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, March 25, 2012

Resisting Resistance

As a writer, I love quotations. I heard one recently that has stayed with me: When we resist what is happening, we take on the role of God without having the awareness of God. This will always cause pain and suffering.

The idea of resistance causing pain is not new, but the notion that we play God when we resist (a role I’m not up for, are you?) may be. If you’re like me, you have specific ideas of what you’d like to receive. It may be the ideal job, a loving partner, or a new car. So when we don’t get these things, when in fact we get the opposite, isn’t it easy to resist what’s happened? I find the reminder that I don’t have the awareness of God to be gentle, yet effective in allowing me to trust that there is a better way in the works. It may take some time to appear, longer than I’d like, but riding it out has proven to be the easiest approach in the long run.

So when clients cancel, the car breaks down, it rains when I planned a hike, or much worse happens, I’m making it a point to remember that my view of the situation is pretty limited. Instead, I look for what’s being offered in place of what I desired, and in so doing, I’m learning to receive with grace and ease.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Is It Hard for You to Receive?

This week I’ve had two conversations with people about how hard it is to receive. Does this sound like you? Surely we can’t do it all alone. There’s too much to do and too much to know to accomplish all we need to without help. Even if we have the financial means to pay someone to do something for us (so we’re exchanging, not receiving), often we rely on someone to give us a referral to the expert we need.

Have you noticed that the longer you live, the more you realize that you cannot do it by yourself? Does that mean it gets easier to receive help when we’re sick or unemployed or to accept encouragement when we’re discouraged? Not always, according to the people I talk to. As we gain experience, many of us think we should be better equipped to take care of ourselves. We reason that others, particularly those less experienced than we, should be coming to us for assistance. Perhaps we received help when were young, and now we feel it’s time to give back. Often I’ve observed that people feel better about themselves when they’re giving rather than receiving. For some, giving is an outright ego trip while for others, it provides a needed boost to their diminished self esteem.

When you find life difficult, I urge you to reflect on whether you are able to receive in that moment. In our abundant universe, expect that your needs will be met. Open yourself up to what is right before you and be willing to receive it. Remember, your doing so will usually afford the giver a shot of self esteem, and it might be just what they need.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Get Ready to Receive

“Man must prepare for the thing he has asked for, when there isn’t the slightest sign of it in sight.” Florence Scovel Shinn

In 1925, teacher and metaphysician Florence Scovel Shinn advised her clients to get ready to receive whenever they needed or desired something. For instance, she had them buy a wallet when they needed money. This advice has stayed with me over the years, and it paid off in a big way for me recently.

My husband and I recently bought a home together and decided to lease the house we’d been living in, one that I owned before I knew him. When we first put the house up for lease, we were flooded with interest, but had nowhere to go. We took the house off the market until we found our new home, only to find potential lessees had dwindled when we put my home back up for lease just several weeks later. We moved forward and closed on our new home without a tenant for the first property.

The weekend after our move, we went to our old house to do the final cleaning. As we were working, I kept “calling in” our tenants. I told them I was blessing our home and preparing it just for them. I imagined that whoever these people were they would be as happy in the home as I had been. As my husband and I were finishing, our realtor pulled up. She had scheduled a showing, thinking we wouldn’t be there. We concluded just in time, and those folks ended up loving our home and signing the lease just four days later, exactly when we had hoped to have it leased!

I am convinced that Shinn is right: we must be ready to receive in order to do so. Have you done all you can to prepare for your deepest desire?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A New Take on a Lenten Practice

It’s Lent, the 40-day period before Easter. It began this year on February 22 and will end with Easter Sunday on April 8. Historically many Christians adopt special practices during Lent, particularly around fasting. When I was young, we were encouraged to “give something up” as a way of sacrificing, similar to Jesus’ sacrifice (well, not exactly since it was hardly comparable, but you get the idea). Chocolate, dessert, and other treats were commonly selected from which to abstain, and for years I followed suit.

In more recent years, my spiritual communities have suggested to members that we give up habits and behaviors that do not serve us, such as complaining, feeling guilty, or blaming others. If you’ve never tried it, I encourage you to. Eliminating any of these will enhance your ability to receive. This year, I’ve committed to being aware of my tendency to want just enough (which is the result of holding a fear that I won’t have enough of whatever I need). This Lent I affirm that I have plenty, plenty, plenty – of time, energy, money, clients, new ideas, opportunities to serve and be blessed, and so forth.

What would it serve to give up this Lent? Is there a fear-based habit that prevents you from receiving all the good that’s available to you? Give up chocolate, if you must, and also give some thought to going a bit deeper for an even greater result.