True Nature Kitchen, the loving food hand of True Nature Healing Arts is blessed to be in the flow of providing service to something that we deeply believe in. Beyond the realms of preparing High Prana, living foods every day with intention. We are honored to be in service to ]enny Labaw, an astonishing crossfit athlete who also lives with epilepsy. Jenny has been personally called to action and is running in amazing service, across the state of Colorado to raise awareness and resource for epilepsy. It is just as significant an honor for us as True Nature leadership to watch as our True Nature tribe and local community embrace this opportunity to serve with excited and tireless efforts.
So, ’tis here that segue into a service topic ensue. As the third Mayan Electric Moon of Service (Sept 20th – Oct 17th) is currently holding us, it seemed so natural to discuss. And if that wasn’t enough inspiration, a lively discussion in our community’s conscious men’s group recently engulfed the subject of service and brought powerful revelations to everyone involved.
So what exactly is it, this concept of service and how can we use it as a tool of transformation? “SERVICE,” with so many positive interpretations has an equal amount of observable conundrums to dismantle. Is service a noun, an adjective or a verb? Yes! On all accounts as it appears so according to all knowing Wikipedia. Seems like service is one of those words that has been deceptively diluted to weaken its bearing like “organic,” “all natural,” or a stale political “I Promise.” Let’s see, there is: phone service, table service, military service, service to others, civil service, church service, service economy, service animal and even “to serve man,” a deliciously deceptive alien cookbook presented to us in a 60’s Twilight zone episode. I suppose all definitions have a hint of the same in that supporting someone in some sort of helpful activity or basic need would suffice. And yet for me, service is seeded in humble modest actions with far reaching potentials. Noteworthy distinguishable Service to the world does not have to be grandiose and embody the likes and work of Mother Teresa or Ghandi. To me, service starts with sharing the love of what you do and the gift of who you are with the world. It’s not a race to a finish or a contest to be won, Service is an extraordinary opportunity to enrich our walk in life as we love, support and empower others.
Now, before I go any further, I’ll share with you some personal truth. I don’t know much, and am not writing to suggest I have a single answer for you. I’m just a guy like any other with a lot of stupidity scars and a knapsack of personal adventure knowledge from walking this earth enthusiastically for a while now. So that’s all I would attempt to share is a perspective on the topic. With that disclaimer firmly in place I offer this as fodder for consideration. Service to me is firmly rooted in several strong denominators: Balance, Surrender and Receiving.
Balance, not unlike the act of high wire acrobatics, can in fact be the life or death component to Service. Maybe that’s overly dramatic, or is it? Some folks, much like myself have heroes and icons that died in the gates of service. Broken, tired, poor and completely worn out. A life sometimes judged in the paradigms of materialistic excess as a shame. Sure, nobody might think that of the prolific icons of service, but would easily classify the daily underdog hero’s whose selfless actions never made the mainstream media. However their tiny actions meant the world to some small group of humans whom benefited from the humble acts of selfless service. I would be willing to bet a sack of beads that a posthumous poll of dedicated selfless servers would reveal that the lack of material stuff, for all Saintly Servers, was actually the ultimate win for their lifetime. HE with the least wins!! Perhaps though, balancing their time in the trenches of support might have have been sweetened by just a bit more self-care, time with loved ones and personal nourishment.
I sometimes foolishly compare my walk with my idyllic mentors, and how tirelessly they must have worked in service. And what I have learned is that even reading hundreds or thousands of pages detailing a person’s life often leave flat and empty all of the moments of truth that even the most revered humans certainly experienced. Most likely the humanness of a tired, overworked being that’s exhausted and cranky, snapped at loved ones, forsaking time for themselves or with the ones they love. Secretly wishing they could slip into quiet anonymity for a while to recharge the old batteries. Conveying that might fail to keep the fabled mythical stories robust, and lead people to irrational thoughts of being able to be exactly like their champion’s, despite their own mortal fragility.
Service to self is an often-missing component in the diligent beings that campaign for looking out for others and the planet itself. Clearly a remnant of “guilt pie” belief system served up from the fading archetypes. This imperative act of self service is not of course to be confused with selfishness, the terrible step sibling of self service that does only what it can for the sake of themselves.
Now, I personally have been guilty of this overgiving, “in service to” addiction, and have come to realize that ungrounded service to others can be a condition of a tainted stripe of the old ego. I have even found ways to use over service, as a tool to sabotage myself out of something really good for me. Heck, in fact I have in my long passionate kitchen journey been known to repeat the ludicrous cliché, “Oh I’ll sleep, or take care of myself when I die.” Dumb! And now that I am approaching the half-century mark in my life, I feel like I don’t mind a good night’s sleep or a sunny afternoon nap, or even a day off every now and then with friends and loved ones.
I get from all the data I’m harvesting that it’s vital to honor yourself, your energy and not taking the gas tank long beyond empty.
There’s no point in taking this extremely advanced bio-body space suit towards the ultimate event horizon of awakened consciousness, with a driver too tired and worn to recognize or appreciate the majesty.
Summation, service to others must, in my humble opinion, start with committed balanced service to self.
Then there is Surrender! That’s right; run that white flag all the way up the pole and let the release wash over you. How unfortunate that the word has been embraced by bolstered masculine mentality judgment that surrender is the act of a cowardly quitter. When in fact, I believe it to hold the greatest container of courage and personal growth. Forget the broken loop perpetuated in war movies, think personal growth and good for the all, now. And how does surrender aid Service? Again from my viewpoint, surrendering ego, surrendering attachments to outcome, surrendering projections (premeditated resentments) and surrender the need to be seen or acknowledged for service actions, anchors true service. Surrender the fear that service is overwhelming. Where we sometimes think that all we have time for is personal survival. Surrender disbelief that there is only a little bit for you and not enough for everybody. That line of thinking has to only promote our current platform of materialistic strongholds in greed, hoarding, and lack mentality. Surrender beliefs that hold us back from wanting to do something kind for another individual because we believe them to be a con, or that the little you can do won’t make a difference and therefore not worth doing. The act of unattached service is just as important to our own spirit as it is to the needful recipient. I can’t help and therefore surrender that if the dollar I give to the homeless man goes to buy a beer or into a fur coat fund of a homeless impostor. I am just grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to give from a place of love and compassion, and somehow be of service in the moment. And tame my mind to want to see the best possible outcomes that encourage more service. And sometimes it’s not even a dollar, it’s a willingness to ask someone their name, and acknowledge them. Simple acts that evoke our willingness to be in service. Mother Teresa once shared in an American interview when asked how we could help her cause. She replied, find someone who does not have any hope and does not believe they are loved, and spend every day convincing them there is hope and that they are loved.
And lastly, Receiving supports service. Huh? You may ask. What an extraordinarily simple concept that has been taken to the brink inherent disbelief.
Do I? Do you? Do we allow space to receive? One of the greatest imparted misconceptions to the true service oriented cosmonaut- Give-Give-Give while conveying an old notion that taking anything for self is wicked, wrong or downright unspiritual. We’re not talking about engaging the tenants of greed, hoarding and excess here, I’m talking about revealing the balance piece that allows for us to receive that which we need to nourish and keep moving in and towards service. I often share in my manifestation and creation conversations that one of the five tenants of abundant manifestation, which by the way are all completely framed in service, is: “Receptivity and the ability to successfully stay open to receiving.” The higher realms and dimensions need us to be in service to each other and ourselves. And, in the honor of divine reciprocity, are willing to support us by giving us anything we need to be in service. I offer this – a silly dialog, to help illuminate and hit the old point on the head:
Spirit: Here, take this banana
Me: I can’t take the banana
ME: because those two people need the banana more
Sprit: Yes, but you have not eaten in days, and the banana won’t do them any good if you die of hunger before you give them some of the banana you promised to help acquire.
ME; that’s ok, I’d rather be a banana martyr with no banana, than to be perceived as an unspiritual banana hoarder, or banana hustler as I am only here to serve!
Spirit: You are really missing the universal point of the banana! Now take it please before all three of you perish.
Me: Ok let me ponder, overthink and process that for a while…
Spirit: AHH, Welcome to the afterlife, you’re a bit early,
And you’ll be heading back to earth soon, and next time, take some of the damn banana!
Of course there are times that service pinches a bit and takes us to the point of exhaustion, which in and of itself is a powerful and dynamic teacher as long as it is not our normal and usual landing pad. Sometimes we as humans avoid the dynamic interactions because they are uncomfortable. But then without discomfort, where the heck is the learning? Service should push us out of our daily zones, it should ask us to check in and see if we are in alignment with a higher cause. Even if the cause is to find our own happiness. And from a grander perspective, Service allows us to see deep into ourselves, and to each other. Service offers us a powerful reflection that will engage our compassion and kindness. Couldn’t we use more of that?
So while in the actions of service if I can figure my way to take a deep cleansing breath for myself, take a peek at the landscape and get a full snootful of the flowers while in supporting a cause for others, then I’ll be! That sounds like the best of all potentials in balanced reciprocity based service. Doing what you love every day is not only revolutionary, it is divine service. Sharing what you love to do with others is truly some of the liquid to be found in the endearing chalice of this lifetime.