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Carpe Diem

Ripples #1023: Radical Amazement!

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Ripples #1023: Radical Amazement!
Dec 31, 2018

PEBBLE
Focus on the powerful, euphoric, magical, synchronistic beautiful parts of life, and the universe will keep giving them to you.
-original source unknown, shared by Tammy in Dallas, TX

BOULDER
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement . . . get up 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. To be spiritual is to be amazed.
-Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, shared by Paul in Parkville, MD

PONDER

Radical Amazement?!
What a phrase…so delicious, so daring, so delightful!

It reminds me of a YouTube video that I sometimes show in presentation about the Power of Awe. In just under three minutes, Jason Silva delivers a passionate mini-sermon, extolling the virtues of “radiant ecstasy” and the dangers of hedonic adaptation, a pesky habit we humans have of growing bored with things that initially amaze us.

The message of the video and today’s quotes is to encourage our conscious cultivation of radical amazement. Not just to see and feel the WOW that is all around us, but to BE THE WOW for ourselves and those we encounter.

As we wrap up the last few hours of 2018 and dive into the new year, I’m curious if you can unleash some radical amazement while savoring memories of the last 12 months and daydreaming about what you want 2019 to look like and feel like and be like.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I hope the year that is ending has provided plenty of laughter and also some learning. And I hope the year that is about to arrive will delight you and dare you. As long as you’re still in, I’ll continue to meet up with you every Monday morning with a couple of quotes and something to ponder for the week. You can help by keeping an eye out for exceptional quotes to share, and submit a quote here when you find one!… Read More!

Ripples #1022: Inhaling Peace.

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Ripples #1022: Inhaling Peace.
Dec 24, 2018

PEBBLE
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.
-Giovanni Giocondo
shared by Jeane in Taos, NM
excerpt from “Letter to the Most Illustrious the Contessina Allagia degli Aldobrandeschi, Written Christmas Eve Anno Domini 1513”, which may or may not have been written by the Italian Friar Giovanni Giocondo

BOULDER
moment (a poem)
moment
as we take in a breath
we inhale peace,
exhale peace, love, kindness and joy
in every moment
-ted balser
written and shared by Ted in Lady Lake, FL

PONDER
You may be busy on this Christmas Eve, and if that is the case let me just quickly tell you that I hope this holiday week provides many opportunities to inhale peace.

If you happen to have a few spare moments, consider finding time to read and ponder the full letter that is excerpted in today’s Pebble. While some historians question its source, many people know it as a Christmas Letter attached to a basket of fruit given by a priest to a friend. I can’t say with certainty WHEN it was written or WHO wrote it, but I know for sure that pausing to mindfully read it over a few times brought me both enthusiastic joy and also a sense of calm peace.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. For those who celebrate Christmas: I hope it is a magical and quite merry holiday for you. For everyone who has spent time reading these weekly splashes, sharing them with friends, and submitting quotes: thank you for helping extend their reach!… Read More!

Ripples #1,005: Relentless Pursuits.

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Ripples #1,005: Relentless Pursuits.
Aug 27, 2018

PEBBLE
Gradual pressure, relentlessly applied.
-Dick Mantis
shared by David in Lexington, KY

BOULDER
I don’t think you should just do what makes you happy. Do what makes you great. Do what’s uncomfortable and scary and hard but pays off in the long run. Let yourself fail. Fail and pick yourself up and fail again. Without that struggle, what is your success anyway?
-Charlie Day​
shared by Lorene in North Royalton, OH

PONDER
I’ve spent the last few weeks on several college campuses firing up anxious-yet-excited new students as well as some remarkable student leaders (welcome to over 1,000 new ripplers from Findlay, Tiffin, Heidelberg, Central Michigan, and Plymouth State!).

Over and over again, one of the central components of each of these pep talks was encouraging people to experience life’s inevitable challenges as opportunities for growth and mastery. It frustratingly true that while the easy days are often more enjoyable, they just don’t help us grow as much as the tough days. If your workout weights aren’t heavy enough, they will do nothing to strengthen your muscles.

In four simple words, today’s pebble reminds us to keep our efforts manageable AND to keep them coming. Our fishy pal Dory says the same thing in only three words, “Just Keep Swimming!” The boulder wants us to to remember that it is our struggles more than our successes that strengthen us.

I don’t wish any particular difficulties for you, but since they will eventually show up on their own, I do hope you’ll consider greeting them as friends, or at least as respectable adversaries who will help you train for even tougher battles that may lie ahead.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1,003: Crazy Powerful!

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Ripples #1,003: Crazy Powerful!
Aug 13, 2018

PEBBLE
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in proportion.
-Sir Francis Bacon,
shared by Natalie in Clear Lake, WI

BOULDER
Don’t let what is crazy to them, stop you from creating what is powerful to you.
-Akeem Lloyd
written and shared by Akeem in Providence, RI

PONDER

A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook my reaction to a heartbreaking poem that popped up in my newsfeed from someone who was struggling mightily. I’d like to share a condensed version of my post for you to ponder:

A long time ago I encountered a boy whose sensitive, not-quite-like-anyone-else spirit was nearly crushed in a world that doesn’t value difference. He struggled mightily, but luckily for him (and luckily for the world), he managed to stay alive long enough for his brain and his body to grow into an adulthood that allowed him to heal from some hurts, to make friends with his shadows, and to recognize the differences which made him weird evolved into the distinctions that make him special.

He still remembers what it is like to feel impossibly broken, and he remains grateful that he held on long enough to discover just how incredible it feels to find out that you can make a LIVING and make a LIFE while being weird. Because what makes him weird is precisely what makes him special.

He still encounters hard times, of course. But he also experiences blissful transcendence, like the times he scrolls his social media feed looking for weary travelers who need to be reminded: everything that helped you make it to today can help you make it a brighter tomorrow. Hang in there. Rest when necessary, and know that the world needs your kind of crazy. I know this for certain, because you’re still here.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #1,000: A Thousand Ripples!

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Ripples #1,000: A Thousand Ripples!
July 16, 2018

PEBBLE
Maybe our favorite quotes say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.
-John Green, shared by Lorene in North Royalton, Ohio

BOULDER
Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.
-Albus Dumbledore (JK Rowling), shared by Rachel in Stevensville, MI

PONDER
On January 15, 1999, I sent an email to 75 people who had agreed to help me experiment with a brief weekly email containing a couple of quotes and something to ponder. We decided to call it “Ripples” to remind us all of the ongoing impact that even our smallest actions have. Here we are, 1,000 Mondays later! This 1,000th issue of Ripples is being sent out to 31,511 subscribers, with a few thousand more reading it online.

From the very first issue, the inspirational quotes included in each issue have been submitted by all of you. And while I’m honored to curate each issue and craft this “ponder” section, I’ve always thought of Ripples as ours. I’ve always appreciated the steady stream of kind messages that remind me that so many of you enjoy receiving Ripples as much as I’ve enjoyed assembling them.

I would like to celebrate this milestone by unleashing 1,000 ripples of compassion and kindness this week, and we’ve created a couple of fun treats to share with everyone who participates. Are you in? Please watch this 90-second video to learn more.

Whether you’ve just joined us, or been part of Team Ripples for years, I want you to know I’m really proud to have reached this milestone, and incredibly honored that so many readers are with us to celebrate. Thank you for extending the reach of these tiny splashes of inspiration!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. In addition to the 1,000 acts of kindness, we’re also hoping to gather 1,000 Smiles. We’ve assembled them in a single photo album in our Team Ripples Facebook Group. Please join us there, and add your smiling self holding a sign of encouragement or gratitude.… Read More!

Ripples #990: Anywhere is Somewhere, too!

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Ripples #990: Anywhere is Somewhere, too!
May 14, 2018

PEBBLE
“Where do you want to go?” I asked the child.
“Anywhere!” said the child.
“That is the best place to want to go,” I replied,
“because then you can never get lost.”
-Craig
shared by Craig in Cincinnati, OH (who experienced this conversation in a dream!)

BOULDER
Our journey as human beings is not about following a pre-ordained path, but about creating that path. Life rarely makes any more sense when things are done “in order.” Life makes sense when we are centered in our hearts and we let go of resisting how our unique journey needs to unfold in its own beautifully unruly way.
-Christine Mason Miller
shared by a Rippler in Idaho; a ripply high five to Christine for permission to unleash this wisdom here, and to Mary Anne Em Radmacher for bringing us together. So much ripply synergy!

PONDER
So last week’s issue of Ripples was themed Nowhere is Somewhere as we pondered what it’s like when we feel stuck in the middle of nowhere. I was excited to follow up with this week’s quotes about ANYWHERE, since anywhere we go today moves us away from the nowhere that we found ourselves in yesterday.

If you’re dissatisfied with where you are in some aspect of your work or life, the best thing you can do is identify a specific new destination and focus your energies on moving in that direction.

If it is too soon to know exactly where you want to go next, it can still be helpful to choose an interim placeholder goal to work on for now. Giving yourself a temporary direction may help you clarify your eventual destination and it will FOR sure move you away from your current, unappealing situation. Anywhere you go will be a different location than where you are now.

Are you in? Let’s pack our bags and prepare for a Ripply adventure!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Did you see that this is Ripples #990? That means we have just 10 more issues until we send out our 1,000th issue of Ripples? How cool is that?! We’re going to be unleashing some ripply magic via our Facebook group, so be sure to join us in Team Ripples for details!… Read More!

Ripples #984: To Dare!

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Ripples #984: To Dare!
April 2, 2018

PEBBLE
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
-Søren Kierkegaard
shared by Gina in St. Louis, MO

BOULDER
Gardening, like life, requires courage. We must be brave enough to cut back the old and sit with bare branches, awaiting new growth. And we must trust that it will come.
-Cheryl Richardson, Waking Up in Winter
shared by Sue in Plymouth, MI

PONDER
Have you been hibernating or feeling stagnate lately? As spring bursts forth and nature prepares for growth, this is a good time of year to prepare ourselves for our own burst of growth.

Can you think of any actions or goals that you’ve been meaning to work on? Personal or professional, modest or massive, sensible or silly: I dare you to identify some specific steps that might help you grow, and then incorporate them into your plans for the spring.

In fact, I don’t just dare you, I triple dog dare you!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Speaking of growth…. As we inch toward our 1,000th week of sending out these weekly splashes, we’d be so honored if you took some time to forward an issue on to your family, friends, and colleagues, sharing with them why you enjoy Ripples and inviting them to join us. Thanks! -pw… Read More!

Ripples #979: Rotating Through Life!

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Ripples #979: Rotating Through Life!
Feb 26, 2018
PEBBLE
The challenge of the unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of the accomplished past.
-Simon Sinek
Shared by Grant at Cal Poly SLO, who found this quote helpful in his transition to college because it encouraged him to transform his uncertainty and anxiety into an exciting challenge.
BOULDER
Sometimes we set off down a road thinkin’ we’re goin’ one place and we end up another. But that’s okay. The important thing is to start.
-Ruta Sepetys, Out of the Easy
Shared by Heather in Russellville, AR
PONDER
Last week I was in Wisconsin to hang out with my buddies at Dane County Credit Union for a Presidents Day training. I also zoomed up north to help Marathon County Special Education share some energy and ideas with educators from several school districts who had gathered for a joint inservice.
In both presentations we talked about the unpredictability of work and life, and how we are sometimes hesitant to seek out new challenges especially when so many difficulties are already keeping us busy and stressed out. I know life can be hard and crazy and unpredictable…BELIEVE ME I KNOW! Still, the best shot we have at enjoying our lives is to shift away from viewing unexpected challenges as obstacles that are keeping us from arriving at “the good life.” Instead, we can experience them as useful training tools that are helping us create a good life.
Whatever unexpected potholes and bumps and detours you’re encountering in life right now, I hope you’re anticipating the fresh opportunities that are likely waiting for you around the next corner.
Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I’m so glad and I’m so honored that Ripples is a part of your journey.
Read More!

Ripples #964: Start From There!

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Ripples #964: Start From There!
Nov 13, 2017

PEBBLE
Go out as far as you can and start from there.
-Albert Einstein, shared by Sue in Colorado Springs, CO

BOULDER
In human life, if you feel that you have made a mistake, you don’t try to undo the past or the present, but you just accept where you are and work from there. Tremendous openness as to where you are is necessary.
—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, shared by Pete in Ouray, CO

PONDER
In the experience of being human, it is natural (and healthy!) to occasionally become dissatisfied with the current state of things and to decide it is time to make some changes. It makes sense that we’d want to spend a bit of time reflecting on how we got here and where we want to go next. The trick is to avoid getting so distracted by the disappointment of our previous choices that we get stuck in the muck of the past.

The quickest way forward is to recognize that we cannot do much about the path we’ve already traveled. Whatever has happened before today, it happened! It led us to this particular moment in time and space, which happens to be the right place to start moving forward. It is the RIGHT place, the BEST place, the ONLY place to start, because THAT IS WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW! (Sorry for yelling…I sometimes get worked up about this stuff…can you tell?)

So wherever you happen to find yourself right now, and whatever is going on in your life, if you decide you’d like to make some changes: START FROM THERE, and be on your way!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… 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!

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