Heartfelt Service: An Act of Loving
“If you can keep your consciousness directed into the idea of serving, even though you may not know what it is you are to accomplish in being of service, then your end result will be the ability to serve and master any obstacle to being of service. You can know it and work it and be on top of it. Then you bring your consciousness into line with true service by serving with love and joy.”
- John-Roger, D.S.S.
The following article is part four of five in our HeartFelt Global Network series on service.
Danny Safron and Matt Van Fossan from Los Angeles, California
Danny Safron and Matthew Van Fossan have been sharing their love of singing with those in convalescent homes in Los Angeles for the past two years. Matthew was inspired after singing to his grandma at her nursing home in Orlando, Florida while she was nearing her transition. As a way to connect with her, Matt played guitar and sang to her and it got a really lively response from her despite her health. He subsequently asked Danny about a group called the Traveling Troubadours that Danny was a part of with a group of ministers who entertained convalescents in the early part of this century. Matt, Danny and Claire Smith brought together their musical talents and revived the Traveling Troubadours to the new Troubadour Travelers.
I asked Danny and Matt some questions about their service ministry and here’s what they said:
Skyler: What does service mean to you?
Danny: Sharing our hearts with joy and loving.
Matt: Service is giving of oneself for a cause that’s bigger than ego gratification like fame or material gain. Service is giving from the heart from a place of gratitude and enjoyment.
Skyler: What inspires you into service?
Danny: The inner call of Spirit/the Traveler, and the fulfillment that comes with giving.
Matt: My heart calls me into service as a way to enrich my own life. Kind of like enlightened self-interest.
Skyler: Why were you drawn to this project?
Danny: I felt a connection with Matthew, and am uplifted in his joyful, loving and humorous presence.
Matt: I like singing and playing guitar and this was a way to share that with people who were open and appreciative.
Skyler: What advice would you give to someone wishing to be more involved in service, but perhaps not knowing where to start?
Danny: Look to what makes you happy, makes your heart sing, that you love doing. Reach out to others in your community to see if they want to join you in such a service. Once Matthew and I decided to move forward with this, I put the word out to other Ministers to participate if they'd like, and contacted a couple of convalescent homes to see if they were open to our coming by to entertain the residents and staff. Claire Smith has been a regular, and she is a professional flautist, and also brings percussion instruments that she plays and shares with others. Matthew leads us in song and on guitar, and other MSIA'er occasionally join the fun! We've been going to the same place for over a year, as it's close to Prana, which is where Matt and Achilles live, and the staff and residents are very receptive and appreciative!
Matt: The secret is to do what you love to do and then find ways of sharing it with people. Connect with something that gets you excited, enthusiastic, engaged. That’ll make life better already. Then getting to place that into the service of another, wow, that’s the icing on the cake!
Matt, Claire, Achilles (Matt’s service dog) and Danny will be back at the East Terrace Rehab on Thursday December 29th from 10:30-11:30 am. If you’d like to join them, please email Danny at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Danny and Matt for sharing your ministry and service. Your sharing enriches our collective experience and understanding of serving and giving.
If this has inspired you to share your ministry or service in future HeartFelt Global Network articles, get in touch! Email Skyler@heartfelt.org
"The highest form of consciousness is service. And the highest form of service is selfless service." – John-Roger, D.S.S.