Welcome to Wednesday,
August 20, 2014

Paul "Ripples Guy" Wesselmann

Since 1990, Paul has worked with hundreds of organizations to create dynamic presentations that inspire and inform.

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Resources / Ripples

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Ripples #793: Cultivating Seeds.

August 3rd, 2014

Ripples #793: Cultivating Seeds.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
4 August 2014

NO RIPPLES NEXT WEEK!
See below for the scoop.

PEBBLE:
I want to cultivate
the seed that was placed in me
until the last small twig has grown.
-Kathe Kollwitz, shared by Julie in Eugene, OR

BOULDER:
It's good to leave each day behind,
like flowing water,
free of sadness.
Yesterday is gone and its tale told.
Today new seeds are growing.
-Rumi

PONDER:
I am very excited to announce that some seeds we have been cultivating for a really long time have finally produced results, and in a few weeks it will be time to share the bounty: unleashing an refreshed website and newsletter!

The basic format will remain: Ripples will continue to arrive on Monday mornings via email containing a PEBBLE, a BOULDER, and a PONDER. You'll hopefully enjoy the new look and feel of the layout; in addition, we will be relying on Mailchimp for sending the emails out to help us ensure that everyone who wants Ripples receives them (several thousand of our subscribers have lost access to their weekly splashes because of spam filtering).

WE WILL SKIP RIPPLES NEXT MONDAY (August 11) but plan to be back the following week. I will post updates to our Facebook page so head over there if you don't see Ripples on August 18th:
http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=592&m=971&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3661&l=-https–www.facebook.com/TheRipplesGuy

In the meantime, take some time over the next two weeks to identify and celebrate any successes at work, school, and/or life that have sprouted from seeds of your own effort that have been cultivated over the past few months, years, or decades.
Peace,
Paul
((( The Ripples Guy )))

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Ripples #792: The Ecstasy of Today!

July 27th, 2014

Ripples #792: The Ecstasy of Today!
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
28 July 2014

PEBBLE:
Gup in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.
-Abraham Joshua Heschel

BOULDER:
This is the gift—
to have the wonderful capacity
to appreciate again and again,
freshly and naively,
the basic goods of life,
with awe, pleasure, wonder,
and even ecstasy.
-Abraham Maslow

PONDER:
While you are kicking off what I sincerely hope will be a day/week filled with ecstasy, I would like to share some news with you about the future of Ripples. Since 1999 we have steadily grown from our original 75 readers (some of whom are still with us!) to our current batch of over 27,000. Over the last 12 months we have hit a major roadbump as we are increasingly labeled as spam. We've lost over 4,000 subscribers that didn't CHOOSE to unsubscribe, and many new subscribers are consistently finding Ripples in their spam/junk folder.

We considered moving away from email delivery and just posting Ripples via social media and blogging platforms, but ultimately determined that enough people still prefer to find Ripples in their email inbox on Monday mornings. So, in a few weeks we will transition to a new platform that is significantly more expensive (a few hundred dollars a MONTH vs. a few hundred dollars a YEAR), but will ultimately provide a reliable way to continue our legacy of inspirational splashes. And let's face it: you're worth it.

Your patience and persistence will be kindly requested as transitions such as this invariably encounter road bumps. Or perhaps "dams” or "rapids” if we're sticking with the water metaphor? I'll share more information soon.

Peace,
Paul
((( The Ripples Guy )))

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Ripples #791: Invincible!

July 20th, 2014

Ripples #791: Invincible!
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
21 July 2014

PEBBLE:
We all have an unsuspected reserve of strength inside
that emerges when life puts us to the test.
-Isabel Allende

BOULDER:
In the midst of hate,
I found there was, within me,
an invincible love.
In the midst of tears,
I found there was, within me,
an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos,
I found there was, within me,
an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter,
I found there was, within me,
an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy.
For it says that no matter how hard
the world pushes against me,
within me,
there's something stronger – something better,
pushing right back.
-Albert Camus

PONDER:
Most of us are unaware of just how strong and resourceful and talented we can be until something comes along that requires us to stand up and jump into action. Few people recognize that it is often the INTERNAL obstacles (fear, doubt, insecurity) that keep us from revving up to our potential. Of course there are very real and powerful EXTERNAL obstacles that provide legitimate challenges; it's just that they are rarely enough to prevent your FULL and BEST self from rising to the challenge and eventually triumphing over difficulty.

I invite you to unleash your best invincible self for the day just to see what magic you can whip up.

Peace,
Paul
((( The Ripples Guy )))
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Ripples #790: Restoring the Broken.

July 13th, 2014

Ripples #790: Restoring the Broken.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
14 July 2014

PEBBLE:
What do we live for,
if it is not to make life
less difficult for each other?
-George Eliot

BOULDER:
Your job is not to judge.
Your job is not to figure out
if someone deserves something.
Your job is to lift the fallen,
to restore the broken,
and to heal the hurting.
-The Essence of life, shared by Jeremy Haddon in Mossman, Queensland (Australia)

PONDER:
I don't believe that we have an *obligation* to help every single person we encounter.
I do believe that there is an *opportunity* to help every single person we encounter.
Every. Single. Person.

The lost ones, the frustrated ones, the nice ones and the mean ones. And the magnificent secret that I hesitate to share with you because we took a solemn oath at the last meeting of the "Benevolent Order of Those Who Strive To Be As Nice As Possible to Everyone We Encounter”: the person who benefits the most from all the helping is often YOU! Serving others feels great; it reminds us to be grateful for blessings that we take for granted, and as a bonus it replenishes our "karma credit card” so we can be in great shape to receive help from others just when we need it most.

Just remember that helping works best when it emanates not from a sense of duty or obligation, but instead from a source of joyous opportunity. So keep your eyes and ears open for a friend or colleague or stranger who needs you.

Peace,
Paul
((( The Ripples Guy )))

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Ripples #789: Fulfillment or Fiasco?

July 6th, 2014

Ripples #789: Fulfillment or Fiasco?
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
7 July 2014

PEBBLE:
Embedded in the edge of risk and fear
is the authenticity that makes life worth living.
-Mark Nepo, shared by Pat in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER:
Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss.
-Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation, shared by Kerry in Cincinnati, OH

PONDER:
You don't get to know exactly how today is going to turn out, and you don't get to know whether the thing you're itching to attempt is going to help you soar to new heights or leave you sobbing like a forest mole trapped in a smoldering pile of beaver dung (I have no idea where that image came from. Just go with it, okay?). The precise outcome is mostly beyond your control, so it might be more useful and more powerful to focus on your effort and determination and passion and anything else you can toss into the early part of your adventure. Quite simply, I think you need to go for it.

Give this week your absolute best, and let any fulfillment be your reward while any fiasco will be a learning opportunity (and a good story for some day when you've triumphed at last).

Peace,
Paul
((( The Ripples Guy )))

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Ripples #788: Wander to Wonder.

June 29th, 2014

Ripples #788: Wander to Wonder.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
30 June 2014

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

BOULDER:
If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.
-Rachel Carson

PONDER:
I'll be offline for a bit as I exhale in the Rockies over the next few weeks. Wandering always improves my wondering, and I almost always return from the mountains with a replenished spirit and refreshed outlook on life. I've queued up a few weeks of Ripples so you won't miss them, and I hope that you too can find your own special way to spend time in nature this week. Breathe in all she has to offer, and exhale some of your stress (she can recycle it into something useful, I'm certain).

Peace,
Paul

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Ripples #787: Being Alive!

June 22nd, 2014

Ripples #787: Being Alive!
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
23 June 2014

PEBBLE:
I don't believe people are looking
for the meaning of life
as much as they are looking
for the experience of being alive.
-Joseph Campbell

BOULDER:
Lean forward into your life…
catch the best bits
and the finest wind.
Just tip your feathers
in flight a wee bit
and see how dramatically
that small lean
can change your life.
-Mary Anne Radmacher, shared by Stephanie in Tampa, FL

PONDER:
The last few days of speaking before my summer retreat began have been crazy AND I loved every minute of hanging out with the folks at Covance, and Promega, and Organic Valley (and welcome to a few hundred new ripplers!!). In several of the presentations I showed a video about AWE that really had me thinking about how and when I most passionately experience BEING ALIVE. It happens when I'm doing good work; it happens when I'm hanging with people who are capable of meeting me right where I am AND inviting me to grow into the newest version of my best self; and finally, it sometimes happens when I create the space and time to be alone to rest my mind and renew my spirit.

I invite you to make time for this video RIGHT NOW, and be really curious about how you can increase your awareness and enjoyment of BEING ALIVE. At work or at home, with people or alone, just make sure your experiment allows you to experience what Jason Silva describes in the video as "the hardly bearable ecstasy of direct energy exploding on your nerve endings.” I know, right? Just try it for me. And for you. :)
http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=586&m=964&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3576&l=-https–www.youtube.com/watch–Q-v–E-8QyVZrV3d3o

Peace,
Paul

*****
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Ripples #786: Learning to Surf.

June 15th, 2014

Ripples #786: Learning to Surf.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
16 June 2014

PEBBLE:
You can't stop the waves,
but you can learn how to surf.
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, shared by S Anderson in Edmonton, AB

BOULDER:
In our lives,
change is unavoidable,
loss is unavoidable.
In the adaptability and ease
with which we experience change,
lies our happiness and freedom.
-Buddha, shared by Carl in Terre Haute, IN

PONDER:
You're pretty awesome sometimes, aren't you?

On your best days when everything is going your way—-you rock things out in a magnificent way, right? On those days you work hard, you're on top of things, and you're able to bring forth your best self to handle whatever challenges present themselves. And then there are those pesky OTHER days: Those days when you aren't feeling it even though (or precisely because) you're facing a crazy mix of deadlines and crises and obstacles that make up your life in that moment.

Even really successful people aren't able to bring their best selves to every moment of every day; they sometimes have bad moments, days, weeks, etc. The trick is to figure out how to activate your "HEY I KNOW CAN HANDLE THIS” alert system so when you enter rough waters it takes just a moment to catch your breath before you can surf your way to sanity. Your alert system could be the right music, it could be a pep talk from one of your fierce allies, or perhaps visiting a sacred place that helps you renew your spirit.

Make this week about identifying what activates your "I've got this” button, and then go surf whatever waves of craziness get whipped up in your life.

Peace,
Paul

*****
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Ripples #785: The Happy Within.

June 8th, 2014

Ripples #785: The Happy Within.
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
9 June 2014

PEBBLE:
Be happy, and a reason will come along.
-Robert Brault, shared by Cynthia in Palos Heights, IL

BOULDER:
Happiness is not in
our circumstances,
but in ourselves.
It is not something we see,
like a rainbow,
or feel,
like the heat of the fire.
Happiness is something we are.
-John B. Sheerin, shared by Pete in San Luis Obispo, CA

PONDER:
It can be useful to think of happiness not as something to be found be searching around in the world, but instead something to be excavated from within. Of course this doesn't mean we aren't impacted by WHAT happens around us or WHO we encounter. It just means that regardless of what is going on, WE need to stay in charge of our happiness. And speaking of happiness, there is a bounty of it waiting to be experienced just by taking a few deep breaths and allowing it to surface. Can you feel it?

If you CAN feel it: GO! Go spread it around with smiles, kind words, and small favors.

Still not feeling it? Well, perhaps you could go spread some smiles and kind words and small favors anyway; it could be that happiness needs you to prime the pump a bit in order for it to seep into your soul.

Peace,
Paul
p.s. I'll add briefly that I don't think happiness CAN or SHOULD be the sole focus in our quest for a fulfilling life, nor should other feelings like sadness and frustration be avoided or demonized. I just believe that a steady source of internalized happiness can potentially increase our effectiveness and enjoyment of work, school, and life. Get it? Got it? Good!

*****
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Ripples #784: Creating Yourself!

June 1st, 2014

Ripples #784: Creating Yourself!
A splash of inspiration
from The Ripples Guy
2 June 2014

PEBBLE:
Life is not about finding yourself;
life is about creating yourself.
-source unknown, shared by Ann in Raleigh, NC

BOULDER:
Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, "This is the real me," and when you have found that….follow it.
-William James

PONDER:
I've just returned home from a powerfully exhilarating (and thoroughly exhausting) weekend with 2,000 of the peppiest and brightest and funnest residence hall leaders this former rez lifer could ever hope to hang out with. Some of them don't yet realize that what started for them as a "college co-curricular activity” is going to significantly shift their life path, and may even point them toward a career working with college students.

I hope you are keeping your eyes and ears open for what brings *you* most alive, and then tweaking your life as necessary to make room for more of it. We need more people to bring their BEST SELVES to work and life; I believe you do that by recognizing your gifts and then offering those gifts to the world.

Peace,
Paul

*****
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