Expert Series: Service Is Our Only Purpose
By Shiri Joshua
The other day on the bus I could not help but lock my eyes on a beautiful Black Lab dog that was guiding his blind human. The grace, determination, and patience with which he sat by his person was profound! In his quiet way, the dog would lovingly glance at his human’s face once in a while, likely to check in, while his human would smile at him and pet his head with gratitude. It was an honour to watch this exchange of energy. It occurred to me (as it does every time I come across these magical giving creatures) how astute he was to so proudly and effortlessly embrace his mission in life: being a service dog. He was simply born to do this, yet did he spend most of his life questioning or seeking to find his purpose? Likely not…
From a very young age I would find myself often pondering the question: “What is my purpose here? What did I come here to do?” Like many people wishing to wake up to a more fulfilled way of living, I also knew that there was a plan for me; that life wanted something bigger and more profound than merely spending our days at work coming home too tired to enjoy what was around us… But what was it?
We each have a ‘Sacred Contract’ to fulfill, one that we agreed upon before our current incarnation. But the contract is never simply about what we come here to “do,” it is also about what lessons (painful and non) did we come here to learn and to teach, and what karmic unfinished business did we come back to heal. We go through each life journey being given mirrors that show us our own projections, shadows, insecurities, and virtues that are needing our attention in the form of conflicts in relationships, certain crisis situations, and of course that which brings us joy in order to facilitate our soul’s function. Ultimately the answer always comes back to service. The animals are the greatest teachers of this principle: being a vessel for unconditional love is their natural state!
Same for us humans: No matter what you do for a living, what your dreams and aspirations are, it is easy to offer service through being an instrument of love even in the simplest moments: for example, when passing by a homeless person in the street, you don’t even have to give money if you can’t, but simply offer a quiet blessing. It will likely go beyond what the coins would do for this person.
When we ask not the question: “What should I do with my life?” but rather “How may I serve?” the answer reveals itself to us profoundly and in the degree of our willingness to hear it. Often the answer is something beyond anything we could have conceived of with our limited human brain. A Course in Miracles teaches that “God’s voice speaks to me all through the day” (Lesson #49, workbook). It also reminds us not to confuse what we think is our function, with what God’s idea as our function is. When our will is to be Light onto the world (service), we align ourselves with our ultimate true function for which we were born.
We are all here to be of service, to shine our light through whatever gifts and talents we were innately blessed with. A flower is being of service by sharing of its beauty and colour onto the world; a dog is being of service by quietly offering his loyalty and companionship; a horse is being of service by teaching compassion and gentleness, and so on…
But how do we arrive at living our purpose, or even being of service? The steps are always being shown to us one at a time and in Divine coordination through synchronicity. Patience, trust, and faith are the ingredients necessary for the journey (something I have to remind myself time and time again!). We might think that at any given point we have “found” our purpose and we want to embark on it now, yet living our purpose is an eternal journey with ever-expanding layers that slowly grow as we do. Perhaps our purpose at one given point in our lives may evolve to something bigger or different as life requires us to change, move, or shed the old. With the core wish to be of service, there really is never any confusion or fear as to how this may come about. The guidance is always there… (Even if it seems to be delayed at times, it is likely due to the clouds which are made up of our own Ego that are blocking the light of the guidance that has already arrived).
As the years go by, more and more my understanding of ‘Purpose’ matures into the idea that perhaps we do not find our purpose, but rather stumble upon it one step at a time–for it was always there patiently awaiting our awakening to it! Our soul always remembers what we came here to do, teach, and learn. How many of us actually give enough time to listen to the guidance within, away from our busy schedules?
Indeed, wishing to be of service and asking for guidance around that, my own life took me from Israel to Toronto, then to Vancouver, where I could connect more easily with the stillness of nature and unlock yet another layer in the journey of my life’s purpose. My work (which I thought was the full picture of my purpose) as a child and family therapist and a pet loss bereavement counselor shifted (or actually evolved) once more. This time I was guided to work directly with animals and the people who love them in offering healing, workshops, and consultations. Yet something else, bigger, kept showing itself once in a while in the forms of visions of speaking on stage, various images of group healings, or intuitive senses and premonitions of offering my services in a different platform.
I did not know exactly what was involved, how or when this all would occur, but something within me knew I just had to trust its revelation when the time was right. In December 2007, I was given very specific instructions to begin sharing spiritual wisdom from the animals and to “translate” them onto human life through talks and teachings. And so yet another step unfolds in the bigger plan, as I march forward and on purpose. Yet I know that other aspects of how I came here to serve are still “in labor” within me, awaiting proper delivery time.
Living our purpose does not come without its challenges… Some of my colleagues, friends, and family members did not understand: how could I toss away a secure future in an acceptable highly regarded field, a steady paycheck, RRSP account, and a very nice extended health plan for what?? – To go do something that is unheard of and not many really understand?! Even so, I was committed (with many periods of resistance and ego-based fear, but nonetheless committed).
Every step of the way is being shown to us one at a time to help move us along the path, but we must exercise faith and ask the right questions. The field of infinite possibilities will deliver the answers to us in the same vibrational level as our questions. Try this for a day and see what happens (but remember to ask and then release the question rather than pressing or demanding to be shown an answer):
What would you have me do?
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me say, and to whom?
(ACIM, lesson 71)
Shiri R. Joshua, M.A (Couns. Psych), is a psychotherapist, intuitive animal healer, speaker, writer, and teacher. Shiri is the founder and co-creator of S.O.U.L Academy: School of Compassion and the Canadian Centre for Pet Loss Bereavement. Shiri has been dedicating her life and work to bringing spiritual teachings from the animal kingdom with the aim to facilitate a global shift in consciousness towards unity, compassion, love, and respect for all life (incl. Human-to-human). For more information about Shiri’s work please visit www.SoulAcademy.ca
Shiri will be hosted by Conscious Living Network on Sep 23 & 25 for a talk and workshop titled Language Of Divine Communication: Talk and Becoming ”Miracle Minded”: Workshop.
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or call Ashley at: 604-644-4447