Welcome to Wednesday,
April 23, 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 #778: The Earth Delights!

April 20th, 2014

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

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Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices.

April 13th, 2014

Ripples #777: Infinity of Choices.
For our tribe of busy people who
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unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness
14 Apr 2014

PEBBLE:
You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers.
In every moment of our existence,
we are in that field of all possibilities
where we have access to an infinity of choices.
—Deepak Chopra, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER:
The golden opportunity
you are seeking
is in yourself.
It is not in your environment;
it is not in luck or chance,
or the help of others;
it is in yourself alone.
-Orison Sweet Marden

PONDER:
It is sometimes so tempting to focus on options taken away from us: we don't get a job that seemed like a perfect fit, the other person ends a relationship we thought was worth pursuing, or even something simple like a beloved dish being removed from the menu of a favorite restaurant (are you listening, Cactus Pear?). When someone else removes an option, we have a tendency to concentrate on that which we can no longer choose, often ignoring a bounty of other possibilities that still exist.

Of course it is appropriate to spend some time grieving a lost opportunity, but remember that infinity minus one is still infinity. The sooner we finish saying goodbye to that which is no longer an option, the sooner we can turn around and say hello to the options that are still excitedly whispering, "Ooh, pick me! Pick me!”

What choices are available to you today?

Peace,
Paul

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Ripples #776: Presence.

April 7th, 2014

Ripples #776: Presence.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
7 April 2014

PEBBLE:
I and mine do not convince
by arguments, similes, rhymes;
We convince by our presence.
-Walt Whitman, shared by Marc in State College, PA

BOULDER:
There is a quality in a few unique individuals which I can only best describe as acceptance. In the presence of such persons, I feel safe, at home, and eager to share and learn. Their attitude toward life is gentle and affirming, and this in turn brings out the best and the deepest in me, and makes me feel, somehow, capable of all the good I have ever hoped to accomplish.
-Alex Noble, shared by Bruce in Milwaukee, WI

PONDER:
When my buddy Bruce shared this week's Boulder a few weeks ago, I immediately thought of two gals in my life: my aunts Miriam and Florence who happen to be nuns and who also happen to be two of the wisest, funnest, sassiest and awesomest people I've ever encountered on this planet. Whenever I'm around them, I feel accepted for precisely who I am at the moment and at the same time invited to learn and grown and expand myself and my possibilities. They make it easy to laugh and cry and ponder and explore and discuss, sometimes all at the same time! As luck would have it, I was able to visit them unexpectedly last week; as usual, I returned home with a replenished spirit and a renewed outlook on my work and life.

I hope you have people like this in your life, and I hope you can take a moment this week to acknowledge their presence. Visit them in person or send a note of thanks with a specific example of how your life is better with their presence. And don't just ponder this one….I dare you to follow through and connect with them.

Peace,
Paul
P.S. If you really want to honor their presence, make sure that in addition to HAVING people like this in your life, you also strive to BE that person for others in your life.

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Ripples #775: Planting Seeds.

March 30th, 2014

Ripples #775: Planting Seeds.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
31 Mar 2014

PEBBLE:
Don't judge each day
by the harvest you reap,
but by the seeds that you plant.
-Robert Louis Stevenson, shared by Edna in Oxon Hill, MD

BOULDER:
Every thought is a seed.
If you plant crab apples,
don't count on harvesting
Golden Delicious.
-Bill Meyer, shared by Amy in Charlotte, NC

PONDER:
While spring takes its sweet time to rev up to full speed, I thought maybe you and I could spend some time this week considering what seeds we could plant now to ensure a bountiful harvest later on:

1. We could plant some kindness with friends or strangers that will sprout karmic blooms just when we need some brightness to appear in our life.

2. Another option could involve planting some discipline in the form of hard work on a project that has been ignored; the rich harvest of success will taste sooo good even if the work isn't as enjoyable as play time.

3. Finally, we could decide to plant some acorns of forgiveness, letting our soul release long-stored hard feelings towards a person or event from the past. By putting these deep in the ground, they can begin a slow yet powerful transformation from painful memories into sturdy reminders that we often grow stronger from the tough stuff. Acorns become oaks.

Are you in?

Peace,
Paul

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Ripples #774: Smiling!

March 23rd, 2014

Ripples #774: Smiling!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
24 Mar 2014

PEBBLE:
Guess why I smile a lot?
Cuz it's worth it.
-Marcel The Shell, shared by Simon in Port Charlotte, FL

BOULDER:
Two of the best things you can pack
each day as you build relationships
is a smile and your manners.
'Please' and 'thank you' go a long way.
-Mitchell Sadowsky, shared by his sister Marla in Vernon County, WI

PONDER:

It probably isn't surprising to you that happier people smile more than unhappy people. But did you know that there is lots of evidence that in addition to reflecting happiness, smiles can literally CREATE happiness? Shut up, it's true. You can peek at articles from Scientific American, the Wall Street Journal, and Smithsonian about about the growing evidence that smiles actually improve the mood of the smiler and those around them.

If you happen to be in a good mood right now, be sure to communicate it to yourself and those you encounter with a warm, broad smile. If you aren't in a particularly happy mood and you would like to be, dare yourself to try "fake smiling” for a few minutes and see if that can't improve your mood. It is important to remember that happiness isn't a requirement of every moment of every day; indeed, it is perfectly normal and quite healthy for bouts of frustration and sadness to visit you. The trick is to remember that when you're finished feeling blechy, something as simple as a smile can help you elevate your spirit.

If you need a help finding your smile, try watching Marcel the Shell, or the sequel which actually ends with the quote we featured in this week's Pebble.

Peace,
Paul

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (YouTube Videos)
Original: http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=572&m=947&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3398&l=-http–youtu.be/VF9-sEbqDvU
Sequel: http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=572&m=947&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3399&l=-http–youtu.be/Ta9K22D0o5Q

Smile research:
http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=572&m=947&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3395&l=-http–www.scientificamerican.com/article/smile-it-could-make-you-happier/
http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=572&m=947&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3396&l=-http–online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323699704578326363601444362
http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=572&m=947&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3397&l=-http–www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/simply-smiling-can-actually-reduce-stress-10461286/–Q-no-ist
http://theripplesproject.org/12all/lt.php?c=572&m=947&nl=13&s=dfb706258cf0416bd4d6592ffb5ddd13&lid=3400&l=-http–www.oprah.com/health/Smile-Research-and-Facts-Different-Types-of-Smiles

Peace,
Paul

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Ripples #773: Throwing Back.

March 16th, 2014

Ripples #773: Throwing Back.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
17 Mar 2014

PEBBLE:
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life
with a catchers mitt on both hands.
You need to be able to throw something back.
-Maya Angelou, shared by Courtney in San Luis Obispo, CA

BOULDER:
Since you cannot do good to all,
you are to pay special attention
to those who, by the accidents of time,
or place, or circumstances,
are brought into closer connection with you.
-Augustine of Hippo, shared by Ryan in La Crosse, WI

PONDER:

I know you know this, but let's review:
Life can be awesome, and life can be awful.

No matter how many years you've been on this planet, chances are you've had lots of good days and more than a few bad days. And while no one else has experienced your unique combination of awesome and awful, it is essential to remember that every single person on this planet has their own mix of good and bad. This is true for each soul you encounter: your closest family, friends, neighbors, classmates, and colleagues as well as the folks you encounter occasionally and even the complete strangers that you'll cross paths with only once.

I believe the single most powerful thing you can do to improve the world is to consistently keep your eyes and ears open for small opportunities to help the people you encounter in your daily life. A warm smile, a quick favor, even a dallop of extra patience with someone who is "in your way” can be invaluable to someone who is struggling. Your calm presence in someone's chaotic life can be a godsend, and here is the bonus: It doesn't just help them, IT HELPS YOU TOO! I know you've experienced that feeling of joy that arises when you're able to lend a hand, and I'm guessing you've recognized opportunities to "pay it forward” because others have been there for you in the past.

I'm not here on this planet to TEACH you about the value of creating ripples; I'm just here to remind you that your help is far more precious and valuable than you often realize. Do yourself and others a favor and throw something back today.

Peace,
Paul
P.S. I'll be offline this week, so I'll respond to emails next week!

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Ripples #772: Your Astonishing Light.

March 9th, 2014

Ripples #772: Your Astonishing Light.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
10 Mar 2014

PEBBLE:
I wish I could show you
when you are lonely or in darkness
the astonishing light of your being.
-Hafiz, shared by Pat, at Bruegger's in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER:
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy ~ the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
-Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection), shared by Carol in New Jersey

PONDER:
Some day soon
I shall invent a pair of glasses
that allows you to look in the mirror
and see the splendiferous magnificence
that we see each time
we glance in your direction.

Until then,
I hope you can believe me when I say:
you matter, and you rock.

Peace,
Paul

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Ripples #771: Only Joy.

March 2nd, 2014

Ripples #771: Only Joy.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
3 Mar 2014

PEBBLE:
Your success and happiness lies in you.
Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you
shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
-Helen Keller, shared by Sara in New Virginia, IA

BOULDERS:
When you have survived ambition and learned to live simply, when you have surrendered to the inevitability of diminishment and loss, and when you have become impervious to regret and the sting of other people's opinions, what is left? I took my question to the river, and the reply I received was beyond expectation. "Joy”, the river whispered to me. "Only joy.”
-Carol Orsborn, Editor-in-Chief of Fierce with Age, shared by Deb in Whitewater, WI

PONDER:
Last week's Ripples, "Embracing Change," was about moving ever upward and onward. I thought I'd balance that with some thoughts about stillness and presence because sometimes I think we get really caught up in MOVING FAST and FINDING WHAT'S NEXT. If we forget to be careful and conscious, we might miss out on the astonishing joy available to us even in the midst of our hustle bustle lives that are crammed with chaos.

Whatever bumpiness and grumpiness you encounter this week, strive to keep a smile in your soul along with a persistent awareness that HERE matters more than THERE, and NOW matters more than THEN. Perhaps you'll find more joy than you've previously imagined.

Peace,
Paul

P.S.

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Ripples #770: Embracing Change.

February 23rd, 2014

Ripples #770: Embracing Change.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
24 Feb 2014

PEBBLE:
Cause Change & Lead.
Accept Change & Survive.
Resist Change & Die.
-Ray Norda, shared by Erica in Hyogo, Japan

BOULDERS:
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 Thomas in Fort Myers, FL

PONDER:
If you're not changing, you're not growing. And if you're not growing, you're dying. It is fairly common to resist change that is forced upon us: a new initiative at work, the changing landscape of our bodies as we age, a culture shift that you're not feeling ready to embrace. Sometimes we initially experience change as such a threat to "the way things used to be” that we can spend lots of extra time and energy fighting which can delay our adjustment to "the new way.” Usually we end up accepting and adapting. . . and sometimes even embracing the transformation as an improvement or at least "the price of progress.”

If you or someone around you is struggling with change right now, there are two techniques I recommend to help ease the stress associated with change. One strategy is to focus on any areas where you have options to choose from. If you HAVE to do something, it can be helpful to identify some flexibility in WHEN or WHERE or HOW you do it to regain a sense of control. The other tip involves viewing the change as a transition to a new level in work or life, and that perhaps a "graduation” or some other ceremony can help acknowledge the loss of the way things were AND welcome the new possibilities that arrive with change.

If those don't sound appealing or don't seem to work, occasionally we have to just suck it up and deal with it. And if that helps you move forward then, hey, whatever it takes, right? Hang in there, and keep growing!

Peace,
Paul

P.S. Keeping your eye out for fresh and fabulous quotes helps keep the Ripples flowing! If you find a good one, include the source along with your first name and location. THANKS!

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Ripples #769: Living in Hope.

February 16th, 2014

Ripples #769: Living in Hope.
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
17 Feb 2014

PEBBLE:
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
-Nelson Mandela, shared by Julie in Amman, Jordan

BOULDER:
The very least you can do in your life
is figure out what you hope for.
And the most you can do
is live inside that hope.
Not admire it from a distance,
but live right in it,
under its roof.
-Barbara Kingsolver, shared by Amy in Charlotte, NC

PONDER:
Whether you've just recently joined our happy team of Ripplers or you've been receiving these messages for years, you've likely figured out that sometimes we focus on savoring the good stuff, and other times it is all about enduring the not-so-good stuff. Hope is one of the essential ingredients for making it through difficult periods in work, school, and life; I often say in presentations that WITH hope we can endure all kinds of extraordinary challenges, but WITHOUT hope even the smaller challenges can seem overwhelming.

If life is challenging right now, see if you can find even an eensy-weensy kernel of hope to hang on for just one more day. If life is going pretty swell, look around for someone else who is struggling. Your warm smile, kind word, or quick favor may be the kernel that they need to keep going.

Peace,
Paul

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Paul's Pick
SEE:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
If you could erase your painful memories, would you? This movie, written by Charlie Kaufman (who also wrote two of my other favorite movies of all time: Adaptation & Being John Malkovich), looks sort of like a wacky romantic comedy with Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet starring as a pair of eccentric people who have decided to break up. It is more about the value and power of our memories.