This week, I’m attending Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within event. It’s my 11th UPW, and for the tenth time, I’m serving on the volunteer Event Crew.
I’ve written previously about some of the reasons why I serve on the Event Crew. The short answer is that it is an environment that fills my soul. To serve others in a way that creates a meaningful impact on their growth is my life juice. It’s my passion to help people find their path to fulfillment.
But just because something fills you in this way doesn’t mean it’s not hard work. Serving on Crew is in many ways harder work than my “real life” — and I’m probably not alone in feeling that way. The hours are long. We get little sleep. We get even less time to ourselves.
The word that comes to mind when I think about my experience on Crew is Avodah, the Hebrew word that translates to both “work” and “service.”
Avodah can mean work you do in your job, but it was also used to describe the work of the priests in the days of the Temple.
Work is not just what we do to earn a paycheck. It is a form of service to God, and to humanity. It is service to a higher calling.
It is a form of prayer. Prayer without service to humanity is empty.
All beings are created in the image of God. And to help others as they navigate the path of their own development, as they step up to participate in their own healing, is the highest level of service we can offer.
We serve God, through serving our fellow human beings.
I gather this week with 500 incredible volunteers from around the world who have come in furtherance of a mission to serve others. Each of us comes here knowing that if we can make just one small impact on one human being during our time this weekend, we will leave the world a better place.
It is impossible to be here, to feel the energy of this extraordinary group of souls, and not be optimistic about the future.
Each conversation, each smile, each friendly glance, can create an impact that produces a ripple effect of good in the world.
Magic happens when you come together with like-hearted people for a purpose beyond yourself.
It’s a beautiful thing.
This is sacred work. This is avodah.