Being of service is a hugely important part of personal growth work. And service begins with gratitude, as we shared last month.
When we recognize how grace is active in our lives, we want to give. But it works in the other direction as well. When we are of service, we feel more grateful and start to see blessings we didn’t even know we had.
For myself, I’ve found great satisfaction in making periodic visits to the inmates in San Quentin State Prison. A group of us from the “outside” join the men for mass in a chapel in the prison. They are very grateful for our presence.
Besides an opportunity to talk, sing, pray, and catch-up, they simply love knowing someone cares and is thinking about them. They are very appreciative of our presence. I always leave feeling inspired – and grateful.
To be of service is itself a basic human need. So, I encourage you to find one simple way this week you can be of service.
Here are 3 steps to creating a practice of service this week:
- Resource yourself in a way that fosters gratitude. For example, at night before going to sleep, in a journal write down three things you are grateful for from the day, and note how they made you feel. Or sit across from a friend and take turns for three minutes to share three things you are grateful for from this day, and let each other know how they made you feel, in your body and heart.
- Explore your unique gifts and who could benefit from them – pick someone to serve. For example, if you have the gift of empathic listening, think about who in your life might really benefit from having someone to listen to for an hour or so, and then visit that person. Look particularly for a person who might be homebound, elderly, lonely or sick.
- Be truly present with whoever you choose to serve – truly, your presence is your first gift. For example, turn of all your electronic devices for an hour so you can be truly present with that person.
All the best,