What are you in service to?

By Jackie Glaser, Olami Connect Director

We are in the Jewish month of Nissan! This is a month characterized by spiritual power and opportunity. It’s time when we have access to tap in to the power of spring, and even better, the exodus of Egypt.

What does that mean you say?

To some, Passover, and the Exodus seems like an ancient concept, an old story, far from relevant in our modern lives. However, let’s explore the idea that every Jewish holiday contains a spiritual potential that we can tap into if we know how. For Passover it is the concept of freedom, and all the ways we can break free from limitations – today. 

Freedom isn’t the expression of “anything we feel like doing whenever we want” but instead the clarity that freedom exists when can choose what we are in service to. Are we serving our lower self which is animalistic, selfish and small or are we serving our higher self which goes beyond our own world and wants good for all?

As conscious human beings, we are always in service of something. Pleasing our friends, colleagues, coworkers, bosses. Satisfying whatever desire or whim we have in the moment for food, shopping, fun or pleasure. Honoring the idealistic standards of society, doing everything we can to follow the crowd in order to “get ahead,” “be successful,” “find happiness,” etc. No matter what “it” is, we are either serving a lower self or a higher self that wants to achieve our potential.

However, freedom, exists in a place where WE get to choose what we serve. WE get to evaluate what is in our best interest, not only in the moment right now, but for our future. 

In our meditation practice we create space to explore what it is that we want to serve. We acquaint ourselves with the inner essence of who we are, and what we truly want. We observe where our small reactions are coming from and allow them to exist without running our lives. Meditation ca guide us to an open dialogue with our higher/best self.

The self that “knows better” than to stay out late the night before a big job interview, or reach for that extra piece of cake, or reply with that rude comment to your parent or friend even if you think they deserve it. The self that allows us to see our physical, more animalistic reactions and responses, with a totally new perspective. 

Breaking free from limitations, means allowing ourselves to access that higher part of ourself that serves our best interest, in the long term. 

Here’s where it gets juicy. Spiritual practices, daily rituals etc. are the tools to train our capacity to access this higher self on a more regular basis. Practice keeps us connected and helps us achieve our potential. 

The only way we develop as human beings is when we refine our actions, taking us to a higher, more purposeful self. Patterns and limitations in our lives don’t define us, instead, they are the launch pads for spiritual evolution and discovery. These are the areas in our lives in which we are given the opportunity to refine, and re-define our freedom.

As we approach Passover, consider one pattern, life situation, habit, or negative way of thinking/judging that you would like to break free from, and become the observer of that pattern/habit. Be brutally honest with yourself but not judgmental. Notice it from a bigger place. What is the lesson in it? Why are you bothered by this situation but someone else may not be?

Over time, becoming the observer, identifying from a bigger place will feel easier. Meditation is a great tool and the tools of Torah grant us great opportunity to actualize our highest potential, and with practice, we refine our human character, existing as our most Godly self.