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Ripples #1105: Interrupting Patterns

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Ripples #1105: Interrupting Patterns
July 27, 2020

PEBBLE
Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.
-Pema Chödrön, shared by Dana in Long Beach, CA

BOULDER
Pay attention to your patterns. The ways you learned to survive may not be the ways you want to continue to live. Heal and shift.
-Dr. Thelma Bryant-Davis, shared by Doug in Mobile, AL

PONDER
Habits are an important topic in the time management sessions I often present as conference breakout sessions (remember conferences? I remember conferences….and I miss them so!). Managing our habits is an extremely effective strategy for enhancing productivity and reducing procrastination.

Positive habits are useful for several reasons: they don’t require as much motivation to get started, we tend to get them done without having to rely as heavily on our memory or reminders, and they provide their own rewards since we tend to feel better when we make progress.

Unhelpful habits are problematic for similar reasons: they are easily reinforced (which make them difficult to extinguish), and we are often tempted by their short term rewards even though they tend to delay longer term, bigger goals that are ultimately more important to us.

It is also true we sometimes maintain or reinforce habits that have outlived their utility. We keep doing them because we’ve done them for a really long time, failing to notice that what was a boost to our effectiveness and/or enjoyment is now more of a drag.

Identifying unhelpful patterns and replacing them with more useful habits can move us closer to the life we want to lead. I’m still enjoying some down time, but I’ve already blocked off some time over the coming weeks to examine my routines and habits in the hopes I can make some tweaks to boost my productivity and also my joy.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #906: Heart Pieces.

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Ripples #906: Heart Pieces.
Oct 3, 2016

PEBBLE
If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.
-Shane Koyczan, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
Let your heart break daily.
In conversation. Over song lyrics.
During the pause right before the sun rises.
While you’re sipping coffee + looking into
the eyes of someone talking about something they love.
For it’s when we break a little – we come alive.
It’s in this space of healing,
we get to expand.
And it’s here, in our vulnerability and openness,
we step into our greatest selves.
-Danielle Doby, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

PONDER
Someone reached out to me last week with difficult news about heart break. She was let down at the last minute by someone she thought she was going to spend her whole life with. I trusted my gut and reached out to Team Ripples on Facebook, and sure enough…there were other people who had been through similar experiences and lived to tell about it. You can see the advice they shared here: https://www.facebook.com/ripplesguy/posts/10157550017465010

A few weeks earlier I posted on Facebook an exchange I had with a woman whose heart was shattered after her mother died. It didn’t take long for several other people who had lost a parent in a similar way to step forward and connect with each other. That note is posted here:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/paul-wesselmann/in-touch-with-grief-jessicas-story/10154716107461842

Hearts can break in so many ways, and I think each wound is unique depending upon the circumstances and how it impacts the people affected. I recently started using the green heart emoji as a reminder that our hearts continue to grow and heal even after the really tough stuff. We have all endured unexpected difficulty that has left our heart in pieces, and whether yours is more recent or from long ago, this is what I know: you’re here, so you made it to today. I hope you keep going and keep growing, and I hope you remember that we’re often stronger after the broken parts heal. And you can view scars as evidence of past wounds OR as proof of your capacity to heal. Choose wisely.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. You’re welcome to join our Facebook Group if you’d like a few extra splashes of inspiration every now and then:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamRipples/… Read More!

Ripples #899: Curating Your Life!

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Ripples #899: Curating Your Life!
Aug 15, 2016

PEBBLE
Coming to understand that there are usually a few good choices – and then there’s the one you pick, commit to, and make great – is the best way to make flexible, optimal, and good decisions in life.
-Marissa Mayer, shared by Catherine in Fitchburg, WI

BOULDER
Museums become amazing by gathering brilliant art in one location. Someone has to say no to certain pieces and collections. A curator is involved, making conscious decisions about what should be displayed and what should go. There’s an editing process. It is more often more important to those things that you say no to. What you leave out, whether it be in business, design, art, film, music,…and life. Choose what is truly essential. Remove things that are not. Continue editing. Then do it again.
-Michael Dunn (slightly adapted)

PONDER
As many of us get ready to dive into another academic year of school and/or work, we’re faced once again with choices about courses, projects, and/or priorities. One of the challenges in planning is that there are an infinite number options to explore and yet a finite amount of time and energy with which to pursue them.

This week’s boulder appeared in a LinkedIn post a few weeks ago just after I had visited the famous and fabulous Art Institute of Chicago while on vacation with my boyfriend. Michael’s analogy struck me as a creative and useful way to approach my schedule for the fall. There is so much more that I would like to achieve than I could possibly squeeze into a few months, especially if I want to produce “brilliant” work. Instead of overcommitting and perhaps setting myself up for failure, I set out to curate my calendar and accept that some things will need to wait for a later exhibition.

If you’re struggling as well, I invite you to spend some time this week reviewing your entire collection of possibilities. Mindfully assemble priorities that complement each other, and remember that determining which tasks you’ll need to set aside for now is a challenging yet courageous part of assembling a successful life that you’ll be proud to display. Happy curating!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
We’re always seeking fresh quotes to add to our collection, so if you encounter useful wisdom, please take a moment to share it with us by replying to this email OR using this link: http://theripplesguy.com/submit-quote/… Read More!

Ripples #762: Improving The World!

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Ripples #762:  Improving The World!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
30 Dec 2013

PEBBLE:
The most profound choice in life
is to either accept things as they exist
or to accept the responsibility for changing them.
-from The Universal Traveler by Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall, shared by Isaac in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER:
Don’t spend your precious time asking
“Why isn’t the world a better place?”
It will only be time wasted.
The question to ask is
“How can I make it better?”
To that there is an answer.
-Leo Buscaglia, submitted by Pete in Ouray, CO

PONDER:
As we take our last few breaths of the past year and get ready to plunge into the new one, I’m curious about what possibilities exist for you in 2014.  Even if you’re not someone who regularly sets resolutions, perhaps you can ponder what actions you could take that would improve your life and/or the world.

Just imagine if all 30,000 of us followed through on a few specific, concrete actions.  More than a ripple….we’d create a big fat wave of Improving The World!

Let’s do this, 2014.  LET’S DO THIS!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #746: Stepping Back.

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Ripples #746:   Stepping Back.
For our tribe of 29,559 busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
9 Sep 2013

PEBBLE:
It is not a daily increase,
but a daily decrease.
Hack away at the inessentials.
-Bruce Lee, shared by Tony in Missoula, MT

BOULDER:
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back-
-the only path to serenity.
-Lao Tzu, shared by Helen in Memphis, TN

PONDER:
I am so often encouraging you to think about what you could add to increase your effectiveness and enjoyment with work, school, and/or life.  Today I invite you to be curious about stepping back, observing and perhaps removing something (or someone?) from your life that no longer nourishes your spirit.  Imagine a doctor calling back with results from recent lab work:  “The good news is that everything looks fine; however, I think you should remove 1 or 2 projects from your full plate so you can maintain a proper balance and thrive for many years to come.”

What might you remove, and would would it take to make the call?

Peace 2u!
Paul,
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #730: Lost and Found!

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Ripples #730: Lost and Found!
For our tribe of 30,432 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
May 20, 2013

PEBBLE:
It’s the times you feel like you’ve lost everything
that you find everything you didn’t know you had.
-source unknown, shared by Zack W. via Facebook

BOULDER:
Adversity is like a strong wind.
It tears away from us all
but the things that cannot be torn,
so that we see ourselves as we really are.
-Arthur Golden, shared by Sarah in Fond du Lac, WI

PONDER:
It often seems like my #1 job on this planet is to remind us all to hang in there during inevitable challenges that we encounter. I’ve learned from experience and from supporting others that the tougher challenges often yield larger opportunities for growth. The toughest races offer the biggest prizes, right? Life can be exceedingly difficult, and we sometimes have to get to the finish line to find what we lost and what we gained.

To my peeps that are facing difficulties right now, HANG IN THERE! Remember to BREATHE, remember to ask for help when necessary, and remember that we often fail to realize how TOUGH we are until we’re tested. YOU’VE GOT THIS!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. If life is going fairly well for you right now, keep an eye out for others who are currently struggling. They might need a hand or a hug or both.… Read More!

Ripples #703: Live Your Time!

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Ripples #703: Live Your Time.
For our tribe of 31,907 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
11/13/2012

PEBBLE:
The way we spend our time defines who we are.
-Jonathan Estrin

BOULDER:
The one thing that you have
that nobody else has is you.
Your voice, your mind,
your story, your vision.
So write and draw and
build and play and dance
and live as only you can.
-Neil Gaiman

PONDER:
There are so many minutes that we have to spend on work and school and chores and stuff we *have* to do, that there are sometime precious few minutes that *we* get to decide exactly how to spend. The fewer of these you have this week, the more important it is to make good choices about how to spend them.

Please spend a moment today making good choices about how you’re going to spend your extra minutes. Perhaps you’ll choose to have a mini-adventure with a friend or two; on the other hand, you may need some quiet alone time. If free time is really sparse, take a few deep breaths and settle into the moment just to savor the here and now for a minute or two. Here, Now!

Peace,
Paul
P.S. Welcome to our new peeps from New Mexico State University and University of Nebraska. It was fantastic to visit last week, and I won’t soon forget my time with you!… Read More!

Ripples #676: Lighten The Load!

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Ripples #676: Lighten The Load!
For our tribe of 30,915 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
05/07/2012

PEBBLE:
I cling like a miser to the freedom that disappears
as soon as there is an excess of things.
-Albert Camus, submitted by Ester in Barcelona, Catalonia

BOULDER:
Let the moment come
when nothing is left
but life,
and you will find
that you do not hesitate
over the fate of
material possessions.
-Edward V. Rickenbacker, submitted by Charlene G., Bellefonte, PA

PONDER:
It started as a tiny whisper that it was time for me to sell my home and move on. Over the last few months my intuition has evolved into a quest to LIGHTEN THE LOAD. Each box of stuff that is packed up to be donated, sold, or given away allows me to feel lighter and freer; this expansive feeling confirms that I am making the right choice to prepare for the next chapter in my life.

I wonder if there is a way you can LIGHTEN THE LOAD this week? It could be a chance to tackle a room, a shelf, or even just a drawer to figure out what you can do without. Another option might be to reach inside, see if there is an old grudge or an outdated way of looking at an issue that is no longer useful. A psychic clearing can be as freeing as a garage cleaning!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #672: Donuts & Holes.

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Ripples #672: Donuts & Holes.
For our tribe of 30,676 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
04/09/2012

PEBBLE:
As you ramble on through life, brother,
whatever be your goal,
keep your eye upon the donut
and not upon the hole.
-on the wall at “Dippy Donuts” in Omaha, NE;
submitted by Diane in Gilbert, AZ

BOULDER:
Decide to be happy today,
to live with what is yours:
your family, your business, your job, your luck.
If you can’t have what you like,
maybe you can like what you have.
Just for today, be kind, cheerful, agreeable,
responsible, caring and understanding.
Be your best, dress your best, talk softly,
look for the bright side of things.
Praise people for what they do and
don’t criticize them for what they cannot do.
If someone does something stupid,
forgive and forget.
After all,
it’s just for one day.
-source unknown, submitted by Karen in Cincinnati, OH

PONDER:
If I asked you to brainstorm a list of things that would help make your life easier, you could probably identify a few pretty quickly: more money, different circumstances, more time with some people you enjoy and perhaps less time with certain other people.

Let’s save that list for another day; instead, I want you to notice the “donuts” in your life…..the people and things and situations that make your life taste good. I challenge you, just for today (or maybe throughout this week?), to ignore the “hole”–the pieces that sometime feel missing–and just savor the goodness in your life.

Your life may be more delicious than you realize!

Peace,
Paul
p.s. Yeah, I know…I’m hungry for donuts now as well. Sorry about that…… Read More!

Ripples #657: Live Your Life!

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Ripples #657: Live Your Life!
For our tribe of 29,783 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
12/26/2011

PEBBLE:
Is the life I’m living
the life that wants
to live in me?
-Parker Palmer

BOULDER:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
-Steve Jobs, submitted by Nick in New Jersey

PONDER:
As we prepare to wrap up 2011 and launch another year, this is a great week to think about the lives we are living: decisions made, paths taken, opportunities pursued. If you conclude that any of your choices have led you in a direction that is not working as you intended, decide that 2012 will be about charting a new course so that a year from now you can more confidently answer YES to the question raised in the pebble above.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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