The way we live leaves an imprint on many people and places, but how far do these imprints travel?

Like footprints in the sand, how we are in life leaves its mark wherever we go, whether it is seen or unseen.

From the condition in which we leave communal living areas, to the smells we leave in the kitchen. The mark on the glass a person leaves on the bus from sleeping on the window, and of course our fingerprints. The words we speak or the actions we do towards others. The quality of our relationships that we are greeted by when we come across each other after a period of time, reminiscing of times, situations and events gone by. The behaviours, ideals and phrases we instil in our children for many generations. All of these are imprints that we leave behind and mark the world with.

We cannot stop leaving this trail of imprints, for even in our absence, silence or inaction, they remain, leaving an impression on those who follow.

And how far do these imprints travel? Are they confined to just that one person we interact with, or our family, friends, colleagues etc.?

If the cashier in a store we shop at is rude, grumpy or negative, does it stop with us, or does it go further? Usually we tell other people of the experience or we question what may be behind that interaction. The phrase ‘bad news travels fast’ comes to mind here. And via the Internet and social media our communications can travel across the globe in seconds.

Teachers, Nurses, Entertainers, Actors, Politicians and all those in the public view – how far and wide must their imprints travel? We need only look at television and YouTube celebrities to see how energy flows worldwide though the imprints left on all who view such media.

Is it possible then that by our every move in life, we are providing an energy for others on how to live in a similar situation? Could how we are at work affect how others work? When someone is stressed in the workplace it can make the whole environment much more tense and often pulls others into equally acting stressed.

Likewise within a group or family, if two or more don’t get along then those dynamics are felt in those around them. Playing the blame game often forces others to take sides and escalates all the negative imprinting. Even the way we conduct ourselves just walking down the street advertises our lifestyle choices.

As adults we tend to ignore others as we spend most of our time in our own world, but as children we were constantly looking around, observing life around us. Lifting our heads up and out of our little world can reveal so much. If everyone on the train were to look up from their screens and began to truly observe each other, then we could get a clearer picture of ourselves and also how we affect each other.

For every force there is an equal and opposite force – so if ‘bad news’ travels fast, then what about good news? Equally as our negative, unloving and abusive imprints travel far and wide, our loving imprints must also go out infinitely far. Noticing the double takes, smiles and visible changes in posture as I thank the cashier and use their name. The wide eyed, deeply connected eye contact in children when I look up from my phone screen, and the warmth in my body reflecting the contentment I walk around work with, are leaving their imprint for others to feel.

We live in cycles and everything comes back to where it started, so being gentle with our touch in one activity in life leads to that same gentleness being applied to other areas of life. As the quality comes back around to us as we live our lives.

Is it possible that the quality we imprint ourselves, our environments and our relationships with, provides a foundation from which to express out further?

If we are negative towards ourselves then we tend to view the world negatively, which in turn leads on to treating others equally as negative. Indeed this could snowball, showing us the power we have with our imprints, a way of shaping the world and how we all live together in a way that either hides and protects our hurts or allows for more love and harmony in and amongst ourselves.

The way we set up our homes and workplaces imprints and constructs a platform in which we will then have to live and work.

If our workspace is messy then it is more likely for our work to be messy and disorganised, compared to when our workspaces are clean and orderly. The way we raise our children ensures a foundation on which they will base their adult lives, and as well as teaching them ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, what quality do we instil in them as we teach through reflection of how we are living. These lessons are taken on and adopted far more than the words we impart.

Is it possible that all imprints we take on are a reflection of our choices? The quality we choose to live by endorses and promotes others to equally choose. Ultimately we can choose to be affected by another’s imprints or not. We can choose to carry the words and actions of others in our own movements in life OR we can choose to remain aware of the quality within us and live in and by that essence. That inner essence, our Soul, knows that these imprints are universally available for all to see and feel and takes into consideration that everything matters. But for the part of us that doesn’t want any of this to be true, it can appear too much to handle that everything we do in life either heals or harms.

As if our individual imprints are not enough, we also leave group imprints, and are subject to those of other groups. Our nationality, our gender, religion or race, has a collective impact upon society. As does our position in society, our career or work, our health conditions and let alone our perceived status or age. It is mind-blowing to consider that imprints left by various groups throughout history impact upon our everyday lives. Are we not literally walking in their footprints? Could the energy of war, of murder and rape, of hate crimes, intense competition and even sporting rivalry leave their residue in the land and environments that we find ourselves living in? And where does the responsibility lie for this and what is its impact? These are big questions for us to consider, both as individuals, but also as groups.

Indeed, by expanding our awareness of how intertwined our movements in life are with all who have been before and all who walk and live in our wake, following the invisible yet tangible footprints we have left in the sand, we can appreciate the enormous effect we all have on this planet and, if we are so willing to consider the whole, the entire Universe.

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  • By Anonymous

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.