was successfully added to your cart.

Cart

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples!

By | Ripples | No Comments

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples!
Ripples #1039: Refrains of Nature!
Apr 22, 2019

PEBBLE
We have not inherited this earth from our parents…we have borrowed it from our children and we must be careful to use it in their interests as well as our own.
-Moses Henry Cass*, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ (see postscript for additional information about the quote source)

BOULDER
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
-Rachel Carson, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

PONDER

Happy Earth Day!

One of my favorite Earth Day rituals is to revisit a charming 4-minute video that combines Carl Sagan reading a brief passage from his book, “Pale Blue Dot” with a backdrop of stunning time lapse photography of various natural and man-made landscapes. (For those who would appreciate a lighter take on the same passage, check out Adam Winnik’s whimsically animated video.)

I recognize that reasonable people can disagree about what to prioritize and how to seek the ideal balance of enjoying and conserving our natural resources. Still, I think we can ALL recognize the truth in Sagan’s acknowledgement that at least for right now, this is the only option we’ve got as far as a place to live.

Let’s agree to spend extra time this week appreciating what we love about the planet while at the same time renewing our commitment to both ENJOY and PROTECT the earth which is, as Sagan points out, “the only home we’ve ever known.”

Are you in?

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

*P.S. Today’s Pebble has been attributed to many sources, so I turned to QuoteInvestigator.com for help. They conclude this saying most likely evolved from a passage in noted environmentalist Wendell Barry’s 1971 “The Unforseen Wilderness.” I preferred the wording used in a 1974 speech by an Australian Conservation Minister and therefore listed him as the source.
Read More!

Ripples #1038: F.E.A.R.

By | Ripples | No Comments

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples!
Ripples #1038: F.E.A.R.
Apr 15, 2019

PEBBLE
Fear has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.
-Zig Ziglar, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ

BOULDER
Being free of fear is not a matter of never feeling it, but of not being flattened when we do. We can feel it and know it is a natural phenomenon, also an impermanent one, which will have its say and be gone.
—David Guy, shared by Pete in Nederland, CO
https://tricycle.org/magazine/trying-speak-personal-history-stage-fright/?

PONDER

What role is fear playing in your life right now?

Probably present in some form or another, Fear is most likely trying to focus on its number one job: protecting you from harm. Fear makes an excellent advisor, helping you steer clear of danger. It is often less helpful when put in charge of making decisions and choosing direction for the long term.

Whenever I notice that fear has taken the helm, I start by thanking it for the protection it is trying to provide and then asking for help in identifying potential dangers. Jotting down a list of concerns helps to separate actual risks I can prepare to minimize/avoid while setting aside unrealistic fears that are often left over from younger days.

That makes it easier to think of fear as a friend who sometimes lingers too long at the party rather than an enemy who must be avoided or banished…and therefore easier to Face Everything And Rise!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1037: Comparison Hangover!

By | Ripples | No Comments

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples!
Ripples #1037: Comparison Hangover!
Apr 8, 2019

PEBBLE
You can only compare your current self to your former self. You’ll get a comparison hangover if you constantly measure your worth against someone else.
-Dax Shepherd, shared by Nora in Shalimar, FL

BOULDER
Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field, or even the bar you must high-jump. Your opponent is yourself, your negative internal voices, your level of determination.
-Grace Lichtenstein, via values.com
https://www.passiton.com/inspirational-quotes/7316-your-opponent-in-the-end-is-never-really-the

PONDER
Comparing ourselves to others is an easy habit to fall into even though it tends to alternatively feed our insecurities (when we compare ourselves to those who seem to be doing it all effortlessly and excellently) and our ego (when we observe those who have stumbled and we can temporarily feel better about ourselves with a snarky, “Well, at least I’m not in THAT situation.”).

It’s an inevitable part of being human and yet it is frequently more destructive than it is developmental. It can create unrealistic expectations that might temporarily give us something to aspire to, but then eventually damage our confidence and diminish our hope when we fall far short. Other times it can cause us to reach unhelpful and inaccurate conclusions about our value and our potential when we subtly transition from, “I guess I wasn’t as _ as I thought I was,” to “I guess just I’m not that _.”

If you’ve been doing lots of comparing yourself to others, see if you can notice it without judging yourself too harshly. Instead of trying to quickly eliminate the comparison, perhaps let it illuminate: get curious about why you’re comparing yourself and whether there is a more helpful way to achieve the same goal.

Striving for excellence helps maximize your potential. Trying to be like someone else is a recipe for disaster: you can’t be just like them because that job is already taken, and in the meantime you’ll miss out on becoming the best possible version of yourself.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1036: Your Reason, Your Dance!

By | Ripples | No Comments

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples!
Ripples #1036: Your Reason, Your Dance!
Apr 1, 2019

PEBBLE
One reason you’re on this planet is to discover all the reasons you’re on this planet. Go find your reasons!
-Cory Moen, written and shared by Cory in Kearney, NE

BOULDER
There is a dance only you can do, that exists only in you, here and now, always changing, always true. Are you willing to listen with fascination? If you are, it will deliver you unto the self you have always dreamed you could be. This is a promise.
-Gabrielle Roth, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

PONDER
I had an engaging exchange with Cory about his emerging life philosophy that we feature as today’s pebble. I particularly liked his reminder that finding meaning and purpose in life is an ongoing process and not a “once you find it then you’re done” kind of thing.

I also like the perspective that there isn’t just One Thing we’re here to do in this lifetime. We might find different reasons for different areas of our lives (work, home, community, etc.) and we also might have directions that evolve over time. One period in our lives might be really focused on one particular goal, and then we get to another chapter and find that it is time to move in a different direction and focus on something entirely different.

What I love most about his philosophy is that finding purpose isn’t a passive process where you just sit and wait around for it to show up. Meaning is more likely to make itself known if we’re out and about in the world, taking chances and trying different things.

If you’re in a groove right now with a solid sense of direction, take some time this week to celebrate! If you’re struggling or just feeling a little lost at the moment, take heart: finding your dance is sometimes difficult, and most of us experience at least occasional periods of feeling lost and unable to hear any music at all.

It might be helpful to keep your eyes open for opportunities to try new things that the universe plants in your path. Tackling a new project, or sampling a new hobby or community service effort might help you find a new rhythm.

Alternatively, it could be useful to just sit in the not knowing and notice what it is like to not have a solid direction at the moment. You might learn a little something about yourself, and that might lead to an insight that leads you in a new direction.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1035: Healing From Hurts

By | Ripples | No Comments

Ripples #1035: Healing From Hurts
Mar 25, 2019
1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples!

PEBBLE
If you never heal from what hurt you, then you’ll bleed on people who did not cut you.
-Karen Salmansohn, shared by Tina in Lancaster, PA

BOULDER
Even when the wound is not your fault, healing from it is your responsibility.
-adapted from unknown, shared by Christie in Dearborn, MI

PONDER
At our best, we human beings are pretty nifty creatures, a powerful combination of tenderness and toughness. We have developed unique capabilities to cultivate joy (for celebrating good times) and to bolster reserves of tenacity and resilience (for enduring and recovering from inevitable difficulties that are part of a full life).

Illness, injury, and other challenges can knock us off center, depleting our energy and our effectiveness and even reducing our capacity for joy. With proper rest and recovery we eventually return to our former glory, perhaps with a few scars and hopefully with some experience and wisdom to help us in our future endeavors.

Here are some questions to ponder this week:
What needs healing in your body, mind, and/or spirit right now?
How might your effectiveness and/or enjoyment improve if you were to prioritize healing?
How would others around you benefit from your healing?
Could you work to resolve any internal blocks or external barriers that are keeping you from healing?
Is healing worth it? What are you waiting for?
If you’ve been feeling stuck, is it time to ask from help from friends or trained professionals?
Would it help to forgive yourself and/or others for unhealed injuries? Can you?
If you’re in solid shape right now, is there anyone around you that could use your support on their healing journey?

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1034: Spring Blossoms!

By | Ripples | No Comments

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Year of Ripples
Ripples #1034: Spring Blossoms!
Mar 18, 2019

PEBBLE
Spring can blossom in my heart even before it blossoms in the soil.
-Julie Ingram, written and shared by Julie in Christiansburg, VA

BOULDER
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
-Anne Bradstreet, shared by Thomas in Ft. Myers, FL via Values.com

PONDER
While we are just a few days away from the official start of spring, there may be things keeping you from anticipating a sense of renewal that we tend to associate with its arrival. The weather, a hectic schedule, or just some big “stuff” on your plate right now could dampen your mood and prevent you from embracing a “it’s time to sprout” mindset.

Even if the temperature or your to-do list isn’t cooperating, perhaps you could consider experimenting with some internal spring cleaning:

Declutter thoughts and feelings.
Jot down a list of things that have been festering lately and decide which can be easily tossed out and which ones need tending to.

Plant some new habits.
Identify a couple of activities that would increase effectiveness and/or enjoyment in work or life and experiment with cultivating routines that allow them to happen.

Clean up past hurts.
If there are psychic wounds that need tending to, it may be time to extend an olive branch and ask for forgiveness or make time to connect with a counselor (or trusted friend) to process unfinished work.

Stretch.
Just as it’s important to warm up muscles before we start exercising, we can also prepare for an upcoming growth spurt by stretching beyond our comfort zone.  Tackling a challenging project, taking up a new hobby, or even watching a movie from a “not your usual genre” can help as grow into the next version of ourselves.

Keep in mind that each day only has a minute or two of added daylight this time of year, and yet those small shifts will soon add up to a few extra hours of daylight each and every day. Small, daily efforts now can lead to sunnier, more enjoyable days quite soon!   

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1032: Making Someone’s Day!

By | Ripples | No Comments

Ripples #1032: Making Someone’s Day!
Mar 4, 2019
Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples: 1999-2019!

PEBBLE
Be the best part of someone’s day.
-Amy Harless Tucker, shared by Jenny in Indianapolis, IN

BOULDER
Strong social support is one of the keys to happiness and good health. Making an effort to improve relationships with people already in your life is one way to increase your social support.
-Jeanne Graner Krochta, shared by Donna in Owings, MD

PONDER
When I first saw Jenny’s submission, I wondered if it might seem too simplistic or too obvious to be the Pebble in one of our weekly splashes of inspiration. Still, every time I glanced at I found myself curious about where she found it and why it was important to her. So guess what I did…I asked!

It turns out that “Be the best part of someone’s day,” was the motto her friend Amy adopted during a journey with cancer. It seems that because Amy was a really kind person, and perhaps as a strategy to distract her from the more unpleasant aspects of her illness, Amy remained committed to trying to make other people’s day even when she wasn’t feeling 100%. I learned from Jenny that even though Amy passed away last year, friends and family have kept her motto alive.

Jenny also shared with me that Amy’s motto inspired her to spread patience, compassion, and kindness even to people who she might initially be frustrated with. “I believe that most people don’t set out to try to ruin someone’s day,” Jenny wrote. “Maybe the person who took that parking spot I was waiting for recently got some bad news and isn’t thinking clearly. The person who seemed rude was possibly just harassed by someone or perhaps just lost a beloved friend or family member. While these scenarios aren’t fun to deal with, I get to choose how to react to them. And if we choose to react by showing compassion, then maybe we can end up being the best part of someone’s day.”

While I think striving to make another person’s day is a worthy goal with lots of benefits to everyone involved, I also would caution against reading the quote as an encouragement to ignore your own needs and focus exclusively on others. Instead, I embrace it as a fun challenge to look around and see whose day I could improve with even a small gesture of patience, kindness, or encouragement. It can temporarily distract us from our own challenges AND it actually feels pretty darn good, too!

The next time you find yourself having a tough day, I dare you to experiment with setting aside your frustrations and focusing on making someone else’s day better just to see if it might end up making your day better, too.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1031: Obstacles as Opportunities!

By | Ripples | No Comments

Ripples #1031: Obstacles as Opportunities!
Feb 25, 2019
Celebrating 20 Year of Ripples: 1999-2019!

PEBBLE
I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life.
-David Ignatow, shared by Teri in Santa Rosa, CA

BOULDER
Your perception of obstacles makes a difference. Some people see obstacles as a puzzle to solve. Some see obstacles as an opportunity to grow. Others see obstacles as threats. Still others see obstacles as meaning they cannot succeed. Your view of the barriers to achieving your goals affects how you react.
–Dr. Karyn Hall, shared by Bob in Texas (via Project Happiness)

PONDER
I first spied today’s pebble in a Facebook post from Teri, a Cal Poly parent I’ve enjoyed connecting with (thanks to her husband and son’s adventures in taking selfies with “famous people!”). I messaged her to find out what prompted her to post the quote, and here was part of her reply:

“I was in the middle of one of those episodes in my life where things seemed horrible, terrible, no good, very bad all around and suddenly I realized I was blaming myself for things others do and say that likely have nothing to do with me, and also trying to control or fix what is not my responsibility to even engage in. And this just spirals into the mud and muck of insecurity where I become someone I don’t want to be, and seriously would never hang out with on purpose!”

This isn’t to say that some of the challenges Teri is facing aren’t mountain-sized; I happen to know that she and her family have been dealing with some pretty big stuff. What I like about the quote, and what I like about Teri’s perspective, is that they gently remind us to avoid making difficulties even worse by personalizing them. A few years ago I picked up a really useful saying while hanging out with my buddies at Recovery International: “Sometimes people do things THAT annoy us, not TO annoy us.” It’s also true that sometimes blechy stuff just happens even if we haven’t done anything to cause it.

Teri seems to be wired for resilience–something I noticed when she explained how quotes and poetry often help her when she’s struggling: “They can scold me in the most loving way, shock me into righting myself, and remind me to laugh at myself then turn to wonder. Kind of like having my wise, beloved Great Grandmother Catherine at my side.”

Whatever mountains you may be climbing this week, I invite you to tackle the challenges with your best self by setting aside any temptation to get bogged down in catastrophizing and personalizing. It’s okay to rest, and sometimes it helps to grumble a bit just to get it out of your system. Then hop up and embrace the obstacles as opportunities to grow!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. If you find yourself needing more frequent splashes of inspiration … Read More!

Ripples #1030: Thriving in the Mess!

By | Ripples | No Comments

Ripples #1030: Thriving in the Mess!
Feb 18, 2019

PEBBLE
I always thought that the “thriving” would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.
-Joanna Gaines, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life. It’s a trip more wonderful than I could have imagined.
-Kerry Washington
shared by Brenda in Dallas, TX, via Oprah

PONDER
Today’s pebble and boulder are attributed to strong women who have faced adversity and figured out how to embrace life’s inevitable difficulties as opportunities for growth (I also happen to know that the women who submitted these quotes have endured their share of difficulty–and are still alive and kicking, too!

It is fairly common to believe that our Best Life begins only when we get a grip on all the big stuff we’re currently struggling with AND solve all the tiny and titanic problems that have bubbled up in our lives. It’s a mythical yet tempting concoction of “grass is always greener” and “the future will be better,” and “Tomorrow Me will have everything together way more than Today Me does.”

Here’s the thing: while they might be nice to have, it turns out we don’t absolutely NEED greener grass or a brighter future or a Better Me in order to thrive. We just need to embrace today’s grass and today’s opportunities and Today Me. Even the toughest days usually have some nuggets of goodness and joy to be savored, and it is more than possible to get stuff done even when our Best Me isn’t available for appearances on a particular day. The bonus treat is that any time Today Me is able to eek out even a teensy bit of progress, it makes things easier and better for Tomorrow Me. (I know for certain that Today Me is deeply appreciative of so many things that several versions of Yesterday Me accomplished.)

So join us (me and Joanna and Leslie and Kerry and Brenda) in thriving amidst whatever messiness exists in life right now. Invite Today You to cut Yesterday You some slack while tackling a few things to help Tomorrow You thrive even more. Work some, play some, and grow some. And go to bed early enough to rest up so we can do it all again with Tomorrow You. Are you in?

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1029: The Formidable Force of Love!

By | Ripples | No Comments

Ripples #1029: The Formidable Force of Love!
Feb 11, 2019
Celebrating 20 Year of Ripples 1999-2019!

PEBBLE
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.
-eden ahbez*, shared by Ben in Columbia, SC
*we originally attributed this lyric to Nat King Cole who SANG it, but didn’t write it. Whoops! Thanks to a reader who caught the error

BOULDER
Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible—it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.
—Barbara De Angelis, shared by Angie in Michigan via Values.com

PONDER

I love that you spend some of your precious time and energy reading and savoring these weekly splashes.

I love that you occasionally let me know when a particular issue resonates or troubles you.

I love that you forgive the typos and the quotes that don’t connect with your heart the way others do.

I love that you submit quotes to consider for future rippling.

I love that you forward Ripples on to family and friends and colleagues.

I love that you strive to put Ripples into action in ways that elevate yourself and those around you.

I love that we don’t have to agree on every single thing in order to come together for a minute every Monday morning.

I love that you open up your heart as you read them, and that you encourage me to open mine when I’m assembling them.

I love you, and I love us.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. You can head over to Team Ripples, our official Facebook group if you’d like to peek at our treasure trove of Love Quotes.
Read More!