This blog is intended to create a dialogue about learning to receive with grace and ease.

So much has been written about the importance of giving that we forget that in order to give,

someone has to be receiving.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How Aware Are You?

When I talk to people about their ability to receive, the issues seem to fall into two major categories. Most common is a discomfort with receiving. We’ve looked a bit at this already; people are more comfortable giving than receiving, for the most part. The other major category of issues is around people’s inability to receive. They seem to want to receive, but the things they seek just don’t come. For some reason, they don’t receive whatever it is they’d like to.

I’ve written before about receiving coming in many forms. Sometimes the thing we seek comes in such an unexpected way that we miss it altogether. Does this seem unlikely to you? If so, take a moment and view this video on selective attention.

The point here is to be aware. In Worth Waiting For: Sane Sex for Singles, I tell the story of how I met my husband. I had been doing a lot of visualization before I met Roger and had some particular ideas in mind about him. One was not that he would be ten years older than I am, though! As a result, I almost missed him. Stay alert today! Don’t miss all the good that is yours to have.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How Full is Your Box?

If you’ve ever read The Prayer of Jabez, you’re familiar with the fable about the man who goes to heaven and discovers a warehouse filled with boxes of unclaimed blessings. Author Bruce Wilkinson says that the blessings could have been given while the man was alive if only he’d asked for them. I would agree with that and take it one step further. I say that there are more blessings available for us if we are willing and able to receive them.

I think there must be more to it than just asking, because I know lots of people who ask and don’t receive, myself included. Jesus said, “If you have faith when you pray, you will be given whatever you ask for” (Matthew 21:22 CEV). This would explain what happens with some folks: they don’t really believe they’ll get it, so they don’t. It’s not as harsh as it sounds. Asking without believing is really half-hearted asking, and when is any half-hearted attempt truly successful?

I’ve heard it said that if you can’t imagine it, you can’t have it. Is failure to believe all about a lack of faith in God? Perhaps, but not always. I can think of many people who do believe God is good and quite capable, but who can’t imagine that much good coming to them. My mother was that way. She lived the last ten years of her life in increasing physical pain, and eventually I don’t think she could imagine her life without it. What explains her failure to heal? Did she ask for healing but was unable to imagine it, or did she stop asking altogether because being pain free was beyond her imagination? I’ll never know in this lifetime, because she passed away at just 74.

So we have to ask and we have to believe that the answer will be “yes.” Is that all there is to it? I don’t think so, at least that’s the premise of my book. While both of these steps are necessary, they may not be sufficient. We have to ask and believe and then be open to receiving the blessing, however and whenever it comes. As I’ve pointed out before, there are times when the answer is right in front of us, but we’re looking for something else and miss it. Next time I’ll tell you the story of the gorilla in the basketball game to illustrate my point. Until then, ask (and make it big- it’s okay, the Universe is unlimited), believe, and then be open. Let’s start emptying the box and begin receiving right now!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reframing Your Story

One of the ways we can block of the flow of good into our lives, inhibiting our receiving, is to fall into a victim mode. My New Thought teachers frequently advise being mindful of this, as it is a common trap for people. In the Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield refers to this victim mindset as the “poor me” control drama. He says that people fail to realize where their energy comes from and unconsciously use one of four control dramas, attempting to steal energy from others. Being a victim is one of these methods.

Often you can spot people using a poor me approach when they tell the same sad story about their lives repeatedly. Typically, experiences or “forces” outside of themselves are to blame for their woes. Immediately after the even has occurred, it’s understandable that one might feel victimized. However, when the story takes on a life of its own, and even increases its emotional hold on someone, the victim mentality has set in.

I caught myself hanging on to my own poor me story earlier this year. It was January and I was with a group of friends who hadn’t seen each other for several weeks. We took turns catching each other up and summarizing how 2009 had gone for us. Repeatedly, people spoke of how hard the year had been, not just financially, but also physically and emotionally. Listening to tale after tale made me aware of the story I’d fashioned for myself about one week in May 2009. In the same week last May, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, my mother-in-law died, my husband lost his job, and a very close friend learned she had cancer. It was a week to forget, not remember!

As I thought about my retelling the story of this week, I realized that I needed to reframe it, to disarm it and put the power for creating my life story back where it belonged – with God and me. (Both Unity and Religious Science teach that we co-create our lives with God and we are never victims of chance.) Upon reflection, I found it easier than I expected to reframe the events. My father’s diagnosis was a blessing really. I already knew he had a serious memory problem. The diagnosis now meant his doctors also knew this and he began receiving top notch care from the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix. The firm diagnosis also made it easier for him to qualify for a VA pension, which enabled him to move into an assisted living facility.

My mother-in-law’s passing was also blessing. At 92, the quality of her life was extremely poor, having suffered from dementia for over ten years and being bedridden from a stroke for almost 18 months. Roger’s job loss was not unexpected. He was able to retire and enjoy himself after years of balancing work and care for his ailing mother. It also enabled him to help me assist my father, whose need for care was increasing.

My friend’s cancer was the hardest to reframe. Being an RN, she faithfully followed her treatment plan, which included receiving both radiation and chemotherapy, and she supplemented the program with excellent nutrition and prayer support. By the time she had the tumor removed, it tested at stage zero cancer – the cancer had been complete eradicated! Still, her treatment was extremely taxing on her and her recovery from the surgery is ongoing. She’s had to learn to ask for and accept help, not an easy thing for a caregiver, and her family has really stepped up, especially her husband. Her marriage is stronger than it’s been in years, and she’s learned a great deal about cancer, giving her even greater insight and compassion as a nurse. I think if she had a choice, she’d take the improved relationship and other blessings over not having cancer.

To increase the flow of good in your life, be aware of the stories you tell. Make sure they empower you and put you in the position to receive even more.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Receiving Comes in Many Forms

One of my favorite prosperity teachers is the Rev. Edwene Gaines. She has made a 100% commitment to the transformation of the abundance consciousness of the world. One of the questions she likes to ask people is this: Would you be willing to consider the possibility that God has ways of blessing you that you don’t already know about? Isn’t that a great question? So often when I think about receiving I get stuck on how I think it will show up. But God, being infinite, has an infinite number of ways to bring my good to me.

I recently heard a great example of a seemingly unthinkable way someone was blessed. A major hotel in Phoenix had booked a wedding for a local couple. After the date was confirmed, a large group approached the hotel about booking an event the same weekend. To hold accommodate the group, the entire hotel would be needed. The revenue from this group would far exceed that of the wedding, so the hotel arranged to move the wedding to the beautiful Wrigley Mansion, completely at the hotel’s expense. Can you imagine having your entire wedding paid for and held at the Wrigley Mansion? Do you think this was a possibility the couple ever considered?

To be a skillful receiver, it’s important to remember that we can receive in an infinite number of ways. It’s fine to visualize something good, but be sure to be open to something different and even better. Let’s receive with grace and ease every good thing the Universe has for us.