Gina Murdock: How Can I Help? How Can I Serve?
Lead With Love
I spent three years of my life in a Master’s Program for Spiritual Psychology at The University of Santa Monica (USM). The curriculum was set out in a way that the first two years were dedicated to working on ourselves to essentially “clear the channel” so that we could sit with others as a counselor or advocate without being triggered by our own trauma, drama and unresolved issues.
Through USM, I unpacked ways of thinking and perceiving that kept me bound in victim consciousness. Once I learned about ownership, radical ownership, and adopted a learning orientation to life, wherein I use everything, “good” or “bad,” for my learning, growth and advancement, I feel like I became free. After two years of intense self-study and experiential learning, the curriculum moved us toward what they call at USM “Service Consciousness.” Service Consciousness is essentially how to be a light in the world. Hint: It’s not by telling other people how to live or giving advice from a pedestal of righteousness like so many spiritual teachers, it is by living in such a way that your life becomes an offering to God/Love, or however you call the animating force of the universe.
If one can move through their own “shit,” so to say, only then I believe are they truly able to serve others from a place of power versus martyrdom or obligation both of which are exceedingly depleting. When one can sit in the seat of service consciousness (versus victim consciousness which is so pervasive in our culture) the questions that naturally arise in any situation are: “How can I help? How can I serve?”
Imagine if our politicians were able to come from this place? Our teachers? Our ministers and police? Often the demands of life don’t allow for the self study, reflection and the surrender that is necessary to truly live as an instrument of the Divine.
I know for me I am in a constant dance of my ego/will pushing to get what I want and to people please and the light, peace and joy I feel when I surrender to Divine Will. One way is led by listening and asking with curiosity, trust and wonder, the other by forcing, assuming, blaming and judging. It is our nature to do both. It is a dance wherein every moment we get to decide who or what will lead.
I believe I was in a state of Service Consciousness last year when I was able to finally surrender my will in a deeply personal internal battle I was facing. For years I was forcing and pushing to somehow, someway, have my own children. Finally, I was able to ask from a deep place of surrender informed by many years of struggle, pain and loss, “How can I serve children?” I felt called to mother. I had this strong urge for more than a decade and yet I had not been able to have my own children. Not long after this inquiry/prayer I serendipitously spoke to a friend I admire who shared with me that he was a CASA. “What’s a CASA?” I inquired. I had never heard of this organization before. Have you?
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Ninth is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization serving Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties that trains and supervises volunteers to represent the best interests of our most vulnerable citizens — victims of child abuse, neglect and severe domestic conflict. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to be a voice for these children in court and in the community. The desired result is that children are placed in safe, loving homes where they can thrive.
I became a CASA volunteer in the spring of 2020 after completing an in-depth training program. Amazingly, I became pregnant with what turned out to be identical twin girls later that year. Allegra and Bijoux were born this April. Two perfect miracles. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the mystery of the universe, but I do know that by relinquishing my will and my need to get what I wanted to serve others from a genuine place of love and care I was able to receive this magnificent gift. Thank God.
I have my children now and yet I know God’s children around the globe need our help. There are estimated 153 million orphans worldwide according to UNICEF. There are over 6 million children in our country alone reportedly suffering from abuse and neglect — everyday five of these children die while thousands more are permanently damaged from abuse. These children are right here in our valley. These children need advocates. If you look into your heart and hear, “How can I help? How can I serve?” take a look at CASA of the Ninth and get involved.
Gina Murdock is the founder of Lead with Love, an Aspen-based nonprofit dedicated to shifting culture from fear to love. Lead with Love is sponsoring the CASA Superhero Run Sept 25th at Crown Mountain Park. Visit http://www.casaoftheninth.org For more information on Lead with Love, go to http://www.ileadwithlove.org.
It’s almost time to ring in the new year and if your holiday schedule is shaping up to be as packed as mine, I wish you a well-deserved rest in 2024. In the meantime, it’s our chance to party, and party we shall.