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 24, 2012

Show Up to Receive with Grace and Ease

Showing up helps us become skillful receivers, too. To receive what we need or desire, we’ve got to be in the game; we’ve got to show up.  What exactly does that look like?

There are many ways we can show up and put ourselves in a position to receive.  We can literally say “yes” to invitations.   Most of the time, when I think I’m attending an event to help the organizer out, I am the one to be blessed.  To show up could mean responding to email, returning a phone call, volunteering for a project, joining a committee at church, or taking on an officer role in one of the groups to which we belong.  We can show up in a conversation by listening intently, noticing the other person’s body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.  When we eat, we can show up by focusing on the food one bite at a time, noting its appearance, aroma, texture, and flavors. 

Perhaps the most significant way to show up is to stay in the present moment.  This requires an ongoing effort on my part, I’ve found.  When we’re dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, we overlook the gifts of current moment: the beauty of our surroundings; the sounds that fill the air, be they birds singing, waves on the shore, or a favorite song playing; the smile from a stranger; or a door held open.  Showing up is what receiving with grace and ease is all about.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How Well Do You Receive Change?

Much is written and taught about handling change today.  Since receiving always involves a change, learning to embrace change will enhance our ability to receive.

How does receiving always mean change?  When we receive something, we now have something we didn’t have before, be it a tangible gift, an idea, an understanding of someone’s view (a compliment would fall here), or a greater sense of well being.  Resisting change also means resisting receiving whatever would come along with the change: a new boss, a different job, an end to a relationship, and so forth.  And as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, a loss (which is change we usually don’t like) always incorporates a gain, if we allow it.

 Here’s an exercise to solidify this idea for you: next time something changes for you, identify what is available to be received, if you permitted it.  For instance, when a favorite restaurant closes, we’re motivated to try new out venues that we may end up liking even more.  If a road is closed, we have to drive a new way, perhaps discovering a business we didn’t know existed.  The kids move out, and we have a room available for who knows what!  When my beloved dog died, I learned how compassionate my vet’s entire staff was, I got closer to Roger’s two dogs, and I started researching breeds that are unknown to me for when I’m ready for a new dog.

Receiving change without resistance is a great step to learning to receive with grace and ease.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Side Dish of Fear

Several years ago I was blessed to have a private coaching session with David Friedman, author of The Thought Exchange.  I told him that I thought the fact that I often felt fear meant that I lacked faith.  He assured me that this was not so.  David explained that after years of working as a composer on Broadway he had concluded that every good thing comes with a side dish of fear.  He told me, “It’s as if the Universe says to us, ‘Okay, here’s that dream you’ve always wanted, and don’t forget your side dish of fear!’”

David went on to say that all the stars he encountered on Broadway have some level of fear.  It’s inevitable, a natural part of the manifestation process, and in no way an indication that we’re weak or lack faith.  He said, as you can imagine, that we can’t let the fear stop us from moving into our dreams.  David told me that when he feels frightened, he reminds himself, “Oh yes, it’s just my side dish of fear!”

I love this analogy because the picture I get in my mind always makes me smile, which makes me less fearful.  I remember that I am a woman of faith.  I consider that the fear is only a side dish, not the entrĂ©e.  (Food analogies make me so happy!)  Let us keep fear in its place so that we can receive what we need and desire with grace and ease.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Balancing Losses with Gains

As I’ve mentioned before, giving and receiving go hand-in-hand; when we give, we receive and when we receive, we give.  They are inherently balanced.  What is equally true I’ve found is that losses are balanced by gains.  The trick is to recognize this so that we are able to receive what the universe is offering.

When we lose something, such as a job or a relationship, the loss can be devastating, dominating our thoughts and emotions.  These then become so distracting and consuming that we’re unable to see the good that also came with the loss.  As I wrote last month, we need to realize we have something before we truly possess it.  I found that my mother’s death brought my relationship with my father to a new, deeper level, allowing us to talk about things we never would have previously.  In my HR career, I repeatedly observed people losing jobs only to move into something more fulfilling and sometimes even more lucrative.  I personally experienced this both times when I was laid off two times in two years.

It’s said that the universe abhors a void, so it makes sense that a loss has a corresponding gain built in.  Take a moment to mull this over and see if you find your own truth in it.  If you’re in the midst of a loss right now, expect the good to come, and you’ll be learning to receive with grace and ease.