What is a SevaLife? What is sustainable activism coaching? “Seva” is the Sanskrit word for “selfless service,” and it’s a core component of spiritual practice because of the way it acknowledges our interconnectedness with the rest of the world.
As a member of the helping professions, I know how powerful the desire to make a difference can be. And in a world this big, with problems spanning back generations, the scope of which our ancestors never could have imagined, the sheer amount of help that’s needed boggles the mind. In our attempts to construct a life based on service, we will inevitably run into numerous obstacles. One of the things I’ve learned in my life is that when I find it difficult to do something that I value, I have two choices: give up, or learn a new skill.
I believe that the skill that will most serve today’s HELPAs (Healers, Educators, Leaders, Parents, and Activists & Artists), and eventually the world, is sustainable service. If you’ve never heard of that, don’t worry. I hadn’t either until quite recently. Something happened to me in 2019 that caused me to integrate a number of different philosophies that I’d been studying for most of my life: personal development, psychological healing, spiritual growth, and social justice. I did not invent this. Pieces of this approach were taught to me by various teachers, including Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (and two of his students, Rosa González and Clarke Weatherspoon), Sadhguru, Sri Aurobindo, Martin Luther King Jr, and the Dalai Lama. Among many others.
Principles of spiritually grounded activism that I have identified so far:
- People are inherently good and loving.
- The process of birth and socialization often covers up our love with trauma.
- When we cause harm, we are reacting to our trauma in the best way we know how in order to be happy and avoid suffering.
- We cannot create sustainable change without first accepting things as they are, both in our minds and in our bodies.
- The seeds of every problem we see in the world exist inside of each of us, and we must face them there before we can effectively face them outside in the world.
- Healing and growth is possible, both for ourselves, and for the world.
- When we are healthy and happy, we can’t help but be a healing influence on the world around us.
- We have to do small things before we can do big things. This is something we must learn to accept.
- Just because we can’t do everything, that doesn’t mean we can’t do something, and what we do matters.
- We need each other.
The SevaLife coaching program starts with gathering information about yourself:
- What are your values?
- What are your strengths?
- Where is there pain in your life?
- Where do you want to make an impact in the world?
It continues by using this information to develop a plan to maximize your strengths and to address your pain so that you can impact the world according to your values.
Coaching for sustainable service can help us avoid common pitfalls of change-making work, such as burnout, and alienation from friends and family.
If you are curious about how learning to build a SevaLife can help you, click the link below to schedule a free consultation call.