Interview with Dr Lynda Ulrich
Dr Lynda Ulrich is a very inspirational person, a woman with many talents. She is a dentist, artist, global traveler who lived in many places and she is the founder of the online magazine Ever Widening Circles. A magazine that has the intention of spreading positive and good news into the world.
Could you tell me a bit more about yourself and the journey towards starting Ever Widening Circles?
Most good ideas start with just a moment, when you get shoved off a cliff which you did not ask for, but yet you are compelled to keep falling. That is sort of what happened to me, I am a very relationship-oriented empathetic
I saw that my patients were very overwhelmed by the negative news cycle and that was way back in 2014. No one would know that would be where we are today with the Ever Widening Circles.
“There must be a better way to find positive news”
I set my clock alarm at 06:23 every single morning for 20 years and that morning January 14, I was welcomed with the first story of a beheading. We have been hearing about these stories before, but never have I heard these kind of stories early in the morning.
I dove for the alarm clock and sat at the end of my bed thinking, there must be a better way to find better news.
Usually, news on the internet is politically biased, they entail sponsor posts or they are commercial based. This is an experience everyone is facing no matter where you are.
It was very hard to find articles with no political and commercial agenda. And I said to my family, if it doesn’t exist, I have been writing all my life. Why don’t I start something like this?
“While travelling, the world seemed very positive to me”
I have had a lot of life experiences during my life time that prepared me to do this. When I was travelling the world I never saw the world that was portrayed on the news. I saw generous people and the craziest cool ingenuity and I was thinking other people need to know about this. I am all for unbiased news, however, I am not anti-news either.
When we do not look at the news in general we know nothing at all. As I say “Knowledge is power” and without any we have non. For the Ever Widening Circles we need to know the news in order to write our articles.
The steps towards Ever Widening Circles
I decided to write 1 article day to prove the world that we do live in an amazing world. My original idea was to write a blog to track down the news and check if they were really true, not puppies and mailboxes but real innovations and insights newsworthy and that were getting celebrated.
The whole thing started as a blog first, and then I have this wonderful daughter. Our oldest child graduated from Harvard and she looked at all the start-ups in the world that she wanted to be a part of and she is a global citizen (we carry Irish passports too). At a certain point she came back home and said: “mom I think you are doing something that we need to propagate.” She joined me and we had a big website build, lots of ups and downs, as this is part of the whole mindfulness journey.
“Ever widening circles went viral”
This spring April 2018 we launched the website as it is today. Within weeks we went viral on Reddit and we got 1.7 million search requests. It was a great day, it was not really about us. It was the confirmation of hope and curiosity and a will to keep going and find a better world that still well and alive.
Where is the name of the magazine based on?
We all have to understand that everything we say and do and all the kindness we put out there or when we are not so kind, we put a pebble in the pond and the ripples radiate out to places we can’t even imagine.
The name Ever Widening Circles comes from 18th/19th century poet Rainer Maria Rilke has a beautiful poem named “Widening circles.” It was about the same time with the moment I had with the news. When this came around and it showed me that I have choices and I can dive deep into myself.
What do you write about ?
Here is the vision of the Ever Widening Circles, we think we are stuck in a negative dialogue about our times. The information we are getting about our world outside our lives is so narrow like information from Social Media etc. We have learned that every click you make is a register by someone who wants to learn more about your content.
Do not click on the click-bait things as they are praying on our reptile brain as many are focused on fear that awakens our instinct brain to be fearful as we had to be when there were still saber tooth tigers around us. But that is not around us anymore.
We are trying to get out the word that there are so many innovations in the world in art, science and technology. The natural world is that mind blowing beautiful place that almost no one knows about. We are curating the web, for people to hear about good things.
How do you gather your information?
Me and my daughter are real science fans. People can no more read about the world without any agenda, that is not who we want to be.
We want to be trustworthy and we build our articles on long-lasting well trusted sources. Most articles contain videos as well and we only pick the most exquisite ones. A lot of times we contact our sources too.
One of the things I recommend people is to look for your interest on our website and you might find more interesting articles. Because in general on the internet what we click on you get more of. Therefore, I always say “Pay attention to what you are paying attention to.”
Another great inspiration for me came from a patient of mine in the dentist clinic, she said: “Look for beauty instead of truth” and when I looked for more beauty I found more truth.
Be vulnerable and emphasize your strengths
A mistake made by many is that going on the path of mindfulness, people think they will become perfect. It is certainly not about that. It is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and using your strengths to empower the world. Your strengths will change the world as it is in a positive way and we need you (everyone) on this path.
Obstacles will be faced by everyone, one of the TED talkers Brene Brown published a video about vulnerability. She thought she would get only 500 views and ended up with millions. She openly speaks about her vulnerability, it is so powerful because she let her guard down. I recommend you to take a look at it! Even after the video she made a video telling her videos after making the first video.
Could you give a tip on how to see your day the most mindful day?
This sounds easier than it actually is. I would love to say again, pay attention to what you are paying attention to. When we are engaged with some sort of drama within your community or with your colleagues, just stop for a moment.
What can I do that going to be helpful? First impulse is to escalate the drama, but when you stop for a moment you can think of a way to elevate everyone. In your daily life think about what you are paying attention to, think about why you are doing that.
Take in the bad news but think also about the solutions or the people that work on solutions. Pay your attentions to the problem solvers, and not to the problem. Never click on anything you do not want more of.
Thank you so much Dr Lynda Ulrich
Thank you so much for your time. I (Michelle) and The Mindful Magazine, we are so grateful for your knowledge. We appreciate your work so much and for everyone who want to take a look at the Ever Widening Circles website click here.