leading with service
How may I serve?
My friend Jen Pastiloff opens her retreats with this line. A big fan of Wayne Dyer, she took his message to heart, allowing it to propel her forward. Not only was she able to find solace from her life long struggle with depression, but she found her calling through leading sold out retreats and workshops all over the world. Jen's style, her message, her retreat structure- it's nothing like typical yoga. Instead, it is more about humanity and imperfections, than it is the poses. She is definitely someone who allows empathy to be her guiding force and it rubs off on those in her presence. Lidia Yuknavitch is another giant giver, buying boxes of books from lesser known writers to give out to her students and friends. She wants to help promote art that doesn't always get the attention that it needs. It is no wonder why Jen and Lidia are such close friends.
I think in today's dog eat dog world, it is so easy to get caught up in self and competition. The idea that there isn't enough is rampant and I understand why- it has been set up like this. But what I have done to combat these feelings of ego, jealousy and vying for position is to move in the opposite direction. In moments that I find myself envious of someone, I try to put the focus onto something that matters. I grab my phone and text/call a friend who has been having a hard time lately. I ask my sweet older landlord how he is doing or switch my attention to something that I am excited about, whether that is directly related to me or an outside source. Remember that our vibration can be a gift to the world if we keep it high. So the next time you feel like you are spiraling out into some weird or negative moment, pause and see what you can do to shift it.
Along with service comes freely giving what you have. While this can be done in a variety of ways, money is obviously a very strong and needed currency of energy on our planet. This brings me to tithing. Lacy Phillips is the one who introduced me to this concept, which means giving 10 percent of your income to a spiritually-based organization. While Lacy stresses the importance of the money going to a spiritual source, I know that this doesn't appeal to everyone. In my opinion, the universe rewards generosity, no matter where it is going. Personally, I have not yet made the leap to give away this much of my income. However, I have allotted 10 percent of a certain area of my income to go towards 3H0 Foundation (Kundalini Yoga), while 10 percent of another area goes towards charity. Splitting up my donations is what feels best for me, but I will see how it goes as time passes. I aim to get to the point where I am donating 10 percent of the entire income to charity and/or a spiritual foundation.
As you move through the rest of this week, ask yourself how you can best be of service. Observe how it feels to act through this way of being, rather than self obsession, doubt or insecurity. I have found that the more I give, the more I get. The feeling I receive from being of use, sharing my time, resources, money, energy and love is unlike any other. A few friends have reached out recently for writing or social media advice and being able to help them makes me happy, especially since so many amazing people have helped me along the way.
We are here to serve. We are here to uplift each other. And in this political climate, kindness and the support of others is needed more than ever.
So let us all unite and rise because when one of us succeeds, we all do.
Photo: Lani Trock