“While the Giver archetype is celebrated in our culture, the Receiver is almost wholly unknown. The result? Busyness is a virtue.”
― Amanda Owen
Of course I can, you say. You’ll tell me you give all the time without ever expecting anything in return.
Yes, you can give without expecting anything in return. That’s the best way to give, but what will you have to give if you never receive anything?
Think of it like this. A car can take you wherever you want to go, but it can’t give you the gift of transportation forever if it never takes in fuel. At some point it will run out of gas. And so will you if you never receive what you need.
Like the quote above says, the result of not being a receiver and only a giver is busyness. And you know what busyness leads to? Burnout. You run out of fuel.
The Law of Circulation states that all is flow. Think of breathing. When you breathe you are using an example of the Law of Circulation. There is an intake and release. You are receiving oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide. It’s a system. In order for it to work both things need to happen. And if they don’t, you stop working.
So when you give all the time without receiving you cut yourself off from the flow, you begin to burnout and if you continue, your body will balk and just plain stop through sickness or even death.
That may seem harsh, but it’s true. We are not made to only give. We are made to receive as well. And it’s imperative to our overall well-being as well as to living our dreams.
So how do you get into the receiving habit?
Let Go of the Guilt
First and foremost you need to stop thinking of receiving as a bad thing. Our culture has put giving on such a high pedestal that we’ve forgotten its part of a system. You’ve heard the saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.” This has become so deeply ingrained in us that when someone tries to give us something we feel the need to either refuse it or turn right around and give something back. The thing is we are giving back when we receive graciously. Think about how good it feels when someone’s eyes light up with gratitude for your gift. Be the person that gives light with your gratitude.
How do you let go of the guilt? Reframe how you see receiving. Tell yourself that by receiving you’re giving your gratitude. Know that by receiving you’ll be refueled and able to give more of yourself to the world.
Stop reading and pick up something or use your phone. Pass it back and forth between your hands. Receive it as you give it. It seems simple, but it will help you understand the Law of Circulation. It will help you understand that both giving and receiving are a part of one process. This idea came from a story about the Buddha. He he told a rich man to do this so he could learn how to give.
Another practice is to let someone wash your hands. I did this in a workshop once. It was easy to be the one washing, but harder to let someone do the washing. Take turns. At some point it will be hard to tell who is giving and who is receiving no matter who is doing the washing. It’s a powerful exercise.
And try this. The next time someone gives you a compliment, stop yourself from shaking your head no or rejecting it. Take a deep breath and say thank you. That’s it. Just say thank you.
Do the same thing when someone offers to help you. Stop. Breathe. Accept.
Practice: Stop. Breathe. Accept. Say it as a mantra so you don’t forget.
No more resisting the gifts being given to you. You deserve to receive. It’s your birthright. It’s a necessary function of your body, your being, the Universe.
When you receive you are open to receive more. You are open to give more. You are open to the abundance of the Universe and in the flow. The Law of Circulation begins working for you. Life becomes joyful and from there you will have the energy to manifest your dreams.
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Photos used under Creative Commons from franzi ヅ, Mateus Lunardi Dutra, odonata98, SAM DA PLANT, permanently scatterbrained, Avenue G, h.koppdelaney, drivethrucafe, A. Pagliaricci ♦, Infomastern