Have you ever had that feeling of elation when you are able to selflessly give to another? Charity has the ability to change your life energy. Seva is the art of selfless service. Seva is a sanskrit word translated as work performed without any expectation of reward or repayment. In cultures and religions across the globe, seva is believed to increase one’s spiritual growth and improve the community. Another yogic concept is that of aparigraha translated as non-grasping. In a culture where we are encouraged to consume, consume, consume there is sometimes a sense of lack or non-contentment. What if we woke up every morning and gave gratitude for everything we had and then saw opportunities to give where we are abundant. The concept of aparigraha encourages us to clear our homes and surroundings of excessive clutter. So why not combine the concepts of seva and aparigraha to re-purpose things in our life that are congesting our homes and minds in order to redirect the flow of chi in our spiritual lives.
Excessive clutter can have a negative impact on the quality of energy and flow of chi in our homes. Energy flows where attention goes. When I see meaningless objects stuffed here and there in my home it creates discomfort prompting a desire to organize, reduce, re-purpose or recycle. If the clutter gets too excessive it drains my energy. So I often look through my closet and drawers and ask myself the following questions.
- Does this object play a role in my life?
- Does this object make me happy?
- Will I need this object is the future or can it serve somebody else better?
- Am I holding onto this object our of fear of lack?
- How does this object represent my attitudes, relationships and life goals?
Cleaning and organizing our physical environments can have a huge impact on the health of our homes and minds. What if we combine the spiritual practice of aparigraha with seva – meaningful release of what no longer serves us to give selflessly to others in need. The feeling of giving to somebody is need has several positive benefits.
- Seva facilitates the development of positive self esteem.
- Seva increases feelings of happiness, love and joy.
- Seva promotes community health and working for the common good of all.
- Seva promotes santosha – contentment.
Take a look around you and see where clutter can be a chance to serve. What if that old sweater in the closet could keep an elderly person in a convalescent home warm at night? What if your pile of extra blankets could keep shelter animals cozy and comforted? What if you could bring a smile to somebody’s face by just letting go of a few items. Look around your community, ask who is in need. What skills do you have that can make a difference in somebody else’s life? Be an agent of beneficial change by redirect resources and energy and see how you can be a change agent.
Dr. Christie Smirl was recently featured in Voyage LA Magazine. To read the full article click on this link to Voyage LA Magazine.
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Dr. Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine as well as Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science from Loma Linda University. Dr. Christie is also an E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.