Friday, August 28, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Our Best Help

"Anybody can serve....You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I've been doing some work with New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE), a group dedicated to helping women launch and run successful social enterprises that have a profound impact on our society. Through a recent NYWSE event, I found A. Lauren Abele's blog. Lauren "is an economic development program assistant at a community development nonprofit in Brooklyn. By night, Lauren volunteers with other nonprofits helping them with fund development, strategic planning, and social media. She is one of the 2009 NYWSE Mastermind-Mentoring Initiative (MMI) graduates and big-time NYWSE advocate."

This week she posted her thoughts on how best to help a cause you care about. Her post really resonated with me. In relation to my post from yesterday about doing things we don't know how to do, Lauren advocates for helping the cause, any cause that interests us, by channeling our own special gifts and talents. If we want to make a difference, we can figure out how best to do that by delving deep within our own hearts. Just begin. We best help the cause by being who we are.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about fitting into a form versus creating a form around our own passions. It's a very different intention, a very different way of considering service. If we approach service first from the perspective of "what do I love to do, what am I good at, and when am I happiest?" and then find the circumstances that best showcase those activities, we'll achieve our highest potential.

Lauren's shining a light on something very profound. Consider this: let's say that you are passionate about the environment. There are so many options for you to really lend a hand to this cause. You could work with your local park or community garden. You could organize a recycling event in your neighborhood. You could support local farmers. You could write about the cause, sharing your knowledge and interest in the subject with others. There a million ways to play a part - all that's required is that you care and then channel that care into an activity that brings you joy.

It sounds so simple and yet we spend so much time trying to do what's "right" for the cause, what we think the cause needs, rather than taking what we do well and doing that for the cause's benefit. Really what's right for the cause is that we just be present, that we contribute in some way that's uniquely, beautifully us.

The image above can be found here.

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