An Eventful 'Moved by Love' Year
October 14, 2013Dear Friends,
I hope that this note finds you well and thriving. I haven’t written in a while, so I wanted to share some updates before I leave for extended travels ...
Last year, Guri and I were in India to nurture an emergent movement. Organic opportunities led me to not only share ‘Giftivism’ stories with thousands in grassroot settings, but to also shift the conversation towards "inner transformation" with Forbes-50 folks and their leadership. Along the way, we initiated 3-day "Moved by Love" retreats for changemakers around the country -- quite powerful. That’s now birthing a slew of creative service projects.
Coming back, we launched a new portal: KindSpring. Our most vibrant website to date. Not just because of its technology, and the million+ Smile Cards that it has rippled out across the world, but also the infectiously kind online community it has created . In September we hosted a 21-day Kindness Challenge with 6000 people from across 98 countries, and this remarkable rap video came together as a thank-you to its participants. All this on a $0 budget -- fully bankrolled by love. :) Now our first Gratitude Challenge is just around the corner.
Then there was the corrupt-young-minds season. :) An elite private high-school with the highest SAT scores in the country, invited me to speak to its graduating class. What started with Taylor Swift lyrics closed with Martin Luther King Jr's poignant reminder -- you don’t need to be rich, smart or famous to serve; just a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. As a reflection of our times, the address was titled: Miserable and Magical :) It must have struck a chord, because the talk spread even farther than last year’s UPenn commencement.
Diverse ecosystems are resonating with ServiceSpace values. In a Texas border town and one of the poorest cities in America, , Elizabeth Gilbert and I shared the stage to talk about Give, Pray, Love. :) A talk in Idaho (with a former CIA chief in the audience), inspired a Karma Kitchen to spring up in Ketchum. My parents’ humble “Wednesday” gatherings in Silicon Valley have now catalyzed “Awakin Circles” in 62 cities. And in New York, a conference of activists and revolutionaries that Business Week called "The Davos of Main Street", offered a standing ovation to our call for a "local-first to love-first" shift.
It’s difficult to explain or map how all these dots end up connecting. Yet, at its core, its about people coming alive through service. People like you and me. :) Gandhi once said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” And what a joy to be able to practice together in this gentle way.
With gratitude for your friendship,
P.S. I’m heading out to India this month (must be karma!) and will return in February (when I get to meet the Dalai Lama for the first time!).