I'm joining Service Space because ... I am inspired by the work and look forward to finding ever expanding ways to live and share kindness.
A good day to me is when ... I laugh a lot and spend lots of time with my animals.
My hero in life is ...Anyone who exhibits great patience, as I am often struggling with that quality.
My favorite book is ...Currently it is Tattoos on the Heart, by Fr. Gregory Boyle.
One thing I'm grateful for is ... I am grateful that I've recently learned to noticed how much I focus on what I want to get from any given situation - and how everything changes when I adjust that to
Jan 05, 2021, 4 comments, 2 smiles As human beings, making our way in a complex world, we naturally want to make sense of life. We do this by unconsciously picking one perspective and clinging to it. We say, “This is Truth,” when really it is just true for us. Your “truth” depends on your perspective. Perspective influences our seeing and our relationship with what is. It’s not wrong to have a perspective. We don’t have to labor to eliminate them. We all have perspectives that help us navigate. But we can apply skillfulness to our relative perspectives. When we refrain from clinging to our perspectives, this creates room for others. In back of all perspectives, all relative truth is Absolute Reality. Absolute Reality, or pure awareness is the Truth that encompasses all perspectives, all possibilities. It is the consciousness that says “yes – and.” Mystics use words like Absolute Reality, Awareness, Consciousness, Source, or in my case “Rumi’s Field” as ... Read Full Story
Jul 31, 2020, 10 smiles The first Laddership Pod was conceived and implemented during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A 28-day process, it included 260 participants from 25 countries, dedicated to transformation. The time was ripe. So we gathered via technology to envision a new future. I’m sure many of us thought we’d find answers – solutions for personal and world problems. Instead, we wrestled daily with unanswerable questions. We stayed “in the grey” and pondered the nuances of transformation. “When do I surrender, vs. when do I apply tenacious grit?” “How do we navigate giving and burn-out?” “Where is the balance between inclusion and boundaries?” The result was magical. Our willingness to embark upon this journey of unknowing delivered us to a realm of shared emergence. Emergence looked like deepening friendships, radical acts of kindness, personal revelations, learning from each other, a brilliant on-the-fly tech platform that supported our global embrace, support for personal aspirations. The ... Read Full Story
Jul 16, 2020, 19 comments, 17 smiles Last summer, the Awakin Calls team held an illuminating call with john a. powell on Othering and Belonging. Recently, in our Laddership Pod, we spent some time exploring this topic, and I was reminded of particular highlights from that conversation that stood out to me. Sharing an edited and condensed transcript of those highlights below, in case it is of value for others, too. Preeta: Let’s start with your vision of race in this country. From the lens of some, there's been a grand story of halting but real racial progress -- from ending slavery, to eliminating legal segregation, to seeking integration, to working towards tolerance and diversity, and maybe inclusion and equity. From your perspective, what are the realities or limits of our current narrative? John: If we go back to the founding years of the slave trade in the New World, 400 years ago, we see that race as we ... Read Full Story
Jul 10, 2020, 3 comments, 9 smiles Dear SSp Friends, This was from my friend Jen and I had to share it. Picture of her dog too, just for fun. :) I have to tell you a little story... With Spencer recently moving down here after being away for several years, and most of his friends having moved away, he has been looking to make new friends. Covid has made it a little tricky, but he managed to make a few friends while out rock climbing and they go out together to climb outdoors a few days a week. He asked me if I knew any other ways to meet people, while also staying safe. The only thing I could think to say was, "Be kind. Kind people attract other kind people." A few days later I saw him writing in the 21-Day Kindness book (from Service Space) that I stuck in his stocking ... Read Full Story
Jun 15, 2020, 20 comments, 32 smiles [A stunning true story that recently came my way.] I was a fierce, unhappy, intellectual twenty-eight-year-old, still uneasy with all things “mystical,” stalking in old jeans and cheap army boots around Jerusalem. My guide to the mysteries of the Old City was “Isaiah,” plump, bald, late-middle-aged Israeli poet and mystic who looks, as he himself says often, “like a semi-enlightened sunburnt frog” and who has, over two days, become a friend. I love his sardonic wit, his baroque flights of phrase, his kabbalistic learning, the way his eyebrows twitch asymmetrically when he gets excited, which he does often. Today, he is wearing bright red sneakers and a short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt with great orange suns on it. Our talk is light, fact-stocked, and airy until we find ourselves in the early afternoon on the Mount of Olives, and stand, suddenly silent, in the sunny ochre olive grove where Christ wandered on the night before ... Read Full Story
Jun 10, 2020, 13 comments, 17 smiles Sweet are the uses of adversity. – William Shakespeare Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. – Rumi Reality goes by many names – God, Spirit, The Absolute, Love, The Tao, Awareness, The Universe. Reality is perfect, meaning inclusive of everything. Reality is an unfettered field “out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing.” Opposites arise in the field – good, bad, darkness, light, joy, sorrow. These qualities arise in concert, each a complement to the other. But the human brain struggles with opposites. We attach to one side of an equation and call it Reality. Our point of view is never the whole picture. Fortunately, the Universe is maintained by scientific/spiritual laws. We’re familiar with laws of science. The laws of physics get us where we need to go. The laws of gravity help us stay where we need to stay. A spiritual law, the Law ... Read Full Story
May 15, 2020, 1 comments, 12 smiles I’ve done over 100 weddings in my career as a minister. Some stand out more than others – marrying my beloved nephews to their chosen spouses; Greg and Jen’s wedding where I dropped the rings and blurted an impure word during the holy exchange. One of the most memorable ceremonies was a ZOOM wedding during the pandemic. Prior to the event, Emma and James, did what most couples do – they booked the venues, selected the cake, the meal, and the music. They met with me to discuss the ceremony. Then the pandemic happened, and all plans eroded. It was a slow, uncertain crumbling, probably painful for them. With each new quarantine rule, wedding plans dwindled from a large event, to a small gathering, to possible cancelation. Emma called me to ask for advice. She and James wanted to get married and wanted everyone to be safe. They didn’t know what to do. ... Read Full Story
Mar 07, 2020, 3 comments, 8 smiles My husband and I have a lot of animals so I spend a lot of time at our local feedstore. The one I use is run by a family with four children under the age of sixteen. The kids are home schooled so they help out at the store. It’s not unusual to have their thirteen-year old daughter ring up your Rabbit Feed; or to have their fifteen-year old son forklift a bale of hay over to your car. I’ve talked to their parents about this. “Your kids are getting quite an education here, right? I mean not only are they learning about math and writing. You’re helping them develop business and customer service skills. That’s an amazing gift you’re giving them.” The parents seem pleased. The kids shrug and carry on business as usual. One time their ten-year helped me load up my car. He carried a 30-pound bag of dog food ... Read Full Story
Feb 25, 2020, 9 smiles This past weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting ServiceSpace friend, Fran Faraz, at our Spiritual Center, The Ventura Center for Spiritual Living. Fran is the Program Director for a College Peace Studies Program. She did an amazing job of speaking – so warm, likeable, and knowledgeable. We explored the idea that a conflict with two opposing sides often has a third way embedded within it. Fran also spoke about the importance of saying “I AM the change I wish to see in the world” – and then taking actions based on that statement. She discussed authentic hope vs. inauthentic hope. Inauthentic hope pretends that everything is fine, even when it isn’t. Authentic hope addresses the reality of challenges and labors to gain the peace and understanding that lead to positive change-worthy actions. One of the best things about this gathering was the appreciation I felt for ServiceSpace. Fran, her husband Reza, ... Read Full Story
Feb 08, 2019, 2 comments, 16 smiles Dear Friends, One of our local synagogues was recently vandalized with a hateful message. Someone painted a swastika on their sign. The message was quickly erased. But Inspired by ServiceSpace, Gandhi 3.0 and Nimo Patel's We Shall Overcome video, our congregation decided to drive out hatred with love. We made a bunch of construction paper hearts and staged a Heart Mob. We went to the synagogue, took a group picture near the sign, and sent lots of love to our Jewish brothers and sisters. A local paper is going to feature the picture in a "Kindness Corner." So many ripples, inside and out. Thank you ServiceSpace! - With Love, Bonnie