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Being "In Service"

Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein, Grandmother Mona Polacca, Unci Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance, Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim

In my late teens and early 20s I worked at various guest ranches. We used to talk a lot about always being "on". It didn't matter the time of day, or whether or not we were actually scheduled to work at that time - if a guest needed something, we made them feel welcome and were happy to help.

I spent this past weekend in service, and was reminded of the power of this work. For 4 days my focus was on making everyone feel welcome and cared for. I observed, saw what needed to happen, and took the steps to fill that need.

Instead of feeling completely drained at the end of the weekend, I left feeling full and genuinely happy. A feeling I remember and deeply recognize from my days at the guest ranches.

This morning as I walked on one of my favorite trails, I realized that I was still in this space. I greeted everyone I passed with genuine joy. This joy and appreciation also flowed over to the plant and animal life I passed along the way. I stopped and watched a hawk overhead, in awe of its beauty. I noticed the small green leaves beginning to appear on the choke cherry bushes. I paused when my dogs wanted to, instead of encouraging them to maintain my pace. And I realized that this is the true way to move through the world. To make sure that all living beings I encounter feel welcome and valued. To be "on", and recognize that this intention can actually fill me up and not drain my energy.

I'm incredibly grateful to all who joined me this past weekend, to the Indigenous Grandmothers who imparted their wisdom of connection and standing in our strength, and for the incredible opportunity to be "in service" and the reminder that this is my most powerful path.


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