0
All Posts By

Paul Wesselmann

Ripples #1118: Interconnection & Interdependence

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1118: Interconnection & Interdependence
Oct 26, 2020

PEBBLE
When conditions are harsh and life is tenuous, it takes a team of sworn reciprocity to keep life going forward…interconnection and mutual aid become critical for survival.
-Robin Wall Kimmerer, shared by Allison in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER
Sometimes LONELINESS comes as a reminder that we have to reach out.
Sometimes our SADNESS comes as a way to poke us, to tell us to look up.
Sometimes the thing that FRUSTRATES us is the thing that’s calling us forth to be connected.
-Dr. Bertice Berry, shared by Julie in West Chester, OH via Team Ripples

PONDER
At the beginning of our lives, we are highly dependent upon others for our survival. We count on parents and/or other caregivers to feed/clothe/house us and also to guide us as we grow. As we get a little older, we start to explore our independence. Most of us go through a phase of, “I can do it myself and I don’t need help from anyone!” As we mature into adulthood, we ideally seek close relationships that are interdependent: where we are in some ways dependent on and yet totally independent from the other person.

Adulting has always been hard. I think it is fair to say that Adulting in 2020 has tested most of us in ways that we didn’t want to be tested. If you’re like me, there are some days when you just want to move to an island far away from everyone else and other days when you wish a grown up would come along and make you grilled cheese and maybe some Rice Krispie treats before gently rocking you to sleep.

Our best chance of getting through this year with at least a shred of sanity and a dollop of dignity is to remember that leaning on other people doesn’t mean we’re not grown up enough to handle stuff on our own. And at some point, we’re gonna have to explore better ways to connect and engage with those who look at things differently than us. The future of our society depends on it, and the future of our planet depends on it, too.

Peace,
Paul
P.S. So much gratitude for the recent support. We added a few new Patreon Peeps, sent out a few more books and stickers, and received a steady stream of lovely kindness. Thanks, y’all.… Read More!

Ripples #1117: Serendipities!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1117: Serendipities!
Oct 19, 2020

PEBBLE
The universe is always speaking to us. Sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more.
-Nancy Thayer, shared by Genna on Sanibel Island, FL

BOULDER
A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change. -Earl Nightingale, shared by Curt in Kansas

PONDER

TRUE STORY: Once upon a time (okay, last Wednesday morning) I had blocked off some time to work on Ripples. I was wading through previous quote submissions as part of my process for assembling these weekly splashes, and I was sidetracked by an email notification from a friend who was asking if I knew anyone who could help her with a specific aspect of her business. SHUT UP STOP THE PRESSES! Still awaiting a reply in my inbox was a message I had received a few hours earlier from someone I know and respect who has recently launched a consultancy to help small businesses…specializing in the specific area my friend needed help with. I quickly and excitedly exchanged email introductions so they could explore mutually beneficial possibilities and then paused to delight in the joy of serendipitous connection.

And then I giggled at myself for a completely different bit of synchronicity. Earlier that morning I had been reviewing notes I took on the nifty book Indistractible (https://www.amazon.com/dp/194883653) as I prepared for a mini-presentation I was giving that afternoon for my Patreon Peeps (https://www.patreon.com/RipplesGuy). In it, Nir Eyal shares two core strategies for gaining traction on your goals and priorities: blocking off time for focused work on specific projects, and hacking back against distractions like the notification dings that emit from our devices. Here I was playing with some new concepts I was about to teach to others and the universe concocted a lovely teachable moment, inviting me to put theory into practice (my grad school professors would be so proud!).

After spending a few minutes disabling notifications on both my phone and computer, the time I had purposely set aside to work on Ripples was rapidly dwindling without much progress. I decided to commit to a handful of really focused minutes with the ambitious goal of identifying the theme and quotes that would help guide the ponder. I reopened the Ripples folder on my computer and spotted a file dated May 6, 2019 has been patiently waiting for me to rediscover it: an abandoned early draft of an issue of Ripples that never quite found the right ponder. It had two quotes all paired up, and a few sentences of the ponder that just trailed off. The theme? Can you guess? Wait for it…Serendipity!

I’ve long experienced coincidences like these as delightful God-winks: merry moments of meaning-making that hint at our intertwined, interconnectedness which too easily falls from our consciousness. And I’ve loved … Read More!

Ripples #1116: Water Your Wild

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1116: Water Your Wild.
Oct 12, 2020

PEBBLE
Don’t water down your wild.
-Heidi Osborn, written and shared by Heidi in West Virginia

BOULDER
More often than not, by doing your thing – as opposed to what you think you ought to be doing – you kindle a fire that helps keep the rest of us warm. -Oliver Burkeman
shared by Pete in Colorado via Oliver Burkeman’s final Guardian column

PONDER
Today’s pebble showed up randomly in my Facebook newsfeed, so I curiously reached out to the person who posted it. I soon learned that “Don’t water down your wild” had become Heidi’s personal motto, one she uses to motivate herself and others.

“I spent many years in self-doubt and holding myself back,” Heidi shared in a message exchange. “I did A LOT of healing and growing to finally allow myself to be the person I wanted to be and was meant to be.” She went on to describe several key crossroads in her considerably challenging life when she heard what she calls “Wild Whispers,” opportunities she experienced as invitations to release her authentic, powerful potential that hadn’t been tamped down or tamed by the expectations and limitations others had placed on her. Some of these wild whispers seemed risky and/or difficult, and yet she looks back on them as key opportunities for growth that she’s glad she embraced.

This line was especially cool to read, “Once I found my wild, I promised myself that I would use that knowledge and wisdom to spark the wild in others. I want people to remember that greatness already lies within…and not to stifle it.”

Here’s my take on Heidi’s awesome motto: maximizing your potential requires harnessing your power without diminishing it. It means not just healing from your many hurts, but also extracting the lessons and wisdom they offer. It means not just overcoming obstacles, but also recognizing the strength you couldn’t have gained without facing those obstacles.

Your wild needs to be encouraged and not extinguished, so keep in mind:
When you WATER your wild, you nourish your power and give life to your potential.
When you WATER DOWN your wild, you dilute your power and weaken your potential.

Be careful and be curious about the choices you make for yourself this week. Do what you can to encourage your authentic voice and instincts while resisting any temptation or habit to diminish what you know to be your real self.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #1115: Let Go, Stand Tall

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1115: Let Go, Stand Tall
Oct 5, 2020

PEBBLE
I think of the trees and how simply they let go.
-May Sarton, shared by Loreen in Washington

BOULDER
If you feel like you’re losing everything, remember that trees lose their leaves every year and they still stand tall and wait for better days to come.
-unknown, shared by Becki in Quakertown, PA

PONDER
I suspect many people will look back on this period of time as one of great loss. My best guess (and my fervent hope) is that these losses are clearing the way for a period of massive growth and creation. Autumn is the time when many plants and trees must drop their leaves and prepare for a period of dormancy.

This can look like a death, and there is definitely a loss. While it is natural and understandable and important to grieve that which is going away, it can soothe us to remember that some things must be released so that our cycle of growth can continue.

Here’s the good news: with a little faith, a dollop of patience, and a decent memory, we can rest assured: things will cycle around. Before we know it, green shoots will burst forth from the fertile ground once again.

Peace,
Paul

P.S. I’m determined to keep Ripples FREE and AD FREE for all who enjoy these Ripply splashes, and I’m now able to do that thanks to the help of several dozen “Patreon Peeps” who are pitching in a few bucks a month to more actively support our mission. If you’ve enjoyed these weekly splashes for a while and might be interested in a bit more direct engagement with The Ripples Guy, you can learn more here: https://www.Patreon.com/RipplesGuy… Read More!

Ripples #1114: Cofounding Life

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1114: Cofounding Life
Sep 28, 2020

PEBBLE
Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.
-Susan Statham, shared by Eric at Oakland University, MI

BOULDER
Realize that you are not a mere guardian or administrator of your life, but your own co-founder, CEO and Chief Executive Creator. Nobody, nothing owns you anymore.
-Andrea Balt, @projecthappiness_org shared by Daphne in St. Joseph, MO

PONDER
One of my favorite things about assembling these weekly splashes of inspiration is the pairing of the two quotes that become the PEBBLE and BOULDER. The pairing determines the theme for the week, which then guides the direction of the ponder. I love that these two quotes just happened to end up right next to each other on my trusty list of magnificent quotes submitted by our magnificent readers.*

I don’t think these quotes are suggesting that we have complete control of our lives (cuz we don’t). I also don’t think we’re supposed to be striving to create a perfect life (cuz we can’t). Instead, I think they invite us to optimize our effectiveness and enjoyment of life by bringing leadership, creativity, and mindfulness as we plan and live our lives.

What might happen if this week you focused less on the aspects of your life that are beyond your immediate influence, and instead pivoted towards the things you can edit, delete, or maybe even copy and paste?

Peace,
Paul
*P.S. I’m rarely able to personally acknowledge the many quote submissions that come in each week, but please know that even though I only use around 100 quotes a year, it is so helpful to have a few thousand quotes to choose from. So when you find a quote that really grabs you, keep in mind there is a SUBMIT button in each issue that takes you to a simple form to share it with me in a way that helps me manage the flow. #QuotesRock #YouRockToo… Read More!

Ripples #1113: Making Noise

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1113: Making Noise
Sep 21, 2020

PEBBLE
Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

BOULDER
Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.
-U.S. Representative John Lewis (1940-2020)

PONDER
I don’t think it is an overstatement to suggest that 2020 may end up being one of the hardest, strangest, and most pivotal years most of us have lived in. Depending upon where things go from here, 2020 has the potential to reset our society’s course on health care, race, politics, climate change, and likely education, too.

And while both of our quotes today were around long before the dawn of this year, I’m sharing them here today in part because I believe they are so timely, and of course also because we are mourning the two remarkable people whose wisdom they reflect.

The pebble was Justice Ginsburg’s response to a question about advice she would give young women today, while the boulder was one of Representative Lewis’ legendary tweets.

We are living through a particularly polarizing time, one which informs which media channels we turn into, who we feel comfortable connecting with, and even what facts we believe to be true.

After Justice Scalia’s 2016 passing I learned that he and Justice Ginsburg had been good friends. Over the weekend, Scalia’s son wrote a moving piece about the friendship, and about the upside of debating fiercely while maintaining close ties.

I’m pleased and proud that over the last two decades we’ve forged a community of hopeful, helpful souls who sometimes disagree passionately about policies and ideas, and yet can still come together every week to unleash ripples of compassion and kindness.

Is it possible for us to make noise about issues we care about without ignoring or denying the humanity of those on the other side? And could we end up having more influence on others if we took a few steps back from the “you’re either with us or against us” rhetoric which is often neither helpful nor accurate? My answer for today is, “I dunno, but I want to try harder to find out.”

Rest in power, Justice Ginsburg & Representative Lewis.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #1112: Leveling Up

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1112: Leveling Up
Sep 14, 2020

PEBBLE
There’s always another level up. There’s always another ascension. More grace, more light, more generosity, more compassion, more to shed, more to grow.
-Elizabeth Gilbert, shared by Gina in Tucson, AZ

BOULDER
One reason I could never be a true pessimist about humans is the humans themselves. I think people, especially when pushed to extreme situations on the brink, have ways of surprising us and doing things that that do seem impossible and figuring out ways to go up against powers and trends that have until certain points in history been unshakable.
-Vann R. Newkirk II, shared by Emily in Carlow, Ireland

PONDER
Our number one job, especially in challenging times, is to survive: to stay alive so we can make it to another day. When we are feeling safe, and have a little extra time, energy, bandwidth, and gumption…that is when we look for opportunities to grow: gaining new skills, insights, and new ways of looking at the world.

If you’re struggling mightily today, it’s okay to take a hard pass on the concept leveling up right now. Still, I’m wondering if you could pause long enough to take a deep breath, look upward and day dream about what the next level might look like.

If you’re doing okay right now, it might be fun to do more than just dream about the next level. Could you jot down a few ideas about what personal or professional growth might look like for you in the next few months or years? While you’re writing, identify some specific steps you could take to start the ball rolling. And then…TAKE ACTION, even if it is a baby step. Each small step up is an ascension.

Peace,
Paul
P.S. Thank you for forwarding Ripples to your friends and colleagues who might enjoy a weekly splash of inspiration. We’ve had a steady stream of new subscribers lately that are learning about Ripples from YOU and not from ME! 🙂… Read More!

Ripples #1111: Doing the Work!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1111: Doing the Work!
Sep 7, 2020

PEBBLE
It isn’t about the breakthrough. It’s about doing the work that allows you to break through.
-Shaun Blokker (aka Shaun T), shared by Mary in Fitchburg, WI

BOULDER
If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.
-Dale Carnegie, shared by Kaitlin in Littleton, CO

PONDER
If today is a holiday for you, Happy Labour Day!

Especially in a weird, hard, strange year like this one, I hope this holiday provides us all a little bit of a break before we dive into the fall. This holiday serves to recognize the important contributions of the American labor movement (who fought for five-day work weeks which allowed for the break we now know as weekends), and in normal years provides many of us a transition from “summer fun mode” to fall work/school mode.

I know this has been far from a normal year, and I know many of us weren’t able to extract as much FUN from our summer as we wanted. We still have many struggles to face, and we aren’t as rested as we usually are.

Still, fall is approaching and I believe that some possibilities exist for doing good work. We may need to adjust our expectations and cut ourselves and others a little slack. AND, we can choose to remember that even in tough times there are things to learn, skills to refine, projects to tackle, and growth possibilities that yearn to be embraced.

If you’re reading this on Monday morning and you have the day off…let these quotes and ideas remain in your inbox as you enjoy the holiday. Perhaps on Tuesday or Wednesday you can revisit this and embrace an opportunity for DOING THE WORK!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #1110: The Race of Persistence

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1110: The Race of Persistence
Aug 31, 2020

PEBBLE
If you only walk on sunny days you’ll never reach your destination.
-Paulo Coelho, shared by Diane in Appleton, WI

BOULDER
May we all do a little bit better than the first time,
Learn a little something from the worst time,
Get a little stronger from the hurt times.
-Florida Georgia Line, shared by Darcy via her pal, the ever uplifting Kathy

PONDER

Sprints are very different than marathons. (Obvious, you have a call holding on line 1.)

Sprinting requires a focused energy burst for a short amount of time while a marathon calls for a steady energy release over a longer amount of time. Sprinters develop their capacity for speed; they need strong and powerful muscles. Marathon runners have different goals: they want to maximize their heart/lung capacity and their muscular endurance. Persistence is required for both, even though they each need a different kind of persistence: A short sprint needs an intense level of incredible focus, while a marathon requires considerable stamina.

I’m sharing this today because at the beginning of 2020 when it started looking like Covid was going to be a thing, most of us thought of it as a sprint….a relatively short, intense period of maybe a few weeks or few months. Time passed, the virus continued to spread, and we now recognize this is a big, hairy marathon, complete with a constantly changing race route and an uncertain finish line.

The good news is that we made it today: we’ve adapted and we’ve endured. The tough news is that we are going to need to continue adapting and enduring for longer than we originally imagined. And we’ll also need to keep moving. So take a moment to congratulate yourself on making it this far, and then take another moment to identify how you can keep on growing while you keep on going. #WeGotThis

Peace,
Paul
P.S. If you soared early on in the year and feel like you’re really struggling right now…well, me too! I stumbled upon a helpful article about how our Surge Capacity may be depleted, and how some shifts in your mindset and behavior might help:… Read More!

Ripples #1108: Face Fear & Flourish!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #1108: Face Fear & Flourish!
Aug 17, 2020

PEBBLE
Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.
-James Stephens, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER
Remember…things that are new only seem scary because they aren’t old yet. After you finally do the new thing, then the fear it held over you will fade away like the morning mist, because the new will have become the old. Focus on what it will be like after you do this thing and the new will become the old in the blink of an eye.
-Mark Cheverton
shared by Troy in Minnesota (who embraced this proclamation by Crafter’s Great-Aunt Milky in Book 2 of the GameKnight999 YA book series)

PONDER
While assembling this week’s issue, I poked through our archives just to make sure the quotes and theme we’re exploring are fresh. I was initially surprised that FEAR pops up as a theme in our weekly splashes every few years. Upon reflection, it makes sense that we repeatedly need to address fear, because fear continues to pop up in our thoughts and feelings.

I recently enjoyed a compelling video snippet of Stella Grizont unpacking how our brains are wired for fear. She explains that our more fearful ancestors survived over their peers who hadn’t developed a capacity to remain vigilant to potential threats.

Fear, it turns out, is essential for survival, and survival is essential for living. Most of us, though, are going for more than just surviving: we want to fully embrace life…we want to THRIVE!

In order to prosper and flourish, we need to cultivate curiosity about when and how fear shows up in our thoughts and feelings. And we need to consciously, mindfully choose how we relate and respond to the natural, inevitable, useful thoughts and feelings that fuel fear.

Our relationship to fear ultimately determines whether it fuels or flattens our courage, because being brave isn’t about eliminating or avoiding fear. Courage is about seeing, smelling and tasting the fear, and moving forward anyway.

Maybe this week we can consciously choose to be less afraid of fear. Instead, let’s honor it, respect it, and work to rise above it. Are you in?

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com