The Ace Up Our Sleeves :)

Posted by Nipun Mehta on Sep 29, 2020
2733 reads  
Imagine a few dozen people coming to your home, and you don't have the furniture, food or fun ready. Then, add a couple hundred gate-crashers. :) That's sort of what happened to us at the start of our summer Laddership Pod -- no tech, no curriculum, and no plan. Panic or postpone? Neither. We trusted emergence. And we know the rest of the story.

Actually, that pod was only part of the story. What unfolded was our "Pod Technology" that has already become the bedrock for umpteen Pod variations. We've hosted multiple 7-day "hands, head, heart" immersions on it, and earlier this week, we started another Pod with 180+ applicants from 19 countries. Various external groups are bringing their entire communities onto the platform. Later this month, we are hosting a 'Sacred Space' retreat. In Romania, they had 70 applicants for a 15-person Educators Laddership circle that is coming up. Already, our newest curriculum is being translated to Spanish by a "Social MBA" group in Colombia, alongside Japanese. Prior to the pandemic, we had plans of an in-person "Boddhisattvas in Training" retreat, and now, we've scheduled it for December through our newly emerging processes and platforms.

Given our rather unique process, the manifest designs are equally unique. Maybe even radical. At a cursory glance, of course, our "Pod Technology" is just a commercial-free way to share content and engage. However, as you peel the layers of the onion, it allows for the formation of distributed pods. At yet another level, it offers tools, not for mere management or leadership, but laddership of intersecting parts. Even more subtly, it creates a pathway to do Italy Talgam shared in his talk on great conductors: do-nothing laddership, powered by our deepest intrinsic impulses. In a world that is overwhelmingly designed for content, our genius lies in unlocking the context.

One of the trending movies on Netflix right now is The Social Dilemma. One of our community members helped produce it, and is featured in it as well. It tells an alarming story of "content", the perverse effects of social media: "Tree is worth more financially dead than alive. A whale is worth more dead than alive. And now, we've become the product ourselves." It's a dire warning about losing context. If a tree is the context, wood is the content, and chair is the product, today's zeitgeist is myopically focused on chairs. Intellectual awareness of considering the tree are easy, and public oversight and regulation is a bit harder, but ultimately, we can only feel into the invisible roots when the medium becomes the message.

Someone recently spotted a heartfelt endorsement of SSp online, that opened with: "The truth in this talk made me cry. The sort of cry that suddenly springs from being so shaken by the fact that there is a force that is more powerful than anything out there and it's beautiful. No superheroes with capes, no super ability, alien influence or radiation mutation. Simply humans. Us."

That "suddenly springs forth" is the force that propels ServiceSpace. Our world feels real, and such impulses feel ad-hoc. By our mere existence, we are offering a flipped narrative: maybe the material world is a house of cards, and it is this "force more powerful" that is real. Within just a couple weeks of the pandemic, we launched an entire KarunaVirus portal. Ad hoc or real? We can go down the list of 20 years. Hardly an anomaly. Everyone innately recognizes this strength, and ServiceSpace rekindles that faith. Yesterday, on a call, Gary Zukav mentioned how the opening lines of his upcoming book explicitly thanks the entire ServiceSpace ecosystem for keeping that flame alive.

Around the globe, people are hungry not only for what we offer, but the way it's offered. Following an interaction, in Persian, with change-makers in Iran, the local buzz has continued. On the island of Guernsey, Karma Kitchen has inspired the launch of "Suspended Pizza". From Portugal to UK to Hollywood, various gift-ecology experiments are in motion. Mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska is hosting a wide-spread "belonging" event that is organized on our platform. A NYT best-selling author tweeted this week's Awakin Reading: Movie of Me. Dalai Lama's group at Emory approached us to host at 21-day Compassion Challenge on KindSpring. From a park in Austria to prison in the Philippines to a college in Vietnam, every day, we see SSp ripples arising, intersecting, converging, and heading back to the Ocean.

As the heartbeat drums on, we also continue to get umpteen talk invites, from Germany's Innocracy conference to Vinoba Ashram's webinar to a women's leadership group in Switzerland. Last week, I had a conversation with a London based happiness group, where 2000 thousand people signed up (and 10K watched it on FB live). Just today, I agreed to a youth interview on Ismaili TV alongside a "Sage-ing" Jewish community of elders.

It's hard to know where this emergent ecosystem of compassionate intents is going. Yet, simply holding and carrying such sacred seeds feels important today. Intentions like this Pod applicant from Singapore: "I am looking inside me to learn, question and grow. In less than eight months, I have lost my mum, sis, (brother to suicide) and partner. I chose love over fear, when I decided to stay alive, and reach my potential, and seek like minded positive people. God bless all the amazing work you guys are doing."

Thank you, for being keepers of noble intentions. That context is the ace up our sleeve. :)

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Comments (20)

  • Ragu wrote ...

    We call Service Space an ecosystem for good reasons. The Himalayas, or the Amazon rainforest is an ecosystem. It takes a long time for a natural ecosystem to form. Centuries, actually. What these ecosystems are made of (their content) - the peaks and the valleys; the contours and the plains; the soil and the species - become our context, the very means of our existence. A pod contains seeds. Each seed has the potential to create another tree - a new context whose roots enrich the soil, leaves clean the air, branches host the birds, flowers nourish the bees and the fruits or the pods feed different species, and seed the next generations. A pod is the most mature technology of a natural ecosystem. Similarly, the content of Service Space has been formed from decades of authentic life expe [...] See full comment.
    We call Service Space an ecosystem for good reasons.

    The Himalayas, or the Amazon rainforest is an ecosystem. It takes a long time for a natural ecosystem to form. Centuries, actually. What these ecosystems are made of (their content) - the peaks and the valleys; the contours and the plains; the soil and the species - become our context, the very means of our existence.

    A pod contains seeds. Each seed has the potential to create another tree - a new context whose roots enrich the soil, leaves clean the air, branches host the birds, flowers nourish the bees and the fruits or the pods feed different species, and seed the next generations. A pod is the most mature technology of a natural ecosystem.

    Similarly, the content of Service Space has been formed from decades of authentic life experiences of each member. Add up all the decades of experiences of thousands of members shared over twenty years, the content becomes integrated and synergistic. Hence Service Space resembles natural ecosystems. Its content becomes the context - the means for thinking, feeling, deciding and acting for its inhabitants, or even visitors. This is how a story posted in a laddership pod becomes a template for someone else to experiment and fill in with his or her own story - the content becomes the container for someone else to fill and on and on it goes. It is a process that enables spirited people to move from content, to context to ultimately, Consciousness.

    This is not a tall claim but a simple, humble reporting of one person's life-view. What else can explain our family's choice to simpy stick to our practices for over a decade and doubtlessly, without hesitation to abstain from numerous attractics from the egosystems that surround us? Or indulge in metric-less activities that might take decades to come to frutition?

    To add a twist to John Lenon, "I may be awakin' but I am not the only one."

    Thanks Nipun, for the EcoView.

    Since the fruits are fallin', we need a harvest technology too to complement the pod :) Hide full comment.

  • Richard W wrote ...

    So encouraging, Nipun. Especially in light of what is made so powerfully clear in The Social Dilemma film. Blessings...

  • David Bonbright wrote ...

    So grateful to be a SS seed blowing in the wind!

  • Michaele Premet-Rosen wrote ...

    Deep Gratitude šŸ™

  • Bonnie Rose wrote ...

    So grateful for the reminder to look beyond the seen world into the mystery of expansive grace. I am humbled and honored to be part of an ecosystem that provides spacious, innovative ways of being that allow for the emergence of that grace. Thank you SS for staying innocent and holy and encouraging all of us to do the same in our own unique ways. Big Gratitude. (And btw, that Pod tech was AWESOME!!)

  • Kiran Ladwa wrote ...

    Thank you for this heartwarming post šŸ™šŸ»

  • Janessa Wilder wrote ...

    Thank you, Nipun, for sharing this and so much gratitude for all these powerful ripples and seeds being planted far and wide. All for One and One for All! :-)

  • Parag wrote ...

    Beautiful!!

    The feeling of newness is a constant when i read such updates.:) gradually tilting my head, bowing to emergence.

  • Mindyjourney wrote ...

    As SS grows into a mighty forest, it is wise to keep true to the seeds from which it sprang šŸŒ±.

  • Paulette Pipe wrote ...

    "Stand up! Stand up! Look behind you and see all the support behind you." ~Gandhi January 2020 (sending a message to the community).
    In awe of the ripples and the blossoming of the seeds so diligently planted with love, grace and humility.
    I, too, am deeply grateful that you and SS scooped me up into its beautiful ecosystem. Much love...

  • Ariel Nessel wrote ...

    Why is it that among all of the seemingly urgent and important efforts I devote my limited time to that I keep returning back to SSp as a refuge? Because I trust in being part of an ecosystem who'd agenda is love. Not simplistic or sentimental love, but a love that can be both fierce and patient, is almost always process oriented, and which sees me not as I am, but as I could be. Grateful to be part of this unfolding of self and non-self with you!

  • Hermann Gams wrote ...

    Nov 5th, 2012.....my mother died.........Nov 5th, 2016.........I got to know Nipun in London after the "Happier World Conference".....I am so grateful that this day opened my path into the Servicespace community.....thank you Nipun and the whole community for all your efforts......itogether we learn from each other and together we create the world we dream of !

  • Liz Pimentel-Gopal wrote ...

    Deep Gratitude to all that's emerging from SS community and its allies. Love, Compassion, Kindness are highly contagious.... May LCK soon become a Pandemia. Abrazos to all! So humbled to be of service to you all. 

  • Vipul Shaha wrote ...

    -Beautiful and inspiring! Blessed to have been a tiny and ever evolving particle in this compassionate ecosystem of noble intentions and actions! :)

  • Swara Pandya wrote ...

    +1 to Bonnie... the pod curriculum is so hardcore. And to come up with this up and running just in a matter of weeks is such heart + hard work. While this is all Labour of Love.

  • Stephanie Nash wrote ...

    Wow. Beautiful. Inspiring. Moving. ....Thank you, Nipun, for articulating this with such grace - sharing this growth of the beauty & capacity in humanity that Service Space exemplifies in a way that inspires. (And I am so glad that the world is asking you to speak & spread this - what an ambassador for evolution you are!) ....I continue to feel gratitude to have been pulled into this amazing loving & compassionate ecosystem where I experience such fulfillment from being the tiniest part of this great whole. So much love.

  • Marie Altman wrote ...

    An inspiring letter of gifts and uplifting news. I have much gratitude for this open and flowing conduit of good.

  • Barbara Schwartzbach wrote ...

    Love the Global Wisdom, Shared. This space is a beautiful place to listen, learn, stretch your pods.

  • Beverly Williams-Hawkins wrote ...

    Wow! Just wow! Iā€™m not sure how I got here but I got here as soon as I could. Thank you for leaving out such a beautiful welcome mat. šŸ™šŸ¾

  • Amy wrote ...

    Thank you Nipun, your ripples seem to inspire all of us to go deeper and further, as we hear in this post.
    Ever grateful for you, all the amazing volunteers, and wonderful ServiceSpace!