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Ripples #885: Shaping Our Lives.

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Ripples #885: Shaping Our Lives.
May 9, 2016

PEBBLE
In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
-Eleanor Roosevelt, shared by Julie in Missoula, MT

BOULDER
There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob endlessly in the current. Wouldn’t you know…your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become. This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, your lovers. Your path is your character defining itself more and more everyday, like a photograph coming into focus. -Jodie Foster, shared by David in Memphis, TN

PONDER
Every year around this time, another batch of our friends and fellow Ripplers are preparing to graduate and head into the next chapter in their lives. I think it’s a perfectly fine time for each of us to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

It’s true that the unexpected events and obstacles that we encounter sometimes seem to either define or direct which path we are on. Part of making the most of our lives is to recognize that regardless of what happens, it is up to *us* to determine who we are and where we want to go. The challenges we face do not define us; it’s how we respond and where we go from there that ultimately carves out our character and our path.

Whether you’re graduating with a degree or just graduating from another day on the planet, I hope you’ll make good choices about where you’re headed and how you’ll get there.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. And thanks for taking Ripples along for the ride. It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of your journey.… Read More!

Ripples #812: Aliveness!

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[12/15/2014] Ripples #812: Aliveness!

PEBBLE
Live so fully and so brilliantly
that your pain diminishes
in your aliveness.
―Bryant McGill

BOULDER
There is a joy in the actual taste of vanilla ice cream that does not come from knowing the chemical formula of vanilla. There is a joy, an inherent aliveness in the body that you can experience if you pay attention to your body. But if you live up in your head, in your words all the time, you don’t notice it.
-Charles Tart

PONDER

I hope that you will make time to taste your aliveness today.
And I hope it tastes as good as ice cream.

Even if you’re in pain or facing significant challenges it is still absolutely true that you are alive, and absolutely essential that you recognize and relish this truth.

Please, PLEASE, dear friend, remember this: if you delay your taste of aliveness until all of your hurts have healed and all of your troubles are resolved … well, the ice cream may have melted.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #763: Your Creative Life!

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Ripples #763:  Your Creative Life!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
6 Jan 2014

PEBBLE:
To live a creative life,
we must lose our fear of being wrong.
-Joseph Chilton Peace, shared by Trish in Flagstaff, AZ

BOULDER:
When I say “be creative,”
I don’t mean that
you should all go and become
great painters and great poets.
I simply mean let your life be a painting,
let your life be a poem.
-Osho, shared by Pete in Ouray, CO

PONDER:
Ok, kids….here’s the deal:  We’re a few days into 2014 and it’s time for me to get real with you. I’m convinced that you need to be completely and utterly and insanely creative about the possibilities that exist for you this year.  STOP THE PRESSES:  forget about a focus on the whole year (that was soooo a few days ago during New Year’s Eve).  Instead, let’s focus on this week or maybe even just today:  I dare you to worry less about doing it RIGHT or doing it PRETTY or doing it WELL.  Just unleash your best effort to experiment creatively and wildly with something at work or school or life.  Try something new, or try something in a way you’ve never done it before.

Make today the weirdest, coolest, awesomest poem you’ve ever written.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #712: The Whole of Life!

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Ripples #712: The Whole of Life!
For our tribe of 31,542 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
01/14/2013

PEBBLE:
A great life is the sum total
of all the worthwhile things
you’ve been doing one by one.
-Richard Bach

BOULDER:
You must understand the whole of life,
not just one little part of it.
That is why you must read,
that is why you must look at the skies,
that is why you must sing and dance
and write poems and suffer and understand,
for all that is life.
-J. Krishnamurti

PONDER:
14 years ago today we put together the very first Ripples email for the 75 people who agreed to help me experiment with a quick splash of Monday morning inspiration. We had no idea that tens of thousands of people would eventually join our tribe of happy ripplers, but even back then we knew that it was important to focus on the gigantic potential held within even the teeniest actions.

The same is true about life….the biggest answers to the biggest questions are often found in the smallest of places and within the smallest of actions. If you are seeking big solutions to big challenges, perhaps you could divert your attention to the smaller things for a bit. Let your spirit meander with some music, poetry, or a walk in nature. Some fresh perspective may unexpectedly arise, or at least you’ll have taken a break and can return to the big stuff with a refreshed outlook.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #707: Collide With Life!

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Ripples #707: Collide With Life!
For our tribe of 31,716 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
12/10/2012

PEBBLE:
Let fate do its job and make time to collide with real life.
-written/submitted by Ryan Kacvinsky in La Crosse, WI

BOULDER:
Live life fully while you’re here.
Experience everything.
Take care of yourself and your friends.
Have fun, be crazy, be weird.
Go out and screw up!
You’re going to anyway,
so you might as well enjoy the process.
Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes:
find the cause of your problem and eliminate it.
Don’t try to be perfect;
just be an excellent example of being human.
-Anthony Robbins, submitted by Paul from North Weymouth, MA

PONDER:
If something or someone has especially excited, delighted, frustrated or scared you this week, it could be a sign that life is inviting you to shake it up a bit. It you’re experiencing it as something good, I dare you to increase its impact by savoring the opportunity to, as my awesome buddy Ryan phrased it so eloquently, COLLIDE WITH LIFE. On the other hand, if you’re annoyed with the situation: you might want to take a deep breath and consider changing your perspective so that you can recognize (or create) a growth opportunity. Perhaps this is a chance to speak up for yourself OR learn to accept that some things are beyond your control OR maybe it is time to embrace your imperfect, crazy life and see if you can smile/sigh your way to sanity? Decide, then collide!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #651: Climbing Life!

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Ripples #651: Climbing Life.
For our tribe of 29,979 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
11/14/2011

PEBBLE:
Don’t worry so much about the rough times.
Just remember, you could never reach
the top of a mountain
if the sides were smooth.
-unknown, submitted by Samantha in Oklahoma

BOULDER:
Live your life each day
as you would climb a mountain.
An occasional glance toward the summit
keeps the goal in mind,
but many beautiful scenes
are to be observed
from each new vantage point.
Climb slowly, steadily,
enjoying each passing moment;
and the view from the summit
will serve as a fitting climax for the journey.
-Harold V. Melchert, submitted by Katie in Kohler, WI

PONDER:
This week I journeyed west in my smile-covered Ripples car to hang out with some of the peppiest people on the planet that descended on Laramie, Wyoming for a gathering of residence hall leaders. IACURH was as fun and frenetic as I hoped (nice hosting, U. of Wyoming!).

While we were out west exploring the rocky challenges of leadership and life, back east my friends Ron and Denise unleashed a faculty flashmob to jumpstart conversations about the challenges of “fitting in” on campus. I’m so proud that these professors were brave enough to release their inhibitions and reveal their humanity in order to demonstrate just how much they care about the significant “uphill climbs” that some members of their campus community face.

I hope your climb through life includes enough challenge to help you grow, and enough comfort to keep you sane.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v11.25: The Promise of Today!

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Ripples v11.25: The Promise of Today!
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 22,537
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities
Monday, June 29, 2009

_______
PEBBLE
All that we’re ever promised is today,
I’ll try to remember and not wish it away.
-written & submitted by Michelle M., Cincinnati OH

________
BOULDER
There is only one.
One day to let the world know
you can make a difference;
you can change the course of the future.
You can breathe in the air of poverty, depression, hate, and
exhale the air of perseverance, happiness, and love.

Make this that day, and
show the world that
hope lies beneath,
truth lies above, and
we lie here, now;
to make a difference.
-written & submitted by Ryan K., Ashland WI

_______
PONDER
As I make my way home from a weeklong adventure in Michigan that included a few uROCK! Roadtrip stops and a reunion with my buddies from grad school (we realized while reminiscing that we first came together 20 years ago this month….yikes!), I invite you (and me!) to spend a moment treasuring THE PROMISE OF TODAY and ensuring we make the most of it!

Ooh, and while I have your attention: please notice that both the Pebble and the Boulder this week were written by their submitters, and remember that we count on a continuous feed of fresh quote submissions so we can keep creating Ripples! Submit your own words, or those of someone who inspired you recently!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v11.08: Your Life’s Journey!

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Ripples v11.08: Your Life’s Journey!
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 21,820
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities
1999-2009: 10 years of Ripples!

_______
PEBBLE
Your whole life has been a long journey to this very moment.
-source unknown, submitted by Lisa S., Portland OR

_________
BOULDER
The best day of your life
is the one on which you decide
your life is your own.
No apologies or excuses.
No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.
The gift of life is yours;
it is an amazing journey; and
you alone are responsible for the quality of it.
-Dan Zadra, submitted by Mia Su C., Greensboro NC

_________
PONDER
Your life, your journey, your choice. What is next for you?

I’m intrigued and excited and nervous about some looming choices that will impact my life and could alter my journey. I’ll feel better about these adventures knowing that I have you along for the ride, and I’ll spend part of my journey reminding you that I’m along for your ride, too.

Let’s go somewhere awesome, shall we?

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v9.04: Being The Poem.

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Ripples v9.04: Being The Poem.
1/22/07: a quick splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

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

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.
-David Carradine, submitted by Cindy K, Green Bay WI

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

Love the earth and sun and animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others…
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
-Walt Whitman, submitted by Cindy K, Green Bay WI

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= WAVE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

Please give a big WAVE to new subscribers from
Community Financial Credit Union in Michigan.
It was a joy to hang out with them last week!

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

This weekend a beautiful blanket of snow settled on Madison. It may have limited our Ripply town meeting to four happy souls, but it was great fun to chat about The Ripples Project and similar efforts underway to create a community of positive-acting folks. I hope to implement some of the ideas we generated within the next few months, so watch for more Ripply Potential!

Regarding this week’s theme: if The Ripples Project is a poem, YOU are the lines. So here is a dare: go out there, take your gifts and share, show the world you care!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v8.50: Ripples of LIFE DANCING!

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Ripples v8.50: Ripples of LIFE DANCING!
12/11/06: a FREE splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

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

Do the hokey pokey once a week,
just in case that’s really what it’s all about.
-Scott Friedman, submitted by Tracy D., Billings MT

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

Life may not be
the party we hoped for,
but while we are here,
we may as well dance!
-source unknown, submitted by Tammie H., Lincoln NE

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

Things may be getting crazy for you this time of year…so four quick suggestions for sanity:

Put your left foot in,
Put your left foot out,
Put your left foot in,
And shake it all about!

Peace,
Paul

P.S. One more batch of photos available at the bottom of this topic:
http://theripplesproject.org/smf/index.php?topic=204.0… Read More!

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