Service Entrance

Today I was humbled as I visited some clients who I’m doing some pilates home studio consulting for. I’ve been to this high end building many times over the years, and have always dropped off my keys with the valet, and smiled at the uniformed bellboy who would open the entrance door as I passed.

But today, when I approached the front desk to announce my arrival, the clerk awkwardly mumbled, ‘they told me that I have to tell you that since you’re a trainer, you have to take the service elevator from now on. They also said that you can’t park with valet.”

Immediately my face grew hot with humiliation. “But I’ve been coming here for years! This has never been a problem before.” What I really wanted to say was, “Don’t you know who I am?!?! I’m a UCLA grad, a pilates studio owner and a bloody daughter of a prominent doctor dammit!”

Humbled and insulted, I slinked to the back of the building to take the service elevator. And as I stood there amidst packing boxes and cleaning supplies, it hit me:

Who do YOU think you are?

Am I not asking in meditation each morning how I can best serve God and my community?

Am I not finishing each class I teach with a moment of gratitude for being allowed to serve my highest purpose and the greater good?

Am I not spending time every night to take inventory and “clean up my side of the street,” and make amends to anyone I hurt in my day?

Am I not really a servant, a grounds keeper and a maid? And, aren’t these roles what I’m actually striving for each day!?!?

Just then a gentleman carrying a huge box came to stand beside me, as we waited for the elevator.  I felt a strange kinship to him. We were both in service–going about our daily activities with a goal of helping others. As I stood there, I started to smile. I am a service person, I thought. And being a service person is perhaps the greatest honor and privilege in the world!

As if on cue, the ‘ding’ of the elevator rang out. “I’ve arrived” it seemed to call out to me. And yes it had; my daily lesson in humility and spiritual growth had just landed right in front of me.

And so as the steel panels of the elevator opened before me, I eagerly stepped in and left my ego at the door.

Debbie Lichter is a certified pilates instructor, movement educator, presenter and owner of Blossom Pilates & Soul in Hillcrest, San Diego. To experience her unique style of teaching pilates and spiritual practices, visit or call (858) 224-3577.


  1. Lisa Berman says


    So beautiful!!! Thank you for your “so relateable” shares. You’re so authentic, raw and real!

    Love you!
    Lisa Berman

  2. Debbie, I am so grateful for your heartfelt connection- that you stand so present in each moment that you recognize your emotions as they traverse the experiences of the day.. that you stand with such observation to allow witness, contemplation, and choice to occur.. that you are wise, the conductor of your own transformations, and the fascilitator of so many others. Thank you for your service, your leadership, and your partnership.. I love You Sister.. You Inspire Me. xo