By Tara Quinn, a SkillCorps member on the Indonesia March 2016 trip

“They are a part of the same family.” I can hear Shinta saying after Hotik asked her to explain a certain Indonesian fruit. I just sat down to write my blog and can’t help but to think how appropriate that statement is in this current moment. Several women from different walks of life but sharing a common bond that has helped us become a part of the same family.

For me, that common bond is service. Yesterday, after sharing about our cultures, Shinta turned to the SkillCorps women and asked us “What is your belief?” I didn’t respond yesterday, but I firmly know it. My belief is that we are put here to be of maximum service to the Universe and to others. Every morning, for the past few years, I ask the Universe to help me to be of maximum service to others. I don’t go into it expecting anything in return. Just like the story our tour guide Fatah at Borobudur told us. The bird saved the lion’s life by pulling a bone from his throat and then asked the lion for a reward. The lion responded with “I didn’t eat you, that is rewarding enough.” The moral being, help others and expect nothing in return. The silver lining is that we always receive when we give. By participating in this practice, I have developed a sense of purpose and self-worth, my life is big and vibrant, and my heart is full with all the lovely human connections I’ve encountered. This experience in Jakarta is proof of that. My heart is full.

Reflecting at the end of this trip, how I am an instrument of service looks different. My nature is to be a doer. Go, go, go. Do, do, do. Talk, talk, talk. Opinion, opinion, opinion. I learned at Hi5, (through watching a fantastic trip leader) how to slow down, be quiet, and through Socratic questioning, let others pull the answers from within themselves. Teaching others how to fish for themselves instead of fishing for them.

I continued to learn how to trust the process. To step back and allow the Universe to be in charge. To un-clutch my hands. To stand with my heart wide, opened to all the experiences the Universe wants for me. When I do this, I can see the magic. I can allow others to pierce my heart and create a family. And I can clearly see how apparent the Universe honors our hard work when we ask to be of maximum service every morning.

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