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Ripples #1089: Open Hearts

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Ripples #1089: Open Hearts
April 6, 2020

PEBBLE
We can never have peace if we cannot understand the pain in each other’s hearts. The more we interact, the more we will come to realize that our humanity transcends all differences.
-Wayne Shorter, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to the other, should the need arise.
-Rabbi Yosef Kamefsky, shared by Laurie in Milwaukee, WI

PONDER
This is the second of our four-part “Covid Coping” series covering the four strategies I believe we can focus on to get through this together: curious minds (https://mailchi.mp/unleashripples/rr1087), open hearts, calm spirits, and nurturing our health.

It is more important than ever that we cultivate a sense of our shared humanity; it was already in short supply and the past few weeks have made coming together even more complicated. It is tricky to mentally and spiritually come together while we are physical distancing! It has always been true that our own behavior impacts those around us; our current situation requires us to confront just how significantly we are interconnected and interdependent upon each other.

Add in our frayed nerves and the frequent exposure to significantly disconcerting news updates, it is essential that we cut ourselves and each other some extra slack whenever possible. We need to extend patience, generosity, and kindness towards ourselves and others. Last week my pal Toby and I crafted a lovingkindness meditation to help us open our hearts and extend generosity to ourselves and others. Because it takes about 20 seconds to recite, we’ve been calling it our handwashing meditation:

Right now, I am doing the best I can.
Right now, my best may not seem good enough.
Right now, my best is the best I have.

Right now, everyone else is doing the best they can.
Right now, their best may not seem good enough.
Right now, their best is the best they have.

Right now, we are all doing the best we can
Right now, our best may not seem good enough.
Right now, our best is the best we have.
-Toby Causby (https://www.tobycausby.com) & Paul Wesselmann (https://theripplesguy.com)
(downloadable PDF available here: bit.ly/RightNow-DoingOurBest)

There is still room for disappointment, disagreement, and even disgust. There is still room for speaking up on behalf of yourself and others. When possible, see if you can also make room for a little extra patience, a dab of extra generosity, and maybe a sprinkling of extra kindness? It will help others feel a little better, and I think you’ll find it helps you feel a little better, too.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Thanks to many of you, we’ve now distributed almost two thousand WE GOT THIS stickers that … Read More!

Ripples #983: Tailors & Tribes.

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Ripples #983: Tailors & Tribes.
March 26, 2018
PEBBLE
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.
-George Shaw
shared by Luke in Bloomfield Hills, MI
BOULDER
Surround yourself with people who add value to your life, who challenge you to be greater than you were yesterday, who sprinkle magic into your existence, just like you to theirs. Life isn’t to be done alone. Find your tribe–and journey freely and loyally together.
-Alex Elle
shared by Anna in Providence, RI
PONDER
When life is going well, it is good to be around happy humans who will help you celebrate. When life is hard, it is good to be around hardy humans who will help you persist. In general, it’s good to be around humans: those who see you, hear you, know you, get you, nurture you, admire you, challenge you, and love you.
If you’re already surrounded by folks like this: do me a favor and thank them for showing up for you. If you need help finding more tailors and/or tribes to have in your life, start by opening your heart to the possibility that there are people out there who not only WANT you in their lives…they NEED you in their lives.
Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
Read More!

Ripples #940: Sweetness of Friendship!

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Ripples #940: Sweetness of Friendship!
May 29, 2017

PEBBLE
In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
-Khalil Gibran, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
I have come to the realization that friends are the only true staple in life. More than food, they sustain us as we hike that trail of life, taking the road less traveled, and more than water they quench our thirst, our thirst for living, our thirst for life.
-written and shared by Amy in Waukesha, WI

PONDERMany of us here in the U.S. recognize Memorial Day Weekend* as our kick off to summer, a time when many of us get to spend more time with our friends (and family, colleagues, neighbors, classmates, etc). I thought this might be a good time to consider just how much these friendships add to our lives.

Whether it’s people that you’ve relied on consistently over many years, or newer connections that you’re still developing, spend some time this week savoring their presence in your life. If you’re feeling adventurous, choose a few people to reach out to and extend the ripples by letting them know just how sweet their friendship is for you.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. *I invite you to keep in mind that Memorial Day evolved as a way to remember people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Consider carving out a small chunk of your weekend to attend an official event, or perhaps even take a few moments at a party you’re attending to raise a glass to those who sacrificed.… Read More!

Ripples #832: Allowing Others In.

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Ripples #832: Allowing Others In.
May 4, 2015

PEBBLE
Spiritual growth is characterized by
the capacity to allow others into your heart.
-Tijn Touber, shared by Terry in Oak Creek, WI

BOULDER
A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend,
one human soul whom we can trust utterly,
who knows the best and worst of us,
and who loves us in spite of all our faults.
-Charles Kingsley, shared by Nick in Indiana

PONDER
It isn’t always easy to let someone into your heart to develop an authentic connection with them. Sometimes it is our personality that prefers to keep emotions at bay and connections at arms length; other times it is the norms we picked up from our families, communities, and/or cultures that dictates how close we get to those around us.

It is also true that past hurts sometimes create protective coatings to safeguard us; and while they have incredibly noble aspirations of preventing us from being hurt, they also unfortunately keep out empathy and compassion that is being extended by those with noble intentions and worthy goals: they want to love us, but we are sometimes too afraid to let them in.

The first step to allowing others into the sacred and softer places in our heart is to notice both the benefits and costs of keeping people at a distance, and seeing if there aren’t some small risks we could take to let someone in just a bit. Might you be willing to experiment this week: sharing a bit of personal information with a colleague you’ve spoken with several times, or opening up to a neighbor or acquaintance that you’ve known superficially for years? I’m in if you are!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I was inspired to assemble this week’s Ripples by a recent encounters with a few remarkable people who are taking courageous steps to emerge from their protective casings and seek the healing embrace of vulnerability and connectedness. I extend my kudos to them, and an invitation to the rest of us to allow others in this week.… Read More!

Ripples #638: Good Friends!

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Ripples #638: Good Friends.
For our tribe of 27,834 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Aug 8, 2011

PEBBLE:
A good friend is a connection to life:
a tie to the past, a road to the future,
the key to sanity in a totally insane world.
-Lois Wyse, submitted by Juls in Los Angeles, CA

BOULDER:
I have come to the realization that friends
are the only true staple in life.
More than food, they sustain us
as we hike that trail of life,
taking the road less traveled,
and more than water
they quench our thirst,
our thirst for living,
our thirst for life.
-written/submitted by Amy Williams in Waukesha, WI

PONDER:
I am still savoring a week filled with GOOD FRIENDS! First I helped my old
and new friends at Central Michigan University get ready for their 14th
annual Leadership Safari .  While there I shared a few meals with my dear friend and fellow trainer,
Maura Cullen.

I ended the crazyfun week with three of my grad school buddies who
converged with their families on nearby Lansing for a weekend of chatting
and eating and swimming and dancing around the living room. We laughed
ourselves silly and we loved it so much we planned our 2012 adventure before
we hugged out our goodbyes.

Good friends are rare and precious gems and should be treated as such. I
invite you to reach out to one or more of your friends this week and remind
them how much you treasure having them in your life.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v10.29: Friends!

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Ripples v10.29: Friends!
July 21, 2008: a free weekly splash to 20,081 subscribers
from Paul & The Ripples Project

__PEBBLE _________________________________

The more I think about it, the more I realize
there is nothing more artistic than to love others.
-Vincent Van Gogh, submitted by Aja H., Washington DC

__BOULDER _________________________________

Have friends.
They are a second being.
To a friend,
all friends are good and wise.
When you are with them,
all turns out well.
-Baltasar Gracian, submitted by Samantha T., Milwaukee WI

__PONDER _________________________________

I have just finished a most artful week of FRIENDS!

I began my journey with a stop in Illinois to reconnect with a childhood classmate and a brief pause in Indiana for a squeeze from a longtime training colleague (and most excellent hugger!). On Thursday I made some new connections at the Jennings County United Way before heading to Cincinnati for a weekend reunion with grad school buddies and their ebullient families. I finished the weekend bonding with my bestest best bubba. While I have known them all for different lengths of time, I am so honored to call all of these remarkable people my FRIENDS!

This bounty of friendship reminds me that among our most precious resources are the deep and satisfying connections we make with others. Can you take a moment right now to contact a dear friend or two who might enjoying hearing how much you appreciate having them in your life?

Thinking about it is good; actually doing it could be more wondrous and magical than you expect.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v10.09: Magnetic Kindness!

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Ripples v10.09: Magnetic Kindness!
Mar 3, 2008: a free weekly splash to 18,141 subscribers
from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLES ____________________

Good friends are like stars.
You don’t always see them,
but you know they’re always there.
-source unknown, submitted magnetically!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
-Marcel Proust, submitted magnetically!

____________________BOULDER ____________________

Too often we underestimate
the power of a touch, a smile,
a kind word, a listening ear,
an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential
to turn a life around.
-Leo Buscaglia, submitted magnetically!

____________________PONDER ____________________

Kindness is not only Ripply, it is magnetic!!

A few weeks ago I asked Ripplers to send inspirational magnets to decorate my front door. I received several really great ones! I added a couple myself, and the end result was just what I was seeking: an inspirational and indeed Ripply entrance to my home. The unexpected bonus treat is that I get to think of YOU every time I come home! Thanks to those of you who sent magnets, and to all of you who over the past 10 years have shared inspirational quotes and kind words via email. I treasure each one!

I am attempting to attach a photo to this week’s issue so you can see the door. I also uploaded a high resolution to Flickr in case you want to be able to READ each magnet:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ripples_guy/2304133785/sizes/l/

Peace,
Paul
p.s. My apologies for forgetting WHO submitted these quotes….I already had them on the door when I brainstormed using them as this week’s Ripples quotes!

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Ripples v8.23: Ripples of FRIENDPRINTS!

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Ripples v8.23: Ripples of FRIENDPRINTS!
6/5/06: a FREE splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PEBBLE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

Life without friendship is like the sky without sun.
-source unknown, submitted by Noel R., Milwaukee WI

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= BOULDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o

It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime,
so let me say before we part:
So much of me is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart,
and now whatever way our stories end,
I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.
-from the Broadway musical “Wicked”, submitted by Samantha T., Green Bay WI

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PONDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

I enjoy being able to tell all of you about my fun adventures in life and I appreciate that I can also share the challenges.

Well, last week was completely blechy. And let me be clear: by blechy I mean painful, scary, exhausting, draining, awful. I will spare you the gory details; instead I want to describe how magnificent it was to have a set of friends who provided such warm support. Several of my friends changed their schedules to spend time with me, and others who lived far away lent support with phone calls and good energy. A few people I connected briefly with didn’t even know I was facing a difficult time; the serendipity of our paths crossing was powerful just the same.

With all of that powerful assistance, I had the courage to face these challenges and I am so happy to report that I already feel more like my old self again. I am composing this week’s issue on a Sunday afternoon sitting on my deck beneath a sky that most definitely includes a beautiful, bright sun. I am deeply grateful that my friends left many FRIENDPRINTS on my healing heart just when they were needed most.

Please take a quick moment this week to either thank a friend of yours for their FRIENDPRINTS, or take action to leave some on a friend in need. Whichever you do, I’m guessing it will bring you a bit more….

…Peace,

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v7.45: Ripples of MUTUAL WEIRDNESS!

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Ripples v7.45: Ripples of MUTUAL WEIRDNESS!
11/28/05: your FREE weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PEBBLE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.
-Mignon McLaughlin

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= BOULDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o

We are all a little weird and
life’s a little weird, and
when we find someone
whose weirdness is compatible with ours,
we join up with them and
fall in mutual weirdness and
call it love.
-source unknown

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PONDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

In addition to a heaping mound of Thanksgiving deliciousness, my family enjoyed a special treat this holiday weekend. My sister married one of the most charming veterinarians on the planet (coincidentally, he married one of the funniest and most talented veterinarians on the planet). Together, Dr. Cary & Dr. Cary kicked off their lifelong commitment with a simple and sweet ceremony that will linger in the hearts of all of those present.

I came across the above quotes on the internet and decided they could make a fun relationship-themed ripple to dedicate to my sister and her husband. The pebble reminds us that marriage, and in fact any relationship, requires ongoing efforts to ensure a healthy, long-lasting partnership. The boulder serves to comfort those of us who wonder if we are too weird to ever find someone to share our lives with.

To Drs. Cary & Cary, to many others who have entered into partnerships of various shapes and sizes, and to anyone who is flying solo through this chapter in their life: enjoy your weirdness….and enjoy today!

Peace,
Paul
p.s. I am on retreat the next few weeks. You will continue to receive your weekly splash of Ripples, but you may not hear personal responses from me until I am back home and caught up!… Read More!

Ripples v6.24: Ripples of STAYING CLOSE!

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Ripples v6.24: Ripples of STAYING CLOSE!
Paul’s FREE Weekly Splash of Inspiration for 11,000+

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PEBBLE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

A real friend is one who walks in
when the rest of the world walks out.
– source unknown, submitted by C.S., Cincinnati, OH

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= BOULDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o

Beware of those who invite you
to be less than you are.
Stay close to those who dare you
to be more than you ever imagined.
-author unknown, submitted by Tami W., Stockton, CA

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PONDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

This week included spending time with “professional
helpers” who focus on serving the elderly. In a part of the
presentation about “attitude adjusting” I reminded them
of the awesome value in “Choosing Your Team.”

Most of us spend many minutes a day interacting with others:
colleagues, friends, family, customers (clients/members/etc.),
strangers, and so on…. If I asked you to identify a few people
who engage and energize you, I’m hoping you could name
a handful. I bet you could also list a few folks who, when you
are around them, drain your energy (or, as I like to say, “suck
the lifeforce out of you!”). Perhaps this week you need to
begin consciously choosing to spend MORE time with someone
on the first list, and LESS time with someone from the second list.

And don’t just THINK about it, DO IT!!!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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