It is my pleasure to serve

I am exhausted. I really just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for about a week. And at the same time I am charged up and energized from the work I did this weekend.

I just returned from Hekate’s Sickle, one of the two major festivals my church puts on every year. Last year was my first year attending, and this year I was honored to be invited to participate as one of the ritual presenters.

Hekate ShrineIt wasn’t a large role, and yet it was important in that I was truly able to serve both the people attending the festival and the other ritual presenters. I was welcomed warmly even though I was not able to be present for any of the pre-festival rehearsals.

I arrived on two hours of sleep (plus what little rest I was able to snatch in the front seat of the car). We went straight to work when I arrived on site, and didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. Then it was up early to do more the next day, with only about 3 hours of sleep. The most interesting thing to me is that I was not as wiped out as I would have expected (though I certainly am feeling tired now that I am home).

Realization hit me when my mentor and friend came down the path for part of the ritual on Saturday night. She stopped and thanked me for my sacred service. And I answered her, “It is my pleasure to serve.”

It truly is! To be able to facilitate transformation and healing for other people, to give of my presence in a loving and supportive way, to be able to contribute to my community – all of these bring me great joy. I am repaid in compliments and appreciation and love, as well as being able to spend time with some of the most amazing people. The act of serving in love and joy brought me energy.

What brings you joy? What fills you up? Find a way to do those things, even if they do not pay you monetarily. The rewards go far beyond any financial compensation.



In Honour of Those Who Serve

Today is Victoria Day here in Canada. Some people equate it with Memorial Day in the United States, but really, it seems to be an excuse to have a civic holiday. Still, I woke up this morning with an intense gratitude for those who serve.

serving your communityWhen we think of serving, especially around this holiday, most people think of the military. While I have little respect for the institution of the military, I have great respect and gratitude for those who choose to serve in that way. That’s not the only way people can serve, however.

Almost everyone serves in some way. Teachers serve by sharing information and knowledge and feeding our minds. Farmers serve by growing food to feed our bodies. Nurses and doctors serve by helping us to heal when we become sick. Clergy and spiritual leaders serve by ministering to and feeding our souls.

And lets not forget about volunteers! There are many organizations, including the one I work for, that would not be able to keep their doors open without volunteers. The arts, sports, food banks and soup kitchens, senior care homes, the SPCA, and many other organizations that contribute to their communities rely on volunteers.

According to the book, Pendulum, we are moving from a me-centered society to a we-centered society. In a we-centered society, people do things that are for the greater good of their communities and humanity as a whole, as opposed to looking out mainly for themselves.

There are many opportunities to give back and serve our brothers and sisters. So many of them serve us each and every day. I serve my community through my church, leading and participating in rituals and discussion groups, both online and face to face. I receive no monetary compensation for it, and yet it fills me up and fulfills my need for contribution, to feel I am making a difference for something greater than myself.

How do you serve your community? Whatever way you choose to serve, I am thankful that you do.