Recently my morning meditation was on “service.” The centering thought for the meditation was that my soul expands when I help others. As someone who is wired to want to serve others, it took me decades to understand how to rein in helping others in order to first care for myself. Yet, as I have learned to practice taking better care of myself in all domains (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual), I find even greater joy in serving others. Gandhi’s wise words to the effect that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in others have a deeper, healthier meaning to me now.
My belief is that we are each here to share our unique gifts with others. The act of sharing those gifts serves others and helps them in various ways. Our gifts are as varied as they are unique to us. Perhaps you are a talented photographer who helps others open their eyes to a world of beauty. You may be an accomplished writer who weaves stories that capture imaginations or inspire deep thinking. Or, maybe leadership is your gift, and you move others to achieve a great vision of a better future. Robin Williams taught us that humor is a gift to share, as he brought laughter to millions.
Over the years, I have exercised what I believe to be my own gift – the ability to help others view themselves in new, more powerful ways. I see what I call the “magic” in others; their own gifts and greatness that they may not even be aware of. It is a joy and privilege to share this gift in service to my coaching clients. In addition, I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to share this gift one-on-one with others, outside of my work. My service to my community has often taken the form of working with individuals in various walks of life, from teenage residents of a group home to non-profit leaders. Currently, I am in year three of a seven-year commitment to a 13-year old girl that I mentor. Each month, we get together to talk, laugh, share a meal, or attend a cultural event. She is great fun, very bright, and I learn as much from her as she does from me. Each time we are together, she opens up a bit more as she steps into being her own delightful person. Being in service to my mentee is a privilege that I am so grateful for, and watching her grow into a spirited, thoughtful young woman is a joy.
Where and with whom do you share your unique gifts? How do you serve others in your family, workplace and community? When you lose yourself in service of others, what do you learn about yourself? If I can support you in exploring these questions, it would be my pleasure to serve you.
Sharon Keys Seal