This week we launch a new version of the Ever Widening Circles website!

“Start by doing what’s necessary: then do what’s possible: and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” St. Francis of Assisi

That’s a quote to memorize if ever there was one.

Take it from me; it can be your starting point, over and over, when you find yourself facing problems that seem absolutely insurmountable.

Today’s Ever Widening Circles article contains the story of just such a journey and it’s one that is making its way to the “doing something impossible” stage now and we hope you will join us for the ride!

Start by doing what’s necessary…

Image:Dr. Lynda, Thankful for abundanceIn January of 2014, one of my favorite morning news programs woke me at 6:23 am with all the graphic details of the latest market bombing in the Middle-east and that was my tipping point.

I said to myself, “There has got to be a better way to start the day!”, and the concept of Ever Widening Circles (EWC) was born.

In short, I wanted someplace on the web where I might like to start or end my day; someplace with a balanced look at the wonder in the wider world and the best in humanity.

“The News” was certainly not going to be that place, and things seem to have gotten steadily worse since!

I remember being shocked to discover that there was no place on the web that was carefully curating and celebrating all the insights and innovation happening in the world. And websites rarely cited and chose their sources carefully.

Oh, to be sure, there are many websites that claim they feature “positive news”, but if you look closely, you’ll see they end up devoting much of their content to politics, spirituality, or trivial things for a quick chuckle.

Image: Young people in dark glasses questioning thingsThe web is largely a war for our attention, with no rules.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

-Theodore Roosevelt

I had no particular fluency with technology, no experience as a website developer or publisher, and very little financial resources to devote to the cause,  but I was a bit of a writer, photographer, world traveler, and citizen scientist.

It was far from ideal, but I was convinced that someone had to start the task of changing the negative dialogue about the world.

Then do what’s possible…

So I found a local fellow who built me the first Ever Widening Circles website and with determined zeal, I started writing one article each day–on anything under the sun–to prove this is still an amazing world.

I had no idea what lay ahead and there were more thrill and spills than I have time to tell you about here.

I just did what I could every day, learned from my mistakes and before I knew it, over a thousand people a day were reading our articles and I had tens of thousands of Facebook fans from all around the globe.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”   

-Martin Luther King

Image: Liesl and Dr. Lynda at Harvard Graduation

After a year, it was clear that this was not going to be a pet project that I dabbled in, so when my daughter, Liesl–now our COO–graduated from Harvard, she joined me in the endeavor.

We began our official “proof of concept” phase in October of 2016 with the launch of the second EWC iteration: the website you will see until tomorrow, August 28, 2017

The whole operation hinged on Liesl not taking any salary and working 16 hour days. And with only a tiny investment out of my household budget, after 18 months we had 180,000 Facebook fans from over 100 countries, and close to 100,000 page views each month!

Suddenly, you’re doing the impossible!

And here we are today, having written over 1,000 articles that prove it’s going to be OK folks!

People are incredibly ingenious and in the end, if we all pay more attention to what gets our attention, we will ready to change the world!

Here are a few of my favorite articles that prove exactly that:

7 minutes

Rewilding: What if We Had the Giants Back?

Have you heard much about "megafauna," the other giants that roamed the earth after the dinosaurs. It turns out they can teach us a lot about rewilding, a process to recover balance in the natural world.

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20 minutes

Turning Apples into Ears: Creativity in the Lab

What if we let creativity and play mix with science? Here's a lab that is doing just that, and in doing so coming up with incredible discoveries, like the ability to turn apples into ears...

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17 minutes

Alpha Jetman Blows the Doors of Possibility Wide Open

Sometimes we need an eccentric person with a crazy idea to push back the edge of possibility for us all! Take a look at a wonder in innovation you will not believe!

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27 minutes

Skateboarding for Peace in Afghanistan

The most remarkable innovations often happen with sweeping speed, when someone puts things together in a novel way. See how amazing hope and education have lurched forward through skateboarding in Afghanistan!

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12 minutes

Gratitude and Wonder with Louie Schwartzberg

Photographer Louie Schwartzberg brings us all to a place of breath-taking beauty, wonder and hope with his TED Talk, remarkable images and the words of wise ones, young and old. This TED Talk leaves us with a sigh and a smile every time we revisit it.

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“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”

-Alan Cohen

12 minutes

Chris Hadfield’s Space Oddity

When Chris Hadfield released his cover of David Bowie's song Space Oddity filmed on the ISS, it captured the attention of the world. Let's take a moment to celebrate this iconic and beautiful video!

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14 minutes

Meet the Dogs Who Have Become Penguin Protectors!

There are times when human ingenuity comes in doses that are so successful and inspiring that you just want to shout it from the highest yardarm. Here's just such a story!

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23 minutes

What if Trash Pick-Up Was Annual?

What if you could save money, time, your conscience, and fit your entire year's worth of trash in a mason jar? This is surprisingly very do-able!

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7 minutes

Unearthing the DNA of the Jungle with Leeches

How can leeches help biologist study remote ecosystems? It turns out researchers can use these often overlooked creatures to learn about species hidden from view! Here's the fascinating story.

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8 minutes

Seeing the Brain…With Diapers (What?!)

In a strange twist of fate, neuroscientists discovered that they could be using diapers to see the details of the brain better! Take a look...

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18 minutes

Rewilding: How Wolves Radically Change Rivers

Author George Monbiot has coined a new term - "rewilding" - which may be the key to finding balance with the natural world. You won't believe the dramatic improvements that nature can manage for itself, once key species are reintroduced. Fascinating!

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17 minutes

Karen Thompson: What Fear Can Teach Us!

DON'T MISS THIS hidden gem!.. If you are turning your back on all the fear and malice in the news media these days, this TED Talk is a really fun and "game changing" insight! I use it almost every day.

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5 minutes

Powering Your World with Fish Scales?

Yes, you read that correctly, we can use fish scales to generate power! It turns out those fish you see in the market could be an alternative energy source! Here's how this alternative energy source could be used in the future!

Read More

If you are a regular visitor to EWC then you have probably enjoyed every one of those gems from our archives, but if you haven’t, dive in. You are sure to come out the other side of that journey with a renewed worldview.

And do join us for your daily dose of optimism. You can subscribe and never miss an insight!

Image: Sparkling sunlight through lupin flowers

Remember, this week Ever Widening Circles will look a lot different, but the vision is the same. Help us get the word out. It is still an amazing world!

I’ll close with a great poem that sums up the transformation that is guaranteed when we begin to see possibility all around us:

COMING FORTH INTO THE LIGHT by Suzy Kassem

I was born the day
I thought:
What is?
What was?
And
What if?

I was transformed the day
My ego shattered,
And all the superficial, material
Things that mattered
To me before,
Suddenly ceased
To matter.

I really came into being
The day I no longer cared about
What the world thought of me,
Only on my thoughts for
Changing the world.

Stay open, wildly curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.