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Seva: Healing Through Giving (Part I)

In the Luminous Soul Method, Seva is the seventh pillar and is a Sanskrit word which means selfless service. As a practice, seva nourishes and supports both the receiver, as well as the one making the offering. Seva creates a healing channel of energy.
Here’s how to use your Luminous Soul Practice to make these connections every day:

Quick Connects
How it works:
Pay attention to what you come in contact with and when you perceive a need then take action to make an offering of support. You can engage quick connects, medium connects or more substantial seva connects.
For example:
Recently, while I was walking up the street, I saw a man with a bulky stroller struggling to open the door to a store. This gave me a perfect opportunity to engage a quick connect seva. I went over and held the door for him with a smile, and then went on my way.

Medium Connects
Suppose you are talking with a friend or someone close to you and you notice he/she is struggling with something. You can offer the gift of deep listening (being heard is a great gift).  Later you could offer your considered thoughts or advice.
Manorama’s tip: Remember if you decide to offer advice first make sure the person wants your advice and if not then remember the gift of listening is more than enough.
Or you could simply look for kind ways to be supportive.
For example:
Recently a dear friend of mine was struggling with a series of problems. I listened as she explained what was going on. It was difficult, no doubt and the situation didn’t have an easy solution that could resolve in a day, but it occurred to me that feeling supported as we walk through difficult times can be very helpful.
I noticed my desire to offer support and planned my actions.
That week I went to a few stores and picked up some items I knew she would like, along with a loving card. I popped all of it in the mail as a gentle surprise for her letting her know that she was supported.
You see, the Luminous Soul pillar of seva offers you an opportunity to shift from being what the monks call “me focused” to being connected with your Self and the world around you in a meaningful and supportive way.
Does that mean you will never focus on you?
No, of course not, but to solely focus on your own self, day in and day out, does not lead to a connective and fulfilled life. We are all part of an interconnected network of energy and life. Being a channel for seva is a wonderful way to engage your Luminous Soul practice.

Luminous Soul “Seva: Quick & Medium Connect” Exercises:
Quick Connect:
1. As you move about your days this month, see if see if you can make mini offerings throughout your week: a kind glance, a gentle kindness, a loving extension of your energy.
2. Notice the feeling you have after you offer.
3. Write your insights in your Luminous Soul Journal.

Medium Connect:
1. Pay attention to those around you. Notice what rises in you as you interact with them. Consider something you could do to support this being.
2. After the idea comes to you then consider what actual actions you’ll need to perform to make your seva happen.

Manorama’s Tip: Work within your threshold. In other words don’t give beyond your capacity. Remember seva is not martyrdom, it’s making an offering from your heart.
Once you determine what you would like to offer, engage it.
3. Notice the feeling you have after you offer.
4. Write your insights in your Luminous Soul Journal.