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Ripples #1057: Let Go!

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1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1057: Let Go!
Aug 26, 2019

PEBBLE
Letting go doesn’t always equate to you losing or missing out. You’re growing, you’re shedding, you’re becoming. -Alex Elle, shared by Pete in Manchester, NH

BOULDER
What is needed to amend the soil of your life garden? Letting go of what you no longer need is like compost for new growth.
-The Dreaming Realm via Kiva Lodge, shared by Lauranne in Madison, WI

PONDER
I’ve been zipping about helping new students embark on the next chapter in their lives as they start college (a ripply welcome to several new Chips from Central Michigan & new Panthers from Plymouth State who are also new Ripplers!). In my talks this fall, I’ve slipped in three questions that have served me well whenever I’m going through CHALLENGE and/or CHANGE:

What is it time to let go of?
What might be important to hold on to?
What could be useful to look forward to?

I thought I’d unpack these three questions over the next three weeks, and it makes sense to start with LETTING GO. I find that any time we’re enduring a challenging chapter in our life, especially one that includes change, we often have an instinct to cling to the familiar at the precise moment when it is time to let go of the way things used to be. While it seems reasonable to reach for the comfort of familiarity when we are feeling anxious or afraid, any growth involves change–which requires stepping into the unfamiliar.

Another opportunity for letting go presents itself when life unfolds differently than we were hoping or expecting. I’ve crossed paths with several new students who are struggling with a dark cloud that hovers over what they hoped would be a bright, shiny new chapter in their life. For some it is the death of a loved one; others are dealing with the untimely end of a relationship, and more than a few are recovering from an illness/injury that has impacted their summer and looms over the fall. These events are worthy of disappointment and/or frustration; in fact, sadness and anger are natural, healthy reactions to loss. It’s just that the sooner we grieve the loss of how we thought things were going to go, the more room we’ll have in our heads and hearts to embrace the life that awaits us.

Is there a way you need to LET GO? If so, let this be an invitation to take the next step in the process. It might not be easy, but I’m guessing it will be worth it.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #920: Releasing Jealousy.

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Ripples #920: Releasing Jealousy.
Jan 9, 2017

PEBBLE
Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
-Mary Schmich, shared by Peg in Madison, WI

BOULDER
There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. And no fear either. Because each one exists to make the others’ love more beautiful.
-Aberjhani, shared by Jessie in Chicago, IL

PONDER
If you’ve noticed envy creeping into your heart recently, you may want to first acknowledge it and perhaps even express gratitude for its intention. Jealously has at its roots an awareness that someone else has obtained or achieved something admirable, and also a longing for your own improvement. Neither of these is negative on its own.

Jealously becomes problematic because it tempts you to shift your focus away from the gifts you’ve already obtained, and it also hints that you may not be worthy or capable of acquiring that which someone else has.

You can move on from jealously as you gently remind yourself of your past successes and then determine whether you sincerely want to commit to the required effort it would take to transform the object of your envy into a goal OR if it is best to mentally congratulate the person for their achievement and move on to a more meaningful goal.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
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Ripples #882: The Journey of Un-Becoming.

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Ripples #882: The Journey of Un-Becoming.
Apr 18, 2016

PEBBLE
Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.
-unknown (found via @PurposeFairy), shared by Pat in Brueggerton, Cliftonia

BOULDER
Stop trying to heal yourself, fix yourself, even awaken yourself. Let go of letting go. Stop trying to fast-forward the movie of your life, chasing futures that never seem to arrive. Instead, bow deeply to yourself as you actually are. Your pain, your sorrow, your doubts, your deepest longings, your fearful thoughts, are not mistakes, and they aren’t asking to be healed. They are asking to be held. Here, now, lightly, in the loving arms of present awareness.
-Jeff Foster shared by Stephany near Cherokee Marsh, WI

PONDER

We are, each of us, on a journey.

Many people believe that their particular path was either divinely designed just FOR them, or on some level chosen BY them for the unique combination of lessons and opportunities it offers. You could say it is the Trip of a Lifetime, and whether your itinerary was created by the Great Travel Agency Above, self-selected, or simply randomly assigned, it is most assuredly up to US to make the most of the adventure.

Michelangelo described his process of sculpting as seeing a statue in an ordinary block of marble and then chipping away the excess material until the figure was revealed. Perhaps this week’s quotes are an invitation to shift away from viewing life as a series of “we must make something of ourselves” obligations and instead imagining a sampling of “let’s reveal our natural splendor” opportunities.

I propose we purposefully pause the momentum of go, go, go and grow, grow, grow this week; let’s catch our breath and unpack some of the baggage we’ve been lugging around. We can leave behind any past hurts, broken promises, unrealistic expectations, and expired dreams that have slowed us down which will allow us to travel lighter and freer and perhaps have a little extra room for new trinkets and possibilities along the way.

Enjoy the next leg of your trip, and send me a postcard along the way!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #802: Moving Forward!

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[10/05/2014]
Ripples #802: Moving Forward!

PEBBLE
Don’t hold a grudge.
It’s hot,
it’s heavy,
and it doesn’t have a handle.
-adapted from unknown source (possibly 1980’s SNL skit), shared by Susie J-F

BOULDER
The first to apologize is the bravest.
The first to forgive is the strongest.
The first to move forward is the happiest.
-source unknown, shared by Laurie in Oshkosh, WI

PONDER
First, I want to welcome back the 20,000 or so people that we finally were able to import to our new system for sending out Ripples. At first we had some technological issues, and then I was just nervous about importing such a massive list. The remarkable folks at MailChimp have been fantastic and I think you’re going to like our new home!

Second, I want to let ALL of you know that in a few weeks we’ll be asking for feedback about the new layout and features. Some of you have already shared concern and praises, and before we do any significant edits I’d like to hear the masses. Once I catch my breath from my fall travels I’m going to unleash a survey and I hope you’ll take a moment to chime in.

Finally, I’ll briefly say something about this week’s theme of MOVING FORWARD: sometimes we need to release a past wrong not because it was a little thing and not because another person deserves forgiveness. Sometimes we need to release a past wrong to make room for something new that can help us enjoy the next chapter of our adventures. Perhaps this week you can practice MOVING FORWARD from something small or medium-sized just to see how it feels. I will if you will.

Peace,
Paul
(((The Ripples Guy)))… 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 #743: The Heaviness of Things.

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Ripples #743: The Heaviness of Things.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
19 Aug 2013

PEBBLE:
If you weren’t so afraid of letting go,
you wouldn’t feel so free when you do it.
-source unknown, shared by Nikki in Oxford, UK

BOULDER:
You will find
that it is necessary
to let things go;
simply for the reason
that they are heavy.
So let them go,
let go of them.
-C. JoyBell C.

PONDER:
Has something been weighing you down lately?  Perhaps it was a missed opportunity, or someone you were counting on let you down, or maybe an inconvenient and frustrating turn of events has left you anxious or depressed.

Regardless of the size of the “thing” that you’re dealing with right now, it might be useful to acknowledge its impact on you, grieve the loss of how you thought it would turn on, and then you can finally lighten your load: take a few breaths and say goodbye.  Let. It. Go.

Peace!
Paul,
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #722: Create Yourself Anew!

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Ripples #722: Create Yourself Anew!
For our tribe of 31,242 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
March 25, 2013

PEBBLE:
You are doing something very sacred here,
during your life upon the earth.
You are creating yourself anew,
in each golden moment of Now.
-Neale Donald Walsch, shared by Isaac in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER:
May I become at all times, both now and forever,
a protector for those without protection,
a guide for those who have lost their way,
a ship for those with oceans to cross,
a bridge for those with rivers to cross,
a sanctuary for those in danger,
a lamp for those without light,
a place of refuge for those who lack shelter, and
a servant to all in need.
-Dalai Lama, shared by Ryan in La Crosse, WI

PONDER:
Even if it doesn’t feel like spring on the outside, I nominate this week as a verdant opportunity to do some spring cleaning on the inside. Rummage through your mind, your heart and your soul, looking for outdated beliefs about yourself that can be discarded to make room for fresh perspectives and a renewed outlook. You might be surprised how just a few minutes of contemplation could have a significant impact on yourself and those around you. Are you in?

Peace,
Paul… 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 #659: Forgive.

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Ripples #659: Forgive.
For our tribe of 29,696 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
01/10/2012

PEBBLE:
Forgiveness is not an occasional act,
it is a constant attitude.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

BOULDER:
Forgiving does not erase the bitter past.
A healed memory is not a deleted memory.
Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget
creates a new way to remember.
We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.
-Lewis B. Smedes, submitted by Nathan in Plymouth, NH

PONDER:
I have complicated, conflicting perspectives on forgiveness and I have been pondering the above boulder that Nathan submitted a few months ago. On the one hand I recognize there
is a weight to carrying a grudge or holding on to a past hurt in a way that burdens a person who was wronged, possibly without any consequence to the offender. On the other hand, I recognize that many people have experienced significant wounds that were intentionally inflicted without compassion for the injured.

The distinction between a “healed” and “deleted” memory is a powerful one, and I invite you to join me in pondering how creating a “new way to remember” old hurts might help us move forward with our lives and improve how we engage with others.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #588: Lose to Win!

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Ripples #588: Lose to Win!
For our tribe of 25,801 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
8/30/2010

PEBBLE:
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
-Lao Tzu, submitted by Linn W., Milwaukee WI

BOULDER:
There is no growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss;
and there is no loss without pain. Every change involves a loss of some
kind: You must let go of old ways in order to experience the new. We fear
these losses, even if our old ways were self-defeating, because, like a worn
out pair of shoes, they were at least comfortable and familiar.
-Rick Warren, submitted by Rachel K., LaBelle FL

PONDER:
It is holding you back more than you realize. It might be a belief, a
routine, a perspective, a pattern. That was the way it has always been,
that was the way you were taught by your elders. It may have been the right
way AND it might be time for a new way. If the idea of letting it go is
really scary, then perhaps dare yourself just to set it aside for a few
months to see what new possibilities might open up when you clear out the
spaces in your heart, your mind, and/or your schedule which currently hold
“the old way.” Gently remind yourself that you can always go back and
retrieve it if “the new way” doesn’t produce the results you desire.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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