As the holidays approach, I've been thinking about service and how to do more of it.
And in thinking lies my folly.
True service may be out of our hands, and thankfully so. It doesn't exist in the realm of the conscious mind. There are no guarantees that our calculated acts of service, no matter how well-meaning, will send positive ripples throughout the cosmos.
Maybe our best efforts are really in service to that sly dog, ego.
In the end, all we can do is show up.
Service isn't an action we take, but a by-product of living in alignment with something greater. It means that the genuine smile you gave to the cashier may have had a more profound effect than the three homes you built for the displaced families, and there is no way of knowing and nothing you can do about it.
Still, serve more. It’s the closest our minds can get until something else takes over. Do more for others, regardless of the origin of impulse. Only, see if you can let go of the idea that you have control over what’s happening in the moment and what's to come.
Service, like a miracle, happens when there is no one there to take the credit.
Practical Wisdom for the Creative Journey
Joel Ripka is a Brooklyn-based actor with 20 years and over 30 professional stage credits from off-Broadway to regional theaters that span the country. He is a blog author and writes about a life lived creatively and in close connection with our deepest expressions of consciousness. He's committed to joy, teaching, sharing, and uniting. He inspires people to do cool things and live intentionally. He is a musician (guitar, piano) singer and also a skilled teacher and writer.