HOW NOT TO BE OVERWHELMED.
Dear Ones —
So a funny thing happened to me yesterday at Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour.
Or, rather, a funny thing DIDN’T happen to me.
I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t overwhelmed. I didn’t walk around all day thinking, “I can’t believe I’m here!” or “I hope I don’t ruin everything!” And every time Oprah came near me, I didn’t squeal (internally or externally) “Oh my god that’s OPRAH FREAKING WINFREY, OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD I’M STANDING NEXT TO OPRAH!!!!!.”
Nope. I actually felt calm.
This is not what I had expected. Because that was a crazy situation, people — a giant arena, a big-ass spotlight, a potentially blinding amount of glamor, the possibility for humiliating screw-ups, and a lot of expectation piled right on top of me.
But I realized this truth, yesterday morning: If I turn this into a big drama or a thrill ride, then I’m making it all about me. Which isn’t fair to anybody here, and won’t serve anybody here. And I came here to serve.
The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself, but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.
~Elizabeth Gilbert; Eat, Pray, Love
Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and in the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back.
~Anne Lamott – Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
Tikkun is a Hebrew word that is often translated as “world repair.” To me, tikkun is not just about external service; it starts in our most basic, almost instinctual view of being involved with life as a helper. …
This spirit of tikkun is the essence of compassionate service—not how much good we do, but rather waking and sleeping, eating and breathing, working and playing, with an unforced, underlying attitude of goodwill; no time off. When we leave from our volunteer stint at the orphanage or the soup kitchen or the AIDS hospice and stop off at the grocery store on the way home, we must understand that noticing the cashier as a human being is as significant as whatever noble cause we just volunteered for. It is nothing short of barbaric to deal with as many human beings as most of us deal with every day and have as little real human contact as many of us do.
~Bo Lozoff; It’s A Meaningful Life, It Just Takes Practice
Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
~Mohandas K. Gandhi