HOW I FOUND A WAY TO BE OF SERVICE

Looking for a way to be of service? Look to your natural —and keep it simple, says Kerri Aab

In spiritual communities, it’s often believed that at your lowest point, to be of service to someone else can turn your entire situation around. That looking past our own suffering for ways to alleviate the suffering of someone else is a key to happiness and fulfillment.

No time like the present to test the theory, right?

And if the phrases “alleviate suffering” and “being of service” bring to mind images of volunteering for the Peace Corps or doing mission work in Africa, it’s worth keeping in mind that an act of service can include anything from smiling at a stranger, to complimenting a struggling mama at the grocery store, to baking some cookies for your neighbor.

Being of service doesn’t have to mean some grand act of self-sacrifice. It simply means reaching out. And sometimes the actions that have most impact are the simplest.

Case in point: late last year I was deeply depressed. Not un-common for me during the time of year we’re supposed to be making merry. I’m used to the holiday blues.

But last year was different. There was an ache and an emptiness that none of my go-to spiritual or healing practices seemed to be able to reach. I looked for guidance and sought all kinds of remedies to take the pain away—but the more I grasped, the worse things seemed.

I felt hopeless, helpless, and adrift.

Then, one morning during my daily self Reiki practice, I felt compelled to turn my Reiki hands not towards myself, but rather, to send the Reiki out. I did so and there I sat for the next hour with a vague intention of sending Reiki to “anyone in need.”

No, there were no unicorns swooping over the horizon, and no rainbows suddenly appeared— but I noticed how my sense of despair had lifted. Enough for me to send distance Reiki out again the next day. And the next.

Within a week, I’d decided to make a daily practice of sending out Reiki to others. Shortly after which, brief little messages of hope or inspiration would come through during my morning Reiki time, which I texted to a few friends. These messages began as subtle little thoughts that I attributed to my mind regurgitating information from years spent dedicated to learning about spirituality and energy medicine.

I quickly came to believe however, that these messages, which were growing in length and intensity, were the work of a much larger energy that I was somehow tapping into. God? The Universe (what I call “The Big U”)? Who knows. I’ve come to refer to the bearers of these messages as my “etheric pals” though, as I now palpably feel their energy in the room with me and they feel like friends.

Within a month I had a consistent daily practice that I was being guided to share further. So I sent out an email to friends and family, offering free distance daily Reiki, plus an optional inspirational email, to anyone who requested it.

To my surprise and delight, almost every single person replied with a resounding “COUNT ME IN!” and the list has continued to grow ever since. People come, people go. But, no matter what, I sit down every morning, send Reiki, and write an email about the message I heard during the session.

Has my depression lifted, and I been living in Reiki bliss since then? Here’s where I disappoint you. This isn’t one of those “and then my whole life changed and everything is love and light” type stories.

But here’s what did happen. 

This simple act of using a gift I have been given, to help others, has confirmed for me the importance of being of service in the world.

My daily act of service has given me an anchor to hold onto on days when depression hits so hard that I don’t want to open my eyes. It does this by providing the focus and energy I need to get through to the other side.

My act of service has given my life a foundation of consistency. Rain or shine, I know that people are counting on me and looking to me for the support I pledged to give them. This is the best motivator for sticking to any practice.

My act of service has gifted me with humility and perspective. That people trust me with their stories and with a small aspect of their personal growth is humbling and something I take very seriously. These stories continually remind me of how freakin’ blessed I am when there’s so much suffering in the world.

And, during this very trying post-election week, showing up for the Reiki crew has, at times, felt like the only thing giving me a flicker of hope. When I have felt useless and truly despairing, sitting down to energetically uplift others has reminded me of why I’m on this planet. Which is to anchor the human experience in goodness. To help others find their inner power.

I am also so grateful for the replies I receive each day from people all over the world, about how a particular message changed them or inspired them to go out and spread some joy of their own. The benefits of service are contagious!

So, are you in?

We’ve all been given different gifts—and they are not ours to hoard or hide away. But to give away, inspiring others to do the same.

If you’re feeling plunged into darkness at this time, my advice is to simply give of yourself in whatever way you can. There are endless ways to be of service in the world, so find your gift and share it. Take action. If you want to make the world a better place, then go out and do it. When in doubt, look out.

Do you sing? Bring your voice to the elderly.
Make a mean lasagna? Cook for the hungry.
Love spending time with children? Babysit for a mama who needs a break.
Have a green thumb? Help start a community garden.

And if you think you can’t do this, I would like to gently remind you that you can. After all, a man was just elected to the highest office in the land with zero experience. And if he can believe in himself and his abilities, so can you.

So can you.

I was reminded the other day of a great quote from Jonathan Larson’s musical Rent: “The opposite of war isn’t peace. It’s creation.” 

It’s time to create the world in which we wish to live. It’s time for us to use our gifts to create beauty, peace, unity, love, acceptance and hope for all. One simple act of service at a time.

Kerri Aab, BFRP is a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner, a Reiki practitioner, quantum biofeedback practitioner, Kundalini yogi, dancer, singer and group fitness instructor. Click here to register for FREE DAILY DISTANCE REIKI with Kerri, and discover more about her healing work at Seedtoblossom.com.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: DOPAMINE BEANS, AND A HAPPY RE-BIRTHDAY!

High on Dopamine beans, reunited with a favorite healer, and lighting a candle for Supreme Abundance this Taurus New Moon…

:: MONDAY ::
I’m all about my dopamine beans! Which sounds like a 1990s rave drug, but is actually a high-grade supplement from “transformational food” company Sun Potion. An extract of Mucuna Puriens (a.k.a. the Velvet Bean, how lush), it’s said to improve brain function, elevate mood and sooth the nervous system (a.k.a. a Retrograde essential!). Containing a naturally occurring Amino acid, that transforms to Dopamine in the brains, Mucuna Puriens is also described in Chinese medicine as a “Jing tonic” – a tonic for the life force. And way more high vibe than a Gin Tonic, one of my old preferred mood enhancers, lol.

:: TUESDAY ::
The Retro also bought amazing Kerri Aab back into my life today, who I first met a few years ago and who creates the MOST potent and perfectly blended custom flower remedies. But I forgot how equally uplifting and supportive the Skype consult alone with Kerri is (which is when you determine the flowers going in your blend). To me, this woman is the definition of LIGHTWORKER—a gifted healer who makes the darkness so much easier to navigate. Book a session: Seedtoblossom.com

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Mercury Retro might have tried to keep it from me, but I finally tracked down my delivery from Mama Moon Candles—an amazing witchy apothecary based in the UK, which I discovered after I connected with founder (whose identity remains a mystery!) on Instagram. Hand poured, 100% vegan, and paraben free, I’ll be lighting up some Supreme Abundance for my New Moon ritual Friday…www.mamamooncandles.com

Supreme Abundance candle, £25 ($36)

:: THURSDAY ::
Doing final preps for our Mercury Rising event at the Standard, High Line this Saturday—including a chat with Ophira from the Astro Twins about our F*ck You Mercury Retro salon (one of three workshops taking place throughout the day). My big realization? Exactly how much I NEED this. Life has been intense this past couple of months, and I can’t wait to spend the day talking it out, soaking up some amazing cosmic wisdom, and doing some much needed emotional healing in the evening breathwork session. See you there!

:: FRIDAY ::
Happy Re-birth Day Jackie O’Shea! One of our beautiful contributors shared with me this week how today’s Taurus New Moon marks one year since she left her old job in banking to pursue her dharma working as a channel and healer (a nicely cosmically aligned move, I might add). Which got me thinking about the concept of a “re-birth day.” Because just like we celebrate our solar return, and have anniversaries for our relationships, or began a new business for example, isn’t there also a date in all our calendars that marks the day we too took that one giant leap? For me, I think it’s February 18 2012 – the day I packed my bags and moved to New York City. Which makes this part of my journey Aquarius, with Gemini Rising and a Capricorn Moon – (OMG, favorite new game). What’s yours?

NEED TO KNOW: A CUSTOM FLOWER REMEDY

Of all the plant medicines available to us, flower remedies offer the most subtle – and perhaps the most profound – path to inner healing. Are you willing to believe, asks Ruby Warrington? Images: Addie Juell. Prop styling: Cindy DiPrima

Over breakfast green juice with my girls, I’m trying to explain how I feel since I started taking the flowers. “It’s subtle. You know those days when it just feels like things are going your way? Then imagine feeling like that all the time…” And they’re intrigued, want the number of the fairy who gave them to me. But still the general consensus, as Kerrilyn puts it, is that: “of all the mystical healing arts, don’t flower remedies require the biggest leap of faith?”

At the tail end of summer 2013, burnt out from too much travel and an avalanche of deadlines all at once, I was ready to take that leap. Introduced to Kerri Aab, a.k.a. Seed To Blossom, by a mutual friend, what did I have to lose? And, when I dissolved into tears during our initial hour-long Skype consultation, what had presented as minor stressors revealed much deeper issues that had been long been festering.

Like a lot of people, I’d had positive experiences using Bach’s Rescue Remedy – but my experience with Kerri took things to the next level, and then some. After that first call (read: therapy session), she mixed a custom blend of seven flowers to address the core issues that had come up. To give you some clues, this included Rock Water, to help balance out perfectionist tendencies, Pine, to help with feelings of guilt, and Elm, to put my large workload into perspective.

The prescription? Four drops, four times a day, while the bottle of drops (the essences are held in an alcohol solution and administered with a pipette) would hold it’s potency for three weeks, so we scheduled a catch up for a few days before that.

Over the following 18 or 19-day period, it’s true that things quieted down on the deadline front. But the change in outlook – and “in-look” – I was able to report back to Kerri in our second session went beyond this external change in circumstances. The best word to describe how I felt I was coming to see things is “acceptance” – of myself, of my surroundings and of the challenges I still faced.

Kerri, who was introduced to the flowers during a 50-hour labor with her daughter, describes her personal experience as that flowers; “making space for my natural light to shine.”

Was it really the flowers? As Alexis Smart, widely recognized as one of the leading figures in flowers, puts it; “why is it so hard to believe that plants and flowers have healing properties or effects? Many of our drugs come from plants.” And it’s not as if the notion of “plant medicine” is exactly alien to us in the now age.

In my second session with Kerri (by the way, one of the least “witchy” purveyors of potions and tinctures I’ve ever met), we switched out the Elm for the aptly named Impatiens flower, to help ease feelings that I’m always running out of time. And slowly, bottle two is doing its work too.

If you think a custom flower remedy might be for you, here’s what you Need to Know:

Know that there are 38 flowers in the Bach medicine cabinet, and that your custom blend can include up to seven.

Know that an initial consultation with Kerri lasts up to 90 minutes, and that the more you’re prepared to bare your soul the more you’ll get out of it.

Know that you can use the flowers alongside any other natural or man-made medicines and that they will still have the same effect, while not interfering with any other remedy you are taking.

Know that unlike other plant medicines (ayahuasca, marijuana) Bach flowers work on a solely energetic level and affect no purely physical changes whatsoever.

Know that this makes them safe for children, pets and even…other plants! Further, infants and animals are impervious to suggestion and the success of flowers in treating them disproves any placebo effect. 

Know that Crab Apple comes up most frequently among Kerri Aabs female clients. A cleansing remedy for both mind and body, it works particularly well for people who struggle with negative self-image and issues with obsessive neatness or physical perfection.

Know that in each subsequent session your blend will likely change, as the issues which feel the most urgently in need of a remedy will shift with the ebbs and flows of your life.

Know that you won’t feel the flowers working, but you will know that they are.

Visit Kerri’s website to learn more about her work or book a consultation.

Additional research Andrea Kasprzak.

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