Our Next Laddership Circle In October!
--Audrey Lin
4 minute read
Sep 26, 2015


As September turns into October, we continue to be humbled by the emergent learnings and ripples from our Laddership Circles. Next Friday, we begin our third round with 10 fellows and 5 anchors, and we're excited to see what emergence holds in store... 

Here's a bit more on the journeys of each face in the circle...

Angela Morelli resides at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a  monastery and community in Ukiah, CA. From software development to contemplative living, her latest labor-of-love involves supporting students at the monastery’s Dharma Realm Buddhist University, where she strives to develop learning models that ignite the values of compassion and service.

Becky Jaine is a writer, musician, space holder, kindness activist, wife, and mother in North Carolina. After years of as a professional journalist and marketer she now dedicates her time to spreading smiles with her children and women’s groups, as well as designing a gift-economy JOYFUeL e-course, to activate a deeper sense of joy and generosity in daily life.

Chris Mayya is a global citizen, having lived across the globe from India to Singapore to Thailand, Australia, the United States, and beyond. Having received an MBA, worked in human resources, and founded his own start-up, he then spent almost 13 years in monastic life and guiding spiritual groups all over the globe. Today, he finds himself at the intersection of stillness and service, and writing and exploring the transformative inquiry through it all.

Deven P Shah is enthusiastic about bringing values like kindness, generosity and empathy to business and youth. A service-hearted father and husband, in his free time, he coordinates weekly Awakin Calls and finds himself humbled by the “oasis” of sharing space in kindness-- and the serendipities that open up in its field.

Jennifer Merlich is a writer, musician, and stained glass artist with an eye for creativity. After a career in nonprofits, she “accidentally” fell into IT work, and most recently, upon news of her brother’s unexpected illness, spent 6 months assisting in his care, and finding herself transformed by small acts of service. She lives in Ventura, CA, where she’s exploring new horizons in creativity and purpose.

Melissa Stephens is a spirited teacher in Northern California who comes alive in engaging youth in kindness. When she’s not creating a “Wheel of Kindness,” organizing a Be The Change Week, or running a Random Acts of Kindness Club with her middle school students, you can find her spreading smiles with her family and pouring creativity into children’s books and a one-woman show. :)

Neerad Trivedi is a traveler, cyclist, and photographer. Having spent over 13 years managing teams of 200+ people in the corporate sector, he now fills his time with experiments that embody deep-rooted values, simplicity, and compassion. A volunteer with the Moved By Love ecosystem in India, he finds joy in supporting others’ journeys, doing small acts, and recently embarked on an Organic Cycling Journey to connect with and learn from organic farmers across Gujarat, India.

Micky O’Toole believes that life is in two parts— finding your passion, and then giving it back to the world. A mother of six children, a musician, artist, writer, and world citizen, she is passionate about sharing biographies of everyday heroes, pouring her heart into inspired poetry, and finding small ways to practice giving.

For Xiaojuan Shu, service means breaking down walls and self-discovery. With an array of experiences, including working as a Mandarin-English translator, reading for the blind, volunteering at meditation centers and producing one woman shows, Xiao finds herself humbled by giving as a life practice—from a spontaneous journey to serve her mother in China to emergent acts of love.

Yaniv Cohen is an eternal pilgrim of life. An early on “rebel who found a cause,” he’s traveled across the US, Israel, and India to explore and serve from his roots, and found a profound sense of interconnectedness around every corner. Having recently relocated to the Bay Area, CA with his wife Sara, he’s strengthening his mind, body, and heart for the next adventure.

And we’re thrilled for this circle to be anchored by…

Natasha Rockstrom, from Dubai, is no stranger to small acts of great love. Her startup, InJoy Giving, began as a social experiment on the streets of Stockholm, gifting bananas for hugs to showcase to her MBA class that the 'business' of love is powerful and universal. She learned generosity from her grandmother, and is inspired by its daily manifestations with her almost-2-year-old daughter.

Zilong Wang carries a depth of presence that unfolds from perspective-shifting undertakings like biking across country or being nominated by his classmates to give the undergrad commencement address. A sustainability analyst by day, he walks his talk in daily life as a resident love warrior in the Casa de Paz (House of Peace) community.

For Pranidhi Varshney, “radical generosity is acting from a place of pure love.” A devoted practitioner and instructor of ashtanga yoga based out of Los Angeles, she pours her heart into her recently-launched yoga studio to share an authentic practice with people from all walks of life. Her soulful tunes elevate all who listen.

Birju Pandya comes from the world of finance and investment, and moved to San Francisco to “step up my alignment”. He once swapped his first class flight upgrade to a woman in economy, finds great joy serving in the “mailroom”, and is a visionary behind KindSpring’s 21-day challenge portal.           


Posted by Audrey Lin on Sep 26, 2015