This lilac tree was once struggling to bloom and thrive. We moved it from a shaded part of the garden to a sunnier location. We gave it some rich nourishing soil and have continued to add soil through the years. The tree has bloomed like clockwork by the 2nd week of May every year. Last year a wren built a nest in the tree and we had the joy of seeing fledglings emerge and fly. A once fragile tree is now a shelter for other beings.
It’s not just plants that don’t thrive in some areas but do well in others. Happens to all living beings. Conditions need to be consistently evaluated. Where some beings do well, others might require help, further nourishing and enrichment. Not always easy to uproot and move but one can always ammend the situation, balance out the environment and find ways to grow.
We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same – Pema Chodron
In each moment we have the opportunity to greet what we seek.
Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve….You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
I believe having a purpose is about serving. People sometimes stumble on deciding what their purpose is and what cause to choose? Here, I think purpose comes from core values, perhaps looking around your community and seeing where there is a need and what calls to your heart the most. I think having a purpose is much simpler than we make it out to be. Human minds tend to complicate life.
We might want peace in the world and realize that with all the wars, violence in different forms, inner and external conflicts–peace seems further away. Yet we can still serve to bring peace….Spreading peace can be smiling at people, feeding homeless people, donating to a cause, sending a card to a friend, signing a petition, advocating for those who need help.
I have come to believe that a purpose fulfills the needs of others while bringing a deep satisfaction to the self. Serving others stems from grace and love. Living a life of purpose is finding ways to serve others.
From the book Serve to Lead by James M Strock here are some questions to ponder on and fuel a purpose full life.
The Four Questions of 21st Century Leadership
Who Are You Serving?
How Can You Best Serve?
Are You Making Your Unique Contribution?
Are You Getting Better Every Day?
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This is one of my favorite stores and its humbling to know that everyone we meet has this fight within them. In every instance there is a choice and the more you and I choose the joyful and loving wolf within us, the more it becomes a habit. Once its a habit, it will likely become a lifestyle. To make it a habit and lifestyle includes the mutual support of people in your circle… to feed the loving and benevolent wolf.
May the ongoing fight within everyone be won by the kind and loving wolf.
Courage is not limited to the battlefield or the indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are inner tests, like remaining faithful when no one is looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you are misunderstood.
There are so many daily acts of courage that go unseen. Stepping out of our comfort zone, choosing to love, apologizing, receiving an apology, being humble, being patient, and countless other acts of courage are being performed by us and amidst us.
In those quiet and unseen acts of courage, there is still a roar of jubilation and a heartfelt drum roll that comes from within~ love and joy in knowing that an act of courage was performed.