AND Serve Well

January 12th, 2014

 In conversations with clients this week, I noticed that people seem to be feeling overwhelmed and wanting a vacation, or reenergized and ready to meet a new day. AND I find myself noticing how our personal relationship with our own mental, physical, and emotional health underpins which camp we find ourselves more inclined to inhabit.

If service is defined only by pleasing others, living into others’ expectations, or making sure not to disappoint other people, then responsibility for personal health doesn’t drive choices about how much to give or how available to be. In fact, people who hold themselves in this line of thinking and behavior by labeling themselves pleasers, often lose touch with how much is enough and what the cost to personal health is because they focus only on others’ expectations to make decisions about how to serve. AND while such thinking may have helped develop a level of self-discipline and awareness of needs outside our own in our youth, it is definitely not serving the same purpose in adulthood. The highest form of service that each of us uniquely brings to this world is to bring the best of who we are to any activity or relationship in which we choose to invest our life force. Our desire for meaning and a sense of contribution in this world will only be served when we recognize that the number one investor in our health needs to be us. We teach others how to use our gifts by the choices we make. AND if we don’t value our time, energy and talents, we teach others to use us however they choose. In such cases, I would argue we are not serving the greater good and maybe not serving at all. (Except maybe to serve an ego identity that is way too small for us just because we’re afraid we may disappoint someone else’s definition of who we are.)

We are living in a world that desperately needs our greatest gifts delivered through compassion, generosity, and engagement. It is a time to dream big and make the choices that fill our hearts to the brim. It is time to reclaim the primary relationship with our own health by living into our highest and best selves. By so doing we create higher states of health and energy, and pull back from that which is draining. By choosing to take accountability for our own quality of mental, physical, and emotional health, we become clearer about how we want to contribute our gifts. We more effectively teach others how we are best equipped to serve greater good in ways that create a healthier world.

By making choices that we might have deemed, or feared that others would deem, selfish (taking care of our own health before draining ourselves to serve what someone else wants at the time that is different from what our health calls for us to choose), we step into a higher level of capacity to serve. The gifts of a lighter, light-hearted, and optimistic view of the world and what is possible come with the greatest expressions of our best self. Generosity and gratitude are natural outgrowths of such choices. Patience is easy because our perspective is more balanced, healthier. Energy levels rise. Capacity to give is unlimited because it is not burdened and heavy.

True service is determined by the inner voice, your heart, not roles learned in childhood. Devotion to bringing our best selves to every activity and relationships we choose to engage is service. It is not selfish; it is an act of generosity to make sure that we are doing the personal work that brings the highest light to this world. AND when we make the choice to show up as healthy lights in this world, we serve a healthier, more compassionate world. AND every one of us is capable of making such a choice to serve well.

One Response to “AND Serve Well”

  1. Liz says:

    Thank you for this! What a fantastic AND amazingly rich entry. Such a perfect time to have this beautiful reminder in the new year!

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