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All Posts By

Paul Wesselmann

Ripples #792: The Ecstasy of Today!

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Ripples #792: The Ecstasy of Today!
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
28 July 2014

PEBBLE:  
Gup in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.  Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.
-Abraham Joshua Heschel

BOULDER: 
This is the gift—
to have the wonderful capacity 
to appreciate again and again, 
freshly and naively, 
the basic goods of life, 
with awe, pleasure, wonder, 
and even ecstasy. 
-Abraham Maslow

PONDER:  
While you are kicking off what I sincerely hope will be a day/week filled with ecstasy, I would like to share some news with you about the future of Ripples.  Since 1999 we have steadily grown from our original 75 readers (some of whom are still with us!) to our current batch of over 27,000.  Over the last 12 months we have hit a major roadbump as we are increasingly labeled as spam.  We've lost over 4,000 subscribers that didn't CHOOSE to unsubscribe, and many new subscribers are consistently finding Ripples in their spam/junk folder.

We considered moving away from email delivery and just posting Ripples via social media and blogging platforms, but ultimately determined that enough people still prefer to find Ripples in their email inbox on Monday mornings.  So, in a few weeks we will transition to a new platform that is significantly more expensive (a few hundred dollars a MONTH vs. a few hundred dollars a YEAR), but will ultimately provide a reliable way to continue our legacy of inspirational splashes.  And let's face it:  you're worth it.

Your patience and persistence will be kindly requested as transitions such as this invariably encounter road bumps. Or perhaps "dams” or "rapids” if we're sticking with the water metaphor? I'll share more information soon.

Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #791: Invincible!

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Ripples #791: Invincible!
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
21 July 2014

PEBBLE:  
We all have an unsuspected reserve of strength inside 
that emerges when life puts us to the test. 
-Isabel Allende

BOULDER: 
In the midst of hate, 
I found there was, within me, 
an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, 
I found there was, within me, 
an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, 
I found there was, within me, 
an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, 
I found there was, within me, 
an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. 
For it says that no matter how hard 
the world pushes against me, 
within me, 
there's something stronger – something better, 
pushing right back.
-Albert Camus 

PONDER:  
Most of us are unaware of just how strong and resourceful and talented we can be until something comes along that requires us to stand up and jump into action.  Few people recognize that it is often the INTERNAL obstacles (fear, doubt, insecurity) that keep us from revving up to our potential.  Of course there are very real and powerful EXTERNAL obstacles that provide legitimate challenges; it's just that they are rarely enough to prevent your FULL and BEST self from rising to the challenge and eventually triumphing over difficulty. 

I invite you to unleash your best invincible self for the day just to see what magic you can whip up. 

Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #790: Restoring the Broken.

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Ripples #790: Restoring the Broken.
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
14 July 2014

PEBBLE:  
What do we live for, 
if it is not to make life 
less difficult for each other? 
-George Eliot

BOULDER: 
Your job is not to judge.  
Your job is not to figure out 
if someone deserves something.  
Your job is to lift the fallen, 
to restore the broken, 
and to heal the hurting. 
-The Essence of life, shared by Jeremy Haddon in Mossman, Queensland (Australia)

PONDER:  
I don't believe that we have an *obligation* to help every single person we encounter.
I do believe that there is an *opportunity* to help every single person we encounter.
Every. Single. Person.  

The lost ones, the frustrated ones, the nice ones and the mean ones.  And the magnificent secret that I hesitate to share with you because we took a solemn oath at the last meeting of the "Benevolent Order of Those Who Strive To Be As Nice As Possible to Everyone We Encounter”: the person who benefits the most from all the helping is often YOU!  Serving others feels great; it reminds us to be grateful for blessings that we take for granted, and as a bonus it replenishes our "karma credit card” so we can be in great shape to receive help from others just when we need it most.

Just remember that helping works best when it emanates not from a sense of duty or obligation, but instead from a source of joyous opportunity.  So keep your eyes and ears open for a friend or colleague or stranger who needs you.

Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #794: Monumental Action!

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[07/11/14]
Ripples #794: Monumental Action!

PEBBLE:  
Your deeds are your monuments.
-Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, shared by Kelly in Newport, NH 

BOULDER: 
Life has taught me one supreme lesson. 
This is that we must--
if we are really to live...
we must put our convictions into action.
-Margaret Sanger 

PONDER:  
It happens to all of us at times:  we find ourselves in a situation where our words and actions are not completely congruent.  I know that I am quick to claim that civility is an important value, but sometimes a feisty online exchange too easily devolves into passive aggressive (or just plain aggressive) unkindness.  When chatting with friends, I'm sometimes eager to offer advice to others about healthy eating or maintaining relationships even if I'm not currently taking my own advice.
 
How about we all commit to a week of "practicing what we preach” by selecting a cherished value/attribute and working extra hard at BEING and BEHAVING in a way that demonstrates our commitment?  Are you in?

Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #789: Fulfillment or Fiasco?

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Ripples #789: Fulfillment or Fiasco?
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
7 July 2014

PEBBLE:  
Embedded in the edge of risk and fear 
is the authenticity that makes life worth living.
-Mark Nepo, shared by Pat in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER: 
Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss.
-Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation, shared by Kerry in Cincinnati, OH 

PONDER:  
You don't get to know exactly how today is going to turn out, and you don't get to know whether the thing you're itching to attempt is going to help you soar to new heights or leave you sobbing like a forest mole trapped in a smoldering pile of beaver dung (I have no idea where that image came from. Just go with it, okay?).   The precise outcome is mostly beyond your control, so it might be more useful and more powerful to focus on your effort and determination and passion and anything else you can toss into the early part of your adventure.  Quite simply, I think you need to go for it.  

Give this week your absolute best, and let any fulfillment be your reward while any fiasco will be a learning opportunity (and a good story for some day when you've triumphed at last).   

Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #788: Wander to Wonder.

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Ripples #788: Wander to Wonder.
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
30 June 2014

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

BOULDER: 
If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.
-Rachel Carson

PONDER:  
I'll be offline for a bit as I exhale in the Rockies over the next few weeks.  Wandering always improves my wondering, and I almost always return from the mountains with a replenished spirit and refreshed outlook on life.  I've queued up a few weeks of Ripples so you won't miss them, and I hope that you too can find your own special way to spend time in nature this week.  Breathe in all she has to offer, and exhale some of your stress (she can recycle it into something useful, I'm certain).

Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #787: Being Alive!

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Ripples #787: Being Alive!
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
23 June 2014

PEBBLE:  
I don't believe people are looking 
for the meaning of life 
as much as they are looking 
for the experience of being alive. 
-Joseph Campbell

BOULDER: 
Lean forward into your life...
catch the best bits 
and the finest wind. 
Just tip your feathers 
in flight a wee bit 
and see how dramatically 
that small lean 
can change your life.
-Mary Anne Radmacher, shared by Stephanie in Tampa, FL 

PONDER:  
The last few days of speaking before my summer retreat began have been crazy AND I loved every minute of hanging out with the folks at Covance, and Promega, and Organic Valley (and welcome to a few hundred new ripplers!!).  In several of the presentations I showed a video about AWE that really had me thinking about how and when I most passionately experience BEING ALIVE.  It happens when I'm doing good work; it happens when I'm hanging with people who are capable of meeting me right where I am AND inviting me to grow into the newest version of my best self; and finally, it sometimes happens when I create the space and time to be alone to rest my mind and renew my spirit.

I invite you to make time for this video RIGHT NOW, and be really curious about how you can increase your awareness and enjoyment of BEING ALIVE.  At work or at home, with people or alone, just make sure your experiment allows you to experience what Jason Silva describes in the video as "the hardly bearable ecstasy of direct energy exploding on your nerve endings.”  I know, right?  Just try it for me.  And for you. :)


Peace,
Paul
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Ripples #786: Learning to Surf.

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Ripples #786: Learning to Surf.
A splash of inspiration 
from The Ripples Guy
16 June 2014

PEBBLE:  
You can't stop the waves, 
but you can learn how to surf.
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, shared by S Anderson in Edmonton, AB

BOULDER: 
In our lives, 
change is unavoidable,
loss is unavoidable.
In the adaptability and ease
with which we experience change,
lies our happiness and freedom.
-Buddha, shared by Carl in Terre Haute, IN

PONDER:  
You're pretty awesome sometimes, aren't you?  

On your best days when everything is going your way—-you rock things out in a magnificent way, right?  On those days you work hard, you're on top of things, and you're able to bring forth your best self to handle whatever challenges present themselves.  And then there are those pesky OTHER days:  Those days when you aren't feeling it even though (or precisely because) you're facing a crazy mix of deadlines and crises and obstacles that make up your life in that moment.

Even really successful people aren't able to bring their best selves to every moment of every day;  they sometimes have bad moments, days, weeks, etc.  The trick is to figure out how to activate your "HEY I KNOW CAN HANDLE THIS” alert system so when you enter rough waters it takes just a moment to catch your breath before you can surf your way to sanity.  Your alert system could be the right music, it could be a pep talk from one of your fierce allies, or perhaps visiting a sacred place that helps you renew your spirit.  

Make this week about identifying what activates your "I've got this” button, and then go surf whatever waves of craziness get whipped up in your life.  

Peace,
Paul
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