Here’s the eleventh prompt in the month-long Quest 2015 with Tracking Wonder. Over the course of December 2014, you’ll see 12 posts on a variety of topics, all designed to help stir the pot and spark the mind, body and spirit as we turn toward 2015.
Tara Mohr prompts us with:
“How can I be of highest service?”
For me, the most salient part of this highest service thing is about being able to SUSTAIN this level of service.
It’s not a one-shot deal.
How can I be of highest service? Keep myself fueled up and rested up – develop the practices and boundaries that allow flow and that allow my vitality to flourish. And keep my eye on the growth that is happening in myself.
Oh! And do the same vitality upkeep for my business.
No small set of tasks.
I’m pretty good at the part about keeping my vitality up these days. Ten years of developing real self-care practices that actually work – for me – has put me in good stead.
I’m also good at responding to the calls to shift and to shore up when life changes under my feet. I’m resilient with these changes, though sometimes not a quick to adjust as I’d wish. Is anyone?
It’s the sustainability practices for my business that are still taking shape.
Keeping the output consistent, which includes consistent outreach is something I’m working to develop. But yeah, I struggle here. I can only vow to put in my best efforts in this arena, knowing that I’m already working toward using my time with more rhythm and yes, with more discipline.
Acknowledging that providing my highest service will require me to engage in more discipline was a first step. Realizing that I actually do better with a little more structure was a second step. But defending and implementing that structure when I don’t feel like it is really the bottom line. It’s a work in progress.
This brings me to the most difficult part of this whole highest service endeavor.
As I find my highest service, going out on limbs to reach for my own highest potential takes courage.
Getting curious to see where fear still holds me back, where I’m still living according to an old story, one that no longer serves me even if it once did, takes energy. Staying in this place of wonder requires the development of not only even stronger self-care, but also the development of courage, applied in just the right measure and at just the right time. (Too much courage is just bravado. Wrongly-timed courage is wasted effort.)
There are clues that I’m capable of this sort of courage, if only I can harness it.
My beloved often tells me I have a particular skill, one that I’ve been told I have before. The phrase used to describe this skill is a bit crude, so bear with me here. He, and others, have said I have “brass balls in a shit storm.”
What we’re talking about is when things are stressful, when there’s some sort of crisis, I focus in and know exactly what needs to happen. I act fast. I act deftly. In these moment, I have an ability to do just the right thing in ways that I wouldn’t normally do.
I can be ballsy in ways that when life calms back down again, I wouldn’t dare. (And no, the gender reference isn’t lost on me – but can we not go there just now?)
- I got trained on the skill growing up in a family where tempers could turn in milliseconds.
- The skill was honed living in a neighborhood in England that wasn’t particular safe, making friends with people who didn’t usually let outsiders in.
- I grew to love this skill while working as a cook in a busy Seattle restaurant.
- The skill was perfected working on a boat in Alaska and dealing with mechanical issues during storms where life was potentially at stake.
And while this way of being can be exhausting, there’s also an aliveness that is pretty fun, though any therapist will tell you it’s one of the sure signs of an over-functioner and various other imbalanced behaviors or roles. I get it.
But, there’s something there that can still serve me.
But here’s the thing: There’s also a courage that lives in those moments. A trusting of life. An ability to act with confidence that I’ve often admired and wished for when I’m in more mundane circumstance.
I’m able to tap into a particular faith and knowing when the shit hits the fan that is like plugging into source.
So when Tara Mohr asks how I can be of highest service, my gut knows that this skill will be crucial to the story.
During this quest, I’ve been using some of that courage, that fierceness, to offer up thoughts and share experiences as I consider what is possible for next year. More sharing and offering up than I’ve ever done publicly.
I’m teaching myself as I go along how to transmute the “brass balls in a shit storm” to a reasonable amount of fight and “get up and go” for everyday business and writing.
I know my clients benefit when I take a moment to notice a particular behavior or insight, when I hold their feet to the fire. I know my writing is more fun to write, and probably more fun to read when the fire in me rages a little.
As long as the fierceness is in service of my highest service, then I believe IT is how I’ll give my best goods in 2015 and beyond.
How about you? What will help you deliver the best goods you’ve got?
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