It is with deep gratitude I write this post to the people I met in California during my time there from February to March 2015. Most of us only appreciate people when it is too late. At funerals, I wish people would have said how great someone was to them and not afterwards. In this vain I want to mention quite a few people for their kindness and generosity, especially in offering me a place to sleep during my trip.
I travelled with my friend Shamash Alidina for the second time to California, to attend the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. During our visit he met up with his friends from Awesomeness Fest, Mark Duncan was one of them.
He invited us to a Oneness Blessing somewhere close to San Jose I think, we went to a beautiful house, where Olga Llerena leads a weekly meditation group on a Monday evening. While we were meditating there was a film crew filming us for a documentary they were making on meditation in California around the bay area.
While I was there I encouraged Olga and her daughter to go to the Wisdom 2.0 conference as they knew one of the organisers and lived so close by to it. To my surprise during one of the Wisdom 2.0 pre parties Olga’s daughter Mali came up to me to say hi, I was like hi and surprised to see her. She asked me: “where are you staying tonight?” I said: “I don’t know, probably in the car.” I checked with my friend Shamash and we did not have a plan of where we were sleeping on that night. I was amazed by the kindness of Mali Llerena someone I had met 3 days before offering us a place to stay. We ended up sleeping on 2 of the sofa’s, a little bit like coach surfing I think which I have not done yet. We also got to hang out a little during the conference, where she gave her time to volunteer at the conference.
Another friend Nathanael Wolfe who I met at the party during Wisdom Week at Happy hour at Zynga who is co-founder of an app called Mindfulness Daily and randomly friends and co-founder with Walter, who I met the year before and who was a regular at my google mediation hangout. He offered us a place to stay at his place in Oakland. On the news in the US Oakland is portrayed negatively and shown as a place not to visit. I was surprised by the beauty of Oakland when I visited and the diversity of the people that live in Oakland (which locals are proud about), plus the beautiful lake and architecture. I am grateful for Nathanael taking the time to show us around his neighbourhood and we also visited the Oakland Art Murmur, a collection of galleries and mixed-use venues displaying art, music and spoken word on the first friday evening of the month.
We also got to meet Nathanael’s roommate Jared Peters co-founder of Origami Robotics. This blew me a way, the creativity of two app guy’s sharing the same space. The robot had been designed to help therapists/educators with Autism therapy and language learning. We watched this video below together:
Jared in his role as an educator working with Autistic kids realised there was a gap in the market for usable, friendly, affordable robots to help kids learn how to develop human relationships. He showed us the robot and shared with us that is hand-made and he is currently raising funding while doing a million other things, so if you work with Autistic kids or know of anyone that does please share his work with them and help more kids have access to this robot technology that can change a child and their families lives for the better.
I hope this shows you how being open to new possibilities and saying yes can bring you a lot more knowledge, wisdom and love into your life.
If you want to increase your giving skills you can watch Professor Adam Grant’s talk on his book ‘Give and Take’ where he shares what successful givers do from his research:
One thing I took away when I attended his talk was the Recipriciocity Ring Exercise. I have used this a few times when I have facilitated groups and seen the power that it can create, when we give and share. Thank you also to Evelyn Sabino from Catylst Creativ who shared her template with me on how to do this in large groups, which she uses in the events she runs in downtown Las Vegas. Yesterday during the London Wisdompreneur meetup that I lead we used this exercise towards the end of the meetup and it created new connections and possibilities, where we have committed to helping each other succeed. So I encourage you to think about what you can give to others, be it your time listening to them with your heart, a skill or strength that you are good at, a book, the list is endless.