how to be of service

maybe you watch RuPaul's drag race and you've heard that you have to love yourself before you're ever going to be able to love anybody else...  or maybe you went/go to church every Sunday and you've heard that you must love "God" first... what if I told you those were the same thing?  Would you be willing to get on board with that?  Maybe try it on for size a few minutes every day?

On Sunday, I went to a "Create & Connect" coffee talk and I went into the event fully expecting that it would lead me to a way to be of service...  That's kind of a new thing for me: consciously making an expectation based on an instinct.  In the wake of realizing exactly how powerful I am I've started looking for places where what I believe can create a reality that I experience.  That effort, combined with an openness to possibility is really opening my heart to how incredible this life can feel.

Back to the story... so I read in the RSVP confirmation for the event that one of the speakers, Seane Corn, was a HIV/AIDS activist and I had been longing for a way to connect to that helping community that was more than donning a t-shirt to hand out water to people who show their support and heighten awareness by walking the streets of Los Angeles.

I have this little smidge of self judgment about this.  A little inner critic who asks "what makes you think you could be helpful there... you think just because your father died of AIDS you are somehow a part of this community?"  Um.  Yeah, actually. (duh)  But thanks for asking, asswipe...

Again, back to the story... so, I thought to myself "self, this is it.  this is where you're going to get some direction about where to go to be of service."  Seane was a brilliant speaker with a tremendous story about (still trying to) surrender to the reality that the work must be done within if we are ever to be effective at making the world a place more connected to its innate love.  I was moved to tears on more than one occasion that morning.  And when she talked about the organizations she works with (YouthAIDS and OFF THE MAT INTO THE WORLD) I was excited to learn about the unique and powerful impact they were making and I sent myself an email to remind me to seek information about how to involve myself in one or both.

Still, something wasn't quite right.  Something wasn't quite living up to my expectation and I wasn't going to decide that forming one in the first place was a problem... So what was going on?  Instead of feeling the thrill of discovering how the universe would grant my wish ('cause I know what that feels like now--woot woot!) I was noticing a lot of stories forming.  I know I'm not supposed to decide to "be" the person I've just met and ardently admire...  I was resisting that old impulse and instead I was getting that I wasn't going to be able to have an impact because I have a son and I can't take off to Cambodia whenever I want... No one would care what I had to say because I didn't have stories about moving to New York City at 17, binging on drugs, and finding god in a gay sex club called Heaven.  These stories were not an indication that I was being pointed in a new direction...  These stories are NOT what it feels like to discover what the universe had in mind for me...  These stories were pretty reminiscent of the olden days of Kate's head and were not welcome to stick around for long.

Normally I'm not an advocate for "stuffing" of feelings or stories, but in this case that's what I did.  I filed those reactions away for safekeeping so I could remain engaged because I knew that I was going to get something from this and it wasn't that.

that's you.  you did that.
Seane finished speaking and Nicole, the event organizer/creator spoke...  She mentioned that they usually closed these monthly talks asking everyone to contribute in service to something (oh!  here it is!  yay!  okay, I'm listening!) but in the spirit of Seane's talk this morning and the reminder to do the work inside they had changed their plan--and that was the service they were going to ask us all to do: Go within and do the work.  Let that be the drop into the pool of water that creates the ripple.

And I'd be putting on a bit of a show if I said that I was instantly moved by this.  I heard her (and I heard myself groan on the inside...  really?  i already know that one.  i was looking for something new.  geez) but it didn't sink in right away.  In fact, it didn't sink in until today... this afternoon... worn out from a day of waiting at doctors appointments and battling spiderman to go to bed and worrying about what I was going to write about and whether it was okay that I was so off track with writing about abundance when it clicked...

and that's what happens when i do it too.
It's another gift.  
(receive it, damnit)

Getting to hear that I'm on the right path... getting a little nudge to keep going... getting an energetic pep talk to reassure my spirit to carry on...  getting told that i'm never going to find what i seek if i search outside myself... and getting reminded that looking within IS still being of service.  As I continue to heal and grow and become more connected to my heart I become another ripple in the pond, meeting up with other ripples until eventually the pond is a tremendous ocean and the movement on the surface is a powerful wave, swelling and cresting toward the shore where it can meet itself and its match again over and over never questioning the repetitive nature of its existence...

So, there you have it (public service announcement: please understand what i'm saying.  please continue to volunteer your time to organizations who need you to provide the love they offer our world in need.  that way of being of service is one of the most effective ways to be connected to your loving core and takes ripples to waves in seconds flat), this month is about "plenty" or "abundance" and yes... money is rolling in too.  I got a surprise check in the mail, another was more than I expected, and money just keeps appearing... that was definitely part of the intention, but more than anything I have opened myself up to receiving and just like that... the gifts... just like the waves... keep coming.

and I ain't about to question them.

and now if you'll excuse me, I feel a cry coming on (probably those filed away stories from Sunday that I had forgotten until now) and I'm going to go let that happen (don't worry, mom, it's a good thing.  xo)