Tiny Footprints, Butterfly Wings and a Zen Buddhist Bell. ~Casey Conerly

Via elephant journal
on Feb 18, 2011
get elephant's newsletter
Photo: Casey Conerly

The beach in the winter is magical. The sun slants low in the sky and glows warm on the white sand. Up and down the expanse, only seabirds and ocean waves. Sandpipers dance in and out of sparkling waves leaving tiny footprints on the wet sand. Seashells along the beach are arranged perfectly together like an artistic mosaic; each one in its place, but gently rearranging, as waves wash over them. Nature’s canvas is a masterpiece comprised of individual brushstrokes.

We are all the center of our own universe, but part of a larger one. As Anaïs Nin said,

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.

But, the meaning we give to our lives influences everything; and reaches far beyond our own little universe. For better or worse, we are all connected. A verse from a song I wrote years ago says,

When a butterfly flaps its wing, a ripple runs through everything. And so it is.

Science journalist, Lynn McTaggert, author of The Field and The Intention Experiment, says we are all interconnected at a fundamental level and each of our individual thoughts, intentions and actions affects the whole. My sister runs a company that has been voted Best Place to Work several times and has won numerous industry awards. She has found her calling and is creating a positive influence in the world. My yoga instructor brings great presence to each class; a close friend brings incredible depth to conversations and another, a dry wit and intelligence to her humorous songs.

Each unique expression rings out into the universe like a Zen Buddhist’s bell rippling through the quantum field. Eckhart Tolle tells us,

The heart of the universe does not have a particular location; it’s not somewhere out there. It is concealed in every being.

If science shows that our individual thoughts and actions create the world, and we know on a fundamental level that is true, shouldn’t we choose to create them consciously instead of unconsciously? If we are all intricately connected, it is our individual responsibility to be mindful in our days and present in our moments, so our individual brushstrokes will add to life’s highest good. We all share the infinite potential to make the world a masterpiece.


Casey Conerly is a songwriter, photo bug, yoga nut, garden piddler, spiritual seeker, one time surfer girl, and lifetime adventurer. If she had another life or two, she might have been a traveling troubador, or possibly a photojournalist for National Geographic…or maybe just a surf bum looking for the best waves in the world.  In her free time she is a public relations consultant, wrtier and voice talent living mindfully in Charlotte, NC.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of elephantjournal.com. Questions? Send to [email protected]


2 Responses to “Tiny Footprints, Butterfly Wings and a Zen Buddhist Bell. ~Casey Conerly”

  1. Jackson Goode says:

    Wow! This is really good!

  2. Casey Conerly says:

    Thanks Jackson!