Ripples #1094: Congruence & Authenticity

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Ripples #1094: Congruence & Authenticity
May 11, 2020

The authentic self is soul made visible.
-Sarah San Breathnach, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

We’re at our strongest – emotionally, spiritually, and quite often, physically – when we keep our beliefs and our outward behavior neatly in a row. When they drift one side or the other of ‘center,’ that instability will weaken us, whether or not anyone else notices.
-Tom Lally, written and shared by Tom in Cincinnati, OH


Most of us hold idealized versions of ourselves in our minds; we imagine being someone who consistently acts on our highest intentions while successfully managing our least helpful impulses.

While we all admit to certain moments of incongruity when our actions don’t live up to our proclaimed values, I think it is mighty tempting to confuse the idealized “this is how I wish I showed up in world every day” version of self with the more realistic, more accurate “this is how I actually show up in the world on most days.”

Being aware of the temptations and the tendencies of self-delusion is useful, and learning to respect and genuinely like your “real, actual me” is an important step to more consistently living your professed values.

When I first paired these quotes together, I couldn’t decide whether to identify the theme of this issue as “Congruence” or “Authenticity,” terms I’ve sometimes used interchangeably to talk about practicing what you preach. My pal Pidge made a useful distinction when she texted me in a recent exchange, “I think of authenticity as how others experience us and congruence in how we experience ourselves, if that makes sense.”

It DID made sense to me, and her distinction invited me to get curious about how congruence (how well my actions line up with my intentions) influences authenticity (how others perceive the overlap between my behavior and my values).

Since we’re human, with all our contradictions and our flaws, it is not possible to remain impeccable in maintaining perfect congruence of our actions and our proclaimed values. Still, the more often we can mindfully minimize incongruence, the more respect we will gain from ourselves and those around us.

The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #851: Connecting The Dots.

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Ripples #851: Connecting The Dots.
Sep 14, 2015

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.
Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt, shared by Gary in Glassboro, NJ

Life must be lived forward but understood backward.
-Soren Kierkegaard, shared by Kalea in Bend, OR.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.
-Steve Jobs, shared by Allie in Bowling Green, KY

Making (or finding) meaning is not always easy in this kooky, mixed up, challenging and at times heartbreaking world we live in. Acquiring and maintaining a reliable sense of how things work and why things happen and what life is all about isn’t easy. At all. Some of us seek answers in religious faith while others develop their understanding of life by spending time in nature or at a library or just by hanging around people they consider to be wise.

On a good day we usually have a general sense of how and why things are the way they are; on the tough days we feel bewildered and lost. The other days are about trudging through and trusting that a bit of light will peek through the clouds.

Most of us have had moments of awe where we just get it: everything makes sense and even the toughest questions have answers. These moments are fleeting, and I think the most realistic expectation of the human experience is one with lots of questions and confusion and wonderings and hopefully a few opportunities to connect the dots.

I hope you can rest near the pond of patient optimism this week while maintaining a realistic expectation that some “Answers & Understandings” are on their way and will arrive when the time is right. Other things will remain mysterious, bewildering and/or frustrating and won’t be resolved until The Sequel. Until your dots are connected in a way that works for you, let them be confetti swirling about a surprise party to Celebrate Today.

The Ripples Guy
P.S. Ryan, a good buddy and longtime Ripples contributor, stumbled across a video this week that has me pondering quite a bit. Take a minute to take it in: https://www.facebook.com/KyleCeasePage/videos/vb.8116888061/10153055923883062/?
“You are what you love, not what loves you.” -Charlie Kaufman, Adaptation… 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

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

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

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!

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v9.46: Faith!

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Ripples v9.46: Faith!
11/12/07: a free weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLE ____________________

Faith and doubt both are needed, not as antagonists,
but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve.
-Lillian Smith, submitted by Judy A., Carbondale IL

____________________BOULDER ____________________

At the end of the day faith is a funny thing.
It turns up when you don’t really expect it.
It’s like one day you realize that the fairy tale
may be slightly different than you dreamed.
The castle, well, it may not be a castle.
And it’s not so important happy ever after,
just that it’s happy right now.
See, once in a while, once in a blue moon,
people will surprise you,
and once in a while people may even take your breath away.
-TV Show “Greys Anatomy”, submitted by Megan W, Philadelphia PA

____________________PONDER ____________________

The word FAITH means different things to different people. It can be used to describe religious beliefs; it is also used to suggest confidence in or loyalty to someone/something.

FAITH is an important part of character–I think we need to believe in something larger than ourselves in order to be effective in our work and in our lives. Sometimes it seems we assume that everyone must believe in the same things in order to get along or work together, and that successful people must be able to maintain their faith despite difficult challenges. Successful teams need to be filled with people who hold a variety of beliefs, and each of those individuals (even the leaders!), will occasionally experience uncertainty. Diversity and doubt are both ultimately necessary to maintain and grow our faith, just as shades of gray and complete darkness help us to understand and appreciate the light.

What or who do you have FAITH in right now? If you have been doubting someone or something, spend some time reflecting on how you might be able to strengthen your belief or whether it might be time to adjust your compass and therefore alter your guiding beliefs: that is not necessarily a sign of weakness, and it could even be a sign of strength!

I can tell you one thing I have lots of FAITH in: the extraordinary power of RIPPLES and the 17,000+ members who spend 60 seconds each Monday morning spreading the Ripply faith! I count on you!

P.S. PAUL DISAPPEARS into the Colorado Rockies in December so be sure to touch base soon if you need anything!… Read More!

Ripples v9.43: Stand Up!

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Ripples v9.43: Stand Up!
10/22/07: a free weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLE ____________________

A strong man stands up for himself,
a stronger man stands up for others.
-the movie Barnyard, submitted by Monica T., Springfield OR

____________________BOULDER ____________________

Stand up to your obstacles
and do something about them.
You will find that they
haven’t half the strength
you think they have.
-Norman Vincent Peale

____________________PONDER ____________________

This week was another series of adventures, first to West Virginia to hang out with residence life professionals from MACUHO, and then to Iowa and with a crew of student leaders at Drake University. During presentations at both places I issued challenges to STAND UP and take action on information they gained from their respective conferences. Therefore, I challenge each of you to STAND UP and take action too! The first quote is about standing up for others, the other quote is about standing up to your obstacles, so choose one and, well…



P.S. One more week to transform a $5 donation for Nothing But Nets into TEN BUCKS! Click here for details:
http://PaulWesselmann.com/resources/NBN… Read More!

Ripples v9.40: Enrich The World!

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Ripples v9.40: Enrich The World!
10/1/07: a free weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLE ____________________

NEVER make excuses for doing something you know is right.
-source unknown, submitted by Sarah W., NJ/PA

____________________BOULDER ____________________

You are here
to enable the world
to live more amply,
with greater vision,
and with a finer spirit
of hope and achievement.
You are here to enrich the world.
-Woodrow Wilson, submitted by Casey B.

____________________PONDER ____________________

On Saturday, I spent the day with a few hundred students from several Indiana universities who mentor other college students. Even though TIME is a most valuable and scarce commodity for students, they spend some of it helping others. They inspired me.

On the flight home, I was reading the latest issue of Newsweek which focused on “Global Giving” and mentioned an extremely successful fund raising effort to prevent Malaria in Africa. $10 buys a mosquito net, and gets it delivered and explained to a family in Africa. Ten bucks saves a life. That inspired me, too.

Take a deep breath, and read on.
I want The Ripples Project to buy 1,000 nets
and I will pay half.

If I can convince 1,000 people,
6% of our 16,000+ subscribers
to donate FIVE BUCKS,
I will match that so
$5 actually buys a $10 net.

Are you in?

Learn the details here:

One month: 10,000 nets.

P.S. The UN Foundation is coordinating, every nickel goes to Africa, and I’ll post updates every week in October. Please take action!… Read More!

Ripples v9.39: Authentic Living!

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Ripples v9.39: Authentic Living!
9/24/07: a free weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLE ____________________

True religion is the life we lead,
not the creed we profess.
-source unknown, Flory, India

____________________BOULDER ____________________

As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget
that the highest appreciation
is not to utter words,
but to live by them.
-John F. Kennedy, submitted by Michelle P., St. Louis MO

____________________PONDER ____________________

Authenticity is one of the most challenging and rewarding strategies for developing and maintaining strong relationships. In order to develop respect, trust, and positive regard with another person you need to practice what you preach.

This isn’t difficult because we lack the desire to live honest, ethical lives of helping others. The challenge lies in the fact that it is much easier to SAY something is important than to consistently take ACTION on that value. For example, you may wish for more peace in the world while still finding it difficult to make peace with a co-worker or neighbor whom you dislike. Or perhaps you believe patience is important and yet are easily annoyed by slow drivers or people in line at the store who have extra questions or concerns.

Let’s each choose one character trait (here is a great list:
http://www.character-in-action.com/character-traits.htm ).
and spend some extra energy and time making sure that we are authentically implementing that trait in our lives.

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v9.06: Super Enthusiasm!

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Ripples v9.06: Super Enthusiasm!
2/05/07: a free splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

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

Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm;
it moves stones, it charms brutes.
Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity,
and truth accomplishes no victories without it.
-Edward Bulwer-Lytton, submitted by Linn W., Milwaukee WI

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= WAVE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

Please WAVE enthusiastically to new Ripplers from the
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics!
Welcome aboard!

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

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark
should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
-Jack London, submitted by Cindy K, Green Bay WI

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

As I put the final touches on this issue, I hear lots of SUPER ENTHUSIASM for the Super Bowl from neighbors (I myself am being super-enthusiastic about the commercials). Even if you are not a fan of football nor the ads, most of us have observed all the whooping and hollering that athletic events encourage. I wonder what would happen if you could unleash that sort of enthusiasm at work or school or life in general? I don’t necessarily mean walking around screaming and jumping up and down, but I do believe that outward physical expressions of excitement nurture passion in the person who is showing enthusiasm AND in all who encounter her/him. You already know that enthusiasm is more contagious than any virus, so what might happen if you turned up the volume on yours?

WAIT! I was just about to hit the SEND button and had to stop the presses to share with you the jingle from a most “ripply” Super Bowl commercial. The soft drink ad begins like a video game and transforms into an encouragement to be nice: “You give a little love, and it all comes back to you. You’re gonna be remembered for the things that you say and do.” If you wanna see it, I’ll post a link on the message board to the ad:

Have a SUPER week!

p.s. Next week I am going to show you how much I love members of The Ripples Project!! Get ready to visit The Quote Pond!… Read More!

Ripples v8.46: Ripples of ECHOES & BOOMERANGS!

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Ripples v8.46: Ripples of ECHOES & BOOMERANGS!
11/13/06: a FREE splash from Paul & The Ripples Project
14,797 subscribers

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

Life is like an echo.
What you give out is what you get in return.
-Elsie (last name forgotten), submitted by Terri L., Cranford NJ

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

The game of life is the game of boomerangs.
Our thoughts, deeds and words
return to us sooner or later,
with astounding accuracy.
-Florence Shinn, submitted by Dani S, Eugene OR

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

I spent the early part of the week with a group of folks who do the very challenging and important work of helping people at the end of life. These hospice, nursing home, home health, and hospital staff provide an enormous source of support to those who are dying as well as their loved ones. By the end of the week I was out in Phoenix to spend a few days with my good friends at the U.S. Tennis Association who develop and promote the growth of tennis.

These are obviously different groups facing different challenges and opportunities in fulfilling their mission, but the people I met at both meetings were filled with dedicated and talented professionals who are making life better for others. While my topics varied for each group, it was easy to convince them all that what you get out of life depends a great deal on what you are willing to put in.

I dare you to practice the art of ECHOES & BOOMERANGS this week by putting out a little more of what you want and trust that it will come back. If you wish the world had more peace than it does now, go out and make peace with someone you are currently in conflict with. If you need more money, try giving a few bucks away. If happiness is what you seek, then spend some time making someone else happy. I believe that some will come back your way soon!

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v8.45: Ripples of VOTING!

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Ripples v8.45: Ripples of VOTING!
11/6/06: a FREE splash from Paul & The Ripples Project
14,606 subscribers

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

You do not have to be superhuman
to do what you believe in.
-Debbie Fields, submitted by Linda H., Manhattan KS

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

Live your life
so that your children
can tell their children
that you not only stood
for something wonderful-
-you acted on it.
-Dan Zadra, submitted by Kathy P., Osseo WI

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

You may be tired of the election-related commercials and the phone calls and the mail….AND remember that our democracy works best when we all participate! If you are eligible to vote, DO IT! If you are not eligible to vote, motivate your eligible family, friends, classmates, co-workers, and neighbors to take time this week to DO WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN!

Speaking of voting, we need you to VOTE FOR RIPPLES this month! During November, we are asking each Ripples subscriber to choose one action in support of Ripples:
– submit a really great quote for an upcoming issue (see below for instructions)
– convince one co-worker or friend to join Ripples (see below for instructions)

We lost several hundred subscribers because of our software glitches earlier this year, and we would really like to end the year above 15,000 subscribers. We need just 400 new subscribers to get there, so PLEASE consider helping us find one or two more!

Paul… Read More!

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