For me, "Being of Service” is something that each of us can do on a daily basis. It starts with how we treat ourselves. What we put in our minds and bodies in the way of thoughts, beliefs, values, food, drink. When we treat ourselves with respect, it is much easier to respect others, the environment and the world – to be there to listen and to help out wherever we can.
I think about what I want to give back each day. Some days I give back a lot, some days I get back much more. But whatever I give, it starts with something I love or believe in very strongly.
Real service, I feel, does not happen unless both parties are being served. Sharing what you love from your heart. Learning while sharing! Understanding that the act of caring is always mutually beneficial. It’s actually an ‘ART’ because it takes much to really care about another with all their quirks and my quirks mixed together. And as we nurture others, we nurture ourselves. When we allow that to happen, it will shift the way we provide care to ourselves and to others.
It’s not about being the good guy coming to the rescue. It’s about being a compassionate companion – someone who shares the experience with the other person. ‘With’ being the key as it implies belonging, something that I saw when I did a presentation on sugar for the Five Acre School. The teachers and staff are dedicated to understanding their students, to sharing and teaching the journey of life, the ups and downs, the laughter and the sorrow. Their students teach them as well. A two way street! Commitment!
It’s about being in the current situation, in the current moment. Allowing ourselves to become more open to generosity, love, pain and fear of the unknown. Permitting ourselves the opportunity to learn and to feel, while taking ourselves and our ideas a little less seriously. Learning to let go more easily. Being able to see ourselves in them and them in us. Being in the current moment means having no idea what will be asked of us next, so we need to be flexible and open.
It’s also about truly giving of ourselves, drawing not only from our strengths, but from our experiences, wounds, fears and limitations. They all have something to offer because these are what make us who we are. If we allow them to, our experiences of life make us more human, more spiritual, more loving. It makes us all more equal so we can understand each other and serve each other better.
Serving opens our hearts and our minds to wholly enjoy life to the best of our ability. It allows us to get to know ourselves better and feel another’s pain with compassion instead of pity. Throughout life, it allows us to practice to open the heart, still the mind, and embrace everything!
Robin Reid is a Natural Nutritionist and Health Consultant, 10 years of service.