When I was a kid I had a deep desire to change the world. I have always felt best when I have been able to be of service or help another person. Throughout my teens and early twenties I used to wear this desire and responsibility very heavily. How was I going to save the world? How could I inspire a better quality of living for kids in developing nations, or inspire young women or feed the hungry? My desire to be of service has always been incredibly strong but it seemed in my mind to be a massive undertaking that would leave me overwhelmed and unable to act.
I was speaking to my dad on the phone last week and checking in to see how he was doing. I was teasing him for still working even though he is almost seventy-one. My father is a criminal defense lawyer and public defender. He has been doing this kind of work for 30 plus years and takes the cases that no one else will take. He gently challenged me and said: “I finally figured out who I am here to help.” Of course, he would find the lesson in work that most people would never dream of doing. He has always found a way to be of service to people the rest of the world has either ignored or forgotten. As always, I leave my conversations with him a little more humble and a little more inspired.
At the age of 34, I still have an extraordinarily deep desire to change the world. I feel people’s pain deeply and have great compassion for anyone that struggles. I began by trying to change the world at my day job which generally frustrated me. That frustration at work led me to become a yoga teacher and I know that each time I plan a class that challenges and nourishes I am able to be of service to my students. More recently, as a coach I have been fortunate to help people gain clarity, healing and to experience joy in their daily life.
I have a very different approach to how to be of service and change the world now. I have learned that you don’t need to change the ENTIRE world, you only need to start where you are. There are actions that each person can take right now that will make a difference exactly where they are.
- Cultivate Positivity – my positivity is probably my superpower. I have learned to create positivity in my life by being deeply grateful and sharing my energy with others in order to be of service (want to learn how? click here) It may seem like a small step, but when I bring my positive attitude to work, the studio or my work with clients, I know that it makes a difference. When you begin to look for the positive things in life you will start finding them everywhere and then you can share that uplifting energy with your family, your friends, the dog, the mailman and the grumpy neighbor across the street. It makes a difference, trust me.
- Release Judgement – I love this one. When we judge someone, we instantly create separation. The wall goes up. Judging people is entrenched in our society and it is certainly a challenge to change your mindset and habitual thought patterns, however, anything is possible if you commit to it. The releasing of judgement is a great way to be of service right now. When we release the need to judge we create space for understanding and clear the path for a different experience. This doesn’t even have to be outwardly expressed, it can simply be a moment where you acknowledge the judgement and decide to chose a different thought instead.
- Practice Compassion – building upon step 2 is the art of practicing compassion. Again, this is not always outwardly expressed. Perhaps you see a homeless person or a drug addict and the judgement comes in about this person that you know nothing about. Choosing to release the judgement and wish for them to have a better experience or to find a little light in their day, is a small way to be of service. This sending out of compassion will not only cultivate more positivity for you but it will change your energetic frequency towards that person. It doesn’t mean you have to change their life, but maybe you choose to have compassion for their struggle. It will make a difference.
- Smile More – oh ya…..sure, smile more. How does that help me to be of service and change the world? You have already started cultivating positivity and you have started busting down the walls that exist between you and the world around you….smiling should be fun! I often deliver smile bombs to people. These are not just a quick twitch of the corners of your mouth upward. These are full-on, toothy face-crackers and I give them away with wreckless abandon. Sometimes, you will get a look that implies the other person thinks you may be an actual alien, most people will smile back, some will say ‘thank-you’ and others may just stop and give you a hug. Don’t be scared, smiling is powerful!
- Understand that we all want the same thing – if you are still stuck on step 2 and wearing your judgements like a warm blanket, never fear because step 5 is going to change everything. When you think of where you are right now: I know that you can find things to be grateful for. If there are things that you still want, know that the people around you also want the same things. Each human being wants the same essential things: to share love and be loved deeply, to be understood and to connect. The things that stand in the way of that boil down to fear and the good news is, fear can be overcome. When you see yourself as the same as the rest of over 7 billion people on the planet you can begin to be of service and change the world.
One Last Step
I lied. There is really only one thing you need to do to be of service and change the world:
Each one of the steps above begins with you, exactly where you are and the only thing you need is the willingness to look within and a desire to show up and have a different experience of life.
The world needs healing and the ultimate way to be of service to the world around you is to do the work within to release the fear, separation, negativity and choose a different experience instead. To heal yourself is a radical expression of love not only to yourself but to the world immediately around you. Just as a pebble tossed into a pond creates a ripple outward, so too does the power of healing yourself. That is how you change the world.
Tell me, are you ready to change the world? What is one thing you can commit to right now?