0
Tag

Face it

Ripples #979: Rotating Through Life!

By Ripples No Comments
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 #953: Your New Season!

By Ripples No Comments

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!

Ripples #943: Entertaining Problems!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #943: Entertaining Problems!
June 19, 2017

PEBBLE
The task ahead of you is never greater than the STRENGTH within you.
-source unknown
shared by Kelly in Newport, NH (who noticed this on the back of a college athlete’s shirt, and learned that *all* the runners in a particular race were given the shirt to support another team’s member who was running again after a 2 year recovery from an injury)

BOULDER
Revel in your imperfections. Be entertained by your problems and know that once you looked ahead and wished you were where you are now. And once again you will look back and smile.
-source unknown
shared by Regina in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER
I have a challenge for you to tackle this week, if you choose to accept it. First, pick a problem that you’re dealing with right now: it could be something smaller, like a construction zone in your commute; or choose a larger problem like an interpersonal conflict that is getting in the way at work or home. Once you’ve identified a specific problem, I want you to have a talk with this problem where you say something like this:

“Well hello there, problem! I am choosing to embrace your presence, because it turns out that I need you in order to grow, and you need me in order to get resolved. Let’s work together, and maybe we can even have some fun along the way?”

See if you and your problem can work together and help each other out. Are you in? Please, be in. Your problem is depending on you, and so am I!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #939: Conquering Fear!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #939: Conquering Fear!
May 22, 2017

PEBBLE
Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.
-Carrie Fisher, shared by Lauren in Dayton, OH

BOULDER
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but triumph over it. I felt fear more times than I can remember, but I hid behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
-Nelson Mandela, shared by Allexendra in San Diego, CA

PONDER
Several years ago I came across an adorable video on YouTube that features a young child named Asa making up a story about a mouse and a bear to a film student named Bianca who needs a story for her senior video project. The two-minute story is delightfully sweet all by itself, but the video takes an interesting turn that leads to a revealing discussion about fear. The video ends with a song that I’ve turned to many times over the past few years when I’ve found myself temporarily overwhelmed by fear. If fear visits you more often than you like, it is worth carving out a few minutes from of your busy schedule to hear what a wise 6-year-old wants you to know about fear. If you’re too busy, or too scared, to watch it…well, here’s the punch line if you don’t mind a bit of a spoiler: “The Scared is scared of things you like.”

Peace,
Paul
*The video: https://vimeo.com/58659769
**interview with Bianca https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qJ_Lh99aWk… Read More!

Ripples #927: Celebrating Struggle!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #927: Celebrating Struggle!
Feb 27, 2017

PEBBLE
The tests of life are to make you, not break you.
-Norman Vincent Peale, shared by Tom in Jefferson, WI

BOULDER
It is okay to be at a place of struggle. Struggle is just another word for growth. Even the most evolved beings find themselves in a place of struggle now and then. In fact, struggle is a sure sign to them that they are expanding; it is their indication of real and important progress. The only one who doesn’t struggle is the one who doesn’t grow. So if you are struggling right now, see it as a terrific sign — celebrate your struggle.
-Neale Donald Walsch, shared by Cody in Lakewood, WA

PONDER
I’m sorry if you’re struggling right now, but I’m also kind of excited for you. As tough as things are at this particular moment, I’m guessing that if you can summon the strength and courage to continue on a bit longer, all kinds of rewards are eagerly waiting for you at the finish line (or at the next break station if your current struggle is more of a marathon!).

If you’re been on overdrive for too long, you may need to rest up and perhaps even ask for some help. And for goodness sakes, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help….we sometimes forget that seeking assistance is a sign of character strength and a *not* an indication of weakness or meekness.

Lastly, remember just how strong you are! Past struggles often temporarily tucker us out for a short time but ultimately leave us tougher and wiser. Keeping this in mind makes it easier to identify reasons to celebrate the struggles we’re facing today.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. If this issue finds you in a good place right now, and you’re not significantly struggling, I have TWO favors to ask: First, spend a little time pondering struggles you’ve endured in the past few years and congratulate yourself on moving through them. Secondly, perhaps you can keep an eye out for someone in your life who IS struggling mightily at this time and go out of your way to give them a hand. Even a simple note to let them know that you’re aware of the difficulty they are facing can help someone feel less alone.… Read More!

Ripples #919: The Future is Present.

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #919: The Future is Present.
Jan 2, 2017

PEBBLE
Those whose hope is strong see and cherish all signs of new life and are ready every moment to help the birth of that which is ready to be born.
-Erich Fromm, shared by Bea in Vero Beach, FL

BOULDER
The future has no bigger moments than we experience right now. The world changes for the better with every act of kindness, and for the worse with every act of cruelty. The future is nothing grander than the very next moment, and it arrives solely from the present.
-Bo Lozoff, shared by Jessie in Burbank, CA

PONDER
Another year has ended, and a fresh one has begun. Many people have commented that 2016 was a particularly difficult one, and plenty of us are more than a little concerned that 2017 contains potential for even more challenges (or at the very least more uncertainty), than any year in recent memory.

Because I’m determined to be a reliable source of light in what may be troubling times, I’ve been busy prepping and pondering over the last few months. One useful activity has been a careful reading of Rebecca Solnit’s powerful book, “Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities” written in response to earlier darkness in our young century when so many people were feeling hopeless because of our country’s decision to go to war in Iraq. She has helped me reconsider how I perceive hope, which Solnit suggests is less like “a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch” and instead more like “an ax you break down doors with in an emergency.” Her comment about hope’s predictive power also struck me as potent: “Hope just means that another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed.”

I’m not sure what 2017 will hold, but I do know that it will unfold just as all the previous years: one day at a time. And I’m confident there will be some good days and there will be some bad days and there will be lots and lots (and lots) of in between days that will have a mix of options for joy and opportunities to grow. And, just like before, our capacity to create a more palatable future depends to a great degree on our ability to focus on that which we can control (or least influence), rather than becoming hypnotized by fixating on the forces beyond our control.

I invite you to spend some time reflecting on the most optimistic version of the successes you would like to experience this year, and identifying what actions you’ll need to cultivate and/or extinguish in order to manifest your dreams into reality.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. A few months ago Rebecca Solnit released a new edition of the book I mentioned above, and I’ve invited a few people to explore it with me. I’m assembling a Facebook Group if you’d like to join us!… Read More!

Ripples #910: Dropping Fear!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #910: Dropping Fear!
Oct 31, 2016

PEBBLE
Fear is the faulty belief of impending danger and can be dropped at will by living in the present.
-Abraham A. Low, (founder of Recovery International), shared by Florence in Cleveland, OH

BOULDER
I’m tired of fear shouting directions, so I don’t take them even though I hear those old voices. It’s just that they aren’t gentle, or beautiful and hopeful, so I give them no time.
-MaryAnn Fry, shared by Kelsey in Fond du Lac, WI

PONDER

Boo!

Since Monday is Halloween, I thought we could focus on helping us manage the scary things that are lurking in the shadows of of our minds.

Here in the U.S., the past several months have been especially hard on our fear activation systems since candidates and political parties are often trying to SCARE us rather than INSPIRE us. It’s not because they’re mean, by the way…it’s just because it is cheaper and simpler to fire up the parts of our brains that are hard wired to react to danger. The good news is that we’ve almost reached the finished line for this election cycle; the bad news is that if we’re not careful we could end up carrying the fear with us long after next week.

Fear can be a useful warning and a powerful motivator to act quickly in the face of real danger, although it is often misused and misunderstood. Our response to fear starts in a more primitive part of the brain, so it can’t always recognize the distinction between a small inconvenience and an impending catastrophe. This sometimes creates heightened states of alarm, especially when facing long term stress and multiple challenges at the same time When people are purposely trying scare you, it’s like living in a haunted house with no escape!

Perhaps you can spend some time taking stock of the fears that have accumulated in your mind lately, whether they relate to current events or current challenges you’re facing. Take care of any legitimate concerns, especially those that could easily be lessened or resolved with action. For fears that you determine to be overblown or otherwise unhelpful you might start by thanking them for their honorable intentions. Then you can imagine gently setting set them down OR dropping them into a deep dark hole if that feels more satisfying!

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. You may find it useful to read a great article from The Greater Good Science Center that explores how to Find the Good in a Nasty Election Cycle.… Read More!

Ripples #897: The Hero Within.

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #897: The Hero Within.
Aug 1, 2016

PEBBLE
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.
-Maya Angelou, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes. -Fred Rogers, shared by Jamie in Michigan

PONDER

I spent some time with two of my heroes this weekend: Jason Bourne and Harry Potter. I realize that they are both fictional characters of course, but having the new Bourne thriller open in movie theaters on the same weekend as the book release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was an exceptional coincidence and made for a magnificent weekend.

Besides lots of chase scenes and fight scenes, Jason Bourne’s adventures focus on the challenges of recovering traumatic memories and deciding how much the darkness in your past defines you and determines your future. Of course Harry Potter had to face his own troubled past as well, and summon the courage to face demons even when others didn’t believe in him.

The plot twists they each face mirror challenges in my own life, and both Jason and Harry have helped me remember how large our internal reserves of courage and strength can be. On our worst days, we tend to forget how powerful we are; on our best days, we forget that unleashing our strengths often inspires others to rise up as well.

I’m going to jump back into reading Harry Potter (don’t worry, I promise to #KeepTheSecrets); meanwhile, I hope you can spend a few minutes this week noticing how much in common you have with your heroes.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I dedicate this issue to a couple of people I’ve been in contact with recently who are struggling mightily. I hope they remember that the level of difficulty they’re facing is a sign of just how tough life can be and not a sign of their weakness; I also hope they recognize that the tougher life has been, the more amazing it proves they are since: they made it to today. #uRock… Read More!

Ripples #866: Whimsical Graces.

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #866: Whimsical Graces.
Dec 28, 2015

PEBBLE
Life, with its grinding requirements and whimsical graces, seems to unfold in its own mysterious style and time frame.
-Heidi Petersen,
written and shared by Heidi in Boulder, CO via her annual holiday letter

BOULDER
Rest in knowing that you are a divine part of What Is. Invite yourself to be a conscious participant in the beautiful and mysterious unfolding without needing to be responsible for it.
-Pat Matson
written and shared by Pat in Cincinnati, OH

PONDER

As we wrap up another year of Ripply adventures, I’m pleased to end 2015 with the quotes above that were written and shared by people I’m lucky enough to know personally.

The first quote is from a childhood neighbor-friend who decades ago relocated to a far away land called Boulder. Visiting her family after they moved out there introduced me to my soul’s home: the Colorado Rockies. The second quote grew out of a ripply email exchange with my Cincinnati neighbor-friend and Bruegger’s Buddy, Pat, who helped confirm that Cincy should become my new home base.

If your 2015 has been similar to mine, you’ve faced plenty of “grinding requirements.” Hopefully you’ve also been able to savor the “whimsical graces” that are almost always around even when they are difficult to spot. I suspect that the most satisfying way to say goodbye to the year is to express gratitude for both the delights that made the year special as well as the disappointments that have hopefully generated growth. Even if you’re saying GOOD RIDDANCE to some particularly painful experiences, you can still choose to pause briefly and notice how you’re a little stronger and a little wiser because of them.

And then, with a wink and a nod 2016 will arrive in a few days to provide a fresh batch of experiences: Hopefully with a little less grind and a little more whimsy. See you next year!

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. To the quote submitters, the feedback sharers, and even the quiet readers: I’m ever so grateful that you’ve been a part of Team Ripples this year; I hope you’ll stick around as we Ripple our way into the new year. Without you, I’m just a dude splashing around by himself in a teeny little kiddie pool. With you along for the adventure, we’re changing currents and learning how to ride the waves. Namasté.… Read More!

Ripples #864: A Better Grip!

By Ripples No Comments

Ripples #864: A Better Grip!
Dec 14, 2015

PEBBLE
Challenges are what make life interesting;
overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
-Joshua Marine, shared by Jenn in Wausau, WI

BOULDER
You’ve got mountains of your own, I’ll bet on it. Take heart. Be encouraged. Remain steadfast. Hang on for dear life. You’ve got a better grip than you realize.
-Adam Young, shared by Rico from Two Rivers, WI

PONDER

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the weight of the whole world and/or your little corner of it, you are not alone! I know I’m not the only one who has been trying to figure out how to help us all make sense of the significant difficulties we’re facing as a society, and to hopefully find new ways to engage in conversations that move beyond screaming matches and eye rolling contests. Some of you also have year end job/school stress as well as the unique combination of delights and frustrations known as The Holidays. It’s enough to make anyone feel like they are losing their grip!

Now is a great time to pause for a minute and remember back to other times when you’ve felt like you didn’t know how you were going to get through a particularly stressful period in your life and remind yourself: you *did* make it. You made it through and you’re probably at least a little bit stronger and a little bit wiser because of it.

How about we all try to dig a little deeper and seek the reserves of patience and persistence that will get us through the next few weeks. I’ll hang on tightly if you will!

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com