Whether you get your news from newspapers, blogs or CNN there has been a lot of devastation in our world. We view pictures of people in distress and it taps into that part of our brain which contains the primal responses of “Fight or Flight”. It’s more mental now than actually physical which was more of what our ancestors had to deal with, but we still go through it day by day. This causes us to react in the usual sort of ways like; over-medicating, shopping, or keeping CNN on all day. These are not well thought out choices that successfully deal with levels of anxiety.
Over thirty years ago my beloved teacher taught me that whenever I felt overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, the one way to deal with those uncomfortable feelings was to help someone else out who was worse off than me. Being the skeptic that I wrongly identified with back then, I had to be pushed and prodded until I was able to “get out of myself” that resulted in bringing myself back into balance.
I started doing service over thirty years ago with some reluctance, but it actually worked. When you do this kind of activity on a regular basis it can become a great way to not only put your “stuff” in a proper prospective, but you begin seeing a better image of yourself through the eyes of those you serve.
I started “Under the Bridges and Under the Streets” in honor of that lesson learned at the feet of my teacher, Ma Jaya, in 1993. Since then, our all- volunteer foundation has served over a million people. We make and deliver bagged lunches to those who live on the streets.
Serving another takes one out of his or her isolation and connects them to a much bigger picture that is good. Try it!
John Shinavier, MA, MFT, RYI, Life Coach
aka Swami Laxman Das
Executive Director of “Under the Bridges and on the Streets.”