I have always believed in the power of prayer, but perhaps not nearly as zealously as I have over the past few weeks. As many of you know, I took a temporary leave from my job and writing to be with my father as he battled a life-threatening illness. When I arrived to see him at bedside in the hospital, the situation was in dire straits. Even so, the minute my dad saw me, there was a brightness in his eyes. He has since said, I brought with me positive energy that day.
Throughout the next couple days I spent with him at the hospital, I became acutely aware of the energy that was continuously brought into his room. Neuroanatomist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor introduced herself to all of us in her book, “Stroke of Insight” where she discusses her experience of having a stroke that blocked blood flow to the left side of her brain. This affected her speech and her logical/analytical reasoning. She still had the right side of the brain intact – the area that is more intuitive/perceptive. She mentions how she could perceive the energy that people brought with them by their body language, the way they spoke to her, or oftentimes dismissed her. The energy of others was all she could sense for a very long time, until the left side of the brain began to heal. After her recovery, she made the statement, “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space”. Many people, including Oprah, now hang this plaque in their homes and workplaces.
I thought of this as I watched people coming in and out of my dad’s hospital room. In an instant, I could sense whether a doctor was compassionate toward him, whether a nurse was having a bad day, whether a technician enjoyed his job. What I realized was that every interaction created an effect on my dad’s demeanor. The smile from a housekeeper, a call light being answered promptly, the eye contact from a nurse – all impacted him and contributed to his healing. On the contrary, negative interactions brought upon anxiety and lack of motivation.
What I learned was that, no matter how small, we are constantly making impressions upon others. You can turn around someone’s bad day simply by a smile or a compliment. That person may then be inspired to do something nice for someone else. It’s a ripple effect and one that spreads a positive light, or energy into each space. Like Dr. Taylor suggested, we are all responsible for the energy we bring into each space we inhabit.
Thankfully, my dad is recovering and was discharged home last week. He has been doing remarkably well, and I am thankful for all the prayers. They certainly lifted him and surrounded him with love. There is certainly a powerful energy that we all emit whether we are present in a space or not. I’m glad I was able to be there and radiate my love for him. **Check back Wednesday for a discussion on the power of prayer.
Deepali’s Piece of Wellness: This week, think about becoming mindful of the energy you bring into your own space – to your workplace, toward your spouse and children, to your gym, and to strangers. Pay attention to the responses and feedback you receive.