As I walk through life I encounter all manner of people, places, ideas, things. My attention reaches out to explore and becomes engaged. Interacting and responding in many different ways, I become enmeshed in my experiences and aspects of the world become a part of my life.
The modern world is so complex that it is impossible to take it all in, engage and experience everything I encounter. Consciously, unconsciously, or through some mixture we select what we accept into our lives. The extremes are to take it all on, or to hide, with many shades and strategies in between.
However the selection is made, life generally includes a mixture of things that serve us and ones which do not. How often do we consciously ask ourselves what serves us? Suites us, nourishes us, or improves us in some way. But what aspects of our Self/self do we use as a yardstick? Is it what makes taste buds happy, what fills the belly, or what feels good in the body tomorrow? Is it what serves body, emotions, mind or soul? Some or all of us?
Human brains are wired to ask: what can I use and what do I need to stay away from? Basic survival. This only teaches us about what our body and ego want, subject to unconscious ideas and concepts. We can have beliefs that serve on one level but not on others. I love the taste of chocolate. I feel good eating it. If I indulge too much it’s bad for my body and doesn’t sit well in my stomach.
Consciously exploring what serves, teaches us about ourselves. We learn over time what works and what doesn’t by trial and error. Consciously asking speeds the knowing up. Receiving the answer is a deep commitment to taking care of yourself. Listening to self/Self further advances knowing.
Energetically, there is resonance. What resonates with my Being? What promotes harmony and ease? Some things resonate with me, others don’t. I can feel this. Asking my body/being, and listening to the response, I can learn to feel/know what is in tune with, or will help me tune to, my Being. I don’t have to mentally understand it all, just ask and feel into harmony or discord. Often when I let go my mind the answers are surprising, not what my mental concepts suggest or expect.
How I answer “What serves?” determines where I give my attention, time, and energy. Determines what I make up my life. It is easy to get hooked (sometimes for noble and valid reasons) into all sort of things in the world. But do they serve me? Or are they distractions from my Soul’s purpose, from my highest good. I am not judging them, only asking: right now does this serve me? Things may often resonate a little. But why settle for a little? I can almost always find something good about a movie, but which ones elevate me, inspire me, or inform me in a deep way?
To be clear about my choices, I have to be clear about myself and how I want to be in the world. This comes from practicing how to access and listen to my Self. Then I can filter what truly serves from what doesn’t, from what is merely entertaining, distracting, or even harmful. Consistently asking “what serves?”, and choosing accordingly, creates the foundation for a life full of joy. Choose Joy as often as possible.