Each of us contributes every day, it's just part of life. We contribute in our jobs and businesses, to our friends and families, to children, to customers and clients, to our environment (cleaning or beautifying), and we even contribute to strangers. Contributing is the act of GIVING one's energy for the good of another, whether it's a listening ear, sharing our expertise, wisdom, a skill or labor, a large financial donation, a genuine smile, a word of encouragement, coaching a friend, authentic feedback or volunteering your time and energy. Contribution makes the world go round.
When we give, there is a typically a reward... sometimes a paycheck or monetary compensation, and other times we know we'll receive appreciation, acknowledgment or love from the recipient.
Yet, how often to we truly contribute SELFLESSLY?? -- Where the focus is solely on GIVING with NO CONCERN of receiving ANYTHING in return.
Two weekends ago I volunteered at a Tony Robbins"Unleash the Power Within" in Long Beach with 230 other giving souls, to support 3000 participants through a weekend of life-altering transformation. With ONE evening of training... an enthusiastic crew dressed in simple t-shirts engage in a wide variety of tasks throughout the weekend, charged with an intention to enhance each participant's experience and selflessly contribute any way possible. From inducing smiles, answering questions, registration, ushering, to an endless number of tasks from the mundane to utilizing special skills. There's also a "fire-walk", which EVERY volunteer assists with!!
If you haven't attended a Robbin's event, here's the context... events start early and end late (2:30am at the close of Sunday), there are FEW breaks, and often times a team of volunteers is needed on a moments notice...with little instruction. FLEXIBILITY is the name of the game. And, INNOVATION is also useful. But, all this is part of the FUN that the crew dances with, smiles on faces...and without complaint.
While there is an abundance of expressed appreciation ... it's often directed at the group. It's not uncommon for a volunteer to work hours on end, and not be specifically acknowledged. There's simply so much happening. When I first volunteered in this venue, years ago, I was frustrated with the reciprocation factor. I was still attached to receiving the PRAISE for all my efforts. But, then I realized that wasn't what it was about.
When it just became about GIVING UNCONDITIONALLY, and SELFLESSLY...every unnoticed "good-deed" I did became even more special. There is something intrinsically satisfying in giving, just to give. No expectations. No compensation. No acknowledgment. Only my own sense of satisfaction in secretly knowing I'm affecting another human being....whether large or small. I've since volunteered at over 25+ events throughout the years...for the sheer joy of it.
It's even MORE beautiful to bear witness on so many people who genuinely care about making a difference and SELFLESSLY contributing. It's truly inspiring. Several times throughout the weekend, I stood back..."emotionally moved to tears" by how these individuals (often 1st-timers!) stepped-up and took charge of so many tasks without direction or instruction. Everyone synergized together, encouraged one another, had an abundance of smiles and energy, and just continued to give and give and give. SO BEAUTIFUL!!
When we give, we get outside of ourselves...
and CONNECT to the world.
It creates a blissful state that permeates our being.
After the event, one of the volunteers shared her experience of crewing. She was so HIGH with joy. She'd even spent most of the time outside the main room, yet felt transformed just having had the opportunity to contribute to others for four days!!
How different would the world be if everyone lived in a state of
I suspect we'd intrinsically be happier, and everyone around us would feel well-loved and taken-care of. Hmmm. Something to think about.
To all my friends and fellow volunteer crew member at ARC (many are SoulFULLY Living subscribers)...my hat goes off to you once again.
I honor you...
...for your generosity, kindness, resourcefulness, and commitment to selfless contribution. You're an inspiration!!! To me. And, to the many reader's of SoulFULLY Living.
SOULFUL CHALLENGE:Adopt the mindset of "selfless contribution" and turn your focus outward asking the question "How can I help?". Let go of the need for reciprocation for THREE DAYS. Enjoy the intrinsic satisfaction of giving. And, feel free to share your experience with us here at Soulfully Living.