I'm joining Service Space because ... Bringing positive change and spreading kindness are infectious.
A good day to me is when ... The sun rises, the sun sets, and in between kindness is abundant.
My hero in life is ...My students and my Awakin' Family.
My favorite book is ...The Kite Runner
One thing I'm grateful for is ... Being given the ability and desire to change.
Mar 11, 2020, 6 smiles It's amazing to watch seeds of service bloom in unexpected ways. A few students at the high school where I teach have started a company making bracelets and donating all the proceeds to worthy and uplifting causes. The first cause they decided to support made me smile. The description on their website reads: The first organization we picked to donate to is a church sanctuary for migrants in Tijuana, Mexico that is run by Pastor Gustavo Banda, who opens up his space to migrants from all over the world. The organization is staffed by many volunteers who dedicate their time to helping refugees. One example is Pancho Ramos Stierle, a community leader who previously walked 95 days across California in support of migrant families seeking asylum. Feeling very grateful for Pancho, Pastor Gustavo, and so many love warriors around the world, and all the seeds you sow!
Nov 28, 2019, 4 comments, 14 smiles At the Awakin Circle last night, someone spoke of their equating of ignorance and innocence. Today, that hit me in a profound way. Above is a picture of Andy. I had made some cinnamon rolls this morning, as well as a potato dish, with the intention of offering it to anyone experiencing homelessness during this time. Andy was the first person that I met. I sat down with him and just listened as he told me his story, which included his mother and brother passing away; how his sister Susan had arranged for him to live in a trailer and how he left it, which made her none too happy. He just couldn't afford it anymore, though. I decided to ask Andy if he'd like me to help find his sister. He said he's tried but has been unsuccessful and hasn't seen her in a few years. After giving me her name ... Read Full Story
Nov 09, 2019, 10 comments, 25 smiles A few months back, I drove down to Tijuana to visit Pancho and spend time with the community at the US-Mexico border, where he has been volunteering. In the spirit of connecting with others, and cultivating trust, I had wanted to see if I could make it down without using any of my own money. At a gas station, one young man, Isaac, offered, "All I can do is $40, but I really want to help you." It was amazing. As we got talking, I learned that he makes short documentaries and is all about communities and connections! Couple months later, he had made this 10-min film -- featuring some familiar faces (:
Sep 21, 2019, 8 smiles Here is a touching story posted by BlissForgive on Kindspring: https://www.kindspring.org/my/feed/index.php?sid=181257 Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words: Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her. Love, ... Read Full Story
Sep 09, 2019, 2 comments, 8 smiles Going from no-where to now-here is a beautiful journey. Fresh off of an amazing 4-day (week?) retreat, I awoke this morning to an email from our ONEderFULL sistahhh Thu! This is the message I received: I went down to see Panchito yesterday and met Isaac Rosenbaum who told me how he got connected with your experiment in kindness ;) Yesterday they took all the kids to the beach to get baptized! It was such a special time and I was there for such a short time because I brought some co-workers (we are at a company retreat in SD for the week) but so incredible to see what's possible when we act with our heart and head and mind. I'm blown away by the smallness of our world and the hugeness of our collective heart! Click on the picture to get a glimpse of Thu's time in Tijuana.
Aug 17, 2019, 8 comments, 20 smiles Video from a visit to Pancho in Tijuana ... about his description of what occurred when he orchestrated a trip to the beach with many of the migrants in their community. Words cannot convey how much this has touched me<3.
Aug 01, 2019, 6 comments, 19 smiles It's been a day now since I've returned from SoCal and (my) thoughts have had time to marinate. The trip to Tijuana was about connecting with the other. On that front, I'd like to share a few stories. One intention was to drive from Fremont to Tijuana using none of my own money, of which I had plenty. After resting overnight in Bakersfield, I as off. With a quarter of a tank of gas and a couple hundred miles to go, I pulled into a gas station. I walked up to a couple of men filling up their tank and just asked, "Do you think we trust each other enough?" That ignited a 10 minute discussion. I told them where I was going and what I was doing and then asked if they'd fill up my tank and I'd mail them a check when I returned to Fremont. The trust just ... Read Full Story
Jul 15, 2019, 2 comments, 19 smiles This part of my journey began at 6:20 am Friday morning. Along the nearly 100 miles (we did take a few detours...some even intentionally) I never felt lonely, although often alone. Vishesh met me at the Kindness Temple. Of course, Harshida Auntie wouldn't let us go without a nourishing breakfast, both physically and emotionally. And she did this all as she was also trying to get herself off to work! The next stop was Pavi and Viral's, where a planned circle with Sr. Marilyn was in progress. We arrived after about 3.5 hours on the road. Riding along the Bay Trail, it was mostly relaxing. My mind didn't have to focus on pain or wind; I was just allowed take in the nature. And then we got close to Pavi and Viral's. OK, I had to walk my bicycle up several steep hills. For me, it was a decision that ... Read Full Story
Jul 11, 2019, 8 comments, 20 smiles Tomorrow morning, Vishesh and I will embark on a Ride of Trust from the Kindness Temple to Banyan Grove. A trust in our bodies, the kindness of strangers, and the universe, in general. Neither one of us has ever done anything like this before; 80 miles over two days will be testing our physical limits. We'll be carrying with us water, a few snacks (maybe for new-found friends!) and a bracelet making kit. The "plan" is to ask strangers to provide us with nourishment, or even just positive messages for our short journey. Some bracelets may find their way into the hands of others, too. The universe will guide us to a safe place to rest our bodies Friday night in SF, I am sure of that. Leon Legothetis has done an extreme version of this at least twice, documenting both in the Kindness Diaries, I and II, as seen on Netflix. As I watched it, I couldn't stop my mind from saying, "yeah, but he has a film crew with him." What would it be without that, I thought? Although a very shortened journey, I still have faith in humanity and its collective kindness and compassion.
Jun 13, 2019, 9 smiles I watched this short video at a museum here in San Jose, Costa Rica. This was spoken with peace and clarity at the end: When the kind souls go. From the Earth we are. From the Earth we come. And to the Earth we will return. When I heard it I immediately thought of many of you. On how we belong to the Earth...the Earth doesn't belong to us. The Indigenous people of Costa Rica seem to understand this better than most others. Maybe it's that way throughout the world. I'm still learning.