I want to bust some myths about selfless service. Early on my spiritual journey, I had an image of selfless service that was something akin to a monk who had taken a poverty vow, sweeping the floor of a monastery. I also had images of selfless saints, holy mothers, etc. But that was before I experienced awakening to the Oneness of Divinity.
After awakening, I realized that selflessness means no ego, which means no distortion. It means honest truth. It means getting out of the way and allowing Creation to create and be through us/as us. This can look like anything! In embodiment, this is a lifetime practice of discovery. I continue to discover new ways to be fully authentic, honest, and radiant in selfless service.
This article illuminates some of the ways that awakening at work – and serving selflessly – can actually liberate and empower your relationship to work. You don’t have to be fully spiritual awake in order to practice putting your ego aside and doing what’s authentic, true, aligned, and loving right now. You already know what it feels like to be authentic, true, aligned and loving, because it’s innate to you! It’s actually more natural to you than all the effort you might expend to be your “socialized self” – i.e., a projection of self that you think you have to be.
Over the last twelve or so years, I’ve realized and clarified truths about selfless service through supporting my clients and through my own life experience. Here are seven of my favorite radical truths about selfless service and realizing your true potential at work.
1. It is selfless to show up as your true, radiant self.
Don’t diminish your light and true self because you think it’s not appropriate, others won’t like it or can’t handle it. Your true radiant self isn’t your conditioned self or your bad habits. It’s the unique shining light of Consciousness that is you. Be your true radiant self and invite others to be their true radiant selves. Then you will create a community of authenticity, acceptance, love, and true potential.
2. It is selfless to be authentic and real.
Being authentic and real is what is most natural to you. We are all born knowing how to do this, but at some point the ego takes over and thinks that it’s not enough. One thing I notice consistently in the workplace is that people crave authenticity. It’s not just selfless (egoless) to be authentic and real, it is also a gift to others. Yes, we all have to honor cultural rules at times (like not breaking into show tunes in the middle of a staff meeting), but you can still be authentic and real within the cultural container of your work place.
3. It is selfless to accurately assess your strengths, capacities, and contributions, as well as your growth edges.
It is not selfless to diminish yourself, sell yourself short, or play small. That’s an ego story of lack of worth. It is also not selfless to brag, be arrogant, or be in denial about areas where you can grow and learn. The ego doesn’t know how to honestly just accept and represent what is. But your true wise self does know how to humbly accept and represent what is.
4. It is selfless to share your true gifts.
Hiding your true gifts out of false humility doesn’t make any sense. Your true gifts aren’t about your personal value. Remember, your inherent value is priceless as you are part of Divinity; you are an expression of Creation. Your existence is a gift and your talents and capacities are a gift. Share them selflessly.
5. It is selfless to realize your present day potential.
Connect with the innate potential you have now in this moment and express it fully. You don’t have to show up as the potential of your “3-months from now self” or “3-months ago self.” Show up with the potential of this moment – all your skills, capacities, wisdom, insight, compassion, and Presence.
6. It is selfless to receive.
There’s a cultural belief that selflessness means always giving and never receiving. Humility isn’t about having a wall up to receive the gifts and good things the universe gives you. There are three reasons to be selfless enough to receive: 1. Creation, in its Divine Intelligence, has a reason for giving you gifts. Don’t assume that you understand why – just take it in with gratitude. 2. When someone gives to you (a gift, gratitude, or compliment), it affirms and supports them when you receive it graciously. 3. There is a flow of energy, resources and abundance in the Universe. The flow is bigger than you. It flows from you, through you, to you. When you block the flow to you, you interrupt the flow. So allow the flow of the Universe to simply be, and humbly bow in the presence of Its Grace.
7. It is selfless to do what is aligned, loving, and true.
A key to selfless service is to listen to inner Wisdom and do what’s aligned, loving and true. Ego makes decisions out of fear and separation. Wisdom Consciousness considers the whole. We can’t know all the impacts of our decisions on other people, but when we do our best to be in integrity, truth, alignment and love, we have a much better chance of serving others in the best possible way.
So imagine giving yourself permission to just show up fully to each task and be your best self, honestly and authentically, without striving or overachieving.
Imagine that you are peacefully, gratefully, and humbly receiving gifts, gratitude, and recognition from others… and that you are then more empowered to share your gifts and experience for the benefit of others.
Imagine that you are surrendering others’ ideas of what you should be doing and instead you are doing what you are clearly called to do, and what is aligned and true for you to do.
How would this change your experience of work and life?
I’d love to hear your insights from reading today’s article. I also hope you will take advantage of a free full audiobook about awakening at work — “I Am Not a Monk: Working and Making Money While Waking Up.”