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Choices

Ripples #874: Spending Time!

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Ripples #874: Spending Time!
Feb 22, 2016

PEBBLE
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
-Carl Sandburg, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER
Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.
-Lauren Oliver, shared by Tina in Centreville, VA

PONDER
Last week I enjoyed hanging out with a few hundred school counselors from around Wisconsin (way to Heat it Up, WSCA!). One of my sessions was on time management and we spent some of our precious time together talking about the occasional incongruence between our VALUES (what we say is important to us), and our SCHEDULE (how we spend our time). We briefly daydreamed about how we might choose to spend the next few weeks if there was a chance we might soon be getting “transferred to another planet,” or what they might do if they were given an 8th day each week to spend however they choose.

The idea is to get you thinking about HOW you want to spend your time; WHO you want to be around, and WHERE you want be. The next step is to pull out your schedule and actually look for evidence that you’re currently blocking time on those activities, people and places. If they aren’t on your calendar, then it is possible that your SCHEDULE is out of whack with your VALUES. Tweaking your schedule might bring it more in line with what is important to you, which could lead to an increase in both work effectiveness and life satisfaction.

I invite you to ponder WHO and WHAT is missing from your schedule, and ponder whether making a few minor changes might create some ripples of goodness for you and others.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #834: Self Stewardship.

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Ripples #834: Stewardship of the Self.
May 18, 2015

PEBBLE
Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.
-Parker Palmer, shared by Reoh in St. Louis, MO

BOULDER
There is so much about my fate that I cannot control…but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
-Elizabeth Gilbert, shared by Thomas in Wichita, KS

PONDER
Even if life is more stressful than you wish it were; even if you have more to do than you think is possible; even if you are facing challenges that seem overwhelming; even if ALL of those things are true and a million other things that are simultaneously on the verge of spinning out of control: there remains within you the possibility of taking a single deep breath (or more) and creating a single brief moment (or more) of stillness that encourages you to look past the limitations and the fear and the frustration so you can identify and seize opportunities to mindfully rise above the chaos that surrounds you and invite a sense of calm peace and quiet clarity to settle around you.

Embrace each moment you can to steady yourself, calm your nerves, and make the best possible choices about self-care: thinking, eating, exercising, recovering, and most importantly increasing the number of moments throughout the day that you are: here, now; here, now; here, now.

As you move through this hectic week, keep in mind that the daily choices you make about self-stewardship increase the odds that you’ll make it through today’s challenges and move into tomorrow with a bit more experience, another slice of wisdom, and an extra dollop of confidence in yourself.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. If you enjoy reading Ripples as much as I enjoy sending them out, I sure would appreciate if you’d tell a few friends about us and invite them to sign up at http://UnleashRipples.com.… Read More!

Ripples #822: The Power To Choose.

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Issue #822 | Feb 23, 2015
The Power To Choose.

PEBBLE
Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
-Viktor E. Frankl, shared by Lauretta in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER
One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
-Eleanor Roosevelt, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

PONDER
I look forward to watching the Oscars every year. I love watching movies, I crave the spectacle of the gala, and I’m curious to observe the host tackling the unique challenge of managing the tension and egos of the attendees in the theater while simultaneously entertaining the audience AND keeping the producers from pulling their hair out.

Well, last night at 7:58pm, my cable & internet service went out. I didn’t know how long it would be out, but I guessed (correctly, it turns out) that I would miss at least the first part of the show which sets the mood and the tone. OHHHHHH I was crushed. For about 25 seconds.

I then remembered the Viktor Frankl quote above. And I remembered that I didn’t get to choose whether the Academy Awards were going to blip back to life. I didn’t get to choose whether the cable company would treat this as the red alarm, DEFCON 1, lives-hanging-in-the-balance emergency that it initially seemed like to me. The choice I DID have was how to respond.

I took a deep breath, and remembered that my lights were still on (many of my neighbors had no power). I recognized that while my plans were halted, I was still comfortably warm in my cozy home and I had just about everything else I needed (food, clothes, shelter, friends, job, etc.). I took another deep breath, smiled, shared the bummer news with my FaceBuddies, and crawled into bed with my Kindle and my Grendel. It wasn’t the evening I had planned, but it wasn’t bad at all.

I woke up this morning and realized that my world wasn’t ruined and I had more choices to make. My first thought was to go online and watch excerpts and find out who won. But then I realized that the issue of Ripples that was all queued up would need to wait until next week so I could share my adventure in choices.

This is longer than usual because it is 6:52am and I’m trying to make my usual 7am sending. (Sorry if it is a few minutes late!). I’ll quickly wrap this up and hope the you can be more aware of the choices YOU have about how to respond to the challenges you face today.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices.

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Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices. For our tribe of busy people who believe in the power of uRock: unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness 14 Apr 2014 PEBBLE: You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices. —Deepak Chopra BOULDER: The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone. -Orison Sweet Marden PONDER: It is sometimes so tempting to focus on options taken away from us: we don’t get a job that seemed like a perfect fit, the other person ends a relationship we thought was worth pursuing, or even something simple like a beloved dish being removed from the menu of a favorite restaurant (are you listening, Cactus Pear?). When someone else removes an option, we have a tendency to concentrate on that which we can no longer choose, often ignoring a bounty of other possibilities that still exist. Of course it is appropriate to spend some time grieving a lost opportunity, but remember that infinity minus one is still infinity. The sooner we finish saying goodbye to that which is no longer an option, the sooner we can turn around and say hello to the options that are still excitedly whispering, “Ooh, pick me! Pick me!” What choices are available to you today? Peace, Paul… Read More!

Ripples #754: Better!

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Ripples #754: Better!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
4 Nov 2013

PEBBLE:
Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better.
-Maya Angelou, shared by Jen from Mississauga, Canada

BOULDER:
The real winners in life
are the people who look
at every situation
with an expectation
that they can make it work
or make it better.
-Barbara Pletcher, shared by Isaac from Sedona, AZ

PONDER:
If you are facing small or significant challenges right now, I hope you can dig deep to drum up the energy and inspiration to make things BETTER.  Rest when you need to, but as often as possible seek the smallest changes that could have the biggest impact on improving the situation.  Every. Step. Counts.

On the other hand, CONGRATS if everything is going just fine in your world.  Especially if you’ve recently endured some ups and downs, coasting along for a while can feel sooooo good. At some point, though, I dare you to ask yourself: “So, how can I make things even BETTER??”  Listen, dream, ponder, and then take action.  Even the baby steps can transform good to better, and better to awesome.  Are you in?  Please, be in.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #744: One Choice.

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Ripples #744: One Choice.
For our tribe of 29,379 busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
26 Aug 2013

PEBBLE:
What might I now invent,
that I haven’t yet invented,
that would give me other choices?
-R. & B. Zander (The Art of Possibility), shared by Sarah in Madison, WI

BOULDER:

One…
One tree can start a forest,
One smile can begin a friendship,
One hand can lift a soul,
One word can frame the goal,
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh can conquer gloom,
One hope can raise our spirits,’
And…one choice can change your life.
-Mac Anderson, submitted by Lorene in North Royalton, OH

PONDER:
True story….
There are plenty of people in our lives that we didn’t invite.
There are plenty of events that happen without our consent.
There are plenty of things on our to do list that we didn’t add.
And face it:  Poop happens, people.  That is for reals.

When the crap does get spread out in front of us, we tend to get so caught up in how little say we had that we forget to look around at the choices we still DO have, the people and events and things that we can and have purposely sprinkled onto the cupcakes of our lives.  Of course it is okay to feel frustrated, depressed, overwhelmed by the “I didn’t vote on this” stuff.  When you are ready to improve your life, to move upward and onward, we’ve got to slip on our grown up pants (mine are overalls, actually, but you know what I mean).

And you know how to get started?  I’ll give you a hint:
One Choice.

Peace!
Paul,
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #739: What Makes Us?

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Ripples #739: What Makes Us?
For our tribe of busy people who believe in the power of uRock!:
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness!
22 July 2013

PEBBLE:
Under constant revision is the poem that I be.
-Blue Scholars, shared by Paul in San Luis Obispo, CA

BOULDER:
It’s not what we eat
but what we digest
that makes us strong;
not what we gain
but what we save
that makes us rich;
not what we read
but what we remember
that makes us learned; and
not what we profess
but what we practice
that gives us integrity.
-Francis Bacon, shared by Jeremiah in Saginaw, MI

PONDER:
I know the week is just beginning and yours might be really hectic and such….but I’ve been doing a bit of pondering lately about how to ensure that this brief email splash we’ve been sending out for for a while moves beyond encouraging you to *feel* better about yourself and your world…..and inspire you to *do* better for yourself and your world.

How we think and how we feel are both important components of our identity, yet I believe it may be that how we *act* remains the most crucial opportunity we have to demonstrate WHAT MAKES US. So the question I have for you today, my friend and fellow rippler: What actions might reveal your best self this week? On your mark, get set, GO!

Peace 2u!
Paul,
The Ripples Guy
p.s. There are 2 actions that would help RIPPLES:
1. Submitting fresh and fabulous quotes–along with your name and location so we get a sense of our Ripply Reach;
2. Encouraging others to subscribe. Submissions and subscribers are the only “payment” I seek for coordinating Ripples. Have you paid your dues?… Read More!

Ripples #725: Choose to Act!

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Ripples #725: Choose to Act!
For our tribe of 30,697 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
April 15, 2013

PEBBLE:
Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.
-unknown, shared by Ryan in La Crosse, WI

BOULDER:
Cinderella may have been given
the dress, the shoes and the ride,
but she was the one who made
the choice to go to the ball.
You are given opportunities every day,
make your choice to do something with them.
-written & submitted by Jennifer M. at Cal Poly SLO, CA

PONDER:
Of course how you feel and what you think about are important pieces of the puzzle, but your actions remain the single most important factor in defining your success in school, work, and life. Sometimes we’re laying around waiting to feel better or think more positively about things when the most useful strategy would be to take action.

Use this week to make conscious choices about which actions will increase your effectiveness and enjoyment of school, work, and life. Choose wisely, and then GO FOR IT!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #715: Smart Cookie!

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Ripples #715: Smart Cookie!
For our tribe of 31,322 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
02/05/2013

PEBBLE:
You can’t be a smart cookie
if you have a crummy attitude.
-John Maxwell, shared by Sue in Lincoln, NE

BOULDER:
I am determined to be cheerful and happy
in whatever situation I may find myself.
For I have learned that the greater part
of our misery or unhappiness is determined
not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
-Martha Washington, shared by Nick in New Jersey

PONDER:
We all have crummy days, that is for sure. The trick is not to crumble when you encounter them. I don’t know if you have to follow Ms. Washington’s strategy of ALWAYS striving for cheerful and happy, because sometimes tears need to be shed and frustration needs to be vented.

Just remember that you need to put your bestest, highest self in charge of choosing the best mood for the occasion. Avoid getting TRAPPED in grief or anger and remember that at some point it can be useful to jump up, dust yourself off, and remember what a smart cookie you really are.

Peace,
Paul
p.s. I apologize if, like me, this week’s theme instills in you a temptation to devour sweets.

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Ripples #681: Dancing with the Universe!

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Ripples #681: Dancing with the Universe!
For our tribe of 30,845 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
06/12/2012

PEBBLE:
You can dance with the Universe,
but you don’t get to lead.
-written and submitted by Catherine Julian in Olympia, WA

BOULDER:
Cinderella may have been given
the dress, the shoes and the ride,
but she was the one who made
the choice to go to the ball.
You are given opportunities every day,
make your choice to do something with them.
-written and submitted by Jennifer from Cal Poly-SLO

PONDER:
Plenty of teeny and huge stuff happens over which we have little or no control; unfortunately we are sometimes so busy fretting over these unscheduled interruptions that we ignore the choices we still have, the options that are still available to us. Just because we cannot control everything doesn’t mean we have to throw up our hands and fail to get busy on the things we CAN control.

So if you’re feeling stuck this week, I invite you look between the lines of the STUFF you are facing and seek the choices and options you still have. And then find a way to dance with them!

Peace,
Paul
P.S. I’m always seeking FRESH inspiration for future Ripples. You’ll notice that both of this week’s quotes are “written and submitted by” your fellow Ripples subscribers. Do me and the whole team a favor and use the “submit quotes” link to share a fresh quote you created or just came across: http://theripplesproject.org/submit… Read More!

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