Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity. - Viktor Frankl
There has been a lot of dialogue about service here on Huffington Post in conjunction with the inauguration of President Barack Obama. (And I have to say it - it is such a joy to type "President Barack Obama.") Often, when we talk about service and committing to serve we think of doing things like feeding the homeless, mentoring youth, picking up trash, etc. These are all worthy causes and helping those less fortunate has always been an effective way to collectively care for one another. I have spent many hours volunteering in various ways including facilitating workshops for non-profits, serving food (particularly on Thanksgiving), HIV prevention outreach, and more. What gets discussed less often is how we can serve humanity simply by being Self-centered.
Prior to Christmas I posted an article titled "3 Ways to Get SELF-centered for the Holidays." In that article I explained the distinction between living your life led by ego and living your life from your true Self. To recap: Your Self is the part of you that is constant and always present. When you are centered in your Self you are directly connected to source. Your source is the essence of what you are made of. It is universal consciousness, divine intelligence, spirit, God, love, authenticity and whatever that is for you. You may want to review by going to the article here.
When you are living in your center in connection with your true self, you are also directly connected to the part of you that knows the gifts and talents you were born to share in this lifetime. This is your life's calling. More often than not it is also your dream, the thing that you love to do, and the thing that makes you feel alive, inspired, and jump out of bed in the morning. The great news is that what you are born to do in this life is how you serve humanity.
Often for me, clear, well-known examples of people who have served humanity by offering their authentic gifts and talents come in the form of musicians. John Lennon sang songs with messages that still serve humanity. Bono's gift in expressing himself through music has also served humanity. A recent great example of service to humanity is a man whose name probably would have gone unknown if not for one fateful afternoon. Although, I have not spoken with him personally, I imagine when Chesley B. Sullenberger awoke and went to work on Thursday, January 15, that for him it was just an ordinary day. He probably didn't go to work thinking, "Today I am going to become a national hero." Nonetheless, by offering his gifts and talents for flying planes, as he did his whole life, on that fateful day he saved the lives of over 100 passengers by completing an emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the freezing waters of the Hudson River. It became apparent in news follow up that this man simply loves the art of the airplane, and he was just doing what he does. Of course, he did serve by going into the air force. However, it was the heeding of his call and LOVE for flying that got him there.
Think of your calling line as an actual phone line. Every time that line rings and you jump at the opportunity to pick it up you find that it is a wake up call from spirit. Spirit is saying, "Hey, the call you are now receiving is a message that it is okay to follow your heart, and in doing so you will serve humanity."
Being unfaithful to your innate abilities or true calling is a disservice to your community and humanity as a whole. In addition, it is a disservice to oneself, because when connection to one's true self is sacrificed vitality and love are also sacrificed. This is why it becomes critical as adults to consciously practice reconnecting at the SELF level of our consciousness. There are myriads of ways to do this. Some simple ways include meditation, yoga, writing in a journal, even taking a walk in nature and many more. It is often through these kinds of practices that we come into deep silence and connection with our personal truth. In that silence we can ask spirit, "What will you have me do? How am I meant to serve in this life?"
If this is a mystery for you, some questions you can answer that can begin to offer clues for how you are meant to uniquely serve are: What most inspired you when you were young? What do you consider some of your pinnacle accomplishments? A Pinnacle accomplishment is something that you loved doing and that inspired you (whether or not bosses, peers, teachers, etc. rewarded or recognized the accomplishment). It energized you, made you feel good, and had real meaning for you.
I encourage you to continue offering direct service by volunteering in your communities to help those less fortunate. I intend to. In addition, I encourage you to get into connection with your true self and ask the questions that will support you in hearing your call, living more "SELF-centered," and offering your greatest gifts to the world and the people you care about.
Please share your comments: In what ways do your unique gifts and talents serve humanity? For you, who are some examples of people who serve humanity simply by "doing what they do?"