On the Thursday of Holy Week, some churches hold a special ritual called The Washing of the Feet. This recalls the time when Jesus washed the feet of each of his twelve apostles, right before the Last Supper. In the ritual, someone of religious authority (for example, a minister or a priest) washes the feet of twelve everyday people.
Yesterday, Pope Francis washed the feet of twelve inmates at a maximum security prison.
The idea behind the ritual is the remembrance that every one of us can be of service, even the seemingly most “high.”
It also teaches us that at any moment, we can choose to be kind and help one another.
It can be easy to spot moments of kindness and service. Someone is hungry on the street and you offer some food. A person is lost and you give them directions. A friend is hurting and you provide some comfort.
Being of service can extend beyond these moments and can show up in your work in the world.
Many of my clients that I work with come to me because they feel the calling to do work that’s more meaningful and purposeful. Sometimes they know what that work is, and sometimes they don’t.
What I help many of my clients to do is to tap into what brings them joy, and what makes them feel alive. And in almost all cases, what they are inspired to do turns out to be a greater calling to serve others.
- One client is using her writing as a way to inspire those who feel like the underdogs of the world.
- Another client is sharing her experience in the entertainment industry to help beginning actors who feel lost trying to navigate what they feel is a dog-eat-dog world.
- And one client is getting ready to star in his own television show (beginning airing next month!) where his expertise will reach thousands more than he has reached before.
Your life’s work, and how you show up each moment in life, can be an ongoing practice of being of service.
For your coaching assignment for this week, here are two tasks I’d like to offer you:
- Open your awareness today and look for an opportunity to be kind. If you can do something out of kindness, go ahead and do it.
Example: What are some things that I can do? Let’s see…I can open the door for someone if I see them coming to the building. I can call my friend to check in on how she’s doing. I can even donate clothes to charity. Gosh, the possibilities are endless!
- Take a look at what you are doing in your work life. Contemplate how what you are doing is already being of service to others.
Example: Well, I work at an office with other people. How is what I’m doing in service to others? I guess helping out my boss with her scheduling and her different projects is a way of being of service. I also help other people in the office when they don’t know how to get started with certain projects. Hmm…that’s interesting. I never considered what I did as being acts of service. This is a nice way of looking at my work and helps me appreciate more that what I do is assisting others.
And here’s a bonus assignment, if you’d like some gold stars: Think of one way you can be kind to you, and do that.
You are as important as others!
What the Washing of the Feet ritual teaches us is that no matter where you are in your life, you can metaphorically “wash the feet” of others at any moment, simply by being kind and seeing your life's work as a vehicle of service.
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama reminds us, “Practice kindness whenever possible. It is always possible.”
Abundant Blessings, and Happy Easter!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about today’s post, and what ways you are contemplating kindness and being of service. Please leave a comment below.
For more info and to register, you can click here: