last twenty years or so, spiritual/new age authors have sent this
to readers: "You have something broken about you and I can fix
a newer, truer message must be heard: "You are here to deliver
a beautiful gift to
the world - and it's a gift that benefits everyone. Remember it,
and get on with it."
WHEN I FIRST started researching these principles,
I would invite people to come to my home and give them a one-on-one
"soul contract" reading. We would talk in detail about each of
the principles and how they were at work in the clients' lives.
The reading would sometimes last two hours.
Usually, by about the third or fourth principle (of twelve), I
noticed people's eyelids getting heavy. This material is, on first
hearing, sometimes overwhelming, and it requires the awakening
of one's unconscious (or cellular) intelligence to really understand
it. The cognitive brain seemed to want to sleep through the readings.
However, one principle always opened the eyes quickly: Service.
I noticed early-on that when I told people they had the principle
of Service in their contract, they snapped to attention - and
not in a good way. Most of the responses were something like,
"I'm exhausted from serving everyone. I don't want to be a servant."
I realized very quickly that understanding the difference between
Service and servitude is the most important aspect of wearing
Too many of us (especially women) live within a belief system
that says something like this: "In order to be a good person,
I must meet everyone else's needs and expectations before I take
care of myself." It almost always falls on the wife/mommy in a
marriage, for example, to be in charge of the household - keeping
everyone fed, clothes clean, house clean, children nurtured, children
schooled, children chauffeured, spouse coddled, budget managed,
domicile maintained, volunteer work done, sometimes working a
full-time - all while remaining skinny, sexy, healthy and perky.
UGH. If that's what one thinks of service, no wonder it brought
such dramatic responses.
From The Invisible Garment:
You may confuse your training to take care of everyone else
before you take care of yourself with "service." You may tend
to burn out emotionally and not really understand why. The best
possible relationship between your emotions and the principle
of Service comes when you understand that your feelings are
your give-away. How you FEEL is your gift to life. By
living in integrity with your soul, your feelings become the
most authentic gift you
have. You need not be afraid that your feelings are
selfish little narcissistic acts of a bratty ego. NO,
your feelings are your service. Learning to trust your feelings
and act appropriately according to them I a big part of your
Of course, these words don't apply to everyone. Indeed some people's
feelings are "selfish little narcissistic acts of a bratty ego."
But people who have their emotional body in the principle of Service
have quite a beautiful gift, because at the foundation of their
emotions is the knowledge that life is a gift and that indeed
each human is a part of that gift. That philosophy, being the
basis of your feelings, gives you an all-pervading benevolent
perception of life.
Although my message is usually about "being" rather
than "doing," I have noticed over the years that people
who truly understand Service have a tendency to choose careers
that allow them to be of service to the community. Many police
people, fire fighters, and civil service employees do actually
wear the principle of Service in their invisible garment.
Recently I attended a morning in small claims court with a friend.
She was suing an attorney who had employed her to decorate his
home, and then refused to pay her. She was totally in the right,
but she was terribly nervous because he was, after all, an attorney!
I went strictly for moral support.
As we sat in the extremely ugly and uncomfortable courtroom waiting
for the judge, I thought, "Ugh! What a horrible job - judging
whiners in small claims court in a cold ugly room all day every
day." Well, as the morning unfolded, I watched Judge Mina choreograph
a sweet day for everyone involved. She showed stunning compassion
for the man whose English was so bad that he had to bring an interpreter.
Earlier in the month he had been caught between his fear that
missing a day at
work might end his job, and a court date. He was the plaintiff
in a case, and yet he had missed his court date because his boss
had gone back on his word to let him off from work. On this day
he appeared, asking for a new court date. The judge looked at
him long and carefully, and said, "I see that you're telling me
the truth. Here's what I'm going to do for you..." She didn't
punish him for missing his earlier court date, and she gave him
next person who came up was suing her insurance company. She was
so frightened and so fluttery that she could not produce the
basic documents the judge needed to see to consider the case.
(She had them, but couldn't find them in her many file folders,
blinded by her fear.) The judge asked her to stop and take a breath.
Then she gently said, "Sit down, please. Take some breaths. Find
the documents. Do the math. I'll call you back up in a few minutes."
The young girl was so embarrassed and almost in tears when she
sat down, but as promised, after hearing the next case the judge
asked her if she were ready to present her evidence. The judge's
sweetness about the whole thing shifted the plaintiff's energy
and she presented briefly and clearly. The judge told her how
much she appreciated such a concise and logical argument.
At the same time, there were definitely cases in which one of
the people involved was trying to "pull something." For example,
one man was accusing a female customer of giving him a "hot" check,
when in reality it was a "stop payment" because the product she
had purchased from him was faulty and he refused to correct the
error. Judge Mina did not put up with that intentional mis-wording
for one second.
When my friend went forward, having witnessed the judge's
compassion and desire for brevity, she presented her case simply,
clearly, concisely. She had documented (with BEAUTIFUL photographs)
the work she had done in the attorney's home. The judge
took one look at the huge notebook of pictures, fabrics, wall
color samples, and invoices. It was clear from the look on the
judge's face that she saw what was happening here -
a ruthless and unethical strong-arming on the attorney's
Of course, I don't know Judge Mina's birth information,
so I can't say for sure that she wears the principle of
Service. But I can say for sure that she understands it. She didn't
enter the courtroom with a sense of "Oh, lordy, another
day of whiners." But instead she entered with an attitude
of, "How may I serve you?" It was her courtroom, no
question. She was in charge and would suffer no fools. AND she
was there to serve.
Service doesn't have to look like servitude. Service is about
recognizing that we are all in this amazing experiment called
humanity together. Service is about remembering that life is a
gift. Service is about remembering that we are also here to deliver
a gift to life. Service and compassion are inextricable.
you have Service in your garment, take some time to look at whether
your actions and feelings are in alignment with each other. If
you have the doormat syndrome, then you must realign. Your acts
of service must feel like acts of loving kindness, which feed
you rather than deplete you.
Interestingly, the principle of Service is relatively rare in
people's charts. I don't know if there is a mathematical reason
for that (that the 19th degree doesn't often appear,) but it has
been true in my research. Here are some people who had Service
in their charts: Martin Luther King, Jr., Princess Grace, Princess
Diana, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou. If you take time to research
their lives, you'll see the thread. I remember once in an interview,
Charlie Rose, after reading one of her poems about the wonder
of life, asked Maya Angelou what was the most amazing thing she
had ever experienced. Her response was, "That I am a child of
God, and that you are, too." This woman knows that life is a gift,
and she is most certainly giving back!
The principle of Service may be your most important influence,
no matter where it sits in your soul contract. It constantly reminds
you that that you are here to GIVE YOUR GIFT to life. Every action
you authentically take toward that end will ricochet and become
wealth and happiness for you.
© Connie Kaplan, 2006