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Ripples #898: Your Voice, Your Song.

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Ripples #898: Your Voice, Your Song.
Aug 8, 2016

PEBBLE
In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.
―John Grisham, shared by Kathy in Pittsville, WI

BOULDER
Meaning is what calls from the depths of the soul. It is the song that sings us into life. Whether we have a meaningful life depends upon whether we can hear this song, this primal music of the sacred.
-Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

PONDER
Right now, at this particular time in our history, there are thing things that need to be said that can be best spoken with your voice. Your perspective isn’t quite like any one else’s on this entire planet, and your experience hasn’t been like anyone else’s. The life you have lived and the things you have seen and the choices you’ve been offered and the paths you have taken are not quite like anyone else’s. We need you to speak your truth about your life, and your perspective, and your beliefs and your truth.

There are also songs that need to be sung which only you can sing: heartbreaking torch songs to release pain, triumphant choruses that cultivate joy, and melodic ballads that describe the adventures you’ve been on and the lessons you’ve learned. It may seem like there are times when your voice and your song aren’t valued, because there are so many others trying desperately to be heard. It is easy to forget but we must always remember: as long as there are problems to be solved and challenges to be faced and difficulties to be overcome…we need need your help in addressing them.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #888: Considering Others.

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Ripples #888: Considering Others.
May 30, 2016

PEBBLE
The value of self is not lost when considering others; it grows.
-unknown, shared by Kerry

BOULDER
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.
—Cesar Chavez, shared by a happy Rippler

PONDER
Here in the U.S. we kick off our summer with the Memorial Day holiday weekend which includes picnics and parades and all kinds of barbecue deliciousness. Most of us also remember to carve out a few minutes to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who died serving our country.

Whether they were drafted into service or not, their success and in many cases their very lives depended on their ability to consider and count on each other.

I’m still working on the right way to help us all improve at considering the perspectives and concerns of each other as we approach a most cantankerous election season. I’m hopeful that I’ll soon have some useful words and suggestions to share. Until then, I invite you to notice the ways in which you are doing a great job of considering the needs of others you encounter AND I dare you to spend some time wondering how your own life might improve if you were able to extend that consideration to those who are currently outside your circle of concern.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. Thanks for reading. It matters.… Read More!

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 #841: Living In Community!

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Ripples #841: Living In Community!
July 6, 2015

PEBBLE
Community is not just where you live,
it’s how you live with other people.
-Tommy Rueff, Happen INC.
seen on a 4th of July Parade Float in Northside community, Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER
Don’t overlook the significance of your smallest opportunities for civilized behavior throughout each day. The future has no bigger moments than we experience right now. The world changes for the better with every act of kindness, and for the worse with every act of cruelty. The future is nothing grander than the very next moment, and it arrives solely from the present.
-Bo Lozoff, shared by Brett in Madison, WI

PONDER
There are some really BIG challenges facing us in this world: climate change, global economics, religious and political conflicts, poverty, etc. These can tempt us to throw our hands in the air and give up because, well, “What can I do?”

A lot, it turns out. Our most significant challenges are borne out of countless smaller actions that combine into bigger consequences. And every single time you’re able to extend compassion, kindness, patience, and/or support to those around you in need, you create tiny solutions that can merge into solid reasons for hope.

This week as you move through the communities in which you work, live, and play, keep an eye out for examples of individuals and groups who are making things better. Perhaps you can take a moment to thank them, or maybe even let their example inspire you to take some specific actions to be part of things getting better.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I received significantly more feedback last week than usual; most people enjoyed the issue and some folks had concerns. I’ll continue to ask patience from all parties as our society continues a relatively rapid culture shift, and gently remind us all that change is a process that includes stages similar to grief. Some of the indignation, frustration, and devastation you’re observing may be expressions of denial, anger, and sadness that, once acknowledged, might help individuals and organizations move towards acceptance if not approval. Namaste… Read More!

Ripples #829: Gifts to Share.

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Ripples #829:
Gifts to Share.
Apr 13, 2015

PEBBLE
Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.
-Tony Robbins, shared by Dylan in Chicago, IL

BOULDER
The purpose in life is not to win. The purpose in life is to grow and share. When you come back to look on all you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.
-Rabbi Harold Kushner, shared by Carolyn in Lincoln, NE

PONDER
This week I zoomed north and east to hang out with student leaders at the University of Maine. We explored the opportunities and challenges of serving others and discussed how to improve our leadership effectiveness by seeking the right combination of self-care and sharing gifts with others.

We watched a great SoulPancake video about the benefits of sharing gratitude; (https://youtu.be/oHv6vTKD6lg) it expanded on some research that suggests telling someone who has been influential in your life exactly what impact they had on your life will significantly increase your level of happiness even if (and more precisely ESPECIALLY if) you are not particularly happy right now. I really liked the idea that sharing gratitude is a wonderful gift to give others AND it simultaneously helps you feel better as well.

What would happen if we each identified someone who has been generous with their gifts of time, wisdom, and/or support and share the gift of gratitude by reaching out to them with a conversation or note to explain exactly how they’ve impacted you? It quite possibly improve their week, and I’m guessing it will make ours a little brighter, too. Are you in?

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I’m grateful how many subscribers find the time to regularly READ and PONDER our little splashes of inspiration; I *especially* appreciate when you occasionally SHARE the gifts by following through on the suggestions we mention. Those actions often create concrete, ever-widening ripples by inspiring others to continue spreading the inspiration.… Read More!

Ripples #778: The Earth Delights!

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Ripples #778:  The Earth Delights!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
21 Apr 2014

PEBBLE:
In every walk with nature
one receives far more than he seeks.
—John Muir

BOULDERS:
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green earth,
dwelling deeply in the present moment
and feeling truly alive.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Forget not that the earth delights
to feel your bare feet,
and the winds long
to play with your hair.
-Kahlil Gibran

PONDER:
I’m thrilled that so many people embrace “Earth Day” to honor this precious and tender and valuable resource we call Home.  In addition to recognizing the important environmental issues we’re facing at this time, I would LOVE it if you made Earth Day about honoring nature, celebrating nature, and most simply ENJOYING nature.

Appreciating the Earth is an essential component of preserving it, so please enjoy today by enjoying our Home!

Peace,
Paul… 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 #736: Freedom’s Responsibility.

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Ripples #736: Freedom’s Responsibility.
For our tribe of busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
1 July 2013

PEBBLE:
Responsibility is the price of freedom.
-Elbert Hubbard

BOULDER:
For to be free
is not merely to cast off one’s chains,
but to live in a way
that respects and enhances
the freedom of others.
-Nelson Mandela

PONDER:
This week we in the USA celebrate our country’s Independence Day (and Happy Canada Day to our friends to the north!). How about we ALL spend a few moments savoring the RIGHTS granted to us through our civic/cultural freedoms? This week’s quotes remind us to also ponder the RESPONSIBILITIES that come along with freedom. Whether these gifts were handed to us or earned, I believe that the whole world improves when we each take on a piece of the responsibility to help those who have less than us. Think about it…and if you can find a way to ACT that will enhance the freedom of others this week, I think you’ll enjoy your own freedom even more.

Peace to you…and Freedom, too!
Paul,
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #732: Responding.

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Ripples #732: Responding.
For our tribe of 30,501 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
Jun 3, 2013

PEBBLE:
Are you reacting rashly,
or responding rationally?
-The Ripples Guy

BOULDER:
Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
-Viktor Frankl, shared by Lisa in Vernon Hills, IL

PONDER:
How often has someone said or done something that whipped you into a frenzy of frustration or produced a lighting rod of anger before you’ve had a chance to take a breath and really assess the situation? Do you ever regret the drama of the overheated moment and wish you had waited a few moments (or months) to respond in a more compassionate, measured way?

Here is yet another chance to remember that our FIRST REACTION is not always our BEST RESPONSE. I hope you can take a time out when necessary this week, and don’t be afraid to reach out and apologize to someone who received your BRASH self instead of your BEST self.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #710: Running Fast!

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Ripples #710: Running Fast!
For our tribe of 31,612 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
12/31/2012

PEBBLE:
Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.
-Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

BOULDER:
Do not wait around for
shooting stars to wish on.
Run so fast and so hard
that every star flies across the sky.
-written and submitted by Jennifer Cofer in Boulder, CO

PONDER:
Here we are, on the edge of a new year and therefore a new “space” for you to explore possibilities. Whether or not resolutions play a role in your new year traditions, I encourage you to ponder Dr. Taylor’s advice above and take responsibility for what you bring into this new year. What you BRING will have a much bigger impact on your accomplishments this year than what you merely WISH for.

I am determined to increase my effectiveness in unleashing ripples of potential next year, and I’ll soon be asking for your help along the way. Are you in? I hope so, because together we can make a massive impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. Stay tuned…

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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