Service. If I could pick one word that affected my experiences in 2014 most deeply, it would be service. I have had the extraordinary pleasure of working with hundreds of people to serve our community, start meaningful and important conversations and create change where change needs to happen.

The thing that strikes me most about service to others is that the more if it I give, the more inwardly I am changed myself.

Here are a few things that I have discovered throughout my journey:

1. It’s not just what we do that matters, it’s the inner force behind our actions that really count.

The act of service is imperative to create change in the world but when coupled with inward transformation, it can really affect the world in a radically different way.

2. We are all connected.

Over time, through service and reflection, you realize how much we are all connected. Service is not the same as helping. When we view service as helping, it’s as though we are giving something to someone who has less than us and we inadvertently create an unequal relationship. True service, I believe, happens when we are aware and grateful for the things we are afforded in our own lives, and in turn, share those skills and resources with others. True service deepens our understanding of the ways we are all connected.

3. There are a million different “right ways” to view the world.

When you stop focusing on “what’s in it for me” and consider the ways you can contribute, you start to realize how abundant your life really is. Your mindset shifts from consumption to contribution and ironically, the more you practice focusing on the ways you can give, the less you feel depleted and in need.

“When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole.” –Rachel Remen

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