In mindfulness, I am more of a practitioner than a teacher, though I do teach. As a person, I am also more of an individualist than a helper, though I do help. As a human, I feel a deep connection to all of humanity, and in a way I care deeply. However, being drawn to my own personal growth has always far outweighed the urge to help or serve others.
I am saying this with a tinge of guilt though. It seems like we should be out there, helping others, spreading the craft, and lifting humanity. Making sure we touch the lives of as many people as possible.
For ages now, I really wanted to shout it out and get this out of the way. Despite being trained in the help industry, I am far from being a helper. Do you have a feeling that your life will only be meaningful if you are helping many others? Or is it really because you will be more approved of if you are helping many others?
I have a deep love and compassion for humanity, yet there is an unsaid expectation weighing upon me – the expectation that I should cast a wide net of influence. It took me years to observe this inner tension and finally see clearly that this expectation was never mine, and that it was not consequential for me to trace the roots. I can simply hold it spaciously and let it be.
Remember, we can be the Not-the-Always-Here-For-You kind of person.
To me, it’s more important to be the I-Am-Here-When-I-Am-Here kind of person. But it does not mean that I do not care. It just means that I prioritize this moment, and I trust and respect that others have the ability and agency to grow and develop at their own pace. And most importantly, I prioritize what life calls for me to do right in front of me, and it might not involve directly helping people of any sorts.
Although if you truly prioritize your own well-being, master living with ease, and aligning yourself with what is alive, you don’t have to help others in such an effortful and deliberate way as if you are building a house brick by brick. Your aliveness spreads itself because the real embodiment of ease and acceptance of the self is like air – you can’t keep it in even if you want to. This is what I see with many great teachers. They are grounded, still, at ease, and effortless in their influence. Their presence life reinforcing on its own.
Still, do your work. Do the work that you are called to do. Don’t measure it by how many people you have helped or impacted, and don’t base your work on others’ approval of you. For some, helping might be your work. But for many, helping is an avenue that might not be prime for you. Base your work on the level of ease and flow you feel within.
It always is.