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Karma, Carpet, and the Butterfly Effect

Today’s post is by Kimberly Borin

One day, I was speaking with one of my best friends, Rich. Rich is a constant inspiration and works a successful business coach, business accelerator, motivational speaker, shaper of dreams, and of course, master of his own destiny. He encourages people to move beyond their doubts and to reach out and manifest the dreams of their hearts and spirits.

A few months ago, Rich and I were chatting on the phone about our respective weekends. He had just attended a seminar about personal growth and empowerment. He was talking in great detail about the inspiring community of people, the spiritual awakenings, and the breakthroughs he had experienced as well as new insights into his life. It was fascinating to listen to him and I could just imagine all of the good karma being created in the world!

I was in awe and maybe even a bit jealous of all of the personal victories he had experienced. I too, wanted some spiritual awakening or major personal victory to call my own. After listening to his description of his amazing weekend, he asked me about mine.

Then, in a very small, almost embarrassed voice, I heard myself say, “I got a new carpet.” My victory of finally having the courage to choose, purchase, and have a new carpet installed seemed so insignificant. I knew, however, that it was a huge personal victory for me to choose a gorgeous carpet and actually buy it, not just dream about it.

At that moment, my big victory seemed so small compared to what I perceived were Rich’s enormous victories and personal breakthroughs. Of course, he cheered on my victory and asked me many questions about my new carpet. I was thrilled to be able to talk about it, even though it seemed like such a simple thing. He affirmed my big win and helped me celebrate it too!

Later, after our conversation, I started thinking about victories—the big ones, the small ones, and the in-between ones. Even though in that moment I didn’t feel my little victory mattered, I knew that all victories matter in the world. I knew also that all of the victories in life can create a positive shift in the world. I knew that getting a new carpet and even the flap of a butterfly’s wings can create a shift. Then I remembered The Butterfly Effect.

The Butterfly Effect was a term coined by Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Lorenz created a theory within chaos theory about how a small event in one place (like the flap of a butterfly’s wings) can create an unpredictable and larger shift within a weather system in another place (like a tornado in Texas).[1]

The Butterfly Effect reminded me (and gave me a little bit of proof) that all of our victories do matter. All victories, no matter their size, can have an impact in the world. I started thinking about other victories, even small ones, which could also create a ripple effect of positive energy and maybe even a blessing or two in the world. I came up with this list:

·      a smile

·      a hug

·      a prayer

·      a “thank you”

·      a breath of fresh air

·      a sigh of relief

·      a glass of water

·      a simple nap

·      a dream

·      an encouraging word

·      laughter

·      hearing laughter

·      listening

·      being present

·      a moment of forgiveness

·      a moment of honesty

In thinking of all of these simple things, contemplative moments and the flap of a butterfly’s wings, I know that all of our victories and actions matter. It doesn’t matter if you have created good karma, or had an enormous breakthrough, or bought a simple new carpet, or just said, “Thank you.” You can trust that your simple act or your victory mattered in the world and … maybe even caused a butterfly to flap its wings!


[1] MIT News, “Edward Lorenz, Father of Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect Dies at 90,” Obituaries, April16, 2008, accessed September 18, 2016, http://news.mit.edu/2008/obit-lorenz-0416.

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