Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Here she captures beautifully the importance of human connection and personal impact. However, many of us here in the UK and around the globe, have recently experienced a difficult lockdown; an isolative period that significantly compromised a sense of community and human connection in our lives. How do we start to make a personal impact in our communities again?
In this guest post, Personal Performance & Business coach Karen Burke of the MindBody Therapy Centre and Therapy 4 Healing shares her thoughts on how to reconnect and make an impact on those around you.
If there’s a silver lining in these testing times, it seems that we’ve become more aware of our communities – local, national and global. The impact of our own behaviours through 2020-2021 has highlighted what an important role we have to play at an individual and local level.
We usually take responsibility for ourselves and our family but the whole world? Too much, I hear you cry! Well, we don’t have to carry the whole world on our shoulders but perhaps we need to remember how much we do impact the world around us by how we act, react and the things we say or put out on social media, on a daily basis.
When we think of influence, big names may come to mind such as Branson, Oprah, Jesus, the Obamas, Madonna even! It is easy to see how they impact the world. Many may say, “Well…what can I do?” If we bring it into normal life, let’s think about how we influence those around us. What feeling do they have after being in our presence, even if that is over the phone?
We impact everyone we come in contact with every single day, whether that be family, friends, strangers or the online community. We can use that power to manipulate, strangle others’ dreams, undermine and cuss, or we can use it to say a kind word, to encourage, teach and lift up the spirit of someone who needs a listening ear and an inspiring message.
Why not make a move, a measured move, a move that will make a ripple in the lake effect for the better, so that you have a positive impact on those around you — then, they in turn can help to spread that positivity to others? Your mood affects someone else’s, so intent good thoughts and experiences for people in the community because after all, it is also your community.
Start with your family and friends, then go from there into your local communities, the ‘villages’ around you. Your village isn’t just geographical, it’s made up of those circles you move within. Reaching out can make newcomers and outsiders feel welcome, letting members know that they are seen and heard, cementing the bonds between you. Your villages could be your sports team, work colleagues, local shopkeepers, gym members or the post person.
Start today, with a kind word, a listening ear…make someone laugh. Start with a healing hug (or use the elbows!) as it can reinforce and show support, enhancing the bonds within your local community. A healing hug is like reiki (channelling energy through touch or non-touch), passing energy to each other more than just verbal words. People who were once strangers then become a member of your ‘village’ and as energy crosses over they share that same spiritual connection; the village ethos, shouting out ‘WE CARE’.
A simple nod of the head or “hello” can make an invisible person, feel visible. A smile or a wave to a stranger can make someone’s day a little easier and maybe next time you’ll start a conversation.
So what can we do? Let’s be present in the moment and pause, by reaching out to someone today. Make that move, be the impact, make that difference and reconnect.
Karen Burke is the co-founder with her husband, Devon Burke of the MindBody Therapy Centre in Forest Hill, S. London https://therapy4life.net / Karen and Devon also run a social enterprise, T4H https://www.t4h.org.uk/about-us
Karen Burke is also the co-author with Devon Burke, of Healing Hugs (coming out soon), a book of tips and techniques on looking after yourself, expressing yourself with the ones you love and your communities within the wider world. She is passionate about expanding people’s self-awareness and power, ensuring everyone she works with, has that ‘hug’ they need when someone is in their corner, championing them; their career and/or their business. Her strengths include being inspiring, positive, an implementer and multi-tasker. Her core values are integrity, honesty, loyalty and respect. “I hope I achieve this through all the people and businesses I work with by being supportive and encouraging”.
Twitter & LinkedIn: Karen F Burke