“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” Joseph Campbell
Our art of abundance teachers always remind us that being of service is one of the principles of becoming prosperous in all areas of our lives. Some folks go further than making service a rule of abundance and say that our greatness is measured by our service to others. That we attain peace when we do something for each other and believe in something greater than ourselves.
Our service does not have to be a sacrifice in any way. Service is meant to be joyful. It doesn’t need to be something done for a lot of people or a grand gesture. Little things make a big difference in people’s lives. It might be helping someone across the street, smiling at a stranger, volunteering time at a local hospital or shelter, listening silently and without judgment while a friend or even a stranger vents their sadness and fear – giving them a safe space – this is selflessly serving. Remaining mindful that the work we each do, whatever it is, is not just generating money for us to sustain our own lives but is enriching the lives of those who enjoy the product or service we render. The ways to serve are endless.
How may I serve at this moment? Our spiritual teachers remind us that serving mindfully is a high calling and should be viewed as such rather than as an obligation. It elevates our understanding of our ONENESS with Source. There is a parable that you likely know, which is the parable of the long spoons, that indicates metaphorically that we are all drawing our soup (sustenance) from the same bowl (Source).
I will write it here, the way Dennis Merritt Jones tells it (The Art of Abundance) in case you haven’t heard it or need a refresher:
So it goes that a student came to his master and said to the master that you speak of selfless service as a way of life and that if I am to create a joyful, abundant life for myself that I must first learn to serve others. However, the student went on, I am uncertain as to what that means and how to accomplish it. “How do I serve others and still take care of my own needs? I would like to understand the difference between selfishness and selflessness and the consequences of both.”
In a dream state, the master guided the student to a large enclosure that had 2 doors. The master opened the first door and invited the student to look in. Throughout this room were many large round banquet tables. In the middle of each table was an enormous pot of soup. This soup smelled wonderful and made the student very hungry. Sitting around these tables were people who were crying and complaining. They looked weak and emaciated, as if they were starving. Each of them was bound to a chair and held a long-handled wooden spoon, which, fortunately, made it possible to reach into the pot of soup in the middle of the table and take a spoonful. However, due to the fact that the handles were far longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back to their mouths before the soup spilled out of the spoon, therefore – they sat, starving and complaining. The student was obviously very upset at the sight of their suffering and anguish.
The master next took the student to the second room. He opened the door. The room appeared to be exactly the same as the first. The same large round tables and each with the same pots at the center of the tables. The people were bound to their chairs and were equipped with the same long-handled spoons. However, one thing was different in this room. Here, the people appeared well-fed and they energetically laughed and talked with each other. The student said, “I don’t understand. Why are these people so filled with joy?” The master said, “It is simple. You see, in this room, the people have learned to consider the needs of others first – and to serve those needs, by selflessly feeding one another with their long spoons. In so doing, they are in turn equally well fed. However, in the first room, the people were very self-absorbed, selfishly thinking only of themselves. They are so obsessed with serving only their own needs, the idea of serving others never crossed their minds. The answer to the question you asked about the difference between selfishness and selflessness is simple: one is ‘me-thinking’ and the other is ‘we-thinking’ … and the consequences of both are obvious.”
Likely you have heard this many times as it is an often used teaching tool. No one is certain of the original source of the parable and it has variations.
Serving others is a crucial part of living on planet Earth if we wish to thrive, not merely survive. I interpret the first room as 3D and the second room as 5D. An abundance consciousness calls for us to be willing to serve and also to be served. A mindful balance of both is required. The principle of abundance moves in and through us as we mindfully serve others.
Last night I happened to watch a you tube clip with one of my favourite actors (Julia Roberts) in it. A fan asked her if she only shared pictures on Instagram begrudgingly (as she is known to like privacy). She replied, with a big smile, “I don’t do anything begrudgingly.” No wonder she looked so radiant!
Giving your energy, in a selfless and generous manner – automatically lifts you into the flow of abundance… what goes around, comes around.
Happy Holidays! Monica p.s. I will return to blogging in the New Year. I will be in Ottawa with Galaxy Psychic Fairs @ the RA Centre on January 4th, 5th and 6th, so my blog will be after that Fair.