The Power of Receiving

Do you know the old saying, “Art imitates life?” Are you familiar with the concept that the work generated by most artists reflect what is going on in their lives?  Today, I am there. The universe has presented me with a magnificent opportunity and blessing, and I am worried about receiving it. 

I thought I, of all people, had completely opened myself to the universe and that I was able to except what ever good that came my way with gratitude, love and an open heart.  I often ask the for guidance on what to write for this column and this time my answer came one night when I was awakened with the word “Receive”.  I thought great, this will be a piece-of-cake, how hard can it be to talk about how good you feel when you acquire a nice gift. I learned at lot from reading and researching the topic of “being open to receiving”. I even discovered some of my own resistance behaviors. Let’s just say I do better at receiving some things than others.

Let us agree that “being open to receive” means to let in intangible things such as: compliments, ideas, advice, new experiences, even love and tangible things or in essence accepting all of the goodness that life has to offer us.

The results of my research amazed me. The ability to receive is, in fact, essential to physical health, psychological balance, and spiritual engagement. The core concepts include:  We crave praise but cannot accept a compliment;  Most of us have never been taught how to receive, but we can learn; and receiving and giving are two sides of the same coin.

What type of giver are you? Here is a way to find out. The secret is this: No matter what happens, keep your heart open. Take a bill from your wallet that’s large enough that you’d be upset if you lost it—maybe $1, maybe $100. Go to a public place and find a spot with sporadic foot traffic. Wait until no one is looking. Place your money on the ground and retreat to a spot nearby, where you can see whoever finds it. The money is your gift to this person.

Observe your own mind as you wait. You will probably find that you are running an inner monologue on subjects like worthiness, appropriateness, justice. You may hope a poor child finds the money, while your heart clenches at the thought of an addict buying drugs with it, or a lawyer sliding it into a designer suit pocket. But no matter who discovers the cash, just watch them pick it up, then silently wish them well. If your giving capacity is out of whack, your receiving capability is likely jammed, too. It is none of your business who finds it, or what they do with it. Because the judgments that constrain your giving are the very traits that are keeping you from receiving. “You don’t deserve that.” “You’d better put it to good use.” “Now you’re obligated.” “You’d better earn it ….”

“For every giver there must be a receiver, and for every receiver there must be a giver.”  There has to be a balance.  Giving and receiving are fundamental aspects of experience, connecting all life together in an interdependent whole.  Just as many of us long to experience moments of pure altruism, where we offer our heart with no strings attached, we also long to receive deeply and freely, fully experiencing what it means to be given to –- touched, nourished, and even transformed by life.

How can we be better “Receivers?”  First, we need to do first to get out of our own way and make a conscious decision to be open to receiving in our own lives. You are at choice, all the time. Deciding to receive and taking steps can create a landslide of abundant flow. Techniques to try, include: Keep giving with love, and allow the cycle to complete itself. Let the Universe, and all within it,  love you back!;  Say “thank you” vs. “oh, you shouldn’t have.” Watch all the ways in your life that you allow yourself to close the receiving door;  Affirm, “I am a receiver, and I allow wealth (whatever concept) to flow into my life”.  Find an affirmation you can stand behind, and one that feels good to you. It could be as simple as “ I am open to receive”, repeated over and over;  Practice loving yourself right into worthiness. You know, we all have some of those issues creep up at times, but keep them in check. Honor yourself and love yourself enough to put yourself first because your self worth is worth it;  Give up the notion of working hard and earning — get your emotions lined up with the joys of “ask and you shall receive”;  Ask for guidance. Prayer and intention are very, very powerful. Consider asking for some specific guidance on how to become a better receiver. You may just get something like a whisper, a thought, an intuition, a synchronicity, that says –- slow down, be patient, forgive yourself, forgive another, let go of control, be true to you… and line up with the beautiful love that you are.

Enjoy!  ……. Donna

View the introduction to The Art of Now Community here

Note: Republished from my Capital City Hues, Art of Life column, March 2015

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Artist, Writer, Graphic Design, Jazz Radio Host here to Inform, Inspire & Ignite you to live the life you really want.

10 thoughts on “The Power of Receiving

  1. Thanks for viewing my site, Ten Thousand Angels Repurpose Drive Life. I am just getting going on here and need all the comments I can get, I LOVE your site…thank you!!! Peggy Mercer


  2. Thanks for this. A good reminder. When I was doing workshops on the power of acknowledgment some years back. I used to do an exercise to help people experience the effect of not receiving an acknowledgment. I would have them pretend that a box of tissues was a compliment and have one person toss the compliment to me with the intention that I would genuinely receive it. As it was tossed I would bat it away vigorously. You should have seen the shock in the person who sent the box my way as well as the effect that it had on the rest of the audience. From a very visceral aspect nearly everyone got how important it was to be open to receiving.


  3. Wow, just reading some of your blog posts…your writing here on this blog is so inspiring!! Seriously, I need more of these things in my life haha 🙂 ❤


  4. As a long time student of A Course In Miracles your point is clear. The Course says that giving and receiving are the same. It seems to me that you are saying the same thing in this post. Blessings for continued clarity.
    Thank you for a positive comment on the recent post on my blog.


  5. As a perpetual giver I know only too well about the imbalance. I never want to stop giving. I just want to continue to include myself. Thanks so much for this great article.


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