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, October 24, 2010

Remembering What I Knew Has Just Paid Off

Two weeks ago I wrote about how I was using the practice of remembering what I know to manifest a new job opportunity. Three different times in my life I experienced receiving a wonderful new job without any great effort on my part. I’ve been taking time daily to recall each of these situations in detail and re-experiencing the feelings of joy and excitement I had. This week I began a new job is that is truly ideal! Let me tell you more about this process because it’s so much fun and really effective.

Very often when we need something badly we become anxious and worried about it. These negative feelings come from negative thoughts that it won’t come and imaginings about what will happen to us as a result. We use our imaginations in the worst possible way: rather than seeing only the highest and best for ourselves, we see only the worst case scenarios happening.

To avoid this process, when remembering what we know we recall times in our lives when things did work out, when we got exactly what we desired or more. We’ve all had these experiences, so the first step is to take the time to recall them. If you’ve fallen into the negative thinking habit, it may take a while to excavate them from your memory bank. Find a quiet time and place to allow yourself to go back in time mentally. You can divide your life into categories such as family, professional, health and so forth. It might suit you better to examine blocks of time, such as childhood, high school, college, single years, and the like. As the experiences come back to mind, write them down. Remember who you were at the time, what you did beforehand and how you felt, exactly how your desire manifested, and what your response was. Really feel the feelings again. It should feel fabulous!

My job experiences took place during college, in the early 1990s, and about ten years ago. In each case I took an easy, natural step. I recall that I had no specific expectations in mind and the results were bigger than I had imagined in even general terms. This is what exactly happened recently. Two weeks ago I mentioned to my current boss that I was looking for additional work. She mentioned that another leader in our organization occasionally needed part time help, if I was interested. I said I was, and the leader called me last week, just a few days after my conversation with my boss. The position was part time, allowing me to continue marketing my current book and write my new one. It paid well, used the knowledge I had, and promised to enable me to learn much more. I went for an interview three days later and starting work just three days after that!

This process worked so well that I’m committed to seeing how I can use it again to take my next step. Give it a try, and let me know how you make out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Letting Go of the Good for the Greater

This phrase, letting go of the good for the greater, was a teaching I received early on in my experience of New Thought. It was a stretch in the beginning getting comfortable with wanting, asking for, and expecting more, when what I had was already good. Even once we get accept the idea that it’s okay to ask for more since the supply is unlimited, it still can be hard to let go of the good.

We like the good; that’s why we consider it good. On some level, it works for us. We know it and we’re comfortable with it, so why would we let it go? Well, it may be that something even better has just presented itself to us. It may have just been newly created, like the latest Blackberry, or something we just learned about that has been around a long time. It could be that our sense of self has expanded so much that now we can imagine having something better that we couldn’t dream of having before, such as a higher level job or a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood.

It’s easier to let go of the good when the greater is right there waiting, such as accepting the new job that’s been offered. It’s a lot harder to let go of the good based just on the faith that the greater will appear. Often, though, that’s the way it works when we want to receive. In March, I let go of the Jazzercise class that I taught three times a week and loved so that I could move into new opportunities to promote my current book and write the next one. The greater is still in the process of manifesting, as you may have guessed from my last post.

The picture of this process that I get is one of having my hands full. If I’m literally holding so much stuff that I could not possibly hold anything else, I’ll have to put something down. I’m reminded of that wonderful song from Sesame Street, when Ernie asked Mr. Hoots to help him learn to play the saxophone.

I've learned a thing or two
From years of playing in a band
It's hard to play a saxophone
With something in your hand
To be a fine musician
You're gonna have to face the facts

Though you're blessed with flying fingers
When you wanna wail, you're stuck
What good are flying fingers
If they're wrapped around a duck?
Change the toy's position
If you wanna ace the sax!

You gotta put down the duckie
Put down the duckie
Put down the duckie
Yeah, you gotta leave the duck alone
You gotta put down the duckie
Put down the duckie
Put down the duckie
If you wanna play the saxophone!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Remember What You Know

If you asked my daughters what phrase or expression I’m known for, it would be “Remember what you know!” I used to tell them this as they headed out the door to school on days they a big test scheduled. As a student of math, I used to practice this technique frequently. When I saw a problem I didn’t immediately know the answer to, I would ask myself, what do you know that could help you reason out an answer to this? It was a very effective technique and I discovered this question was helpful in all kinds of situations. Almost always I had some experience or knowledge that I could apply to handle a current challenge, when I remembered what I knew.

Not surprisingly, this admonishment is applicable when seeking to receive. What do you know about your past experiences receiving that you could use now? I recently came upon a wonderful Biblical story in 2 Maccabees where Maccabeus remembered what he knew and encouraged his troops to do the same. Scripture states, “He exhorted his troops not to fear the attack of the Gentiles, but to keep in mind the former times when help had come to them from heaven, and so to look for the victory that the Almighty would give them. Encouraging them from the law and the prophets, and reminding them also of the struggles they had won, he made them the more eager” (2 Maccabees 15: 8-9). As you can imagine, Maccabeus and his troops were victorious.

In this story, Maccabeus reminded them of the teachings they grew up with (the law and the prophets) and of the help they had received previously. What they knew entailed both book learning or studies and lessons from practical experience. Currently I’m using this same technique in my daily meditation. I am seeking additional income and am open to taking on another job as a means. There were three times in my life when wonderful jobs came to me almost effortlessly. These jobs entailed enjoyable work in my field and paid a wage far better than I’d ever received before. Remembering these experiences helps me to maintain my expectation that I can and will receive something similar again. I affirm that the right and perfect opportunity is on its way right now as I remember what I know.

Remember what you know. As a creation of the Divine, you are worthy to receive. God is waiting to bless you again, as God has many times before. Embrace these truths, remember what you know, and receive all the blessings that are waiting for you.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stand Up and Receive Your Applause

It’s not always easy to recognize someone who has trouble receiving, but sometimes it’s obvious. A sure sign is when in a group setting certain people are asked to stand up and be recognized for something they did – complete a project, volunteer for an event, even have a birthday. Rather than just stand there and be recognized, they applaud the other people who are standing. This gets me crazy. Do they really think the other people aren’t getting enough applause, that somehow the recognition will be incomplete without theirs? Is it that they’re just an extremely thoughtful person? Maybe, but I think it’s actually that they’d rather be giving than receiving.

Think about what’s happening here. Where is the person’s attention? If they’re applauding, it’s most likely to be on the other people standing. If we don’t notice what we’re being given, we really haven’t received it. Now we’re back to the giver (those seated applauding the others) not having their gift be received. The other outcome is that other people standing see these applauding standers and they begin to feel uncomfortable – so they start applauding. I’ve seen occurrences in church where everyone is applauding: all those seated and everyone standing. It’s as if no one is being recognized.

Of course, if only one person is being recognized, they really can’t start applauding. If they did, they’d be congratulating themselves – heaven forbid! In those cases, the people who are most uncomfortable receiving don’t stand. In fact, they slump lower in their seat and look down, hoping the attention will cease. It’s painful to watch.

I challenge you to be aware of this tendency. Next time you’re called out and recognized for something, please just stand up, smile, and soak it in! Do this, if it’s just you or if it’s entire group being congratulated. If you need some help with this, join Toastmasters. One of my favorite things about this organization is that they are forever applauding someone. It’s almost always an individual, so people quickly get used to being applauded. They either have to get over their discomfort or resign themselves to feeling it frequently.

There is so much criticism in the world today. Let’s do our parts to reverse this by graciously, gratefully, and completely receiving everything we’re offered, including applause.