Getting Ready For Two More Laddership Circles!

Posted by Audrey Lin on Jul 29, 2018
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This week, 27 of us are gearing up for another round of Laddership Circles! After a year of smaller, themed circles -- from business to healthcare to youth values, design principles and beyond -- we're thrilled to now head into two fresh concurrent circles (which we've nicknamed 'Yin' and 'Yang' :)) in the next six weeks!

Just a glance at the quality intent behind the applications alone has been inspiring to behold! One young engineer wrote:
In this era, our minds our valued and trained above all else while our heart are often neglected. I feel that my truest introspection comes not through a mental process but through the emotional center of solar plexus when my head and heart are in alignment and can communicate freely. My close friends may say my curiosity heavily defines my character. I suspect my passion for introspection is invigorated as I am able to reach a state of flow as my inner being begins to listen to my heart as I turn the searchlight of awareness inward and quieting the mind.

A grassroots community builder described:
I think radical generosity mean giving and sharing without any expectation of receiving back. It is freely sharing with others in ways that can ignite compassion in others and inspire them to also embody the spirit of giving and sharing. An example is an experience my church leader shared about giving away his only car to another family that he considered needing a car more than him and he didn't have to struggle to give it away.

An entrepreneur wrote:
I see a new way of living, a new way of working, a new way leading, my mind is open and clear. I see the old way is causing so much suffering and is crumbling. I know it is a time for us to recognize and remember we are all connected, to recognize that all that is happening is our one shared story and we are all in this together, every person, every living creature and our living planet. I hope to grow by learning to open my heart as wide as my mind.

With those, and so many more, sincere intents -- our circle feels swimming in blessings already! What inspires me more, is that everyone is signing up for a space that defies clearcut takeaways and definitions. The organic nature of inner transformation doesn't lend itself to copy-and-paste; it's not a model one can replicate. So beyond the 6-week curriculum and calls, what excites all of us is the potential for peer-learning. We know that what emerges follows the way we each show up together, and there'll certainly be more questions than answers. :) Yet in holding those questions together, maybe in some small way, we'll find ourselves walking into some form of an answer.

Look forward to learning from the next six weeks, with a rocking crew fellows and love warrior volunteers!

About the Fellows In our "Yin" Circle, there's...

Chenny Xia's toolbelt includes design thinking, agile and lean startup methods, and a fail-forward mindset. After 10 years in biz/design consulting, she's embarking on a year-long learning journey to reflect and deepen in how best to contribute to her community and support thriving humans. Based in Toronto, Canada, Prosper Lab and Action Learning Toronto are among her diverse projects.

Damilola "Fash" Fasoranti runs an academy in rural Nigeria that empowers youth to transform their gifts, skills, talents and community resources into personal and social solutions. As the founder, his title is Chief Listener: "All I do is help others find the gifts, skills and knowledge that they have." "In the past year, I have been fascinated by the ideas of empathy and development from within as a path to personal and community transformation."

Dimple Parmar, a budding entrepreneur in Mumbai, lost her young husband after his two-year battle with cancer. They had been married for 8 months. The treacherous journey to find a cure evolved into an illuminating acceptance of impermanence, where the question that mattered at the end was: “How can we help other people, how can we give back to the society what we have received from them?" Dimple now finds herself at the start of that path.

Harsha Patel believes her "purpose in life is to serve." She is "shaping my life to be able to do this with humility and integrity, steered only by compassion, and to do this sustainably." Based in London, she runs a non-profit startup, Doing Social, that aims to shift thinking about 'innovation' from focused solely on "ends" to the "means" along the way.

James Offuh's work has been "an investment in the heart to the 'other'". While sitting in stillness and prayer one morning at dawn, a voice told him "unite communities in peace". Today, he services as a conflict mediator and peacemaker in Africa's Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), running an NGO, United For Peace Against Conflict.

Joao Perre is based in Lisbon, though his journey has taken him from the US to Portugal, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Angola, and Spain. His career spans a parallel colorful range -- from years in advertising, to now a mix of consulting, teaching college seminars on purpose, and, for the last two years, his labor-of-love Walking Mentorship, is a space for individuals to clarify their hopes and dreams, while walking remarkable routes together.

Kristen Jackson has been a wilderness guide, social worker, therapist trained in somatic trauma skills, and a dance community organizer. Based in Arizona, US, Kristen recently found herself witness to radical generosity at her wedding ceremony, which was "almost entirely gifted to us by our friends’ acts of kindness and service." Now in a new city, she's keen to deepen in value creation through the spirit of generosity.

Susan Starkey is a "contemplative-in-action" based in Massachusetts, US, holding the question: "How do you make a change around climate change?" While fueling her current days towards that end, she draws from 30 years of experience in organizational development, as well as criminal justice service learning, and almost two years as a full-time volunteer at a monastery in Ireland.

Sylvia Morales, originally from Chile, now based in Burgos, Spain, lives along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and has a vision to transform her home into a community space of sharing and service. A yoga teacher and mother of two grown daughters, she is inspired by being witness to transformation, in herself and others, through simple spaces of sharing and small acts of care.

And faces of our "Yang" Circle include...

Bela Shah is on a journey to deepen in service, stillness, and purpose. Currently, a mentor for 26 young leaders from around the world, she reflects, "the most valuable way I can contribute to their journeys is by practicing deep listening, asking meaningful questions, and inviting a year-long dialogue mixed with practice around the connection between our inner and outer worlds."

Bhaskar Goswami was born into the yogic tradition in Assam, India, and has been practicing and teaching yoga for over two decades. Now based in Canada after a 10-year international engineering career, he founded Bodhi Principle (2007) to offer genuine wellbeing workplaces, and more recently, Daana (2015) to offer anonymous contribution-based wellness worldwide.

Dave Room's most important identifier is Melia’s Papa: his teenage daughter Melia is his joy and inspiration. Since receiving a B.S. and M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University, Dave's wide-ranging work include leading Balance, a mixed reality/edtech firm, and more recently, Bridgit, which envisions a future where the Internet is not dominated and shaped by one company, and search is not the primary way to find things.

Jamie Kwak is an accountant by day, and a seamstress of handmade meditation cushions by weekends. A committed meditator, she is exploring how to deepen in service to others, inside and out.

Janessa Gans is a CIA analyst-turned-peacebuilder, founder of The Euphrates Institute, and mother of three young children. Her stirring Ted Talk is emblematic of her transformative work: Turn the Other Into a Brother.

Kendrick Bradley is a recent graduate from University Southern California, with a remarkable way of galvanizing small acts of great love -- whether in celebrating a birthday by gifting hot chocolate to security guards, and washing a fraternity parking lot of cars, or simply showing up for friends. Kendrick works at a structural engineer firm, and looks forward to explorations at the intersection gift ecology and business.

Michelle Rojas serves as one of a 3-member leadership team for Better Eating International, a young nonprofit that educates people about animal rights and veganism. Keen to explore ways to cultivate openness, generosity, and leadership among her team, Michelle's dynamic journey spans an MBA from USC, Master’s in Biology from Caltech, wide-ranging advocacy work, she's based in Los Angeles, California with her husband and four children.

Paul Caswell has spent 40 years as a spiritual seeker, 30 years as a contemplative philosopher, 20 years working with Jungian teachers, 20 years integrating eastern somatic practices, and 10 years as a daily mediator. In 2008, he founded Weave the People, a technology-driven solution to foster and strengthen interconnections within a team. Based in San Francisco, Paul is on an exploration to bring deeper values to business.

Victoria Crawford, author of The Art and Practice of Trust, has for over 20 years, supported individuals, groups and leaders to deepen in trust, navigate uncertainty and live from a more authentic and real place. Based in Arizona, US, Victoria is a mother of three beloved adult children, grandmother (nana) to two adorable grandchildren and grateful owner of Gracie, the sweet wonder dog.

On top of that, David, Jane, Marian, Melissa, Thu, Venu, Kai, Nipun, and I are delighted to volunteer together in this round, and grateful for the visionary advisors, weavers of curriculum, kindred field of alumni, and the many conditions that allowed for our coming together in such a way!

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Comments (4)

  • Bill Stewart wrote ...

    Wow! What a gifted cast of characters! I can hardly wait to read the book, see the movie and hear the music that emerges from the Yin/Yang Ladderships. Bon voyage!
    Dr. Uncle Bill

  • Wendy Berk wrote ...

    What an inspiring group!

  • Raji wrote ...

    Wow, that feels so good. My love best wishes to all for a wonderful process.Dear Audrey, I am an alumnus of the Ram circle and we interacted in one of the circles. We also metay the awaken circle in Santa Clara on July 11th. Love, Raji

  • Victoria wrote ...

    I am so proud to be part of this Laddership......deeply touched by all this work. Thank you, thank you!