impacted your subsequent actions? (It may be positive or negative, but if a negative one pops to mind, please consider also searching for a positive one too)
Can you think of an example where something you did or said had an effect on someone in your life? Maybe they came back you many moons later and told you?
Can you consider for a moment the way you have spoken to yourself & the people around you, along with the actions you have made so far today, have they come from a place of love or pain?
Are you content when you reflect upon them and consider the effect they may have had? Is there anything you wish to change for tomorrow?
Consciously considering every blink, breath, thought, word and action every moment of the day is probably a little bit exhausting for our humanness to maintain (not to mention time consuming!) However, increasing our awareness greatly affects the version of ourselves we put forward in the world and the role we play in the overall folding and unfolding of the universe. When we speak and act from a place of authenticity, love and respect for ourselves and the people and world around us, it is a much better and more beautiful future that we will co-create together.
If you have a copy of my book You-phoria: The Art of Authenticity you may want to turn to pages 92-97 and read the section on Building Relationships & Sharing The Love. Here I write about the surprising and heartwarming effect I had on a pupil from many years ago and of the effect my high school Latin teacher had on me. If you don’t have my book you can purchase your copy here.
I hope your day is fabulous!