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Ripples #1070: The Joy of Gratitude

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1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1070: The Joy of Gratitude
Nov 25, 2019

PEBBLE
Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.
-Amy Collette, shared by a friend in Arizona

BOULDER
Some people could be given an entire field of roses and only see the thorns in it. Others could be given a single weed and only see the wildflower in it. Perception is a key component to gratitude. And gratitude is a key component to joy.
-Amy Weatherly, shared by Julie in Wolfeboro, NH

PONDER
A few weeks after we began sending out these Ripples emails back in 1999, we asked for feedback from the 75 people on the list. My friend Mike suggested that he’d enjoy them more if there was a theme rather than just a couple of random quotes. I resisted at first since I suspected it would involve a little more effort, but I soon embraced the challenge.

Ever since then, each Ripples focuses on a specific theme. While I’ve made an extra effort to keep the topics we explore varied and fresh, we also have a few traditions that I savor. This issue marks the 20th year that we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with a fresh serving of gratitude.

One of the main reasons Ripples still zooms out every Monday morning is that every week I receive a sprinkling of gratitude from readers. Some folks want to share how a specific issue helped navigate a difficulty; others are appreciating the consistency of having something to ponder each Monday.

There have been a few times when I’ve wondered if it was time to retire the concept or take an extended break just to avoid burning out. Your thankfulness has inspired me to continue the tradition while developing self-care strategies (I’ve already pre-assembled a few December issues so I can enjoy some down time over the holidays and you can still enjoy some ripply goodness!).

So as we take a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m feeling gratitude for those who help us find good quotes to share, for those who share Ripples with others, and for all who join us each Monday with an open mind and an open heart. #urock

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. You’re welcome to peek at our Gratitude Quote Archive (https://www.facebook.com/notes/10150380209601662/) stored at our Team Ripples (https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamRipples/) Facebook group.… Read More!

Ripples #1,017: Great Fullness of Gratitude!

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Ripples #1,017: Great Fullness of Gratitude!
Nov 19, 2018

PEBBLE
Gratefulness is the experience of the great fullness of life.
-Brother David Steindl-Rast, shared by Jerry from Helena, MT

BOULDER
Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes to simply be human…At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.
-Meredith Grey (Shonda Rhimes), shared by Vickie in Hanover, VA

PONDER

Since those of us here the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, we here at Ripples HQ have traditionally focused on gratitude as our theme on the fourth Monday of November. Members of Team Ripples, our official Facebook group, can access our compendium of Thanksgiving quotes here.

Wherever you are in the world, and whatever is going on in your life, I invite you to spend time identifying and savoring the good stuff in your life: relationships you value, opportunities you’ve embraced, possessions you’ve accumulated, good experiences that brought joy, and perhaps even challenging times that ultimately served you with helpings of growth and/or wisdom.

There is growing scientific evidence that cultivating gratitude has significant benefits for your physical health and mental well-being. It’s simple, fast acting, and low cost (low calorie even!).

So whether this is a super special holiday time for you or just a typical week of work/school/life, I invite you to serve a helping of gratitude and see just how delicious it is for you and those you share it with.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for a great many things. One of greatest is these tiny weekly splashes of inspiration that have managed to form an ocean of encouragement for so many, myself included. Thank you for reading these and for sharing them and for helping us find the quotes we unleash each Monday. #uRock!… Read More!

Ripples #965: The Grateful Heart!

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Ripples #965: The Grateful Heart!
Nov 20, 2017

PEBBLE
Even in the most peaceful surroundings, the angry heart finds quarrel. Even in the most quarrelsome surroundings, the grateful heart finds peace.
-Zoe Zantamata, shared by Gretchen in Florida

BOULDER
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
-John Milton, shared by Ria in Fox Crossing, WI

PONDER
It’s Thanksgiving week here in our little corner of the world, a time when many of us will gather with loved ones for feasts and festivities. We here at Ripples HQ have developed a tradition over the last 19 years of using this particular issue to reflect on the value of gratitude.

It won’t come as a surprise to readers of these weekly splashes that gratitude has long been known to be a powerful natural tonic that helps us savor the GOOD STUFF in our lives. It is also true that cultivating gratitude for the HARD STUFF can help us appreciate the opportunities for learning and growing that are inherent in life’s inevitable challenges.

I’ve recently been exploring how gratitude can help us even when life is really, really, REALLY tough. The practice of identifying people, circumstances, events, and things that we’re glad to have in our lives does more than just distract us from challenges; it can serve to help us regain a larger perspective of the overall context in which a particular difficulty is happening. If we only spend time focusing on the difficulty, we might conclude that life is 100% yucky. If we take just a bit of time and energy to recall specific good things in our lives, the hard stuff can seem less overwhelming, less all-consuming. It is still there and it is still really hard, and yet it can be experienced as just one slice of a larger life instead of the whole pie.

If things are super tough right now, I invite you to experiment by jotting down even a few things that you’re grateful to have in your life and see if that helps at all. If life is already pretty swell, perhaps the activity might infuse an extra sense of joy into your holiday. Try it and see!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. If you want some extra splashes of gratitude, I’m especially proud of last year’s Ripples #913, and 2015’s Ripples #861. We also keep a Gratitude Archive with all 19 years worth of Gratitude Quotes.

 … Read More!

Ripples #962: Looking for the Wonders!

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Ripples #962: Looking for the Wonders!
Oct 30, 2017

PEBBLE
I am always looking, like a child, for the wonders I know I’m going to find–maybe not every time, but every once in awhile. -Richard Feynman, shared by David Markle (1932-2017) in Maumee, OH

BOULDER
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. The longer I live the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and wonder of the world.
-John Burroughs, shared by Terri in Holderness, NH

PONDER
I’d like to dedicate this issue of Ripples to my boyfriend’s father, Dave Markle, a fierce reader/supporter of Ripples who passed away unexpectedly a few days ago. Even before I had the chance to meet him in person, Dave had subscribed to Ripples and joined our Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamRipples/). Over the past few years, he repeatedly responded to our requests for quote submissions by sharing some excellent snippets of wisdom with me, including the pebble above. His legacy will ripple on in the lives of his family, students, and all of us who had the good fortune of crossing paths with him.

You can help us honor Dave’s life and passing by spending a bit of time looking for the Wonders. Wherever you’re headed this week, keep your eyes and your ears open for people and things that stir curiosity, delight, and/or awe. Savor them, thank them, and share them with others.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #913: Thanks Gives Back!

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Ripples #913: Thanks Gives Back!
Nov 21, 2016

PEBBLE
Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.
-A.A. Milne, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.
—Melody Beattie, shared by Robin in Madison, WI

PONDER
Like piglet, I’ve been noticing lately just how much gratitude can fit into my heart. Even on the tougher days (and I’ve had a few lately), it takes only a moment to pause and ask, “What am I thankful for?” The response is usually transformative, as there is almost always more to be grateful for than there is to be grumpy about.

Focusing our attention on gratitude can have a significant impact on life satisfaction as well as emotional and physical health. Prayer before meal, journaling before bedtime, or using “stuck in traffic” time to daydream about all the good people and good times and good stuff we’ve enjoyed lately…these are all brief yet powerful opportunities to practice appreciation. People who regularly generate moments of gratitude in their lives are happier, more hopeful, and even healthier!

Moments of gratitude are simple, sweet, and sacred; whenever you make time to give thanks, thanks will give right back to you.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. If you’d like a mega-dose of gratitude, I keep a running list of all the gratitude-themed quotes we’ve unleashed over the years. Enjoy!… Read More!

Ripples #865: Enoughness.

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Ripples #865: Enoughness.
Dec 21, 2015

PEBBLE
Be happy with what you have.
Be excited about what you want.
-Alan Cohen, shared by Melinda in Madison, WI

BOULDER
A life of enough is born in every moment–in the way we listen, the way we respond to the world, the way we see what is and tell the truth of who we are. Every single choice, every single moment, every change of course can bring us closer to a life of peace, contentment, authenticity, and easy sufficiency, a life of being, having, and doing enough.
-Wayne Muller, shared by Jane in Irvine, CA

PONDER
As many Ripplers prepare to gather with family and/or friends to celebrate Christmas, it’s good to recognize the unique mix of joy and anxiety that comes along with giving and receiving gifts. We want others who be surprised and delighted with what is under the tree as much as we want to enjoy the gifts we receive. And so along with visions of sugar-plums, we have plenty of worries swirling in our heads: Have we selected the right gifts? Did we buy enough? Will we get enough?

I’m guessing that most of us who are part of Team Ripples have very few unmet NEEDS when it comes to the essentials (food, shelter, clothing) and therefore have the good fortune of spending time and energy contemplating and acquiring our WANTS. It can be useful to gently remind ourselves and our loved ones that with all the social mediaing and marketing we’re exposed to, it is virtually impossible to satisfy our endless cravings for the shiniest objects, newest fashions, and latest gadgets. There’s just so much muchness out there to crave!

The good news is that we can maximize the magic of this time of year as we mindfully seek the right mix of savoring what we’ve already received and sharing our bounty with others: family, friends, neighbors and also those in need whose paths may not cross ours directly but are still a part of our world and deserve a place in our hearts. When we delight in our Enoughness, unwrapping presents becomes less about what’s inside the box and more about what’s inside our hearts (which, according to Grinchy legend, has the capacity to grow three sizes in one day!).

Enjoy your holiday, and enjoy your Enoughness!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #849: Gratitude For Wayne Dyer (1940-2015)

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Ripples #849: Gratitude For Wayne Dyer (1940-2015)
Aug 31, 2015

PEBBLE
How people treat you is their karma;
how you react is yours.
-Wayne Dyer
originally shared in Ripples #645, Oct 3, 2011

BOULDER
The nature of gratitude
helps dispel the idea
that we do not have enough
or that we ourselves are not enough.
When your heart is filled with gratitude
it is grateful for everything
and cannot focus on what is missing.
-Wayne Dyer
originally shared in Ripples #809, Nov 24, 2014

PONDER
I learned early this morning that one of my greatest sources of inspiration, Dr. Wayne Dyer, passed away over the weekend; I’ll save the Ripples issue I had originally queued up for another week and instead share with you a sample of Dr. Dyer’s wisdom that we’ve shared in Ripples over the past 16 years. Rest in Peace, Dr. Dyer, with the gratitude of so many of us who dared to embrace our possibilities more fully thanks to your encouragement.

Keep uppermost in your mind that there is a place within you
where there is perfect peace and where nothing is impossible.
-Wayne Dyer, originally shared in Ripples v6.27, July 19, 2004

We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
-Wayne Dyer, originally shared in Ripples #819, Feb 2, 2015

If you meet someone whose soul is not aligned with yours, send them love and move along.
-Wayne Dyer, originally shared via @UnleashRipples on Nov 5, 2013

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
-Wayne Dyer, originally shared via @UnleashRipples on Dec 14, 2012

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy

P.S. I will post a few more of my favorite Wayne Dyer Quotes later today on my Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/TheRipplesGuy) .… Read More!

Ripples #809: Gratitudinous.

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[11/24/2014]
Ripples #809: Gratitudinous.

PEBBLE
Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean
the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors. -Richelle E. Goodrich, shared by Suzan in Lincoln, NE

BOULDER
The nature of gratitude helps dispel the idea that we do not have enough or that we ourselves are not enough. When your heart is filled with gratitude it is grateful for everything and cannot focus on what is missing.
-Wayne Dyer, handwritten on a napkin holder at the Bachelor Syracuse Mine Cafe near Ouray, CO

PONDER
We here in the U.S. are about to celebrate Thanksgiving and the kickoff to the winter holiday season that, depending upon your traditions and beliefs, might include celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and/or winter solstice (my apologies if I skipped any!).

As you choose among your options about how and when and whether to celebrate, I hope you get all the and socializing and eating and rejoicing and playing and resting that you desire. I also invite you to spend time considering how others might PERCEIVE and EXPERIENCE the world differently than you do, and how that might impact their reactions to the holidays, to events in the news, and to just about everything in life.

I hope you can be grateful for all the good stuff that helps you enjoy life, and for all the tough stuff that helps you grow. Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. I keep an updated list of all the gratitude quotes we’ve used over the past 14 years on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/notes/paul-wesselmann-the-ripples-guy/ripples-archivies-thanksgiving-quotes/10151140233646662… Read More!

Ripples #757: Gratitude!

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Ripples #757: Gratitude!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
25 Nov 2013

PEBBLE:
Every once in awhile God allows you to stub your toe
as a kind reminder to be grateful
for the miraculous body attached to it.
-Richelle E. Goodrich, shared by Suzan in Lincoln, NE

BOULDER:
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
-Ralph Marston, shared by Bev in Madison, WI

PONDER:
In just a few days, those of us here in the USA arrive at our Thanksgiving holiday which kicks off our winter holiday season.  For the past 13 years (!), we’ve focused one issue on gratitude (and in case you missed it last week, a list of *all* the previous Thanksgiving quotes is available by sending a blank email to: Thanks@TheRipplesGuy.com).

I recently challenged some of my Facebook buddies to try expressing gratitude for the less pleasant parts of their lives to see if it might amplify the effectiveness of gratitude.  The results astounded me, as people were able to find some thanks-worthy nuggets amidst even the really blechy stuff.  Several courageous people reported that reserves of inner strength, external support, and unexpected benefits were hidden within what was initially perceived as “no good can possibly come from something this awful.”

I’ll be happy if you can take note and find gratitude withing the good stuff in your life, but I dare you this week to sample from the buffet of “gratitude for the tough stuff” and see if it might be worth experiencing.

Peace,
Paul
P.S.  Please know that I am beyond grateful for your quote submissions, your testimonials, and your companionship through 757 weeks of unleashing Ripples.  You are the gravy that has made this buffet so delicious, so delightful.… Read More!

Ripples #704: Thanks!

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Ripples #704: Thanks!
For our tribe of 31,880 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
11/19/2012

PEBBLE:
Be thankful for what you have;
you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have,
you will never, ever have enough.
-Oprah Winfrey, submitted by Sarah in Fond du Lac, WI

BOULDER:
In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.
―Elizabeth Gilbert

PONDER:
As some of us gather with family and friends this week, I invite ALL of us to focus more on what we LOVE than what we LACK, and notice more of what we APPRECIATE than what ANNOYS us about the people around us.

Remember that gratitude is a skill that improves with practice, it is a gift that we can easily share, and it is a tonic that enhances the wellbeing of ourselves and anyone we choose to share it with. Be generous with your gratitude, especially this week.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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