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Ripples #961: Find The Bridge!

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Ripples #961: Find The Bridge!
Oct 23, 2017

PEBBLE
It’s when you try to find the bridge where two people can meet that I learn the most about the people around me.
-James Altucher
shared by Donna in Owings, MD

BOULDER
To me the really defining question of our humanity and of our civil society right now is not can we agree. That’s kind of idealistic, and it’s not helping us. It’s more about how can we live together while we disagree about these things that are so personal. This requires much more of us spiritually and practically than the illusion that we’ll force agreement.
—Krista Tippett, “Talking with the Other Side”
shared by Maureen in Winona, MN

PONDER
This week I presented at the 2017 GABLE Conference, an annual event coordinated by Procter & Gamble that gathers LGBT+ employees along with allies and external partners for a day of support and growth. We spent some time reviewing the Riddle Scale (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddle_scale) that identifies eight ascending levels of support: repulsion, pity, tolerance, acceptance, support, admiration, appreciation, and nurturance. While Dr. Dorothy Riddle created this scale based on research of attitudes towards gays and lesbians, I find it useful to consider its broader implications for assessing levels of support for other marginalized groups.

I’m both proud and humbled by the fact that readers of these weekly splashes represent a diverse array of political, religious, and philosophical perspectives. And I am immensely grateful that most of you are well beyond merely ACCEPTING or begrudgingly TOLERATING these differences, and instead see them as something valuable to APPRECIATE and perhaps even NURTURE. It has been my fervent hope for the last 18 years that these emails could serve as not only a consistent source of inspiration, but also strengthen our bonds of commonality while they build bridges between our differences.

Many of you have let me know that you value the resource links I sometimes share, so here is a YouTube Playlist I created for GABLE to explore: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLecRxAeiYrM6kxPIl4H2bmk_UG3U7_rpc In particular, I think Heineken’s “World’s Apart” https://youtu.be/8wYXw4K0A3g and TV2 Denmark’s “All That We Share” https://youtu.be/jD8tjhVO1Tc might help you extend your curiosity to Find The Bridge between you and those who experience the world differently than you do.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #960: Your Emerging Story.

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Ripples #960: Your Emerging Story.
Oct 16, 2017

PEBBLE
How are you tending to the emerging story of your life?
-Carol Hegedus
shared by David in Myrtle Beach, SC

BOULDER
Life is like a novel. It is full of chapters, people, and adventure. It has a beginning and an end, it has a plot and a story to tell. But it is up to us to make it an award winning novel or just another book on the shelf.
-John Barber (AJ’s Dad)
shared by AJ in Florida

PONDER
Greetings from the road! I’m wrapping up a short trip east to help the Pennsylvania Library Association kick off their annual conference (a quick shout out to them and also Procter & Gamble’s Women in Innovation who I also spent some time with).

Besides sharing some tips to help PaLA get the most out of their time together, I made sure to thank them for helping so many people in so many communities and campuses and organizations to fall in love with reading.**

I also invited them to think about their lives as stories that are still being written and edited. I reminded them that we may not always get to choose how the plot of our own story unfolds, but we have a great deal of input about where our stories take us. And at any point we can choose to make our story more interesting and more meaningful with conscious choices about how to frame our story and most importantly what the main character, the HERO of our story should do next.

I hope your story is emerging in a way that provides lots of opportunities for joy and and meaning and growth. I hope that some of your chapters are easier than your toughest ones. And I hope you find the courage and the strength to handle the unexpected plot twists with grace and with flair. Keep writing!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
**P.S. Of course, libraries have always been more than book depositories. Libraries are town halls where we gather together to discuss the topics of the day so we can grow as individuals and communities; they are sanctuaries of solitude where we can temporarily withdrawal from the concerns of the day; they are amusement parks where we can experience delight and pure, unadulterated joy; they are travel agencies, where we can plan visits to faraway corners of our planet, and they are also dream factories where we fantasize about journeys to places that are almost beyond our imagination. Libraries are SCHOOLS, of course, but they are really temples of knowledge and wisdom, and Librarians remain indispensable to our society as educators, technologists, guides, and perhaps most importantly as curators of information and culture that allow us to understand each other, and the world, and ourselves.… Read More!

Ripples #959: Giving of Ourselves.

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Ripples #959: Giving of Ourselves.
Oct 9, 2017

PEBBLE
The best thing about giving of ourselves is that what we get is always better than what we give…The reaction is greater than the action.
-Orison Swett Marden, shared by Heather in Onalaska, WI (who posted this in her work space as a daily reminder to be mindful of giving to others)

BOULDER
How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of others, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving….
-Albert Einstein, shared by Janice in South Lyon, MI

PONDER
Many moons ago when I lived in Madison and was just embarking on my adventures as a leadership trainer and keynote speaker, I did some work for a couple of organizations that serve credit unions (CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group). Two decades later, I still get to spend quite a bit of time with credit unions on certain holidays (MLK Days, Presidents Day, Veterans Day, etc.). Today (Columbus Day for some, Indiginous Day for others) is another of those, and as you read this I’ll be making some new friends at Class Act Federal Credit Union in Kentucky.

I decided to pair these quotes and unleash them today as a tribute to credit union teams and others whose work is about GIVING OF OURSELVES. as a really cool bonus, both of these quotes were submitted by credit union employees: yay for synchronicity!

So, to all who spend their days giving to others: thank you. I hope you recognize the significant difference your contributions make in the lives of others, and I hope that at least occasionally you get a peek at how your gifts are valued by the people you serve.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #958: Shuffle Your Feet!

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Ripples #958: Shuffle Your Feet!
Oct 2, 2017

PEBBLE
If you get started off on the wrong foot, just shuffle your feet!
-Diana Sherman
written and shared by Diana in Mt. Vernon, IL

BOULDER
Perfection should never be the goal;
practice is the goal.
Live in awareness and nurture your practice.
-Caroline Myss, shared by Marjorie in Carbondale, IL

PONDER
Mistakes exist for us to improve, learn, and grow. They are a vital form of feedback, and are useful as a relatively efficient path to mastery as long as we pause to reflect and learn from them. How much time and energy do we spend regretting errors when we could be investing in further practice that can reduce and eventually eliminate future mistakes? And how often do we delay action in our futile attempts to avoid making mistakes when we could be diving in to the learning process?

Make friends with your past mistakes and thank them for all they’ve helped you learn; be gentle with the mistakes you’ll make today and tomorrow so they can more eagerly help you grow.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I feel like this is a good time to apologize for the typos that I often notice after Ripples zooms out on Monday morning. I try to build in a final read through that is just for typos and grammar/spell check; sometimes I run out of time, and other times my mind mentally corrects them as I read so I don’t notice them. D’oh! Now I’ll let that go, shuffle my feet, and focus on next week’s issue. Namaste.… Read More!

Ripples #957: Hang On!

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Ripples #957: Hang On!
Sep 25, 2017

PEBBLE
Sometimes when you feel like it is everything you can do to JUST HANG ON, it is important to remember that JUST HANGING ON is what matters most..
-Matt Laufersweiler
written and shared by Matt in Cincinnati (who mentioned this in passing to a loved one who was struggling, and later heard back that it really made a difference)

BOULDER
You’ve got mountains of your own, I’ll bet on it. Take heart. Be encouraged. Remain steadfast. Hang on for dear life. You’ve got a better grip than you realize.
-Adam Young, shared by Rico in Two Rivers, WI

PONDER
Ever get so caught up in the big stuff you’re juggling that it seems overwhelming since you cannot possibly solve ALL the problems and conquer ALL the challenges that you are currently facing? Yeah, me too.

The bad news: we can’t resolve everything today.
The good news: we don’t need to.

When struggling, pause for a moment and remember: we’ve had a good enough grip on things to make it to today. This is a reasonably good indication that we can make it to tomorrow which will arrive soon enough with a fresh batch of time and energy to make further progress.

In conclusion:
1. Take a deep breath.
2. Then take another.
3. Take one thing to focus on that you know matters.
4. Then take another.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. It matters to me that you take time to read these weekly splashes. It matters a great deal. Thank you!… Read More!

Ripples #956: Being Awake.

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Ripples #956: Being Awake.
Sept 18, 2017

PEBBLE
The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ

BOULDER
It’s interesting to think that no matter how far you are from yourself, no matter how exiled you feel from your contribution to the rest of the world or to society — that, as a human being, all you have to do is enumerate exactly the way you don’t feel at home in the world — to say exactly how you don’t belong — and the moment you’ve uttered the exact dimensionality of your exile, you’re already taking the path back to the way, back to the place you should be. You’re already on your way home.
-David Whyte, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

PONDER
Managing time and stress are two of the more popular topics I’m asked to present on at professional development conferences, so I make an effort to keep my eye out for research, articles, and blog posts that help me keep current. An increasing focus in both areas is the topic of mindfulness: being more fully present in the present moment, and being nonjudgmentally aware of what is going on within and around you as you move through your day.

While I’m a strong believer in the power of optimism, the goal of being fully awake isn’t about just noticing the good stuff. It’s about being able to identify the unpleasant aspects of life in a way that allows us to be more conscious of their impact and also empower ourselves to take actions to help improve our situation.

I came across an article recently that suggested happiness might be more effectively achieved not by denying our unhappy feelings, but instead acknowledging and allowing them: https://www.thecut.com/2017/08/youll-be-happier-if-you-let-yourself-feel-bad.html. I also came across good reads about emotional resilience and emotional diversity:
https://heleo.com/5-strategies-building-emotional-resilience/16209/
http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/08/emotional-diversity-is-more-important-than-happiness.html?

The gist of these articles is that rather than ignoring or suppressing what we sometimes view as “negative” emotions, it is healthier and more productive to recognize them and notice how they are impacting you.

If there is anything bugging you right now, perhaps you can see it, describe it, and accept it just as it is, without judgment. Then wait just a bit to notice whether its negative impact might diminish or dissipate as you move through your day.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. If you’re enjoying Ripples, remember that the best way to show it is to SHARE Ripples with your peeps and encourage them to join us, and also click the SUBMIT A QUOTE button below whenever you encounter a groovy quote that we should consider for an upcoming issue. Thanks for both!… Read More!

Ripples #955: Critical Thinking.

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Ripples #955: Critical Thinking.
Sep 11, 2017

PEBBLE
I don’t want you to think like me,
I just want you to think.
-unknown, shared by Kelly in Menasha, WI

BOULDER
A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.
-Eleanor Roosevelt, via values.com
https://www.values.com/inspirational-quotes/6659-a-mature-person-is-one-who-?

PONDER
As we continue to grapple with numerous significant challenges around the country and around the world, it is as important as ever that we tend to these matters with both our hearts and our heads. We all need to feel things deeply and express our concerns passionately, of course. It is also helpful when we can access our calmer, more rational selves to help us make sense of things and choose our words and actions mindfully.

I’m concerned that too many of us remain “locked and loaded,” our lizard brains hijacked in a constant state of “fight or flight” where everyone and everything is a potential enemy that must be disarmed and/or destroyed. We are certainly living in complicated and troubling times for sure, and there is lots out there worth being frustrated and/or worried about. Still, I think our best path forward involves balancing our deep feels with critical thinking.

I invite you to assess your recent choices and see if there are areas that could benefit from an extra does of calm reason. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that instead of squelching your feelings, critical thinking may actually enhance your emotional health and increase your ability to communicate concerns in a way that feels satisfying. You may even improve your chances of influencing others, or at least helping them to better understand your perspective. Think about it, mkay?

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. I’d like to extend an apology to our Canadian friends who may have felt slighted in last week’s postscript about Labor Day. A belated Happy Labour Day to you–I actually caught the error before sending, but I think I forgot to hit SAVE after the edit. Whoops!… Read More!

Ripples #954: Doing Your Work!

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Ripples #954: Doing Your Work!
Sep 4, 2017

PEBBLE
There is not a man or woman, no matter how fit he or she may be, who is capable of carrying the entire world on their shoulders.
-Edwin Jarvis (Agent Carter TV show),
shared by Melissa in Westfield, IN

BOULDER
Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work sacredly, secretly, silently which will emanate Light wherever you are, and those with eyes to see and ears to hear will respond.
-The Arcturians,
shared by Pete in Ouray, CO

PONDER
There is so much work that needs to be done, so many problems to solve, and so many people that need our help. Even attempts to simply increase *awareness* of all the challenges that exist in our world (or just in one little corner of it) can be overwhelming enough for temptation to curl up into a ball and tune out.

In between doing absolutely NOTHING and feeling obligated to do EVERYTHING, there are a whole big bunch of SOMETHINGS that can generate substantial, meaningful contributions to people and situations that need help. And serving others not only *feels* good internally, all the good things we do end up getting added to the big pile of good things that are being unleashed by others. And all of this combined goodness adds up to measurable progress.

Finally, I have BAD news and GOOD news: The bad news is that when we eventually solve the problems we’re currently addressing, there will be new problems waiting to reveal themselves. The good news is that we just need to focus on doing the stuff we feel called to do, building in breaks as necessary to enjoy all the goodness that really does exist.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Speaking of WORK and BREAKS: Happy Labor Day Weekend to all of my fellow USians & Canadians who are celebrating this holiday that recognizes the many important contributions of the labor movement (which actually includes weekends off of work!).… Read More!

Ripples #953: Your New Season!

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Ripples #953: Your New Season!
Aug 28, 2017

PEBBLE
Who you are today is a collection of your yesterdays. What are you doing today to become the person you want to be tomorrow?
-unknown, shared by Fran in Green Bay (who came across this quote years ago and has been sharing it with her grandchildren and others ever since!)

BOULDER
Everyone has setbacks, disappointments and missed opportunities. But wallowing in the past and focusing on the negatives is a sure way to doom your future. So put the past behind you and embrace today as the beginning of your new season.
-Edward T. Creagan, shared by Donna in Owings, MD

PONDER
As the summer begins to wind down, many of us are beginning to think forward to fall, a new season of school, work, and/or life in general. This could be an opportunity for a reset on a specific goal you’ve been struggling with, or just a new season of fresh optimism for the future in general.

The best way to leverage this clean slate is to spend some time reviewing recent “setbacks, disappointments and missed opportunities,” extracting useful lessons and releasing the rest. It might even be useful to hold a memorial, graduation, or retirement ceremony to acknowledge the transition and prepare yourself for the new season.

Think about it, and then be sure to take some specific action so your new season can be a productive one. Get ready, get set….GO!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #952: Make Your Bed!

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Ripples #952: Make Your Bed!
Aug 21, 2017

PEBBLE
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step. -Naeem Callaway

BOULDER
Sitting up is better than laying down.
Standing is better than sitting.
Walking is better than standing;
Running is my therapy!
This is literally the mental game I play whenever I want to make time for stress relief in my busy life: ANYTHING is better than NOTHING!
-Tracy Gillson
written and shared by Tracy in Santa Clara, CA

PONDER
During a recent chat with my friend and colleague, Toby, we discussed the concept of “key habits” that set you up for a successful day. For example, I’ve known for years that one of the most important things I can do in the morning to ensure a successful day is to MAKE MY BED. It gives me an immediate sense of accomplishment, it contributes a sense of order and calm that I can sense each time I enter my bedroom throughout the day; finally, and perhaps most importantly, it virtually guarantees I won’t be tempted to crawl back into bed and further delay the start of my day.

My plan to share this concept in this week’s Ripples was serendipitously confirmed when I saw an inspiring video that several friends had posted on social media over the past few days. It’s a clip from a commencement address given by U.S. Navy Admiral’s William H. McRaven to the Class of 2014 at University of Texas-Austin. It starts with this line, “If you want to change the world, start off my making your bed.” Nothing like finding a Navy Admiral to back up my strategy!

[The six minute clip is here; you can also watch the entire 19 minute speech here.]

I dare you to make time to ponder your current routines and habits to see if you can identify a simple chore or task that would set you up for a more successful day. If you find one, the follow up dare is to commit yourself to doing that task every single morning for 90 days (or a month or even a week if 90 days seems like too long). If you find that task does indeed ensure a more successful start to the day, you’ll already be well on your way to making it a more engrained habit. If it turns out to be not as useful as you thought it would, set that one aside and then try using a different small task as your day-starter. Try it, and let me know how it goes!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!