As I pondered the theme from this week, I was struck by the similarities in "jargon", so to speak. Yesterday, I attended a meeting to become a member of the Unity Spiritual Living community and in this morning's reading from Awakened Leadership by Alan Shelton, executive coach, mentor and writer, he also spoke of service being the highest priority.
It is easy to go down the rabbit hole of uncertainty, self-doubt, not having or being enough - especially in light of current challenges across the board - in politics, healthcare, the environment. What's the message here?
What does it mean to serve in today's world? My definition has been evolving over these years because it meant something very different for most of my life. Serving meant giving of yourself until you are sucked dry. It correlated with a lack of self-worth and self-esteem and believe me, it is one of the hardest "programs of the mind" to break. One of my longest and dearest friends often states, "You give of your surplus, not of your core!"
What I am seeing now is a paradigm shift in "awakening and awakened" leaders and new thought philosophers along with the ancients - Jesus and Buddha. It is in giving that we receive, even multi-fold! And it is not in a selfish manner - "I'll do for you if you do for me", but rather, what gifts do I have to share with others that they in turn need.
We are all born with talents, strengths, individual capacities and by nurturing these unique qualities, not only does the individual thrive, but the universe as a whole.
As I reflect upon my own journey, an ever-evolving process, I have served food to others for years - gathering people together socially, bringing the youth together to feed the poor, teaching others how to prepare healthier alternatives for their families and in recent years, I have opened myself up in a broader sense through my own health crises and those of my family, feeding others spirit, strength and inspiration.
I recall during my years as a cantor in my church that I loved singing, So You Must Do, a beautiful Holy Thursday song about Jesus washing the feet of his friends. It is less about the religious context and more about the common theme that can provide us with the nuggets of learning to live and love in this life.
I'm in a new environment all the way across the country still listening to the needs of others and am fine-tuning how I will serve now and in the future.
How will you serve?