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Perspective

Ripples #836: A Perfect Rhythm.

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Ripples #836: A Perfect Rhythm.
June 1, 2015

PEBBLE
At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything else.
-George Leonard, shared by Rachel in California

BOULDER
Life’s solutions lie in the minute particulars,
involving more and more individual people
daring to create their own life and art,
daring to listen to the voice in their deepest original nature,
and deeper still, the voice within the Earth.
-Stephen Nachmanovitch, shared by Mark in Madison, WI

PONDER
The combination of this week’s quotes attempt to capture the wonderful symphony that is constantly and simultaneously being composed and performed as each of us add our unique contributions to the world. I especially appreciate that they hint at a paradox: Each of us doing our own thing leads us to a connected yet interdependent society; we need each other and we feed each other, even when it seems like we’re a bunch of soloists.

I invite you to keep your ears and your soul open this week so you can detect the rhythms all around you; also notice how your actions are interconnected to those of the people you encounter this week even if they aren’t in perfect harmony.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #825: Openness.

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Ripples #825: Openness.
Mar 16, 2015

PEBBLE
Openness may not completely disarm prejudice,
but it’s a good place to start.
-Jason Collins, shared by Danielle in Jacksonville, FL

BOULDER
Embrace the faith that every challenge surmounted by your energy; every problem solved by your wisdom; every soul stirred by your passion; and every barrier to justice brought down by your determination will ennoble your own life, inspire others, serve your country, and explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth. -Madeleine Albright

PONDER
You may have heard in the news this week about several examples of extreme unkindness: hurtful chants from a busload of college students, acts of extreme violence against individuals and groups both here and abroad, and the ongoing and fiercely stubborn resistance against our society’s ever-evolving attempts to include those who have historically been excluded. It is tempting, and understandable, to become disheartened and discouraged when it seems like things are getting worse instead of better.

It is important to remember that while we have a long way to go in completely eliminating oppression and inequality, there is lots of evidence that we’ve come a long way and that we continue to take important steps in making the world safer and more inviting for people to bring their best selves to work, school, and life.

I believe a really useful next step would be for each us to be more open in identifying our own limitations, concerns, and fears; and also creating safe spaces for others to do the same. This would allow us to improve our individual efforts at reducing oppression and expanding inclusiveness, and will pave the way for sustained improvements in how our organizations and communities value difference.

I hope you can spend some time talking about this with people around you this week; classrooms, staff meetings, and/or family discussions. Talking isn’t sufficient, but being open with ourselves and those around us is a necessary first step to making the world better for us all.

Namasté,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #796: Connectedness.

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Ripples #796: Connectedness.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
25 August 2014

PEBBLE:
Connection:
the energy that exists between people
when they feel seen, heard, and valued.
-Brené Brown

BOULDER:
Historically, we have overestimated
the value of access to information,
and we have always underestimated
the value of access to each other.
-Clay Shirky, shared by Terry in Oak Creek, WI

PONDER:

I’ve begun my annual fall travel adventures to help staff and students around the country get revved up for the upcoming year. I believe that thriving in school, work, and life requires building and maintain mutually beneficial connections, and one of my core messages is encouraging people to surround themselves with the right combination of people with similar backgrounds and perspectives along with those who have experienced the world very differently.

Being around people who are SIMILAR to you allows one to feel comfortable, while being around people who are DIFFERENT than you allows one to be challenged. And anyone who has ever heard a pep talk from The Ripples Guy knows that optimal growth takes place only when an individual has the right combination of comfort and challenge.

Take a moment to see what you need more of in your life: connecting with a longtime friend who knows just how to comfort you, or stepping up to the challenge of getting to know someone at work or in your neighborhood that seems to have a very different background or perspective than you. Or maybe both?!

Peace,

Paul… Read More!

Ripples #767: See The Best.

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Ripples #767:  See The Best.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
27 Jan 2014

PEBBLE:
A loving person lives in a loving world.
A hostile person lives in a hostile world;
everyone you meet is your mirror.
-Ken Keyes, Jr., shared by Heather in Anchorage, AK

BOULDER:
If we see only the worst,
it destroys our capacity to do something.
If we remember those times and places—
-and there are so many—
-where people have behaved magnificently,
this gives us the energy to act,
and at least the possibility
of sending this spinning top of a world
in a different direction.
-Howard Zinn, shared by David in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER:
There are big heaps of good stuff in the world, along with plenty of poopiness as well.  It is important not to ignore the yucky stuff completely, as there are lessons to be learned and people to be cautious about.  Sometimes, though, we can get too focused on the difficulties.  That can harden our heart which then makes it more difficult to see any of the positive aspects of life…which then causes to lose hope and our heart further hardens.

If you need a lift this week, I dare you to practice focusing on the upbeat people and happy happenings and delightful other-things that you encounter.  It may not be possible (or prudent) to ONLY see the good stuff, but keeping your eyes open for sunshine will likely make your day brighter.  And that could make all the difference.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #760: Falling Into Fabulous!

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Ripples #760:  Falling Into Fabulous!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
16 Dec 2013

PEBBLE:
The bad news is you are falling through the air;
nothing to hang on to, no parachute.
The good news is there is no ground.
-Chogyam Trungpa, shared by Ryan in La Crosse, WI

BOULDER:
Today I learned in class that
if light and sound did not travel as waves,
we would not be able to perceive them;
no grandeur color or sounds of nature.
If you were to view this
as a metaphor of your own life,
you might recognize that life’s ups and downs
are just the natural price we pay
for the experience of each breath.
-written and shared by Zach Koop in La Crosse, WI

PONDER:
Life is *not* always easy.  At various times there might be really frustrating stuff happening with work, school, relationships, chores, and other aspects of life.  I never want to be that shmarmy dude on stage (or in these Ripples posts) with a plastic smile suggesting that all you have to do is “think positive” or “follow my easy advice” to have a magical and wonderful existence.  Life is, in my experience, sometimes really messy.  Poopy, even.  And while I don’t WISH any crappity crap on you, I do know that the inevitable difficulties that arise in the course of a lifetime often leave us tougher, wiser, and more compassionate.  On the downside, they can also lead us into the temptation of bitter, meaner, and more crusty.  The next time you find yourself falling, I hope you’ll fall into fabulous.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #747: Sheer Delight!

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Ripples #747:  Sheer Delight!
For our tribe of 29,532 busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
16 Sep 2013

PEBBLE:
Sheer delight is hidden everywhere
for those who care to see.
-Mark Hierholzer, shared by Julia in Blanchardville, WI

BOULDER:
When you recover or discover something
that nourishes your soul and brings joy,
care enough about yourself
to make room for it in your life.
-Jean Shinoda Bolen

PONDER:
Whether you’re savoring a stretch of “everything is awesome,” stuck in a quagmire of “OMG my life is sooo poopy,” or even enduring a really mediocre “meh, is this all there is?”; this issue of Ripples is being unleashed for the purpose of encouraging you to keep your eyes, ears, and heart open for the “sheer delight” that Mr. Hierholzer reminds us about in the pebble above.

It isn’t always easy to find the delight;
it is, in my experience usually worth it.

Peace!
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #719: The Optimist’s Cha-cha!

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Ripples #719: The Optimist’s Cha-cha!
For our tribe of 31,141 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Monday, March 4, 2013

PEBBLE:
Nothing is a waste of time
if you use the experience wisely.
-Auguste Rodin, shared by Kim in De Pere, WI

BOULDER:
An optimist is someone who figures
that taking a step backward
after a step forward
is not a disaster;
it’s a cha-cha.
-Robert Brault, shared by Melissa in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER:
Last week I was all excited to roll out another round of $100 Ripples
Grants to inspire ripples of joy and kindness. And then the system we use
to send out Ripples hiccuped and most people didn’t receive Ripples last
week. PHOOEY! It was Wednesday before I could shake it off and recognize
that waiting until next week wouldn’t be the end of the world. And then,
when I saw these quotes in the pile I knew: this was just a little
cha-cha! I hope *you* can transform any inevitable setbacks you face this
week and them into opportunities to dance.

Peace,
Paul
P.S. Oh, and here is the video with details about the grants!
http://youtu.be/3hFMsc4jRuU… Read More!

Ripples #717: Mini-Puzzles!

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Ripples #717: Mini-Puzzles!
For our tribe of 31,176 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
02/19/2013

PEBBLE:
If you find a path with no obstacles,
it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
-Frank A Clark, shared by Susan in Woodland, CA

BOULDER:
It’s life’s complexities
that make it fun;
mini-puzzles all over the place
just waiting to be skillfully solved!
-written and shared by Holly from South Jersey

PONDER:
Life ain’t always easy.

Depending upon what your life is currently like, your reaction to this statement could range anywhere from a slight nod and shrug all the way up to a sarcastic, “Duh!” or maybe even all the way to screaming, “TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW, AND THEN TELL ME HOW TO FIX MY CRAPPY LIFE!”

The bad news is that I don’t likely have the answers to fix all the challenges you’re facing right now. The good news is that there are more answers within you than you might realize, and one of the most useful way to transform obstacles into opportunities is to change how you view them. The trick is to tweak your attitude just a bit; shift your perspective enough to see your current difficulties as mini-puzzles that, once solved, will help you acquire new skills. The bigger the puzzle, the more difficult this can be AND the more lessons you can learn from it. Of course, shifting your attitude alone won’t solve the puzzles. It will, however, unlock significant internal resources to help you get started.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #715: Smart Cookie!

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Ripples #715: Smart Cookie!
For our tribe of 31,322 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
02/05/2013

PEBBLE:
You can’t be a smart cookie
if you have a crummy attitude.
-John Maxwell, shared by Sue in Lincoln, NE

BOULDER:
I am determined to be cheerful and happy
in whatever situation I may find myself.
For I have learned that the greater part
of our misery or unhappiness is determined
not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
-Martha Washington, shared by Nick in New Jersey

PONDER:
We all have crummy days, that is for sure. The trick is not to crumble when you encounter them. I don’t know if you have to follow Ms. Washington’s strategy of ALWAYS striving for cheerful and happy, because sometimes tears need to be shed and frustration needs to be vented.

Just remember that you need to put your bestest, highest self in charge of choosing the best mood for the occasion. Avoid getting TRAPPED in grief or anger and remember that at some point it can be useful to jump up, dust yourself off, and remember what a smart cookie you really are.

Peace,
Paul
p.s. I apologize if, like me, this week’s theme instills in you a temptation to devour sweets.

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Ripples #706: Believing vs. Knowing.

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Ripples #706: Believing vs. Knowing.
For our tribe of 31,768 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
12/04/2012

PEBBLE:
Be less certain.
Be more curious.
-Steve Robbins, submitted by Brett in Madison, WI

BOULDER:
People take different roads
seeking fulfillment and happiness.
Just because they’re not on your road
doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.
-Dalai Lama

PONDER:
Two movies I’ve seen in the past week have me pondering what I believe and what I know to be true. “The Life of Pi” and “Rise of the Guardians” are amazing and I recommend both highly (see them in 3D if you can–they are each visually stunning without overwhelming). In very different ways, they explore the interplay between faith and facts.

Yesterday I used my iPhone to capture some thoughts that sprang up in the middle of a serene Sunday hike. The transcript would exceed my 60 second rule about the length of these Ripples, but I’ll share the link in the hopes that some of you may take 5 minutes to watch: http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=497&m=867&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=2470&l=-http–www.youtube.com/watch–Q-v–E-BCaPeoVotZw

If life is too busy for that, at least make an effort this week to be less certain and more curious. For me, for you, and for us all.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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