The more I read, the more I find unexpected examples of how we all connected. It’s clear that we aren’t just connected humans, but also to plants, animals, ecosystems, and the land. Every branch of science somehow comes to this conclusion. Psychology, ecology, sociology, chemistry, quantum mechanics, economics, medicine, and more have documented ways in which living systems are interconnected. We also see this idea pop up in religion, spirituality, and energy work. But you don’t need experts to tell you this. You know of many examples off the top of your head. Humans and animals breathe in oxygen and out carbon dioxide while plants breathe in the carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Someone creates a product on one side of the world that is transferred to the other side of the world to be purchased by another person. Years ago people in Detroit built a water system with lead pipes and today people are having adverse health effects from them. Every day of our life is filled with interconnections with other people.
The past year has been a massive lesson in the interconnectedness of human systems. I breathe air out and you breathe it in. If that air has Coronavirus in it, you are likely to get it from me. If too many of us gets sick at once, the medical system gets overwhelmed and a person across town having a heart attack doesn’t get the care they need. A bunch of people getting sick with Coronavirus can shut down a meat packing plant which causes meat shortages in a completely different state. Schools and offices shutting down creates a need for more toilet paper at home so that factories have to change how they produce and distribute this product.
We are also interconnected emotionally. Any school teacher can tell you that one student’s emotional state can quickly infect every other student in the room. This is called social contagion, where people can “catch” emotional states from others and at least partly explains why groupthink can be so strong. This doesn’t just show up in classrooms, but also in concerts, religious groups, mobs, riots, and the court of public opinion. It is shocking how the research proves exactly how susceptible we are to having our emotions, beliefs, opinions, and decisions influenced by others. Sociologists have documents the apparent contagious spread of suicide, panic, fads, and violence across time and cultures.
Current research is also coming to the conclusion that we are connected energetically as well. Research is exploring electro-magnetic communication between people, where information is exchanged without any observable form of communication happening. In fact, science has proven that people can influence other people’s emotional and physical responses even when they are not in the same room. The distance between subjects and speed at which the connection happens clearly shows that there is communication between people that can’t be explained away by physical or mechanical means so it must happen on the level of non-local energy.
I see energetic connections play out in a myriad of ways in my energy work. Let’s say, for instance, that a family of four went through a really tough emotional experience seven years ago. Since they were all connected at the time, they all had a shared emotional experience that (at least for sake of this example) they never fully processed. That emotional energy is still stored in their bodies. Now, let’s say that one of that family is coming to me for energy work. Their body indicates that it wants to release that old energy from seven years ago, so we do the work to let it go. Very often, the work that one family member does to release the energy triggers the remainder of the family to release the energy as well. I have seen this happen so many times that I’m no longer surprised by it.
Energetic connections have also been studied by a number of organizations. The researchers at HeartMath have studied the phenomenon of heart coherence since 1991. They use scientific methods to measure how coherent (highly ordered and harmonious) the heart is. High heart coherence is associated with improved health markers and emotional states. Students and practitioners trained in the HeartMath systems can consciously create higher coherence states through meditation. What is really fascinating is that people who have highly coherent heart rhythms affect those around them. HeartMath has teamed up with various other groups, such as Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Becoming Supernatural community, to test exactly how significant the influence of meditation and heart coherence can be between people. They have found (among other things) that people can synchronize and bring their hearts into coherence with intentional techniques.
The World Peace Group (who also participates in this type of research) has published a review of 53 studies (32 of them published in peer-reviewed journals) that look at the influence of transcendental meditation on communities. Research suggests that if as little as 1% of a given community meditates together, they can significantly influence the entire community around them. One US study saw a drop of 24% in crime during a meditation study that stretched across several cities. Global peace projects are correlated with reductions in terrorism and armed conflict. Some studies even indicate an increase in economic prosperity and decrease in unemployment. (Go here to read the summary and download the paper if you are interested in more details.) The World Peace Group focuses more on brain coherence than heart coherence, but the side effects for the local community seem to be the same.
So if you have been wishing for world peace, then apparently it’s time to sit your butt down and do some meditating. The Global Peaceful Cities Project works with the science of HeartMath and the techniques of Dr. Joe Dispenza to organize group meditation events focused on bringing peace to their cities. You can also check out the links above or do your own search for meditation peace projects.
So why do I think all of this is so important to understand? It’s because so many of us have very strong conditioning that makes us feel guilty for focusing on ourselves rather than others. Many of us feel badly about doing our own physical, emotional and energetic work. We feel like we “should” be spending our time and energy on other people, not ourselves. Mothers who are feeling emotionally and physically drained often apologize to me for spending their whole session talking about themselves. People who should be at home resting and healing are instead out giving their limited energy to community or religious groups. Those of us who have spent years feeling tired and sick also have to deal with the guilt of not giving more to our communities through volunteering or service. Many feel they have to “get better” as fast as possible so they can get back to their usual lives of taking care of others. What I think we all need to realize is that the very fact that we are all interconnected in so many ways means that taking care of ourselves the same thing as taking care of others.
The work you do on yourself to find healing and wholeness you also do for those around you. Dealing with emotional and energetic baggage lets those you love deal with theirs. Even if you never talk about it or they never do a single energy session, your work influences them. Even if you spend all your time creating healthy habits, breaking old addictions, and focusing on gratitude without once thinking of another person, you can’t help but affect the people around you. Even if you meditate every single day on your own and never mention it to another soul, you are still affecting your family, friends, and community. Even if you are too sick and tired to drag yourself out of your home for days, you can still stay at home to practice EFT and know that this is helping both YOU and EVERYONE ELSE. Maybe you decide to take a Reiki or IET class for no other reason than to work on yourself. There is nothing wrong with that at all! Working toward your own healing and wholeness is both the only thing you can do and the best thing you can do. Everyone is connected. You doing your work and me doing my work is actually the best way we can change the world.
I know what it’s like to feel so crummy that I don’t even want to get out of bed for days on end. I wish someone had told me years ago that doing my own energy work was the best way I could heal myself and the world around me. Maybe I could have avoided a lot of guilt. I wouldn’t have felt like I was wasting my life at home ignoring “more important” things. Maybe I would have been a little more consistent about doing my meditations and practicing gratitude. No one told me that this helped other people too.
So I’m telling you this today. Your healing work is absolutely vitally important to you and the world. Even if you never go out to do one single physical thing for another person, you can still be an integral part of this interconnected system we live in. Your energy and emotions and healing work help us all. So you have permission to be selfish. Do what you need to do. Take care of yourself. Do your own emotional and energetic work. Take one of the things you “should” do off your list and spend some time giving yourself what you need. Your personal work is possibly more important than anything else you can do in the world.