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Mindfulness

Ripples #1119: Calm Within Chaos

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Ripples #1119: Calm Within Chaos
Nov 2, 2020

PEBBLE
Tomorrow can still be glorious even in the midst of uncertainty.
-Stephanie Chinnart, shared by Heather in Fort Atkinson, WI

BOULDER
Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic — this is the spiritual path.
-Pema Chödrön, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ

PONDER
Most of us did not need a year as unsettling and unpredictable as 2020 to understand just how uncomfortable we are with uncertainty. The many unanticipated twists and turns have reinforced that we feel safer within our comfort zone. And it is true that we generally *are* safer in our comfort zone even though we tend to do our best learning and growing when we are move beyond our comfort zone.

Our minds are so uncomfortable with uncertainty that in many situations where we aren’t sure what is going to happen, we default to expecting (and dreading) the worst possible outcomes rather than just resting in the place of “Hmmm…I’m not sure how this is going to turn out.” Really sit with *this* for a moment: our mind can trick us into believing we’d rather just have the bad thing happen rather than remain in the uncertainty of not knowing the outcome.

Given the high stakes of the 2020 U.S. election, and given the high likelihood that we won’t immediately know the results, this week is likely to contain more than its share of uncertainty. We can’t control this uncertainty, and yet we can manage how we respond to it. I’m trepidatiously accepting this opportunity to wade into this liminal pond of unknowing. These waters are going to be uncomfortable, especially at first. If you’d like to join me, I’m guessing we’ll learn a thing or two, and maybe even find a way to have some fun. Are you in?

Peace,
Paul
P.S. If you’re seeking a distraction on Tuesday night, I’m tentatively planning to unleash some “Election Night Non-Electiony Shenanigans” by sharing hopeful, helpful content in a series of brief Facebook Live webcasts. Just head over to Team Ripples and look for me there.… Read More!

Ripples #956: Being Awake.

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Ripples #956: Being Awake.
Sept 18, 2017

PEBBLE
The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ

BOULDER
It’s interesting to think that no matter how far you are from yourself, no matter how exiled you feel from your contribution to the rest of the world or to society — that, as a human being, all you have to do is enumerate exactly the way you don’t feel at home in the world — to say exactly how you don’t belong — and the moment you’ve uttered the exact dimensionality of your exile, you’re already taking the path back to the way, back to the place you should be. You’re already on your way home.
-David Whyte, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

PONDER
Managing time and stress are two of the more popular topics I’m asked to present on at professional development conferences, so I make an effort to keep my eye out for research, articles, and blog posts that help me keep current. An increasing focus in both areas is the topic of mindfulness: being more fully present in the present moment, and being nonjudgmentally aware of what is going on within and around you as you move through your day.

While I’m a strong believer in the power of optimism, the goal of being fully awake isn’t about just noticing the good stuff. It’s about being able to identify the unpleasant aspects of life in a way that allows us to be more conscious of their impact and also empower ourselves to take actions to help improve our situation.

I came across an article recently that suggested happiness might be more effectively achieved not by denying our unhappy feelings, but instead acknowledging and allowing them: https://www.thecut.com/2017/08/youll-be-happier-if-you-let-yourself-feel-bad.html. I also came across good reads about emotional resilience and emotional diversity:
https://heleo.com/5-strategies-building-emotional-resilience/16209/
http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/08/emotional-diversity-is-more-important-than-happiness.html?

The gist of these articles is that rather than ignoring or suppressing what we sometimes view as “negative” emotions, it is healthier and more productive to recognize them and notice how they are impacting you.

If there is anything bugging you right now, perhaps you can see it, describe it, and accept it just as it is, without judgment. Then wait just a bit to notice whether its negative impact might diminish or dissipate as you move through your day.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. If you’re enjoying Ripples, remember that the best way to show it is to SHARE Ripples with your peeps and encourage them to join us, and also click the SUBMIT A QUOTE button below whenever you encounter a groovy quote that we should consider for an upcoming issue. Thanks for both!… Read More!

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