Sooner or later, those of us who really want to serve in the world because we know that being of service is as important as it gets, want to take stock of whether or not we’re actually making a difference. When being useful is to one’s essence, essential, simply going through the motions doesn’t quite cut it, after all. So, I’ve been giving my service records past and present an audit, checking to see whether I can tell if what I’ve been doing has helped. Helped really, not helped as in, made me feel better for trying. I’ve not been drawn to Band-Aid service it seems – mine’s been more the long haul variety with tricky to tabulate results.

BABYHANDS

What I’ve come up with is that I just don’t know. Yet, while I was feeling a little unsettled about that, I had an epiphany about a whole other kind of service that I offer, every minute of every day, or certainly a whole lot of minutes, most days.   It’s a subtle service, and some of its finer points I’ve barely recognized as being anything at all, not having fully understood the mechanics of it. I certainly haven’t appreciated its potential. Yet my awareness, revealing itself more each day, is contributing to the greater good in unfathomably tangible ways, making me stand corrected on thinking that self-actualization is a lone journey, solely for the self. The return to one’s genuine self is a service like no other.

So, while volunteering and donating seem to be the way most of us comprehend the idea of being of service and those are important components, there’s a whole other realm of volunteering and donating to the new world, some of which can be offered from command central even before getting out of bed in the morning.

  1. I’m choosing more positive thoughts. I’ve realized that reaching for a more joyous thought, even if it’s only slightly more joyous than the thought I’m currently managing, raises my frequency, big time. The higher the frequency of the thought, the higher the frequency we attract in others who want the same thing we do, which at the end of the day is to feel good. Thoughts are magnets, pulling experiences to themselves made of the same metals and magnitude, matching quality and intensity. But thought, positive or negative, also radiates, having a much broader geographical reach than most of us can wrap our heads around. Kind ones, loving ones, and connected ones, act like a global fire hose, in that thoughts that are in opposition can’t find their footing against the force. Collectively, the more we think positively, the more powerful the hose, and its flushing abilities. Thoughts become things, it’s now patently obvious, and not just in our respective small worlds – in the Big World. Choosing well, and by that I mean choosing constructive ones, not destructive ones, is a grossly overlooked service. Perhaps, for instance, not watching the overwhelmingly negative nightly news might just be a major act of service to this end, just thinking.
  1. I’m a pray-er: religiosity not required. The other day, shopping cart-less, I was gingerly balancing several items at the grocery checkout, when the two things I went in for grew to an ungainly ten. Flipping out on the oblivious woman, who cut in front of me when I was clearly next in line, loomed as a possibility. Fellow shoppers witnessing, rolled their eyes at the gall of it – the further proof it was of a self-serving world gone mad.   But instead of unloading wrath on her for sport like I might have in bygone days – typically something brazen fired from an alpha mouth, I took my friend, Barb’s advice. I shot her a love and kindness prayer.

It’s a simple little ditty that prayer, mailed from the inner sanctum of the head. “May fill-in-the-blank (clueless woman) be filled with love and kindness. May whomever be well, and joyful, and at peace.” It’s got more oomph if it’s delivered through un-gritted teeth, holding the sarcasm I find, having tried it both ways. But, a better way to diffuse any grenade, real or imagined, and return to the decency, and non-judgment of neutrality, I’ve not come across yet. What’s a bit funky about the energy in me as the silent pray-er who attracted the experience in the first place, is tangibly purified. The bandwidth of wanting goodness for another, infinitely broader in reach than my capacity to sense it, is in equal measure, purifying. While it radiates, it appears in real time to have the ability to shift the ‘reality’ of what’s happening. (Long story short, the woman offered to push my 10-pound bag of potatoes by way of her cart to my car). Coincidence? I think not. Prayer is thought, on steroids. Anyway, I send them out to everyone I know, or know of – the ones I perceive as giving me a hard time, in particular. Last but not least, I send a few my own way because the pray-er better be filled with good stuff too, or the prayer is going to be a dud.

  1. I cook with love. Cooking offers a quantum opportunity for service that has rarely, if ever been properly explained. When we understand that food is the very symbol of what we’re willing to give, and to receive – literally, a quality of experience we’re either willing to take in, and swallow, or not – then every part of its existence in our daily lives, and how we treat it in relation to ourselves, becomes sacred. Food that actually feeds must be explained into mass existence again. Food that at the essence level has been routinely undermined for profit and convenience at great detriment to a shocking number of people, whose lives revolve around drive-through windows, take-out menus, and the frozen food isle, has to be called out for its love-less-ness. Cooking classes report record enrollment, but statistics are a grim read for the numbers who actually cook at home nightly, and eat as a family around the dining table. Parents who don’t, can’t, or won’t cook, are unable to teach their kids this essential life skill, and its connection to nature tied to their very own nature. And at greater issue, is the interpretation of the message in kids’ lives to mean that cooking is absent because it’s menial and en par with giving the toilet a good scrub. Cooking, even with the simplest of ingredients, being fully, consciously present to the benefit it will be to those we love, is infused with an energetic powerhouse, a frequency, that is incomparably preferable to something prepared in a factory by a hair-netted line worker earning the minimum. Hazarding a guess, arguably a good one, I’m saying that our mass reliance on eating at the lowest common denominator is the thing that has dumbed us down as a culture the most.
  1. I allow uncomfortable feelings. While that might seem like a contradiction to #1, it’s anything but. Most of the time, we’re not in a state of this kind of upset. We can generally nudge our thoughts onto a happier plateau that serves us and everybody else better in the prospect. But when what seems like an unexpected downer from out in left field shows up – someone says something that hurts, or does something that triggers us negatively, or a desired result ends in disappointment and tears – allowing authentic emotion to flow, also allows it the space and currency to be able to leave. It’s not who we are at the core, so it’s not meant to have shelf life living within us. But, showing emotion is for the most part still a no-no in orderly, polite society, and for that very reason, many of us are made toxic from the Herculean effort of repressing layers of things difficult for the heart to bear. What’s untidy and perhaps even embarrassing about real emotion, the ego offers to stuff into a trunk and sweep up in a bid to repress any evidence of it ever having been there. So, I can’t think of a greater service than to offer an unrepressed, or at least a less repressed version of one’s self, as we go about creating our lives anew each day.
  1. I address my fear. I never used to think of myself as a fearful person, but that’s because I misunderstood it, not to mention getting the wrong end of the stick on what bravery is as well. The fear I’m speaking of hides as the puppeteer behind any thought, any response, any action taken that is singed in even the smallest way, with negativity. To see all the places where my negativity shows up is to see all the places where my fear co-habits, as the two are pals. Interestingly, I hadn’t thought of myself as a negative person in the grand scheme of things either, until I started to witness the little negativities that come out of the woodwork as soon as they get the invitation to show themselves.

Doing anything out of fear ends badly, or at least a lot less well than it might if fear was cleared out of the picture. The world needs more fearless, or soon to be fearless, or decidedly less fearful people, to serve it in the manner to which it deserves. Taking on the de-construction project of getting there is the true meaning of bravery, and signing up to try, is a service in of its self.

  1. Taking full responsibility for the experience I’m having. This one, while a hard sell for many, serves to eradicate blame and judgment for myself, and others, by taking it right off my operating system. Taking responsibility means that there’s a reason why all things happen. Maybe I’ll figure it out; maybe I won’t. Maybe I inadvertently thought it into being, but maybe, because I even have the power to actually think things into being – maybe my unconscious is helping me to become conscious by giving me another chance to see my piece in it all. If it’s depressing enough, I’ll soon get tired of not seeing the niggly, repetitive cause. And maybe my experience is just something I need for my evolution, and has nothing whatsoever to do with me thinking it into being. Maybe it’s just shadow tones being applied to the painting of a beautifully, multi-dimensional life.

My sage friend, Ildiko, now smiling down from the angelic realm, once explained it to me like this. She told me to picture myself, and all the living beings I know, or will ever know, sitting around a conference room table in the sky, just before being born onto the earth plane. It’s a loving, wonderful, jovial bunch of people, and animals alike.  Everyone offers to take a role in your upcoming earth play. Some sign on as the ‘good’ guys; some take meatier roles as the ‘bad’ guys, because they really want to help you evolve, and anyway, those roles are more fun to play as an actor. Also, the bad-guy actors know that overcoming difficulty is a first-class ticket on the evolution train, and loving you more than anybody around the table, they really want you on that train. The comedic-types grab their scripts, and their banana peels, as they know you’ll need relief. Even the sky offers to darken your door with a bit of tragedy because it knows that you’re an eternal being and that the tragedy is just part of the play. It’s not for real and it’s not for keeps.

I’ve never found another perspective that makes more sense to me.  Passed on to me, I pass it on.

  1. Finding beauty in all things. I’ve always been a lover of beauty, maybe even a bit of a connoisseur in some things – especially art, music, dance, design, words, food, nature, gardening – an endless list of nourishing soul foods. Beauty is an oasis where no matter what’s going on, there’s respite to be found in the shelter of it – an energy that recycles out into the world, as well.

When I was starting out in my first apartment at age seventeen, with not much of anything to my name, it was my choice to cocoon the living room walls in matte black paint (radical at the time), spotlighting an antique wooden chair I’d lacquered red, with three large floor cushions covered in vintage silk dressing gown material, sewn on the same relic Singer sewing machine that had made my baby clothes. I stacked my books (and records) graphically on the floor, and propped large canvases against the walls, painted to echo the bold cushion colours, with dramatic effect. I’d decided not to make do with any utilitarian hand-me-downs, unless they had good bones and I could envision them as beautiful, with some handy-work.

But having the ability to envision potentially beautiful things has helped me to realize the greater truth – that everything contains an element of beauty, and does so without exception. The ability to find beauty in things that at first announce themselves as anything but, is both an art form and a choice, and extends to people, places, things, and circumstances. When I just can’t locate [it] at the moment, which can be quite often, I think of it like algebra, where the answer is sometimes given, and you have to work backwards to find ‘x’ and ‘y’. I was lousy at algebra as it happens, but I do like that the answer sits there, calmly. Beauty is in everything. If try as I might, I can’t solve the bits leading up to the answer, if I’m not feeling the beauty, I’m ok with gifting the equation to someone who can. The beauty is there, is all I need to know. Holding a vision of that is a service that shifts reality, all reality, like there’s no tomorrow.

Namaste and happy new year, Lizzie

Namaste,
Lizzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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