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All Posts By

Paul Wesselmann

Ripples #785: The Happy Within.

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Ripples #785: The Happy Within.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
9 June 2014

PEBBLE:
Be happy, and a reason will come along.
-Robert Brault, shared by Cynthia in Palos Heights, IL

BOULDER:
Happiness is not in
our circumstances,
but in ourselves.
It is not something we see,
like a rainbow,
or feel,
like the heat of the fire.
Happiness is something we are.
-John B. Sheerin, shared by Pete in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER:
It can be useful to think of happiness not as something to be found be searching around in the world, but instead something to be excavated from within.  Of course this doesn’t mean we aren’t impacted by WHAT happens around us or WHO we encounter.  It just means that regardless of what is going on, WE need to stay in charge of our happiness.  And speaking of happiness, there is a bounty of it waiting to be experienced just by taking a few deep breaths and allowing it to surface.  Can you feel it?

If you CAN feel it:  GO! Go spread it around with smiles, kind words, and small favors.

Still not feeling it?  Well, perhaps you could go spread some smiles and kind words and small favors anyway; it could be that happiness needs you to prime the pump a bit in order for it to seep into your soul.

Peace,
Paul
p.s.  I’ll add briefly that I don’t think happiness CAN or SHOULD be the sole focus in our quest for a fulfilling life, nor should other feelings like sadness and frustration be avoided or demonized.  I just believe that a steady source of internalized happiness can potentially increase our effectiveness and enjoyment of work, school, and life.  Get it? Got it?  Good!… Read More!

Ripples #784: Creating Yourself!

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Ripples #784: Creating Yourself!
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
2 June 2014

PEBBLE:
Life is not about finding yourself;
life is about creating yourself.
-source unknown, shared by Ann in Raleigh, NC

BOULDER:
Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, “This is the real me,” and when you have found that….follow it.
-William James

PONDER:
I’ve just returned home from a powerfully exhilarating (and thoroughly exhausting) weekend with 2,000 of the peppiest and brightest and funnest residence hall leaders this former rez lifer could ever hope to hang out with.  Some of them don’t yet realize that what started for them as a “college co-curricular activity” is going to significantly shift their life path, and may even point them toward a career working with college students.

I hope you are keeping your eyes and ears open for what brings *you* most alive, and then tweaking your life as necessary to make room for more of it.  We need more people to bring their BEST SELVES to work and life; I believe you do that by recognizing your gifts and then offering those gifts to the world.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #783: Being Brave!

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Ripples #783: Being Brave!
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
19 May 2014

PEBBLE:
Courage, dear heart.
-C.S. Lewis, shared by Kathryn in Annapolis, MD

BOULDER:
If you don’t think
you know how to be brave,
look around;
you’ll find someone who does know.
Follow him or her.
If you follow long enough,
you’ll learn to have courage,
or the courage within you
will rise to the top.
When that happens, turn around,
and don’t be surprised
if someone is following you.
-Joseph M. Marshall III, shared by Bobby in Woolwich Township, NJ

PONDER:
Being brave is *not* about being fearless. Fear is required to reveal courage.  If you’re not standing knee deep in fear, the most you’ve got is strength. And strength will only get you started.  Being brave is about seeing, smelling and tasting the fear…and then saddling up anyway.

I hope you can dig deep and summon the courage to face a teensy or titanic fear and take some action despite your fears.  If you’ve already done that recently, take a moment to congratulate yourself, and possibly share your story in a humble way so that others can be inspired by your example.

Peace,
Paul
p.s.  To my fellow U.S.ians, enjoy the Memorial Day weekend!  I firmly believe it is possible for Memorial Day be a joyous kickoff to the summer AND remain a useful reminder that our freedoms have been won with considerable courage and sacrifice.… Read More!

Ripples #782: Making Doors!

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Ripples #782:  Making Doors!
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
19 May 2014
PEBBLE:  
The world has Amazing Things in store for you, so
hunt them with Resilience and Persistence.
-written & shared by Erin in Adelaide, South Australia
BOULDER: 
If I can’t make it through one door, 
I’ll go through another door-
-or I’ll make a door. 
Something terrific will come 
no matter how dark the present.
-Rabindranath Tagore 
PONDER:  
Last week we explored how to “hang in there” through tough times, and I thought we should follow up with something even stronger.  Sometimes, “just muddling through” is all we’ve got.  Remember, though, that you have previously survived some significant challenges and all of us—as in ALL OF US including YOU sometimes forget that we are made from tough stuff!  
This week could be a good time to move beyond the “muddling through” and instead hop up and either OPEN THE DOOR or CREATE THE DOOR that will help you conquer your challenges and unleash your next level of awesome.  
It’s true that you don’t always need to bring your best self to work/school/life; but it’s also true that your best self has a burst of energy and ideas and effort to improve just about any situation you’re in.
Are you ready?  Get ready.
Are you set? Get set.
LET’S GO DO THIS!
Peace,
Paul
Read More!

Ripples #781: Treading Thru Life.

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Ripples #781: Treading Thru Life.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
12 May 2014

PEBBLE:
The “good life” begins when
you stop wanting a better one.
-Nkosiphambili E. Molapis, shared by Becca in Boston, MA

BOULDER:
Promise me you will not spend
so much time treading water
and trying to keep your head above water
that you forget, truly forget,
how much you have always loved to swim.
-Tyler Knott Gregson, shared by Kathryn in Annapolis, MD

PONDER:
If your life is anything like mine, our best days are absolutely awesome, our worst days are excruciatingly awful and most of the other days are a muddy mix of the beauty and the blech.  I’ve found the trick is to savor the heck out of the awesome ones, hang on for dear life through the awful times, and use the rest of the days to be grateful they aren’t worse while anticipating the next grand upswing.

It doesn’t mean you’re required to paint a smile on your face (although I’ve found that even the fake ones can sometimes help you grit your teeth and catch your breath), nor does it mean that you are required to bring your best self to every moment of every day.  It *does* mean that hidden in almost every day, whether it be awesome or awful or meh, are minute opportunities to enjoy, endure, or at least extend your life.

Hang in there, mkay?

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

#780: The Business of Life!

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Ripples #780: The Business of Life!
For our tribe of busy people who
unleash Ripples of compassion & kindness: uROCK!
4 May 2014

PEBBLE:
The business of life
is the acquisition of memories.
In the end that’s all there is.
-Mr. Carson (Downton Abbey), shared by Jean in Salt Lake City, UT

BOULDER:
It is essential
to our well-being
and to our lives
that we play
and enjoy life.
Every single day
do something that
makes your heart sing.
-Marcia Wieder, shared by Pete in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER:
While I savor a few days of hiking and relaxing in a magical hamlet in Central California called San Luis Obispo, I hope you can carve out some time in your hectic life for an activity that makes your heart sing.  Chatting with a friend, solo-time in nature or a coffee shop, or perhaps re-visiting a hobby that will revive fond memories.  Think about it, plan it, do it!

Oh, and over 200 of you shared some magnificent quotes so THANK YOU for refreshing the quote pond!  We’ll be creating memories for many years to come!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #779: Our Puzzle, Your Piece.

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Ripples #779: Our Puzzle, Your Piece.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
28 Apr 2014

PEBBLE:
There are no extra pieces in the universe.
Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill,
and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.
-Deepak Chopra

BOULDER:
When we feel passion for something,
it is because we are remembering what
it was that we came here to do.
The more passion we feel,
the more in alignment with Source we are,
allowing this energy to pour through us
with no hesitation.
This is the way it was meant to be.
-Karen Bishop

PONDER:
So yeah, folks: it turns out that we need your particular piece of this vast and wacky puzzle of life.  Keep your eyes and your heart open for the projects that make you feel most alive, and be curious about how that may be leading you to fulfill the highest version of your purpose here on earth.  If you’re having trouble identifying these passions, notice what you long for, what you daydream about, even what movies, books, and people you’re drawn to.  Perhaps keeping track of these in a journal can lead you to recognizing the shape and texture of your particular puzzle piece.

Speaking of your piece of this puzzle, I need a big favor to help keep the Ripples flowing. I used to be a little better about encouraging people to submit awesome quotes so that Ripples could continue being a group effort, and while a few loyal ripplers still occasionally pitch in, I find that I need a regular stream of fresh inspiration to unleash the ripply magic.  I would absolutely love it if a few dozen of you spent a few minutes digging up a couple of fresh and fabulous quotes that speak to you.  Ideally, you would share who said/wrote the words along with your first name and hometown so I can included, “shared by Linda in Manhattan, KS”.  Are you in?  Please, be in.  

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #778: The Earth Delights!

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Ripples #778:  The Earth Delights!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
21 Apr 2014

PEBBLE:
In every walk with nature
one receives far more than he seeks.
—John Muir

BOULDERS:
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green earth,
dwelling deeply in the present moment
and feeling truly alive.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Forget not that the earth delights
to feel your bare feet,
and the winds long
to play with your hair.
-Kahlil Gibran

PONDER:
I’m thrilled that so many people embrace “Earth Day” to honor this precious and tender and valuable resource we call Home.  In addition to recognizing the important environmental issues we’re facing at this time, I would LOVE it if you made Earth Day about honoring nature, celebrating nature, and most simply ENJOYING nature.

Appreciating the Earth is an essential component of preserving it, so please enjoy today by enjoying our Home!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices.

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Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices. For our tribe of busy people who believe in the power of uRock: unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness 14 Apr 2014 PEBBLE: You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices. —Deepak Chopra BOULDER: The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone. -Orison Sweet Marden PONDER: It is sometimes so tempting to focus on options taken away from us: we don’t get a job that seemed like a perfect fit, the other person ends a relationship we thought was worth pursuing, or even something simple like a beloved dish being removed from the menu of a favorite restaurant (are you listening, Cactus Pear?). When someone else removes an option, we have a tendency to concentrate on that which we can no longer choose, often ignoring a bounty of other possibilities that still exist. Of course it is appropriate to spend some time grieving a lost opportunity, but remember that infinity minus one is still infinity. The sooner we finish saying goodbye to that which is no longer an option, the sooner we can turn around and say hello to the options that are still excitedly whispering, “Ooh, pick me! Pick me!” What choices are available to you today? Peace, Paul… Read More!

Ripples #776: Presence.

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Ripples #776: Presence. For our tribe of busy people who believe in unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock! 7 Apr 2014 PEBBLE: I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes; We convince by our presence. -Walt Whitman, shared by Marc in State College, PA BOULDER: There is a quality in a few unique individuals which I can only best describe as acceptance. In the presence of such persons, I feel safe, at home, and eager to share and learn. Their attitude toward life is gentle and affirming, and this in turn brings out the best and the deepest in me, and makes me feel, somehow, capable of all the good I have ever hoped to accomplish. -Alex Noble, shared by Bruce in Milwaukee, WI PONDER: When my buddy Bruce shared this week’s Boulder a few weeks ago, I immediately thought of two gals in my life: my aunts Miriam and Florence who happen to be nuns and who also happen to be two of the wisest, funnest, sassiest and awesomest people I’ve ever encountered on this planet. Whenever I’m around them, I feel accepted for precisely who I am at the moment and at the same time invited to learn and grown and expand myself and my possibilities. They make it easy to laugh and cry and ponder and explore and discuss, sometimes all at the same time! As luck would have it, I was able to visit them unexpectedly last week; as usual, I returned home with a replenished spirit and a renewed outlook on my work and life. I hope you have people like this in your life, and I hope you can take a moment this week to acknowledge their presence. Visit them in person or send a note of thanks with a specific example of how your life is better with their presence. And don’t just ponder this one….I dare you to follow through and connect with them. Peace, Paul P.S. If you really want to honor their presence, make sure that in addition to HAVING people like this in your life, you also strive to BE that person for others in your life.… Read More!

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