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Ripples #1106: Higher Rung

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Ripples #1106: Higher Rung
Aug 3, 2020

PEBBLE
To ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, of initiation. I have never found an exception.
-Dan Millman, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ

BOULDER
Challenges sometimes confront us when we least want them, and yet it is often in dark times when the most positive inner changes can occur. Life’s occasional disasters can even lead us back to something we have lost along the way, a path with purpose and fulfillment.
-Bill Lucas, written and shared by Bill in Chicago, IL [who transformed a most unwelcome basement flooding into an invitation to spruce up his home, his mind, and his spirits]

PONDER
If your struggles are too mighty to think about THRIVING right now, it is okay to just focus on SURVIVING. If, however, there happen to be some areas of your life where you feel ready to accept the challenge of improving, growing, becoming…well then, welcome to the climb!

I suspect you’ll climb faster and higher if you lower your defenses, set aside your preference for comfort, and move past mere tolerance for discomfort. Can you find a way to embrace discomfort as though it was a long lost friend that you’re really excited to see?

There is a powerful scene in Forrest Gump when he and Lieutenant Dan are about to face a hurricane in their tiny shrimp boat. Having lost both legs in Vietnam, Lt. Dan spent years feeling defeated and despondent. The approaching storm seems to awaken his fighting spirit, and he screams up to God/Mother Nature: “Come on! You call this a storm? Blow, you son of a ****! Blow! It’s time for a showdown! You and me! I’m right here! Come and get me!” He ends up conquering the storm, and the resulting sense of satisfaction and peace is evident in several following scenes. Of course the way it is portrayed in the movie is over the top and unrealistic, and yet every single time I re-watch the movie a strong sense of fierce resilience rises up within me. It renews my fighting spirit and strengthens my resolve to tackle whatever life has recently handled me.

Is there a way you could choose to transform a specific difficulty you’re facing right now into an invitation to climb your way to a higher rung?

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #1013: The Treasure of Connection!

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Ripples #1013: The Treasure of Connection!
Oct 22, 2018

PEBBLE
Assume the person you’re talking to knows something you don’t, and be eager to learn it.
-Nick Offerman at University of Illinois Commencement
shared by Ricky from Fort Smith, AR

BOULDER
I am not old, she said. I am rare. I am the standing ovation at the end of the play. I am the retrospective of my life as Art. I am the hours, connected like dots, into good sense. I am the fullness of existing. You think I am waiting to die, but I am waiting to be found. I am a treasure. I am a map. And these wrinkles are imprints of my journey: ask me anything.
-Samantha Reynolds (adapted slightly), shared by D, who heard it from her friend Gloria during a very important walk

PONDER
Last Friday I had a rare and wondrous opportunity to fire up two different groups that were gathering here in Cincinnati on the very same day. In the morning I spent some time with EOPO (Education Office Professionals of Ohio) and then zipped home for a nap and a wardrobe change before helping Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society, kick off their annual conference.

While the presentations were slightly different, a primary objective of both speeches was encouraging them to find the right balance between hanging out with the people they already knew well, and making new connections. I’m at these sorts of events all the time, and I notice that attendees often succumb to the inevitable temptation of hanging out primarily with the classmates and coworkers they traveled with, as well as people they’ve met at previous events. That is understandable, especially since conferences can be great ways to maintain and deepen mutually beneficial relationships.

It is equally important to branch out and forge new connections with people you have NOT yet met, particularly those who have different backgrounds and perspectives and experiences. That can be more difficult since you might seem to have less in common with them, and meeting new people is usually a little less comfortable and a little more awkward than hanging out with your trusted friends. Still: IT IS SO WORTH IT! These new contacts are valuable because they can provide fresh perspectives and ideas which can ignite curiosity and creativity. And you just never know when a brief chat with new connection can lead to valuable opportunities.

If you’re headed to a professional development event or really any gathering of like-minded souls, consider it a quest for the treasure of connection!

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!

Ripples #984: To Dare!

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Ripples #984: To Dare!
April 2, 2018

PEBBLE
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
-Søren Kierkegaard
shared by Gina in St. Louis, MO

BOULDER
Gardening, like life, requires courage. We must be brave enough to cut back the old and sit with bare branches, awaiting new growth. And we must trust that it will come.
-Cheryl Richardson, Waking Up in Winter
shared by Sue in Plymouth, MI

PONDER
Have you been hibernating or feeling stagnate lately? As spring bursts forth and nature prepares for growth, this is a good time of year to prepare ourselves for our own burst of growth.

Can you think of any actions or goals that you’ve been meaning to work on? Personal or professional, modest or massive, sensible or silly: I dare you to identify some specific steps that might help you grow, and then incorporate them into your plans for the spring.

In fact, I don’t just dare you, I triple dog dare you!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Speaking of growth…. As we inch toward our 1,000th week of sending out these weekly splashes, we’d be so honored if you took some time to forward an issue on to your family, friends, and colleagues, sharing with them why you enjoy Ripples and inviting them to join us. Thanks! -pw… Read More!

Ripples #848: Innovate!

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Ripples #848: Innovate!
Aug 24, 2015

PEBBLE
There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.
-Brene Brown, shared by Kelsey in Fond du Lac, WI

BOULDER
If you expect courage, forgive first.
If you expect innovation, fail and learn first.
If you expect curiosity, ask questions first.
If you expect energy, take action first.
-Dan Rockwell, shred by Darcy from the beach in SoCal

PONDER
This is the time of year when many of us are heading back to work and/or school. If you’re in this camp, I’m guessing that along with anticipation of crisp weather and colorful foliage comes hopes of achieving new heights of success and new levels of insights. We sometimes forget that so much of our maturity and wisdom grows out of setbacks and failures: the courage to succeed starts with the courage to fail.

Innovation is about upheaval, transformation, and breaking through to the next level. The pathway to innovation includes lots of twists and turns along with detours and roadblocks that make it easy for some folks to give up. Not only can these obstacles help strengthen your resolve and help you grow stronger, they often encourage creativity and luck because they require you to try new things.

If you want to pal around with innovation this fall, be sure to make friends with creativity, persistence, and failure as well. Together they will help you get where you want to go…and maybe help you discover places that are not even on your map yet!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #845: Amazing Views!

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Ripples #845: Amazing Views!
Aug 3, 2015

PEBBLE
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
-Edward Abbey, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

BOULDER
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
-Kurt Vonnegut, shared by Megan in San Diego

PONDER
Over and over and OVER we are reminded that success involves taking risks, and that the most satisfying experiences we have in work and life involve stretching ourselves beyond our current limits.

And while fear can be a useful warning system, it can also prevent us from embracing possibilities that are waiting for us on the other side. Let this week be about remembering times when we’ve moved forward and been rewarded with an amazing view of success. If you’ve done it before, you can do it some more!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #832: Allowing Others In.

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Ripples #832: Allowing Others In.
May 4, 2015

PEBBLE
Spiritual growth is characterized by
the capacity to allow others into your heart.
-Tijn Touber, shared by Terry in Oak Creek, WI

BOULDER
A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend,
one human soul whom we can trust utterly,
who knows the best and worst of us,
and who loves us in spite of all our faults.
-Charles Kingsley, shared by Nick in Indiana

PONDER
It isn’t always easy to let someone into your heart to develop an authentic connection with them. Sometimes it is our personality that prefers to keep emotions at bay and connections at arms length; other times it is the norms we picked up from our families, communities, and/or cultures that dictates how close we get to those around us.

It is also true that past hurts sometimes create protective coatings to safeguard us; and while they have incredibly noble aspirations of preventing us from being hurt, they also unfortunately keep out empathy and compassion that is being extended by those with noble intentions and worthy goals: they want to love us, but we are sometimes too afraid to let them in.

The first step to allowing others into the sacred and softer places in our heart is to notice both the benefits and costs of keeping people at a distance, and seeing if there aren’t some small risks we could take to let someone in just a bit. Might you be willing to experiment this week: sharing a bit of personal information with a colleague you’ve spoken with several times, or opening up to a neighbor or acquaintance that you’ve known superficially for years? I’m in if you are!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I was inspired to assemble this week’s Ripples by a recent encounters with a few remarkable people who are taking courageous steps to emerge from their protective casings and seek the healing embrace of vulnerability and connectedness. I extend my kudos to them, and an invitation to the rest of us to allow others in this week.… Read More!

Ripples #678: The Risk of Living.

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Ripples #678: The Risk of Living.
For our tribe of 30,943 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
05/21/2012

PEBBLE:
Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid.
-Frederick Buechner, submitted by Amy in Charlotte, NC

BOULDER:
It takes so much to be a full human being
that there are very few who have
the enlightenment or courage to pay the price…
One has to abandon altogether the search for security
and reach out to the risk of living with both arms.

One has to accept pain as a condition of existence.
One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing.
One needs a will stubborn in conflict,
but apt always to total acceptance
of every consequence of living and dying.
-Morris West, submitted by Jessica in Brooklyn, NY

PONDER:
Remember, folks, we have only one day to live: Today. We cannot live in the past or the future, although we are sometimes tempted by worry, guilt, and regret to try. It just doesn’t work out that way. Yes we need to keep our eye on what is coming up in our lives, and it is true that our past offers some valuable history lessons worth keeping in mind. AND: Today is where it is at, it the right place to be; it’s what all the cool cats are drinking. So let’s grab a red Solo cup and fill it to the top with the delicious, thirst-quenching tonic of THIS VALUABLE DAY!

Embrace all the good and all the messy and all the joy and all the sadness: indeed, let’s you and I enjoy the RISK OF LIVING just for today. Okay?

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #677: Leave A Trace.

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Ripples #677: Leave A Trace.
For our tribe of 30,858 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
05/15/2012

PEBBLE:
We never touch people so lightly
that we do not leave a trace.
-Peggy Tabor Millin, submitted by Angie in Altoona, WI

BOULDER:
We are each other’s business;
we are each other’s harvest;
we are each other’s magnitude and bond.
-Gwendolyn Brooks, submitted by Nick in New Jersey

PONDER:
Our capacity to individually survive and collectively thrive hinges on our ability to provide assistance to each other and accept occasional assistance in return. Some of us are good at one and not the other, so let’s make this a week of acknowledging those who have helped us on our journey AND allowing ourselves to consider the lives that we have improved. It may just be an internal pondering AND you could make someone’s day with a quick text, email, or handwritten note that describes how they have improved your world.

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #668: Make Mistakes.

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Ripples #668: Make Mistakes.
For our tribe of 30,211 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
03/12/2012

PEBBLE:
Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.
-Yogi Berra, submitted by Amanda in Two Rivers, WI

BOULDER:
You have to make mistakes
to find out who you aren’t.
You take the action,
and the insight follows:
You don’t think your way
into becoming yourself.
-Anne Lamott, submitted by Brett in Madison, WI

PONDER:
It takes a bit of courage to forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Sometimes it is even braver to go forth *knowing* you are going to get some things wrong. In the laboratory of life, the art of intentionally making mistakes allows you to quickly learn how NOT to do something. That moves you closer to knowing how you CAN do it. Wisdom grows from errors. Of course there are some things you cannot afford to get wrong, so don’t carelessly plow into a final exam or the most important meeting of the year! Assess the situation, and seek opportunities to make some mistakes that will help you grow into the person you want to be.

Peace,
Paul
p.s. Welcome to our new peeps from Metro State College of Denver and Edmonds Community College. Thanks for letting me hang out with you all!… Read More!

Ripples #653: The Edge.

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Ripples #653: The Edge.
For our tribe of 29,955 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
11/28/2011

PEBBLE:
Let your life be like the cliff,
for beauty lies below.
And only at the very edge
will all the beauty show.
-written and submitted by Michelle E. Tetreault in Washington D.C.

BOULDER:
It is not given us
to live lives
of undisrupted calm,
boredom, and mediocrity.
It is given us
to be edge-dwellers.
-Jay Deacon

PONDER:
It is time to quickly recover from all the holiday celebrations of last week and jump into the last month of the year with a fierce determination to ensure this year ends on a positive note AND invite the new year to engage you with exciting new possibilities. Find your edge, and enjoy the beauty!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

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