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Surrender

Ripples #857: Unknowing.

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Ripples #857: Unknowing.
Oct 26, 2015

PEBBLE
The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.
-Neil deGrasse Tyson, shared by Laurie in Oshkosh, WI

BOULDER
Enlightenment is not about knowing as much as it is about unknowing; it is not so much learning as unlearning. It is about surrendering and letting go rather than achieving and possessing. It’s more about entering the mystery than arriving at a mental certitude.
-Richard Rohr, shared by Leslie in Madison, WI

PONDER
When life is hard we often wish for it to be easy, forgetting that our difficulties help strengthen us. When life is confusing we long for certainty, forgetting that living the questions can sometimes be more valuable than force-fitting someone else’s solutions into our situations.

We each experience times in our lives when it feels like we’re drowning and desperately hoping someone will throw us a lifeline. It isn’t always the case, but at least SOME of those times a slight shift of energy and effort can transform our thrashing and flailing into treading and floating. It doesn’t mean we should never ask for help because we ALL need help sometimes! It’s just that sometimes we mistake our occasional struggling for inescapable sinking; if we’re not careful, this can lead to a panicked abandonment of our own abilities and an over reliance on quick and easy Answers.

If other strategies haven’t worked lately, it might be useful to experiment with a gentle embrace of unknowing: give yourself permission to float in the uncertainty and have patience that much of our wisdom is acquired after we surrender, just as our lost keys sometimes are found after we give up franticly searching and relax into a few deep breaths.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #839: Slow Blossoming.

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Ripples #839: Slow Blossoming.
June 22, 2015

PEBBLE
The simple rose,
at each moment of its slow blossoming,
is as open as it can be.
—Mark Nepo, shared by Pat in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t). -James Baraz, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

PONDER

My heart is a bit heavy today as I ponder events in South Carolina AND attempt to support a few friends who face intense personal challenges. I strive to help those who are hurting regain a sense of hope AND minimize their pain. While this is a worthy quest, it is useful to keep in mind two axioms of being human: restoring hope is a process that doesn’t happen overnight; and feeling pain is an inevitable and even essential part of growth because pain requires us to focus resources, to pay attention, to take care.

Instead of giving advice and applying bandaids, keep in mind that we are sometimes more valuable as helpers when we can become attentive listeners and helpful witnesses, letting those around us acknowledge their pain and speak their truth. I hope that all of you, no matter how slowly and no matter how gradually, are able to dig deep and find the courage and strength to mindfully unfurl your awareness and your unique beauty. The world needs you. I know this because, well…you’re here.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I am in the process of crafting several future issues of Ripples so you all can receive weekly splashes while I’m away on an extended retreat next month. It would be SO helpful if you took some time to seek out a couple of really fresh, really inspirational quotes that you think would be ideal for Ripples and submit them online.  Thanks so much!… Read More!

Ripples #766: Getting There.

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Ripples #766: Getting There.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
27 Jan 2014

PEBBLE:
You get there by realizing
that you are there already.
-Eckhart Tolle, shared by Isaac in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER:
We are all visitors
to this time, this place.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe,
to learn, to grow, to love…
and then we return home.
-Aboriginal Proverb, shared by Pete in Ouray, CO

PONDER:
I just wrapped up a fun and frenetic of firing up folks in Maine & Wisconsin (cuz, well, you know, Ohio just wasn’t cold enough).  You know that feeling when you love every minute of a travel adventure but you’re still happy to be back in your home?  After inhaling all kinds of new possibilities, exhaling into the comfortable familiarity of your home base can be so sweet.

If you have lately been feeling far away from a feeling of calm in your life, perhaps you can get there by remembering that you know calm, you’ve been calm, and in fact calmness already exists in every cell of your body.  You can “return home” to calm any time you would like simply by taking a few deep breaths and finding the calm that rests in your soul.

The same is true of any other state that you’ve previously accessed yet currently feel disconnected from (joy, passion, abundance, peace, etc.), so I hope you create the time and space to “get there” this week.

Peace,
Paul
P.S. One more week for iPhone users to download our nifty “39 Ripples” app at 99 cents:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/39-ripples/id416327377?mt=8
(And let us know if you’re an Android user–when we find enough Androiders who will commit to downloading, we’ll Ripple one out to you!)… 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 #749: Have Your Say.

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Ripples #749:  Have Your Say.
For our tribe of 29,616 busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
30 Sep 2013

PEBBLE:
You can have your say,
but you can’t always have your way.
-source unknown, shared by Liz in Madison, WI

BOULDER:
With the story of your life,
you don’t get to
write the whole book,
just your character.
-Olivia Munn, shared by Tami in Madison, WI

PONDER:
Sometimes when I’m getting overwhelmed with all the STUFF I have going on, my best friend gently reminds me to create a list of everything on my to do list. Many of the things on my list involve attempts to manage the minutiae of everything unfolding around me, as if I really had the ability to control every outcome.  Trying to control everything can be exceedingly frustrating.  And exhausting.  And impossible.  Eventually, I’m reminded that I am at my best when I concentrate my energy and focus on the few projects that can most impact my effectiveness and enjoyment. As for all the rest of it?  Well, I strive to L.I.G.:  Let. It. Go.

I hope you can focus YOUR time and energy this week, and have your say about what matters most.  And with everything else?  L.I.G.  I dare you!

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

Ripples v10.04: Preparing for Poopiness!

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Ripples v10.04: Preparing for Poopiness!
Jan 28, 2008: a free weekly splash to 17,952 subscribers
from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLE ____________________

What ought one to say then as each hardship comes?
I was practicing for this, I was training for this.
-Epictitus, submitted by Linn W., Milwaukee WI

____________________BOULDER ____________________

The difficulties and
struggles of today
are the price we must pay
for the accomplishments
and victories of tomorrow.
-William J. H. Boetcker, submitted by Joycelyn F., Reedsburg WI

____________________PONDER ____________________

I have been enjoying the east coast recently, stopping in New Jersey to hang out at Montclair State, Rutgers & Rowan universities and also with the of U.S. Tennis Association Eastern Section up in White Plains NY (welcome to all!!)

In all of these presentations, I was helping participants identify skills and actions that would help them excel in their leadership roles. Sometimes we forget that while certain personality types might be more likely to develop some leadership skills, we can all improve our abilities with practice. This is certainly true with facing adversity. While some people are better at facing difficult situations than others, we can ALL improve since life inevitably hands us all difficulties. Some of you know that I often use a technical term for these sorts of challenges: POOPY STUFF!

If life has pooped on you lately, remember that you have successfully dealt with challenges in the past and whether this particular challenge is a sprint or a marathon, you can do it! It may not always be easy, it may not always be fun, but if you can hang in there and do your best you WILL make it through and you will be stronger, faster, better on the other side! And victory will smell much better than the…well, you get the idea…..

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v9.53: Release the Familiar!

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Ripples v9.53: Release the Familiar!
12/31/07: a free weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLE ____________________

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

____________________BOULDER ____________________

We must be willing
to get rid of
the life we planned
so as to have
the life that is waiting for us.
-Joseph Campbell, submitted by Tracy D., Billings MT

____________________PONDER ____________________

For many of us, this is a time to take stock of the past 12 months and ponder what the new year might hold. If you are planning to create some resolutions, I hope you will choose at least one that will surprise yourself and your close friends. If you aren’t into the resolution thing, no worries of course! You can still spend some time this week examining the expectations that you and others have created for your life. Perhaps there are a few that need a little tweaking and maybe one or two need to be thrown out all together. RELEASE THE FAMILIAR and get ready for something new in 2008!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v8.51: Ripples of DECEMBER!

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Ripples v8.51: Ripples of DECEMBER!
12/18/06: a complimentary splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PEBBLE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

I don’t know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.
-Bill Cosby, submitted by Tina L., WI and Marsha C., Madison WI

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= BOULDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o

I heard a bird sing in the dark of December;
a magical thing and sweet to remember.
“We are nearer to Spring than we were in September.”
I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.
-source unknown. submitted by Linda V, Ames IA

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PONDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

If you are having a completely happy, stress-free holiday so far, then disregard this week’s “Ponder!”

Just in case it has been less than ideal, it is essential to recall an important truism regarding this time of year: holidays are often as challenging as they are enjoyable! Many of us are tempted to take the idealistic images represented throughout our culture and compare them to our holiday experience which may include a bit of aggravation, disappointment, and even sadness. RESIST!

Even a fantastic experience is bound to have a few drawbacks, so do yourself and your family/friends/co-workers a favor and manage your expectations. Enjoy any small pleasurable moments you can find: a smile from a stranger, a brisk walk on a cold evening, or if you really need a lift then maybe you could scroll through the Ripples archives and find a good quote to paste to your computer! And know that some blechy stuff will happen along the way!

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, remember that this week also includes winter solstice which the “darkest” day of the year in terms of the number of daylight minutes. This could add to your frustration, so remember also that very soon each day will have a bit more sunlight!

No “Ripples” next week, so hang in there and we will see you next year!

Peace,

Paul

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Ripples v8.43: Ripples of BREEZES!

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Ripples v8.43: Ripples of BREEZES!
10/23/06: a FREE splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PEBBLE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

To be quite oneself, one must first waste a little time.
-Elizabeth Bowen, submitted by Lin H., Bloomington IL

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= BOULDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o

We spend most of our time and energy
in a kind of horizontal thinking.
We move along the surface of things…
[but] there are times when we stop.
We sit still.
We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory.
We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.
-James Carroll, submitted by Julie T., Eugene OR

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PONDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

This week I was in Denver to make some new friends at the Central Association of College & University Business Officers. I enjoyed my time at their conference, and as an added bonus I was able to sneak west into the Colorado Rockies for some late fall hiking. On one particularly scenic hike in the shadow of Mt. Evans, I found a quiet spot among several piles of leaves (some of which were already tinted with snow) to rest and reflect. The James Carroll quote above sums up my experience: as the brief pause in my hike unexpectedly evolved into an hour of solitude, some creative breezes began stirring and whispering. Soon my mind was whirling with exciting possibilities for my work and my life (including some for The Ripples Project!) and my return hike was considerably shortened by an enthusiastic pace. It was just what I needed to feel recommitted to my personal and professional goals.

Before the fall leaves disappear for the season, I hope you can take a walk this week and let your spirit be moved by a fresh BREEZE!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

eRipples v4.36: Ripples of LIGHTS!

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=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PEBBLES =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being.
Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.
-Albert Schweitzer, submitted by Guillermo S., New York

Go out into the world today and love the people you meet.
Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people.
-Mother Teresa, submitted by Jennifer M., Lawrence, KS

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= BOULDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o

Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth
“You owe me.”

Look what happens
with a love like that –
it lights the whole sky.
-Hafiz, submitted by Sara M.

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PONDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

After participating in a spectacular leadership conference hosted by
Clark College and attended by community college students from all
over the state of Washington, I spent a day hiking in the forest
mountains of the Pacific Northwest. I’ve heard many visitors grumble
about how gloomy and cloudy this part of the country can be….it
seems natives concentrate more on the SUNNY days and perhaps enjoy
the light more than other climates that take sunshine for granted.

You know, there are ALWAYS going to be cloudy days in our lives. We
cannot wish them away. And we must not TRY to wish them away! It is
those cloudy days that allow us to enjoy the sunshine so much! So,
if you find yourself in an overcast day this week, just know that
sunshine will pop back on the horizon soon.

I wish you deep peace this week,

Paul… Read More!

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