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Hope

Ripples #1,004: Rekindling Hope!

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Ripples #1,004: Rekindling Hope!
Aug 20, 2018

PEBBLE
Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons do not last. The spring rains will come.
—Sarah Ban Breathnach
shared by Pete in Colorado via Values.com
https://www.passiton.com/inspirational-quotes/7015-expect-to-have-hope-rekindled-expect-your?

BOULDER
It’s better to be a hopeful person than a cynical, grumpy one, because you have to live in the same world either way, and if you’re hopeful, you have more fun.
-Barbara Kingsolver, shared by Deb in Madison, WI

PONDER
I agree with the above quote that says it is generally better to be hopeful than cynical. At the same time, I also know that hope can be harder to maintain. Even us optimistic folks can find ourselves in a pessimistic downward spiral because the more you look for reasons to roll your eyes and sigh, the more reasons you’ll find to do just that.

With a little bit of practice, though, hope is equally addictive. Once we decide to look for signs that things are going to get better, they start popping up all around. These little hopesparks make it easier to spot the more sustainable reasons for steady optimism. Even when my way forward is still steep, I notice that the more I climb, the better the view, and once you get above the fog and clouds, it is so much easier to find the sunshine.

If you’re struggling right now, I encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open for tiny hopeful signs. If you’re doing okay, keep your eyes open for a fellow traveler who is struggling and go a little out of your way to BE the hopespark for someone else. A smile, a nod, a generous gesture…any of these could make all the difference to someone who is at the end of their rope.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #942: Purifying Light!

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Ripples #942: Purifying Light!
June 12, 2017

PEBBLE
The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn and shine with increasing clearness on your path.
-Jean le Rond D’Alembert, shared by an anonymous rippler

BOULDER
A true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost, a pure heart can touch the poison of hatred and never be harmed; since beginningless time darkness has thrived in the void, but always yields to purifying light.
-Lion turtle (from Avatar: The Last Airbender, episode 59, by Aaron Ehasz)
shared by Cody in San Francisco, CA

PONDER

We all experience darkness in our lives; times when we feel lost, scared…unable to see what is going on or where we’re headed. Darkness then allows fear and frustration to fester, causing our outlook and our emotions to spiral downward even further.

The useful thing about light is that even a tiny bit of it immediately cuts through darkness, paving the way for more light. Dim rays of hopeful feelings and optimistic thoughts peer through, generating more light which in turn allows us to grow even more confident and more determined to move forward toward other sources of light.

If you’ve been struggling lately, keep your eyes peeled for sources of light, remembering that small flickers of hope come in all shapes and sizes: something as small as spotting your favorite color, encountering a fragrant whiff of fresh baked goods, or hearing one of your favorite songs pop up on the radio can lift your spirits and help more than you realize.

If things are going pretty well right now, spend some extra time and energy keeping your eyes peeled for someone else who is struggling. You can be the PURIFYING LIGHT for someone else by extending your patience, your compassion, and maybe even a warm smile to let someone know that you recognize their humanity. It will light up your day as well.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #919: The Future is Present.

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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 #860: Keepers of Hope.

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Ripples #860: Keepers of Hope.
Nov 16, 2015

PEBBLE
Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom,
but we hope it, we know it.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, shared by Beth in Sleepy Hollow, IL

BOULDER
Sometimes we are called upon
to be the keeper of hope:
hope for a better tomorrow;
hope for a client, colleague, or loved one in despair;
hope that neither they nor we will stumble alone and in the dark.

For all those with whom we connect,
the best way we can nurture them
is to listen with an open heart,
and offer hope:
hope that nourishes and sustains,
hope that inspires and comforts and heals.

So hold onto hope today,
and if it is too hard for you to hold onto,
ask someone, please, someone, to hold it for you.
-adapted from the wisdom of Nancy Moreau Battaglia,
shared by her friend Darcy in San Diego, CA

PONDER
Besides the anguish and loss in Paris and Beirut in recent days (you likely know about the former, be sure not to ignore the latter), there are so many other spots around our country and around the globe where people are being denied their basic human rights, being kept from living as their full and best selves. If you spend too much time scanning headlines or your social media feeds, you may be feeling frustrated, depleted, hopeless.

Times like this require us to dig deep and find the light that can help us and those around us remember that we’ve made it through past difficulties that have helped us grow stronger and wiser. And even when it seems like we’re all alone, there are often sources of support patiently waiting to be called forth.

Keep your eyes open this week for beacons of light that can help you out,
and keep your heart open for those who are seeking light. And if you’re waiting for God to show up and lend a hand, just remember that God might be waiting for Us to show up and lend a hand.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. My sincere apologies that last week’s Ripples initially zoomed out without the Ponder in it. You likely saw the “PonderText.” placeholder instead. About 20 minutes later I sent a corrected issue which caused some people to think they were receiving duplicates. A flub all around–please forgive me!… Read More!

Ripples #826: Stubborn Hope!

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Ripples #826: Stubborn Hope!
Mar 23, 2015

PEBBLE
Hope is not something you can just place in your back pocket
or put your fingers around – it’s the belief in a world that has yet to exist.
-Jon Foreman, shared by Chloe in Green Bay, WI

BOULDER
Hope begins in the dark,
the stubborn hope
that if you just show up
and try to do the right thing,
the dawn will come.
You wait and watch and work:
you don’t give up.
-Anne Lamott, shared by Pat in Cleveland, TN

PONDER
Sometimes I think we’re tempted to view hope as a delicate little flower that can too easily be damaged by strong winds or crushed by a thoughtless intruder.

I’ve found that hope is often quite a bit hardier than that. Especially when given a some loving care and attention, it can be persistent and consistent through even the toughest of times. Sure it sometimes lies dormant underneath a blizzard of tough times. But just watch what can happen when you shine even the smallest amount of optimism and whisper softly, “I’m ready, dear Hope, and I need your help.”

You may be surprised just how ferociously it will burst forth and multiply, complete with all the stubborn persistence of a massive dandelion field. Try it when you need it, and ask a friend for help if you need help finding it!

Namasté,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #769: Living in Hope.

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Ripples #769: Living in Hope.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
17 Feb 2014

PEBBLE:
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
-Nelson Mandela, shared by Julie in Amman, Jordan

BOULDER:
The very least you can do in your life
is figure out what you hope for.
And the most you can do
is live inside that hope.
Not admire it from a distance,
but live right in it,
under its roof.
-Barbara Kingsolver, shared by Amy in Charlotte, NC

PONDER:
Whether you’ve just recently joined our happy team of Ripplers or you’ve been receiving these messages for years, you’ve likely figured out that sometimes we focus on savoring the good stuff, and other times it is all about enduring the not-so-good stuff.  Hope is one of the essential ingredients for making it through difficult periods in work, school, and life; I often say in presentations that WITH hope we can endure all kinds of extraordinary challenges, but WITHOUT hope even the smaller challenges can seem overwhelming.

If life is challenging right now, see if you can find even an eensy-weensy kernel of hope to hang on for just one more day.  If life is going pretty swell, look around for someone else who is struggling.  Your warm smile, kind word, or quick favor may be the kernel that they need to keep going.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #720: Winter to Spring.

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Ripples #720: Winter to Spring.
For our tribe of 31,189 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
03/13/2013

PEBBLE:
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.
If we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
-Anne Bradstreet

BOULDER:
one step / one step
i stop / i take
one breath / one breath
warm sun / above
winter snow / below
i breathe / i take /
one step / one step
-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, shared by Mary in Madison WI

PONDER:
Despite the predictions of several groundhogs, winter seems unwilling to relinquish its reign to make way for spring. We may not be able to control the weather, but we luckily have strength and persistence to endure until the buds appear. Similarly, you may be dealing with some sort of blechiness that continues to linger stubbornly. I hope you can take a few deep breaths and hang tough. Spring is approaching, and she brings a fresh breeze and bright sunshine!

On a technical note, my fingers are crossed that this issue arrives on Monday to all 31,000 subscribers. The last two weeks have been bumpy to say the least! For those of you who missed the news about how to apply for Ripples Grants, please watch this video:
http://youtu.be/3hFMsc4jRuU

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #718: Treasures of Kindness.

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Ripples #718: Treasures of Kindness.
For our tribe of 31,151 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
02/26/2013

PEBBLE:
It’s the kindness of giving,
without wanting something in return,
that makes us happy.
-Heidrun K. in Nairobi, shared by Deb in Philadelphia, PA

BOULDER:
Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.
Know how to give without hesitation,
how to lose without regret,
how to acquire without meanness.
-George Sand, shared by Stacy in Hilbert, WI

PONDER:
Back when we started sending out these Ripples emails 14 years ago, a significant motivation was to remind people about the enormous power hidden within our everyday actions. I didn’t think of it as *teaching* kindness: the remarkable people drawn to Ripples already know how essential and awesome kindness is. My intention was, and is, to be a soft whisper reminding us that even our smallest acts of kindness, joy, and encouragement feed the soul of the giver as much as they benefit the recipient.

A few years ago we unleashed a handful of $100 uRock! grants (uRock = unleashing Ripples of compassion + kindness) to increase the flow of generosity. The response was fantastic, and it will soon be time to unleash some more ripples! In the meantime, let me ask you this: if you were given $100 and an opportunity to invest your time, energy, and creativity, how might you unleash kindness? I’ll be seeking your ideas and feedback via our Facebook page, so be sure to connect with us there: http://www.facebook.com/TheRipplesGuy

Peace,
Paul
P.S. You can read about some of our previous experiments here:
http://www.facebook.com/TheRipplesGuy/posts/10151326319163226… Read More!

Ripples #708: Strong Spirit.

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Ripples #708: Strong Spirit.
For our tribe of 31,664 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
12/18/2012

PEBBLE:
The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.
-George C. Scott

BOULDER:
Live life fully while you’re here.
There’s always going to be bad stuff out there.
But here’s the amazing thing-
-light trumps darkness every time.
You stick a candle into the dark,
but you can’t stick the dark into the light.
-Jodi Picoult

PONDER:
I’ve had a heavy heart the past few days, and I know many of you have as well. In between some really fun social engagements, I repeatedly found myself somber or sad as I contemplate an appropriate, compassionate response to recent events that are difficult to comprehend. Whenever awful happens (and lately it seems like lots of awful is happening), we have an instinctual desire to protect ourselves and the people we care about. Sometimes, especially when things rattle us to our core, our “fight or flight” response gets ramped up and allow us to say or do things in the heat of the moment that might not represent our best intentions or desires.

I fear that overwhelming grief and frustration can too easily lead to blame games and rash proposals when it seems far more likely to me that causes and solutions are neither obvious nor simple. My hope is that we can take a few deep breaths, allow just a bit more time to grieve, and then engage in constructive dialogue that leads to sustained action. I believe things can and will get better once we are willing to listen compassionately, speak courageously, and work together to identify and implement strategies that will improve our world.

It won’t be easy.
It will be worth it.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #646: Overcoming.

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Ripples #646: Overcoming.
For our tribe of 29,297 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Oct 10, 2011

PEBBLE:
All the world is full of suffering.
It is also full of overcoming.
-Helen Keller, submitted by Nick in New Jersey

BOULDER:
Keep in mind, at all times,
that we grow the most
from our greatest suffering.
As we go through it, it hurts.
But as we move through it, it also heals.
When a jug of water falls to the floor and cracks,
what was hidden within begins to pour out.
When life sends you one of its curves,
remember that it has come
to help crack you open
so that all the love, power and potential
that have been slumbering within you
can be poured into the world outside you.
And, like a fractured bone,
we do become stronger in the broken places.
-Robin Sharma, submitted by Esther in Pune, India

PONDER:
Over the past few weeks I have heard from several of our fellow ripplers
who are struggling with significant challenges. This news is both
heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. On the one hand I am sorry
that so many of us are dealing with difficulty; on the other hand, it is
somehow comforting to know they are not alone–others out there are also
facing (and hopefully conquering) challenges.

Life is pretty good for me right now,
but I know what it is like to face “big stuff.”
I wouldn’t wish my biggest challenges on another person, AND
I wouldn’t wish them away from my own experience as a human being.

If life is difficult right now, remember to breathe deeply, rest when you
must, and then when you are ready: stand up, brush yourself off, and face
life fiercely. You can overcome, and you will!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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