It’s been three weeks since we’ve been in Berkeley. We’ve been enjoying ourselves and feel enlivened by all the plant-life and fresh air. My friend Lily made a funny joke about us replacing all our friends with pretty flowers & pomegranate trees. I thought this joke was hilarious and absurd, but I must say that similar to how my community on the east coast gives me life, the nature here also gives me life. Although east coast peeps - you’ll never be replaced.
Life feels healthy here. Organic options everywhere, various gyms everywhere, and meditation & self-reflection in community is common place. The spaciousness of time we have has been very supportive of self-care. I find that for me, a nurtured-self is inspired into action. Not action out of obligation but out of something internal - an inner flame that seeks justice, compassion, and engagement. I’ve been reflecting on ways to be of service, and have recently been encouraged by my ame Rosi and by a new book from one of my favorite meditation teachers.
Last week my ame spoke to me about this blog. And while she’s been enjoying reading it, she encouraged me to open the discussion wider than myself, my dog, and Shahriar. A few days later I stumbled upon Adyashanti’s new book called The Most Important Thing. In the first few chapters he brings up the reflection question of what am I in service to? It feels natural to quickly try to come up with answers to this question. In my experience, holding this question in reflection (without trying to answer it) has opened doorways to be more in alignment with what I want to serve.
One example of this has been through the horrid situation happening at our border - the detention of migrants and the numerous deaths that have happened at these detention centers which have been likened to concentration camps. I’ve been feeling pretty lousy not knowing how to get involved, and the other day saw a facebook post about how Amazon is enabling the detention centers through their technology and partnerships with both the Department of Homeland Security and Palantir. The post linked to a resource guide to help individuals find alternatives to the convenience of Amazon Prime. I’ve been an Amazon Prime user for years and definitely recognize the conveniences. But knowing what’s happening at the borders, recognizing my lack of engagement, and actively putting a lot of money into the company enabling the camps does not feel right. So yesterday when I needed to buy a book, I tried using the resource guide. It was easy. I signed their pledge to cancel my prime membership once the critical number of pledges is reached. The way they’re doing this campaign is that once enough people to have an impact (1 million) sign the pledge, they email everyone telling us to cancel our memberships. On my part, it's a small action, but one that brings me more into alignment of what I want to serve. Step by step, big or small, moving towards a lighter and more compassionate way of being on this earth.
What are you in service to?
I invite you to hold this question in your mind & heart. Perhaps it’ll inspire or awaken a new opportunity.