Yesterday, I launched my first course, GROW IN SERVICE. I'm feeling happy about having finished it, proud of myself, and super grateful for the beta group testers and other helpers along the way.

I also had the thought that this first blog post might be about "authenticity in service", a touchstone concept for Forum for Growth in Service. The first class in the course is called "Introduction and Authenticity in Service", so you're getting a preview here.

There are two things to consider: ONE - what I mean when I talk about authenticity; and TWO - how that concept applies to being in service to others.

Authenticity is my take on what other religions might call finding your Buddha nature, or getting closer to God/Allah, or overcoming original sin (a concept I've always found repugnant). This course is meant to be inclusive, so I try not to use the language of any one particular religion or spirituality, though I have definite biases of my own.

The way I see it, we're born with our authentic nature intact and unique to us, but it gets layered over with the needs, expectations and treatment (good and bad) of parents, siblings, teachers, authority figures, and other things beyond our control, like disability, health and mental health issues, and even the color of our skin or the religion we're born into.

Our authentic nature remains intact and vital underneath those layers. And our task as adults - if we want to mature into compassionate, aware beings - is to do the hard work of peeling those layers away so that our authentic selves are revealed.

For people in service, that peeling away makes us more compassionate and more effective in our service to others. There are so many ways this improvement happens: we become aware of implicit judgments and biases that thwart our efforts to serve well; we learn not to layer our needs and expectations over those we're supposed to help; we grow in our ability to gently but firmly insist on respectful treatment.

The concept of authenticity is central to my first course, GROW IN SERVICE. If this post has intrigued you, you may like to know I'm offering the course at a $15.00 discount during June: use this link to get to the sales page and learn more.

I'd love to hear from you - please Comment!

Carol D. Marsh