Spiritually speaking we are all here to serve one another.  In fact for many spiritual seekers the highest form of spiritual expression is not sitting alone on a mountain top but serving Spirit through serving others.

So why is it that so many who serve are plagued by dark circles underneath their eyes, exhaustion, illness, and even a negative attitude instead of being uplifted by the experience?

To be a servant means to work or to assist. It is an activity that you provide for a specified amount of time. If at any time you wish to stop giving a particular service, you may.

But to be a slave, means to be dominated by somebody or something.  To slave away at work, at home, or even in a volunteer capacity, means that you’ve given up some sense of self-empowerment. It means that you have little choice in the matter.

Maybe you’ve started a project that was so fun and exciting when you first began, but now you feel tired, dominated, and put-upon whenever you think about it.

Maybe you’ve come into a lot of money or got a big promotion and now you feel stressed because you believe that if you stop working you will lose everything.

You could even feel this way in your relationships at home. Where you once felt loved and appreciated, now you feel exhausted and taken for granted.

Here are four ways to emancipate yourself from the vicious cycle of feeling like a slave at work, at home, or spiritual center and bring the joy of service back into your life.

1.  Question your feelings.  As soon as you start to feel tired, put-upon, or resentful, ask yourself “Am I a servant or am I a slave.”  Just asking the question brings mindful awareness to your thoughts and feelings about your situation. And this awareness stops the downward cycle of sad negative feelings.

2.  Reorient yourself.  Remember you are providing a service and at any time you can choose to stop. Hey! You don’t have to do anything. Making service a conscious choice re-empowers you and can revitalize your service.

3.  Is it time to move on?  Leaving a service that you once loved can be very difficult. But look at it this way you may be taking up space for someone who would love to have that position.  Not-to-mention that there is something better, greater, and even more fulfilling “out there” for you, but you’re wasting your time with a needless sense of obligation and inertia.

4. Watch your language. Whenever you start a sentence with the phrase, “I have to…” you’ve become a slave.  Instead say, “I get to…” or “I’m going to…”

A subtle change in how you express yourself can go a long way to empowering your service.


Photo Credit: Ravi Pinisetti