I'm joining Service Space because ... i love everything about it :) because i want to cultivate in inner transformation.
A good day to me is when ... i'm authentic and being my highest self for myself and others.
My hero in life is ...My mother, my aunt, who is an auntie-mother :)
My favorite book is ...there are so many :) but one that stands out : Awakening the Buddhist heart by Lama Surya Das
One thing I'm grateful for is ... my breath.
Aug 03, 2017, 11 comments, 32 smiles [Melissa Stephens is a middle-school teacher and author of a recently published children's book Little Miss and Spirit Bear's Kiss, and an active volunteer. Little known fact about her is that she has starred in two original one-woman shows. She is a proud mother of Garrett, JJ and Fif -- and husband, Sean, has served 4 tours in Afghanistan as a member of the US Army. When I visited Kent Middle School last year, it was clearly evident why all her students absolutely adore "Ms Stephens" and crowd her classroom even in the break time. Last week, she shared her story of walking into ServiceSpace, three years ago, and the remarkable laddering that continues to unfold. What an honor to know her!] I have been laddered from the moment that I first met everyone. Most recently, I created a class on Service Innovation, but whenever they say I did it, I ... Read Full Story
Jun 18, 2017, 8 comments, 12 smiles We are so excited to have an amazing group of summer interns (Apurva, Isabelle, Maya, Shyama, and Sophie) and mentors (Amit, Audrey, Priya, Vishes and myself) this summer. This Past week we kicked it off with Week 1 Theme: Generosity, with readings, videos, and reflections on the Spirit of Service, Giftivism, and beyond by the one and only-- Nipun and the always, ever graceful Ms. Pavi. But First, let’s get a closer look at our interns and what inspired them to be a part of this summer’s Internship 2017. Meet the Interns Apurva- Apurva had been introduced to ServiceSpace after Nipun had spoken at Jain Center in which he attended in Southern California. At that time Apurva was sixteen years old, but felt moved by what was shared around kindness and generosity. He signed up to receive Smile Cards and wanted to experiment with kindness and generosity for himself. Life took a busy ... Read Full Story
Jun 04, 2017, 9 smiles [Grateful for a circle this morning on the topic of 'weaving'. Below is the story, from Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass, that I briefly spoke about.] It should be them who tell this story. Corn leaves rustle with a signature sound, a papery conversation with each other and the breeze. On a hot day in July—when the corn can grow six inches in a single day—there is a squeak of internodes expanding, stretching the stem toward the light. Leaves escape their sheaths with a drawn-out creak and sometimes, when all is still, you can hear the sudden pop of ruptured pith when water-filled cells become too large and turgid for the confines of the stern. These are the sounds of being, but they are not the voice. The beans must make a caressing sound, a tiny hiss as a soft-haired leader twines around the scabrous stem of corn. Surfaces vibrate delicately against ... Read Full Story
Apr 29, 2017, 5 comments, 27 smiles [A formative experience I shared at the Healing + T circle last weekend.] My journey started a while ago, about 10 years ago, as a new nurse. A really naïve and new nurse who really didn't know much about what healing meant. I thought healing meant that we're going to fix everybody, but I arrived at a very stark realization that healing means so many different things to so many people, and there's so many journeys that one can take to get there. Healing happens differently for everybody. It was a patient of mine that really taught me that lesson. For privacy's sake I'm going to call her Jojo. Jojo, when I first met her, was a 17 year old female. She was initially diagnosed with HIV, which later on progressed to AIDS, and was a young female that didn't really understand her diagnosis or her imbalance, her disease. Her parents kept that ... Read Full Story
Sep 27, 2016, 19 smiles This past Saturday, a dozen of us circled up with Maria Jain, a dear friend of the ecosystem visiting from Finland. She brings with her a wealth of stories and vivid works of heArt by Moyo, a pen pal friend behind bars, whose remarkable journey of inner transformation stirred up a thought-provoking dialogue among friends. As our event invite read: "In May 2014, Maria penned her first letter to Moyo, a man incarcerated at the age of 18, who has been held in solitary confinement on Death Row. For 15 years, in a room smaller than a parking space, Moyo is, in his own words, working to “polish his soul, clean stains from his heart, and open windows of his mind.” "Though living vastly different lives on the surface, they swiftly found common ground for friendship. Over a year later, Maria received a special letter with a stunning work of handmade art -- ... Read Full Story
Jun 02, 2016, 14 comments, 30 smiles I'm sure if we all look far enough back in our days at school, we can think of at least one teacher who really pushed us to think in ways no one else did. If we dug a little further, we might even go as far to say that they shaped us to become a better version of ourselves than we were before or even changed our lives "Be the person you needed when you were younger" For the students of Kent Middle School, I'm sure that one such teacher would undoubtedly be Melissa, or a.ka. 'Ms Stephens'. The all around fun, high energy, always smiling from ear-to-ear, beaming kindness 'Ms Stephens'. Today I had the chance to ride along with fellow SS volunteer Miss Audrey Lin, to visit Kent Middle School, in Kentfield, CA where Melissa teaches. Melissa also has participated in Laddership circles, writes and edits amazing stories for Kindspring, sharing her experience in bringing the values ... Read Full Story
Mar 06, 2016, 11 comments, 37 smiles Little over a month ago I attended Greater Good Science Center's Mindfulness & Well Being at Work conference where I had the joy of being present when Birju closed the day with a story, sharing with the audience his journey with asking the question How does personal transformation connect to societal transformation? At the conclusion of his short talk, the man behind me clapped enthusiastically and let out a big "'Whooah!" It put a big smile on my face, and I silently agreed wholeheartedly. Below the talk from that day:
Oct 22, 2015, 2 comments, 31 smiles Few of us held a welcome circle with Jayesh-bhai on Tuesday night, as we reflected on deep topics. And it stirred a quiet transformation in so many us -- and I'm already seeing the ripples at my work. For one, my boss and two assistant manager just did a moment of silence befor our meal together! :) Here's a beautiful photo (that Audrey took) of two love-warriors (Jayesh-bhai and Pancho) hugging ...
Sep 28, 2015, 1 comments, 12 smiles “V.R Ferose does not have an MBA degree but has managed more than 5,000 people. V.R. Ferose is a non-IIT engineer, but in 2010 he became the managing director of SAP Labs India, one of fifteen global R&D centers of the German software giant SAP — then becoming, at 33 years old, the youngest-ever (and first non-German) managing director of a global multinational firm in India overseeing a staff of thousands. Within 18 months, Ferose's participative and empowering leadership style led to more than a 50% reduction in his lab's attrition rate, unprecedented highs in employee engagement rates, a #1 ranking for his R&D lab in employee satisfaction across all of SAP and #4 across all the companies in India. His "empathy and high emotional quotient" led to recognition of his management achievements in the Harvard Business Review. And then, while in the dizzying heights of corporate success, he faced ... Read Full Story
Jul 06, 2015, 1 comments, 7 smiles As part of a new job I've recently started, I have been brushing up on a form of nursing care pioneered by Jean Watson (who is a modern-day sort of Florence Nightingale). Her foresight in developing a 'Caring Science' is used in hospitals throughout the country. Unique in this approach is how important it is to embody an approach to caring, and the specificity that defines that embodiment. For anyone interested in how to physically manifest compassion through action, I thought you might enjoy this overview of the Theory of Human Caring.