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How to Be of Service (And Why It Matters)

The best thing you can do for yourself and the planet is to be of service to others. You can practice every energy medicine technique in the book—journal your deepest feelings until your wrist hurts, meditate twice daily, pray, connect with Mother Nature, clear your chakras, release your limiting beliefs, etc., but if you aren’t being of service, you are not fully living in the light.

Being of service doesn’t have to include the big gestures you might be thinking about. You don’t have to quit your job and give up your life to join volunteers in a far-off area to help disaster victims, or donate your life savings to charity. You don’t have to work at a food bank or with at-risk teens, unless you want to. Being of service is not only about what you do, but also about how you do it. True service means that you are doing what you are meant to do, and doing it with compassion and love.

Understanding that service is both attitude and action helps you to see that the opportunities for being of service are constant in everything you do. Let that car into the lane ahead of you, smile at the tired-looking bank or grocery store clerk, offer to help someone with their hands full carry their drinks at Starbucks. These gestures may seem small, but each one sends a ripple of love out into the universe. And chances are, you will have uplifted the person you helped and possibly inspired them to also be of service, further stretching the reach of kindness and love. Enough ripples create a wave, and selfless service is the first step to spurring a wave of deep and boundless love to wash over the world.

Here are a few additional tips for how to be of service:

  1. Chop wood, carry water.

This is the phrase I use in my energy healing courses and workshops to help teach my students that being of service does mean you have to do the work, get your hand dirty so to speak, whatever that means for you. Anything you do that gives of your time and energy in order to benefit someone else, as long as you do it with love and without expectation of reward, counts as being of service.

For you, this might mean planting trees in a neighborhood park, or walking dogs, or playing violin on a busy street corner. Perhaps you’re a birthday party clown or a food server or a window washer. Service can be any deed or action that elevates others. After all, that clown is making kids laugh, a restaurant server helps to feed customers, a street corner musician gives a little art to brighten the day of passersby. When you do your work from a place of light, that light radiates to everyone you interact with like a beacon of hope, compassion, and love.

  1. Figure out how you would like to help.

It’s really hard to act out of love if you’re miserable, and serving others while resenting the work or the people will fill you with negativity rather than love, which doesn’t actually help anyone. So take the time to do some soul searching and think about how you would like to serve others. Try not to think about what your parents or partner think you should do, and as much as possible, shut down any self-doubt that tells you you aren’t capable of doing something, and really focus on getting in touch with your true feelings about what you want to do.

Journal about it, mull it over, ask your guides, and I bet you’ll find that the way you want to serve takes advantage of your unique gifts. You were given your gifts for a reason, so use them! If you’re great at organizing, or wonderful with children, or can paint portraits, or are a born counselor or energy healer—these talents are the way to serve authentically and without resentment or irritation. In this way, being of service can help to awaken and strengthen your special skills as well as help to heal and uplift others.

I’d like to mention here a rarely discussed truth about being of service: it’s okay to enjoy it! There seems to be the misconception that service must be somber and joyless, but who wants to be helped by someone who is all doom and gloom? Joy creates joy. If you are joyful in your service, everyone around you will be buoyed up by that happy energy, too.

  1. Check your ego at the door.

Expectation of reward is the greatest obstacle to true service. There are two types of giving: that which seeks recognition, and that which serves in silence. If the reason you are serving others is so that you will be seen serving others, you are feeding your ego and not feeding the greater good. If you want to be known as a “good-doer” more than you actually want to do good, then you are not truly being of service. Even those in healing or helping professions, like doctors or therapists or teachers, are only really being of service if they do those jobs in a compassionate, selfless manner. A doctor who helps others solely to advance her personal power and greed is not embracing the attitude of love true service requires.

Focusing on others without thinking of yourself is what makes service a spiritual practice; the process forces you to step outside your small selfish Earthly self and think of the greater interconnectedness of all life. As a spiritual teacher, this in an important lesson I teach: since the universal field encompasses us all, what you send out into the universe comes back to you, so sending positivity to others improves your own life as well. And, as a bonus, when you stop worrying about your own progress and success, that’s when Spirit rewards you with exactly that.

If you are interested in this type of learning, please check out my LifeForce Energy Healing

Deborah King