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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 #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 #945: Ultimate Freedom!

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Ripples #945: Ultimate Freedom!
July 3, 2017

PEBBLE
Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us. -Stephen Covey, shared by Brittany in Florida

BOULDER
The freedom we are looking for is the freedom to be ourselves, to express ourselves. But if we look at our lives we will see that most of the time we do things just to please others … The worst part is that most of us are not even aware that we are not free.
-Don Miguel Ruiz, shared by George in Queens, NY

PONDER
I often play around with the theme of FREEDOM around this time of year since we celebrate USA’s Independence Day on July 4. One of the key components of freedom is about having choices, and I invite you to find a few moments between sparklers and fireworks to think about all the choices you have in a typical day.

Even though there are many things we DON’T get to choose, and even though our lives are far from perfect, you might be surprised just how many times in a day you have multiple options that you’re choosing from: options about which foods you’ll eat at a given meal, what clothes to wear today, what leisure activities you can choose from during your down time. It is also true that many of our “need to get done” tasks have options about HOW or WHEN we accomplish them. Even when something unpleasant happens that is completely beyond our control, there are usually still options about how we are going to respond.

It’s worth keeping in mind that lots of people don’t have access to the same sets of choices and options that we tend to take for granted. So make an extra effort this week to celebrate the ULTIMATE FREEDOMS that you have in your life, and maybe see if there is something you can do to enlarge the freedom of others who don’t have similar access.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #938: Authentic Choices!

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Ripples #938: Authentic Choices!
May 15, 2017

PEBBLE
Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins that may buy you just a moment of pleasure, but then drag you for days like a broken man behind a farting camel.
-Hafiz, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
Authenticity is not something we have or don’t have. It’s a practice–a conscious choice of how we want to live. Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
-Brené Brown, shared by Loreal in Corpus Christi, TX

PONDER

Yeah, I know. You’re still thinking about farting camels. Me too.

If we can momentarily move beyond the stench of smelly dromedaries, I think it’s worth being curious about “counterfeit coins;” the things we focus on and the choices we’re making that don’t reflect our highest intentions or the versions of our best selves that we want to bring to our daily lives. Sometimes it’s because we’re following someone else’s lead and they are going in a direction that doesn’t suit us well; other times its that we’ve shifted into automatic pilot and failed to notice the negative consequences.

As we recognize these choices aren’t useful, or have more costs than benefits, we can more consciously choose options that are better suited, and ultimately more authentic to our values and our lives. Happy choosing!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. I’ll be on retreat in July, so I’m working on several upcoming issues of Ripples to make sure I have a full month’s worth of inspiration to Ripple out while I’m offline. You can help by submitting a really good quote you’ve come across recently: http://theripplesguy.com/submit-quote/… Read More!

Ripples #934: Choosing Health!

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Ripples #934: Choosing Health!
Apr 17, 2017

PEBBLE
If you don’t make time for health,
you’ll have to make time for illness.
-Tim Morrow, shared by Tina in San Jose, CA

BOULDER
We can make choices. We can create options to maximize our inner peace and serenity, our health, and our sense of self-worth.
-Edward T. Creagan, MD, shared by Donna in Owings, MD

PONDER
Last year as I was putting together a new talk on wellbeing, I stumbled across the documentary “Fully Charged” based on Tom Rath’s book, “Are You Fully Charged? The Three Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life.” You may know Tom as the guy who wrote “How Full Is Your Bucket?” along with his grandfather, Donald Clifton (of StrengthsFinder fame), and possibly from his book Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes.

I’ve infused several of my recent presentations with content from Rath’s work, and I’ve been strongly encouraging everyone I know to find an hour to watch the documentary. It helps frame the notion of healthiness as a series of small choices that can lead to sustainable and satisfying improvements in your life. It helped me make some small changes in my own habits, and I’ve heard from others who have done the same.

I know you’re busy, and I know there are many tasks competing for your time and attention. Here’s the thing about healthy choices: investing a few minutes of your time to notice and improve your options around health can have an ongoing and significant impact. What would it take for you to identify some really small shifts to experiment with for a few weeks, just to see if the improvements are worth it?

I think it’s worth it, because I think you’re worth it!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. Let me know if you watch the Fully Charged documentary this week; I want to know if you thought it was worth it!… 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 #916: Self Friendship!

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Ripples #916: Self Friendship!
Dec 12, 2016

PEBBLE
Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
-Eleanor Roosevelt, shared by Hollie in Stoughton, WI

BOULDER
I think the beating in our hearts was put there to remind us that even when we feel alone in the world, a part of us marches on. That even at our lowest there is something inside us that we can lean on and turn to. That even when we have no one else, we always have ourselves.
-Beau Taplin, shared by Jessie in California

PONDER
I’ve met many people who are rock stars when it comes to extending the gifts of friendship: respect, trust, compassion and an occasional willingness to put the other person’s needs above everything else. In the long run, though, maintaining healthy connections with others also requires a commitment to extending these gifts to yourself, too.

This can be *especially* challenging for those of us who identify as leaders and helpers. We tend to deny ourselves the gifts of self-respect, self-trust, and self-compassion in the name of serving others. While that might seem gracious, what we are REALLY doing is inviting people to disregard our needs AND modeling the assumption that good people are required to ignore their own needs. I happen to believe these are neither accurate nor healthy.

People who are unable to at least occasionally put their own needs at the top of their priority list will eventually let others down as they grow to resent the burden of always putting other people’s needs ahead of their own. This can lead to complete burn out as well-intentioned people eventually become unable to show up at all.

So how good of a self-friend are you? Are there ways you could ultimately be a better friend to others by first improving your self care skills? This can sometimes feel indulgent, especially to the generous helper/leader types. Reflect on these notions, and perhaps discuss them with trusted friends who can help you sort through your thoughts and feelings. And who knows, those conversations might pave the way for ripples of self-friendship to extend through your network.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. Yes, there is such a thing as taking this concept too far. And yes, you can probably think of some self-centered people in your life and wonder if I am suggesting you become more like them. No, I am not. 🙂… Read More!

Ripples #886: The Magic of Words!

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Ripples #886: The Magic of Words!
May 16, 2016

PEBBLE
Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion,
our most inexhaustible source of magic.
-J.K. Rowling, shared by Pablo in Ft. Myers, FL

BOULDER
Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
Behind every word flows energy.
-Sonia Choquette, shared by Jennifer at Marian University, WI

PONDER
Each word we speak matters even if no one else is around to hear it. The words we choose help us identify what we are thinking, encourage us to clarify our feelings, and perhaps most importantly allow us express our intentions which hopefully lead to action. Words are fragrant, and they are potent. (See what I mean?)

When I was in grade school, we explored a series of books to build passion and talent for reading. Each book had a single word title, and to this day those words unleash magic when I encounter them: Serendipity, Kaleidoscope, Diversity. [I recently found a blog post about them: hmr.posthaven.com]

Those readers helped me fall in love with words which in turn helped me fall in love with communicating. Forty years later, one of my most sacred tasks is concocting these weekly splashes. The goal of keeping Ripples short enough to be consumed quickly has fueled my passion for seeking the right words to clearly and concisely transmit an idea. When I nail it, words have the power to cast spells, captivating readers and enticing them to pass it on to others.

Make an extra effort this week to increase both awareness of and mindfulness for the words you and those around you are choosing. If there are words you especially enjoy hearing or speaking, make a conscious decision to see what spells you can cast by using them.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
*p.s. Words have become even more precious since I began queuing up a DAILY quote that zooms out via social media. A few thousand subscribers receive them as texts every day, and you can too! Learn more at http://UnleashRipples.com… Read More!

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