A truth from both physicists and mystics: you change the energy of the room. When you walk in, things grow brighter or dimmer. You lift or you squash. You carry an energetic presence. The most dangerous belief is to think you have no influence at all.
I first noticed this when I would get the random, precious few days to myself in my home. Even when the dog was absent, I noticed a difference in the way my home felt. Or my early mornings, reading and sipping coffee. If even one other human awoke during my private time, my sense of the space was different.
In the Jewish tradition, a mezuzah hangs outside the door as a reminder of the divine presence. Some will touch it upon entering.
In the Catholic tradition, you’re invited to let your fingers grace the baptismal as a reminder of your own baptism, your place within the community and your own connection to the divine.
Entering a room can be a spiritual practice.
You don’t have to be Jewish or Catholic or have any religious affection to create a practice that reminds you of the Divine presence or your connection to others. You can also use your religious practice to expand your understanding and experience.
Brene Brown wrote about her practice as she learned from Toni Morrison:
Toni Morrison explained that it’s interesting to watch what happens when a child walks into a room. She asked, “Does your face light up?”
She explained, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?”
Her advice was simple, but paradigm-shifting for me. She said:
“Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”
The break into a new school year is a fantastic time to begin new practices (#septemberisthenewjanuary) so perhaps you might find it fitting to create your own reminder of how you walk into a room.
Tall folks might use their automatic “ducking” through a doorway to remind them to reflect how they wish to take up space. Those more sentimental might let their fingers press into the breastbone as a “heart check.” Or maybe it’s just a big, deep breath as you turn the knob with a mantra that reminds you “I’m going to change the energy of this room.”
Maybe… just maybe… your spiritual practice becomes turning off your phone to say to yourself, “I’m going to be completely present here.”
However you decide to enter, however you greet those who arrive, just remember: you will change the experience. You change the energy of the room.
This is the first of a series of anticipated posts on remembering truths that will make the year a beautiful one.