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Service

I didn’t grow up with a working concept of community. Family lived far away and there were no church groups or potlucks. Other than a yearly community block party, there was just my Mom and my sister and my visits with my Dad. So when my husband and I began our family, I intuited our need to be part of a spiritual community which could support us and sustain us. That, as a part of a larger group, we could lean on it and give back in equal parts. And I hoped my children would know about the interconnected web of humanity, the necessity of community, and the care-taking for one another that takes place within.

Every Memorial Day weekend our Unitarian Universalist fellowship community holds a yard sale fundraiser requiring a lot of hands-on work. Last year when I was still up to my eyeballs in baby and crazy, I couldn’t help. This year I offered myself up for three days of yard sale work as I am good at yard sale organization and pricing.Twister at church on Shalavee.com

But I was dreading this week. I dreaded the sacrifice of my few child-free days for work that wasn’t creative and productive and for my personal benefit. I also dreaded humping stuff in out of houses and trucks and pricing and displaying all the stuff. But I told myself, this was the week I was showing up and being of service to my community daggone it.

But what is community and what is service? A community is based on relationships. It is composed of friends and families who share similar interests or beliefs or live in the same place and often become more like family through sharing lives. The reciprocal giving and receiving, often through service, is the foundation for these relationships. You then pay it forward when you support the church or the Rotary or Lion’s Club as they give back to the same community you are a part of. And the recycling of kindness and generosity is just a really nice process to be a part of. I kept these concepts in mind as I pushed past my grumbling brain onto the work at hand. Daddy and Fiona on Shalavee.com

I understood this week was about being humble and not making it about me. I understood there is always a job that needs doing for the larger community. And I came to understand that the sacrifice feels better when there’s visible value. I was asked to move stuff out of storage to the church for a woman who spends much of her time in a wheelchair. I saw the relief on this woman’s face and I saw progress as I helped price and organize the mound of stuff for the yard sale that would then profit the church and the community they then benefit. Like the spreading ripples of a stone thrown in a pond, even the littlest gestures of service affect many others.

As I am honoring and understanding Memorial Day today, my thought is that serving your country in Military Service is brave and often thankless work. As the likelihood of having someone in your family who has served in a war is dwindling, fewer people understand Military sacrifice . Our reciprocal gift to our service people is our recognition of their service and sacrifice.

The holiday reminds us that, although sacrifice is not the goal of military service, it is too often the outcome. If we did not understand the generosity and necessity of the work of our military personnel as service to the country, their passing would be pointless.

Thanking a service person for their work may be awkward. They may not be comfortable with accepting compliments as they see this as their job and not an invaluable service to us. An interviewed soldier says this about someone offering him thanks. “It feels a bit like that ‘thank you’ belongs to someone else…I’ve made my peace with the fact that they can’t find the wounded warriors or the families or someone who died in service to offer that thank you to. So it’s my responsibility to accept it graciously.” Perfect words don’t exist yet something still needs to be said or perhaps done to acknowledge the loss of people who were serving their country and community when they lost their lives.

 

horses on the handles for Service on Shalavee.com

This week I discovered being of service is tougher and more rewarding than you’d think. And that once you’ve given of yourself to serve a greater community, you feel better than you would just serving yourself. Your esteem raises as does your faith in humanity. And you come to understand that good wins even in the presence of the ugliness. You can find gratitude and ease in knowing that for those whose backs you’ve gotten, they’ll have yours as well.  And that through the giving and respectful receiving of these gifts time and skill, we then have the honor and great privilege of valuing the best of what we are as a civilized human beings.

Happy Memorial Day Fellow Citizens !

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Irony of Our Power

Last week I had a dream that I was petrified I was taking my last breath. And then received news that someone I care about was starting chemo for lung cancer. I was distressed for the news and wondered about the timing of this dream. Did my unconscious know? I find I think about someone or something slightly obscure and then it pops up somehow. And again I am reminded of the power of the universe, the divine, and the mind.

I find an irony so compelling with us as human beings and our perception of our power. We truly can make miracles happen when we set our minds to it. And yet it’s what we decide will happen that is often our destinies. That we are infinitely more powerful than we ever give ourselves credit for is fascinating to me. And that in the constant need to control, we limit our possibilities exponentially.Theirony of power on Shalavee.com

Yet we also tend to think we have way more power than we truly do. We want to change everyone’s mind that we meet to sway them to our way of thinking instead of just being confident in what we believe and allowing them their beliefs too. We want to save people from themselves and swoop in to give them just the right “thing” they never realized they needed to know until we gave it to them. When all people really want to do is snuggle up with their misery and shut you out.

We have way more power than we give ourselves credit for and way less than we think we do. Here’s to figuring all of that out before we have no more time to enjoy our real powers or abilities. And hoping we allow ourselves an opportunity to just live and let live and watch the sun set and the moon rise.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Spring Soul Selfie Instagram Challenge

I have been a bit quiet on the keyboard for the past couple days. My brain exhausted and mulling over this past week’s Spring Soul Selfie Instagram challenge I hosted. Which is to say I came up with the hashtag #soul_selfie, created 7 days of prompts, and asked that people join in and post a picture and talk about their interpretation of the words in a deeper more meaningful way. And let me say that the results and participation blew my mind.Join Me For One Week Of Soul Selfies

Kylie's bluebells on Shalavee.com

I was sincerely nervous about leading something. I had mulled it over and knew that I love to dig a little deeper into my soul’s answers and hoped maybe other people might. I only slightly trusted that there were a few people who would join me who liked me and maybe pitied me. The turnout and results far exceeded my expectations.I will bloom Helen's photo

After sending out a private “pep-me-up-please” message to some friends, I dared to claim my intentions and I posted a challenge announcement. And suddenly people were saying “Yes” they would join. This was a seven-day commitment to post daily and read others’ posts but when I built it, they came.babzwrld's window on Shalavee.com

Claire Love

They shared amazing insights and powerful memories. They shared sadnesses and gratitudes. They shared wonders and grief. And I was possessed by such a feeling of calm. This was exactly where I had wanted to be, reading and sharing and commenting on the marvelous words and thoughts of all these people.Graciel the souls in bloom's horse Oreo on Shalavee.com

Delicia's picture on Shalavee.com

I am immensely grateful that these near 30 lovely people were there for me when I stuck my neck out to do this. By the last day, my soul was filled to the brim. I read and took in their gratitude and just sat with it all quietly for a couple of days.

The things you fear most are in fact those things you really must get done. And once you allow for the first action, it will all fall into place.

I am extremely humbled that these marvelous men and women thought well enough of me to join in and I thoroughly enjoyed and was grateful for everything they offered. So much love goes to those people who validated so many parts of me. I was rendered speechless. Until next challenge.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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