Mother and daughter gathering food
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How can you be of service today? That's something Madisyn Taylor asks herself every day, and she thinks you should too! During the last week of her Learning to Live course, understand what it means to give back without falling into the trap of rescuing others.
You've made it. This is Week 9 and the final week of the online course. You have learned many things along the way, and you have had the courage to delve deep into those places you didn't want to look.

The final piece in Learning to Live is to share what you've learned and give back to your community and loved ones. Each morning when I get up, I ask the spirit, "Mother, how may I be of service to you today?" I feel that it's my duty to give back, as I have been given so much grace in this life. When I say "duty," I don't mean that I feel obligated or that something bad will happen if I don't help others. In fact, it is a privilege and a joy that I feel from my core being, and I want to pass it along and pay it forward.

I was actually a bit timid and scared when I started the practice of asking the question. I was afraid I would be asked to do things I didn't want to do or didn't feel like doing. These feelings came up because on the very first day I asked the question, I was placed at the scene of a car accident in which I was involved. I was divinely taken care of and not hurt at all, nor was my car for that matter, but it was traumatic enough to scare me off from wanting to be of service. I subsequently thought it might have been a "test" and that I should continue on this adventure of self-discovery. What I found was that on most days, just being me was good enough. That was being of service. Stop to think about that: Just being who you are is good enough, and what you do throughout your day is good enough. Other days, I felt drawn to say hello to a stranger or smiling and making conversation with somebody at the checkout counter. You see, you never truly know how you affect the people you interact with throughout your day, and sometimes a smile or kind word is just what the other person needs.

When you're helping others, remember not to fall into the trap of rescuing people. It's not your job to rescue people. You're simply offering help where it's needed. If you feel the need to rescue people, then it's time for some introspection. When you make decisions to help others from your heart and your center (or your intuitive gut feeling), then you're making a decision from a balanced place and you're probably not in rescue mode. Animal rescue and helping children are some triggers you may be trying in order to actually rescue yourself. You may project your emotional pain onto these beings that seem helpless, because you feel helpless inside yourself. So many organizations need help, and you should help as much as you can. Just simply be aware of where your motivation is coming from. If you're aware that you may, indeed, be trying to heal a deep pain within you, then you can take the steps to shed light on the pain and allow for the healing process.

How to recognize if you are trying to rescue others:
  • You have a desire to work with children or animals because you feel their vulnerability.

  • You feel the need to completely take over or overhaul a situation.

  • You have the desire (but maybe not the means) to adopt a family.

  • You want to "make it all better" for somebody and are determined to do so.

Healthy signs of wanting to help others:
  • You hear of an organization that needs help, and it resonates with you on a soul level.

  • You commit to a balanced schedule of volunteer work, and it doesn't consume your life.

  • You feel contentment and happiness when you think of being of service to others.
Get this week's homework assignment
Woman volunteering
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In helping others, you're also helping yourself. Helping others is like a giant mirror—you always get reflected back to you what you need to see. Helping others teaches you more deeply about compassion, and it can make you more grateful for the life you have. It can fill your heart with love, and, for many, it can be the missing piece of the puzzle to make a life feel complete.

Imagine what the world would be like if each and every one of us started the day asking, "How may I be of service today?" This is a world I want to live in.

Soul Reflection:
This is your last week of assignments! Be sure to reflect on these questions and give them as much time as you have for the other weeks' assignments:
  • Were you raised in a family that volunteered together or was community service was part of your family life?

  • Is there a part of you that needs or wants to be rescued?

  • Does the thought of being of service or asking the spirit how you can be of service scare you?
Take some time this week to help somebody else. Perhaps you'll be the angel somebody has been waiting for.

Connect with Others:
Share your thoughts about helping others and your feelings about this nine-week course in the Comments section.

Listen to Madisyn Taylor's meditation to help you take flight

Madisyn Taylor is the co-founder of the online website and spends too much time on the Internet. She's also a best-selling author; her books include DailyOM Inspirational Thoughts for a Happy, Healthy and Fulfilling Day (Hay House 2008) and DailyOM Learning to Live (Hay House 2010).

More from Madisyn Taylor:
Get the 9-week instruction manual on learning how to live
Learn to be honest with yourself
Make change in your life
Why you should strengthen your bonds with family and friends


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