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Change

Ripples #976: The Cost of Change.

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Ripples #976: The Cost of Change.
Feb 5, 2018

PEBBLE
Your new life is going to cost you your old one. You can’t be who you’re going to be and who you used to be at the same time!
-Inky Johnson,
shared by Steve in Birmingham, AL
original source here

BOULDER
To protect my energy…
…it is okay to change my mind.
…it is okay to cancel a commitment.
…it is okay to take a day off.
…it is okay to not answer that call.
…it is okay to not share myself.
…it is okay to do nothing.
…it is okay to be alone.
…it is okay to sleep in.
…it is okay to speak up.
…it is okay to move on.
…it is okay to let go.
…it is okay to change.
-Diamond Dominíque Dorris,
shared by Jennifer in Aurora, IL
original source here

PONDER
Here’s what I know about change: the early part of the process involves quite a bit of pondering: sorting out thoughts and emotions and then making decisions about whether to change and how to change and when to change. Eventually, though, change requires action. Not wishing for it, not dreaming about it, not even deciding to it…. Change is in the DOING!

Change also means giving up some things, and I think it is important to recognize that there are some losses that accompany gains. It’s okay, and perhaps even necessary, to grieve whatever you’re giving up or walking away from. Once you acknowledge the loss, you’ll be much more ready for what’s next.

So the questions I’ll ask myself this week:
What actions will I commit to in order to pave the way for change, and what am I willing to give up?

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… 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 #949: Slight Adjustments!

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Ripples #949: Slight Adjustments!
July 31, 2017

PEBBLE
We take almost all of the decisive steps in our lives as a result of slight inner adjustments of which we are barely conscious.
-W.G. Sebald, another great find by Leslie in Madison, WI (who has been scrounging up fabulous Pebbles & Boulders since our first year of Rippling…way back in 1999!)

BOULDER
Your life is like Tetris. Stop playing it like chess. It’s choosing, on a fundamental level. It’s taking these random experiences as they slowly fall down the screen of life and rotating them 360 degrees; moving them two rows left and three to the right; examining them from new vantage points so as to make them fit into the grander mosaic of our lives. Tetris, not chess. If you think you’re in checkmate, you can choose to flip the table and play something else.
-Jeremy Mathurin, 2016 Hamilton College student commencement speaker
shared by Dave, Silver Spring, MD

PONDER

It can be tempting to daydream about the BIG shifts that we think would improve our lives: if only we could snag that dream job/house/relationship or radically improve the country/world/universe. Whenever I find myself lost in those daydreams, I try to remind myself that while the big changes sound exciting and life-altering, it is the myriad small decisions we make each day that have a more significant impact on our lives.

Studying for the mid-terms and showing up for the final exam are essential, of course, but your daily decisions about whether to go to class and how many minutes you’ll study have a far bigger impact on your academic success. It’s important to go to the dentist a few times a year, but the bigger impact on your dental health are the daily decisions you make about whether to brush and floss. And while relationships can be deepened or destroyed by single events, most of our cherished connections are made by lots of small deposits: texts and chats and lunches and walks and such.

Let’s make this week about recognizing and seizing the small, everyday choices we have available to us, and explore how these SLIGHT ADJUSTMENTS might expand our options and improve our outlook.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #937: Agents for Change!

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Ripples #937: Agents for Change!
May 8, 2017

PEBBLE
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. ―Dan Millman, shared by Amy in Brookfield, WI

BOULDER
We have work to do, and it’s easy to simply sit back and poke fun at everything, but it’s more difficult to actually stand up and be an agent for change.
-Matthew Paul Turner, shared by Shannon in Hagerhill, KY

PONDER
Lots of people are displeased with the way things are: at work, or at school, or in their community, or in the world. It’s relatively easy to identify things we’re unhappy or frustrated with, and it’s not that hard to wish things were different. Complaining, jeering, and eye-rolling can help us vent our frustration even though they don’t do much to improve the situation.

Eventually, most of us get to a point where we realize that while we are waiting on someone *else* to fix things, we may not have done everything in our *own* power to be part of the solution. There is almost always more action we could be taking to inform, educate, and motivate ourselves and those around us. Granted, there are certainly times when we’ve done TOO much and we’ve depleted our reserves of energy and compassion.

If we don’t do enough, we’re complacent. If we do too much, we’re depleted. The trick is to adjust our awareness and action so that we can recognize what is going on around us and commit to specific actions that will likely contribute to growth and progress.

Assess your current situation and see if there is anything you could do differently to be a more effective agent of change.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. Thanks for everything you already ARE doing–it matters!… Read More!

Ripples #912: Seeing The Best?

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Ripples #931: Seeing The Best!
Mar 27, 2017

PEBBLE
When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.
-William Arthur Ward, shared by Chris, Green Bay, WI

BOULDER
We’ve become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.
—Jimmy Carter, shared by Glen in Memphis, TN

PONDER

Sometimes when I know my schedule is going to be hectic I try and assemble a few issues of Ripples in advance to make sure I have good ones to consistently unleash each Monday morning. Late last October during a long layover, I matched the two quotes above and imagined they would make an excellent “coming together” theme just in time for the first Monday after the November election. I even had drafted the first part of the ponder, assuming that a week after the election most of us to be ready for a pep talk about coming together. This is what I had written:

“Whew–We made it to the end of the election cycle! Many people will need a little more time to celebrate their victory, recover from their defeat, or decompress after an especially rancorous campaign. Eventually, we are all going to need to rise up and figure out how to come together; we also need figure out how to improve our ability to get along with each other, respect our differences, and forge ahead to create a future that will improve things for all of us. That is a tall order, and some people think it has become impossible given that we increasingly choose to live in politically homogenous areas and prefer media sources that reinforce our world view rather than help us examine multiple perspectives.”

News flash: thanks to an election result that most of us didn’t expect and more than a few of us didn’t want, I couldn’t find ANYONE who was ready to “come together,” just six days after the election. Even today, many of us are still are perplexed how we could even begin to rebuild our long depleted reserves of trust and respect with those who are “on the other side.”

I’m as weary (and wary!) as the next person, but at the same time curious whether last week’s somewhat unexpected turn of events with health care reform could signal a new opportunity for us to test the waters and attempt some bridge building. Could this victory allow progressives to pause and catch their breath a bit? Might it allow conservatives to be reminded that many of these incredibly complex issues have a better chance of being addressed if we came together not to *eliminate* our differences but instead to *leverage* our differences in ways that would allow us to listen, learn, consider, collaborate, compromise, and move things forward in some meaningful way?

I know it’s a bit of a long shot, but I also know that we tend to reward our friends (and ourselves) for their … Read More!

Ripples #835: Turning Pages.

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Ripples #835: Turning Pages.
May 25, 2015

PEBBLE
You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. -Mandy Hale, shared by Elizabeth in Sheboygan, WI

BOULDER
There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.
-Zayn Malik, shared by Hannah in Golden, CO

PONDER
As we launch into summer, this might be a good time to turn the page toward a summer adventure and leave behind the “stuff” that has been holding you back. If possible, try to mulch up some of the gunk you’ve been dealing with and put it in the ground to fertilize your future. Perhaps having a memorial service to say a formal goodbye could help make it a real transition for you?

It’s not always easy to let go, of course, so cut yourself (and others) some slack if this is particularly challenging; just remember that turning pages gets you closer to a new chapter with new possibilities!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. A quick nod on this Memorial Day to those who gave their lives in service to our country. Many of THEM sacrificed their tomorrows so that many of US could enjoy our todays.… Read More!

Ripples #770: Embracing Change.

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Ripples #770: Embracing Change.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
24 Feb 2014

PEBBLE:
Cause Change & Lead.
Accept Change & Survive.
Resist Change & Die.
-Ray Norda, shared by Erica in Hyogo, Japan

BOULDERS:
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 Thomas in Fort Myers, FL

PONDER:
If you’re not changing, you’re not growing.  And if you’re not growing, you’re dying.  It is fairly common to resist change that is forced upon us: a new initiative at work, the changing landscape of our bodies as we age, a culture shift that you’re not feeling ready to embrace.  Sometimes we initially experience change as such a threat to “the way things used to be” that we can spend lots of extra time and energy fighting which can delay our adjustment to “the new way.”  Usually we end up accepting and adapting. . . and sometimes even embracing the transformation as an improvement or at least “the price of progress.”

If you or someone around you is struggling with change right now, there are two techniques I recommend to help ease the stress associated with change.  One strategy is to focus on any areas where you have options to choose from.  If you HAVE to do something, it can be helpful to identify some flexibility in WHEN or WHERE or HOW you do it to regain a sense of control.  The other tip involves viewing the change as a transition to a new level in work or life, and that perhaps a “graduation” or some other ceremony can help acknowledge the loss of the way things were AND welcome the new possibilities that arrive with change.

If those don’t sound appealing or don’t seem to work, occasionally we have to just suck it up and deal with it.  And if that helps you move forward then, hey, whatever it takes, right?  Hang in there, and keep growing!

Peace,
Paul

P.S. Keeping your eye out for fresh and fabulous quotes helps keep the Ripples flowing! If you find a good one, include the source along with your first name and location. THANKS!… Read More!

Ripples #738: Imagine Better.

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Ripples #738: Imagine Better.
For our tribe of busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
15 July 2013

PEBBLE:
We do not need magic to change the world,
we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already:
we have the power to imagine better.
-J.K. Rowling, shared by Sarah in Fond du Lac, WI

BOULDER:
True change doesn’t emerge just from action;
it emerges from genuine understanding.
Action that stems from shallow understanding
turns out to be shallow action.
Action that flows from deeply felt consciousness
is action that can change the world.
-Marianne Williamson, shared by Douglas in Salt Lake City, UT

PONDER:
If you recently received some bad news or things didn’t turn out as you hoped they would, perhaps you can take a few deep breaths and give yourself some time to grieve the loss of how you hoped things would turn out. These frustrating yet inevitable setbacks are part of progress because we often grow stronger from the heaviest loads.

When you are ready to improve your life and/or the world, you’ll need to dust yourself off and get back in the game. Do what you can this week to understand and accept the world as it is, and then…..IMAGINE BETTER!

Peace 2u!
Paul,
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #700: Baby Steps!

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Ripples #700: Baby Steps!
For our tribe of 31,783 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
10/22/2012

PEBBLE:
Never be too afraid to make a big difference;
never be too proud to make a small change.
-written and submitted by Austin Walker in Champaign, IL

BOULDER:
Be patient.
Take baby steps
and you will eventually make it
to your final destination.
-written/submitted by Ben Gordon in Orchard Park, NY

PONDER:
Whether you are a fresh or veteran member of our happy tribe of Ripplers, you know that we are committed to reminding you of the BIG potential often hidden within the SMALL choices in our daily lives. For example, there are considerable health benefits in choosing to go to bed a few minutes earlier or eat one more serving of vegetables or walk an extra few steps. Similarly, you could increase your effectiveness at work or in school by investing just a few more minutes in a project. Even your relationships might improve by creating time to make some small “deposits” for those you work, study, live with: a quick favor, a kind word, or another small gesture of kindness to let others know they matter and that you value your connection to them.

But you know all this, of course. Remember that you might considerably improve your week if you went from KNOWING to DOING. Choose to take some action, right this very moment. I dare you!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #650: Ready, Set, CHANGE!

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Ripples #650: Ready, Set, CHANGE!
For our tribe of 29,716 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Nov 7, 2011

PEBBLE:
Time does not change things,
your choices change things.
-Pastor Gary Step, submitted by Jerry

BOULDER:
Change is the way of life,
it is the norm,
it is the underlying
law of the Universe.
How we handle change
defines who we are.
It allows us to grow,
teaches us to adapt, and
wills us to become
stronger as individuals.
Without change, we wither
and fail to flower.
-written/submitted by Brett F. Bachhuber in Marshfield, WI

PONDER:
This week I visited Arizona to hang out with some of my NIRSA buddies for their Region VI conference (Hey Arizona State U, thanks for letting me borrow your conference theme for this week’s RIPPLES!). Then I zipped back to Wisconsin for the WAICU Residence Life Conference (Hey Lawrence U, thanks for hosting an amazing event!). At both events we talked about how change can be difficult, frustrating, and annoying. Exhibit A: Did your Facebook buddies whine as much as mine did about recent changes?

Change can certainly be a challenge, but it is also a healthy, inevitable part of being alive and you could choose to view an upcoming or recent change as an opportunity to improve your adaptability. I invite you to re-examine some shift in your work, school, or life as an experiment in flexibility.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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