The Power of Presence

It has been said that when a butterfly flaps it’s wings, it’s presence is felt thousands of miles away. If this is the affect that such a tiny creature can have on the world, imagine what our affect happens to be on the planet.

Last night I found myself teaching a yoga class at my home studio, Moksha Yoga Kildonan. I shared a story at the beginning of the class about an experience I had earlier in the week. I was playing music for a seniors group called Staying Young. This seniors group meets regularly to share in music and fellowship with th intention of staying young and connected. It is a beautiful group of people and I have come to hold a very special place in my heart for these sweet humans. On this particular day that I found myself at the Staying Young event, I performed an hour of songs and shared some stories with the group. Early on in my set, I watched one of the regular women arrive in her wheelchair. As she entered the room, without her saying a word, I could see the exhaustion on her face. She had come in from the frigid cold Winnipeg winter that was casting its harshness upon us all. I could see by her weak eyes and drooped face that she was clearly wanting to be done with winter. I can only imagine the affect that 89 years of Winnipeg winters can have on an individual. As she settled into the space, I could literally see her thawing out from the cold and as the music filled the space, I watched this woman literally transform from what appeared to be a agitated soul to a celebratory light. By the end of my set, this woman was smiling and swaying to th songs in her wheel chair. It was pure transformation. I could see the positive affect that the music was having on her and it moved me into greater joy.

As I shared this story with my yoga class, I attempted to convey the notion that we are all connected and our energy is truly affecting the world around us. It has been said that Oprah Winfrey had a sign in her dressing room that might sum this up best which read, “You are responsible for the energy you bring here”. I was amazed to watch the affect this intention had on the yoga class. As we moved through the practice, I witnessed how one person’s choice to breathe deeper influenced the entire space and encouraged others to breathe. BY the end of class there was a sea of deep breathing. I also noticed how one yawn brought on collective yawns in the room. It was like watching ripples in a pond. It was an unconscious transference of energy and influence. At the end of class, while the majority of people rested on their back in the final pose, one man decided to push forward and do a set of push ups. Even in the darkness of the room and the silence that filled the space, his energy brought on a subtle restlessness which affected the entire class. I watched as the resting bodies in the room attempted to get settled but just couldn’t seem to let go. As soon as this “push up” man decided to rest, the whole room softened deeper down into relaxation.

Do not underestimate the profound affect you have on the world around you. How you choose to show up will deeply influence the spirit of others. Take responsibility for your actions and be clear on your intentions. In so doing, you will be a blessing to all of those that you encounter.




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