About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... I have been and continue to be inspired by the joy found in folks who give from their hearts, who do just because they love....there is big love and big hearts within/amongst those connected with servicespace!

A good day to me is when ... there is a lot of laughter from the belly

My hero in life is ...my grandmother, Mutsuko

My favorite book is ...the little prince

One thing I'm grateful for is ... my health, my friendships, my curiosity...(I know I know, one thing, but actually this could amount to a long page a day :-)

Nuggets From Phyllis Cole-Dai's Call

Jan 30, 2021, 3 smiles I had the pleasure of hosting this week’s Awakin Call with Phyllis Cole-Dai, masterfully moderated by Pavi Mehta! Phyllis is a writer and social artist. She is also a mother, wife, daughter, and extraordinarily warm human. Even online through zoom where I got to see and meet her for the first time, I could feel her compassionate nature. Before the call started, I thanked her for writing and sharing her poem, For the Sake of One We Love and are Losing. I had listened to her recording multiple times and had shared it with a friend whose grandmother was transitioning. It brought such comfort! There was no ego as Phyllis thanked me for letting her know. There was the sense that the poem was not hers, that she was simply the messenger – the words came through her, she had no choice. What a gift for all of us who may be ... Read Full Story

Phyllis Cole-Dai: Writing Across The Divide

Jan 27, 2021, 1 smiles This week's Awakin Call guest: 'Phyllis Cole-Dai: Writing Across The DivideReflection questions: What is something in your own life that found you without your seeking it? How is it guiding your steps today?

Heart Strong; Still Hopeful

Nov 10, 2020, 2 smiles This piece I wrote Nov 10th, 2016 came up in my memories today - thought I would share here --- I had no idea what the next four years would bring. Rereading my words now and thinking about all that came after, I am saddened but not surprised. Now, hopeful but not naïve. Still, heart strong xo ********* Here's the thing, the truth is I'm not really a political person. I am woefully ignorant and wary of politics. I keep my life pretty simple and just try to be kind. I've got two wolves at my feet - one is called hate, the other kindness - I choose to feed kindness. I know what it is like as a kid to be called a jap, to be sneered at or called dirty, to be told to go back to my country (my great-grandparents came to the US from Japan in 1918; the ... Read Full Story

A Prayer Bag At Gun Point

Nov 01, 2020, 2 comments, 7 smiles Recently, while reading ArunDada's story in a "Sacred Space" Pod last month, I was reminded of an experience I had in 2010 -- ten years ago. (Amazing because it doesn't feel so long ago.) I had spent the day with my favorite Buddhist nun, Jun anjusan -- a woman who has walked all over the world for peace -- starting in 1978 when she walked across the USA. I have had the honor of walking with her in Japan and to sacred burial sites as well as nuclear testing sites in California. She is one of the most humble teachers I know with the strength and clarity of a cheetah; her voice is almost tiny but can move mountains. One day after a long day of fasting and prayer on the UC Berkeley campus near the Anthropology Department where Native American bones were being held, Jun anjusan and I were ... Read Full Story

Back In May Of 2015, DailyGood ...

Jul 16, 2020, 6 smiles Back in May of 2015, DailyGood ran a heart-warming story (http://www.dailygood.org/story/1021/reverend-violet-little-encore-org/) of Reverend Violet Little who “ left behind her congregation of 14 years to create a refuge for the homeless that would become the “church without walls” called the Welcome Church.” Recently Pastor Violet wrote to us sharing that through that post, she met a woman in Florida and her husband who began to support the Welcome Church in various ways, especially their women and knitting ministry. After years of their support, she writes, “my husband and I got to meet them on a cruise stop in Florida. It was a joyous moment and Betsy, her husband Fernando, Val and my husband Willie have all become dear friends...Thank you Daily Good for the goodness you spread!” --- She sent us this pic sharing "top: Val and Willie (my husband) sitting: Fernando (Betsy’s husband) Betsy, and me" --So special!    

Inspiring Link

Mar 13, 2020, 5 smiles Really loved today's DAILYGOOD --- Do Not Lose Heart, We Were Made for These Times, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes Clarissa Pinkola Estes stirringly invites us to embrace the moment we are in with all of its fear, uncertainty, and turmoil. She says, "I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it...In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wro...

Leading With Kindness

Mar 05, 2020, 3 comments, 9 smiles I haven't written much in a while - not since my grandmother died really -thought I'd write a little today. Wanting to bring back again stories of kindness that I was able to share when she was alive. Feeling a little rusty. Thank you for your understanding. Enjoy..... Went to the doctor yesterday - for the first time since just before she died and that was with her. This was my first time at this hospital and with this doctor for a check up. I was unsure of where to go or what to do. I decided to lead with kindness gratitude and humility. I asked the first person I saw, as I was walking out of the parking lot, if they could point me in the right direction. It turned out it was only her second day working there. We both laughed at the irony. She pointed me towards the main ... Read Full Story

Inspiring Link

Jan 05, 2020, 8 smiles My dear friend of 20 years and I were talking about what it was like for him as a black man in this society these days. I was remembering how the police used to chase him through the park as he was leaving school. We were in grad school together – he, a Stanford alumnus, used to come in before most of us and leave long after – the police didn’t see the scholar he was but rather, something else. He lives in NYC now where black men are Stopped and Frisked at random. Each time an innocent man is chased or cuffed because of his color, it leaves a mark. I asked my friend, now a professor who works with Restorative Justice, how he manages in a world where stories full of black men who are shot, killed etc seem to dominate…his answer was long and deep but one ... Read Full Story

Forever In My Heart

Sep 09, 2019, 2 comments, 12 smiles Dear Friends - particularly those who have come to love Grandma or as I call her Bachan or Obaachan (in japanese) - less formal, the way a child might address their grandmother (over the more formal Obaasan) ... I don't say "my" or "mine" now because in a way, she became all of our grandmothers.... Mutsuko Ukegawa Iwatate left for the spirit world August 31st, 2019 at 6:07pm. She didn't seem to have any pain and went so quietly, we weren't even sure she had left. She waited until my mother got there (Mom lives out of state and just had major back surgery getting cleared for travel just 2 days prior) - 20 minutes after my mother came in - she let go. Her three daughters, were in the room along with me, my uncle and John. I whispered to her, I love you Bachan forever. We will never ... Read Full Story

Grandma Chronicles Aka Elder Wisdom ~ John: ...

Aug 19, 2019, 2 comments, 19 smiles Grandma Chronicles aka Elder Wisdom ~ John: How did you become such a happy person? Obaachan: I am happy because I don't have much time before I die. Me: You mean, so why be sad? (as in- no time for sadness) Obaachan: Yes. ... I don't hate no one. NO ONE. I have no hate. I have good friends. You are my good friends. I have good children too - Irene, Gracie, Joann, Larry and Bobby. Me: Gracie is my mom :) Obaachan: Really? Me: I'm your grand-daughter :) Obaachan: You are?! Oh, how nice! Me: Would you like to call Gracie? Obaachan: Okay! Me: Hi Mom! John: Hi Grace! Obaachan: Gracie! Where are you? Come and visit! Grace: I will soon :) Obaachan: Be good okay? Be nice to people, forever okay? Grace: Okay, I will. Forever :) Mia: Okay, Mom, we love you! John: Love you, Grace! Obaachan: We looooove you! We won't forget you. Grace: I love you all too :) There was more but this was the heart of the conversation - "The heart of the matter" -#lovematters 💞