I like to volunteer. It gives me a feeling of satisfaction. In yoga this type of service is called Karma Yoga. Karma yoga is often understood as a yoga of selfless (altruistic) service. What can be challenging is balancing the art of giving, versus giving too much. If one gives their time with resentment then this isn’t really giving at all. Before we give we should make sure we have looked after ourselves . We should give freely and without expectations. I often struggle with this balancing act. I give too much. I resent it. I give too little. I feel like I should give more. Back and forth. Back and forth.
Recently I volunteered for several projects. It was over a period of a few months so I thought I would be able to handle it with ease. Life has a funny way of changing the story line though. My whole house got sick at the same time that ALL the volunteer stuff I had been waiting for came in. I am terrible at saying no. I really struggled with making people wait. Everyone understood but I found it stressful despite their patience. Once my health (and my kids health) returned I had a ton of catch up work to do. I wasn’t being paid for any of it. I didn’t feel resentment but my wallet certainly wasn’t happy about me giving all my time away.
I think I am going to limit my volunteering to an hour or two a week.. and make it all yoga related. I have lots of skills to offer but expanding my teaching knowledge is one of my highest priorities at the moment. The other stuff will have to wait until my kids are a little older.