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Taking a Master Class in the Ripple Effect

The ripple effect has always fascinated me. How what we say or do or even think can have an effect on the world around us, and a lot of times we don’t even realize it.

Two years ago, I found out that a relative I didn’t know at all wrote a book called You Heal You. This sounded right up my alley, so I read it and immediately fired off an email introducing myself to my mother’s cousin Jane, the author. Turns out we have a lot of the same life experiences—I mean A LOT—and it was crazy we were related but never knew how similar we were.

Over phone conversations, Jane and I built a kind of long-distance sisterhood. Then last year her mother passed, and I wanted to go to the memorial service, so my brother and I both traveled to attend it, along with my parents. Although the service was a sad occasion, it was amazing to be with Jane and a bunch of other relatives, many my family and I were meeting for the first time.

A few months later, a relative who we met at the service emailed my brother. She’s a high school teacher in D.C. and explained she had a student wanting to go to the university where my brother is an administrator. Unfortunately, the student’s family had limited ability to contribute to his higher education, and it didn’t look like he’d be able to go to college.

It felt like a long shot, but over time my brother worked with the financial aid office and figured out a way to get the student the aid he needed. That student started class on campus a few weeks ago.

I think often about the timing of Jane’s book, the timing of her mom passing, the timing of a student in need who then miraculously had access to someone who could help him at the university he had his heart set on.

Two nights ago I was feeling sad that I haven’t talked to a friend of mine as much as I used to. Then I had a dream I was in college, getting ready to start a new semester. This morning that friend texted me to say she had just dreamed she was on a college campus searching for me.

Who knew something random like discovering a book could start a domino effect leading to someone going to college? Or that a friend you’re feeling sad about can feel it and get a message to you?

The ripple effect is proof that we’re all connected. Even if we’re sad or have no idea how to make our dreams happen, that support is all around us poised to offer help. It’s like unlimited office hours with the universe. And that's what I want to major in.

It’s all about the magic. 🙌

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