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 28, 2012

The Gift of Perfect Timing

As a woman of faith, I may not know how to handle every situation, but I do always have a Source of guidance and opportunity.  Recently I’ve experienced people behaving in ways that weren’t what I was expecting.  These friends made choices that seemed out of character for them and didn’t make me feel good.  Thankfully I’ve reached a place in my own development that enabled me to avoid reacting.  Instead, I privately acknowledged my feelings, consulted my Source of guidance, and decided to hold off taking any action. 

This week, as I was moving through my usual routines and activities, I was given the opportunity to connect with each of these individuals.  By opportunity I don’t mean we just happened to be at the same event - I mean I would turn the corner and run smack into them!  In each instance my friend reached out to me.  Maybe after two and a half years of weekly writing about receiving, I’m finally getting it; maybe it was my guardian angel nudging me.  Whatever the cause, I didn’t miss the moment.  I accepted their warm acknowledgement and the fence mending began.

Receiving comes in many forms and often in unexpected ways.  To enhance your ability to be more receptive, take quiet time every day, not just for reflection, but to sit in the silence.  Give your Source a few minutes to be heard.  The outcome may astound you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Lessons from Space

I’m still thinking about our trip to the Kennedy Space Center.  One thing that touched me was the comments made by many of the astronauts stating that their space experience changed their perception of life and our world.  Being able to view the earth from space was profoundly moving for them.  They were struck with a sense of peace, unity, and awe.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if every inhabitant of the earth were able to have that view?  Would competition and strife be as rampant, I wonder?

While I was fairly familiar with the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions, I’m embarrassed to tell you that much of the detail about the International Space Station was unknown to me.  In just a few days, on November 2, the ISS will have its 12th anniversary of continuous human occupation.  In that time, there have been 125 launches to the ISS and the space station has been visited by 204 individuals.  According to NASA, “the ISS has been the most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken.”  The ISS was created and is maintained through the cooperative efforts of United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada.  To further elaborate, the European nations involved include Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, among others.  I am incredibly encouraged by the ongoing collaboration, cooperation and achievement demonstrated by these nations.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ubiquitous scarcity and limitation thinking and resulting conflict that confront us daily.  If we look, however, we can find examples that contradict these perspectives.  Next time you need a reminder that we really all are one and there is plenty for all, just look up to the skies and whisper a blessing to the inhabitants of the ISS.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nothing Is Impossible

Do you have a dream or goal that feels too difficult or complex to achieve?  Last week I visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  I discovered that I had no idea what complexity really meant!

Did you know that there were two million systems on an Apollo spacecraft? Two million!  How is it possible that mere mortals were able to design and operate so many systems at one time?  While I remember many of the launches (yes, I was very young!), I had no appreciation for how many spacecraft went up within months of each other.  I now understand that NASA had to be constructing several rockets at a time, adjusting the designs in process, as scientists learned from each flight.  In an interview of one of the astronauts who had walked on the moon, he stated emphatically that we should consider nothing as impossible.   Seeing the spacecraft up close and learning about how the various components worked, I have to agree.  It boggles my mind!

I was also very impressed with the intense training that went on and continues for all the space missions.  Did you know that there is a full-sized model of the International Space Station submerged under water that is used for training purposes?  How foolish we have been to take the accomplishments of all those involved in the space program for granted.  Just as surgeons caution that there is no routine operation, I now appreciate that there is no routine space mission. 

 Even if you can’t get to Florida, check the KSC out online, especially if you’re holding a big dream.  If we walked on the moon in 1969, it’s pretty likely that your dream is possible, don’t you think?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Default Thoughts

I've heard it said that most of us think the same thoughts over and over again.  The problem is that often these are negative thoughts or memories that serve no constructive purpose.  If this sounds familiar to you, here’s an exercise to try.  Just as your computer has default settings, create for yourself default thoughts that you can turn to as needed.

Construct a two-column chart, listing in the left column the thoughts or memories you find yourself returning to that you’d like to let go of.  If it’s a negative thought, identify the unpleasant memory behind it and write that down.  For instance, “I’m such a klutz!” could be a recurring thought you have based on the time you tripped walking into a crowded room.  So your list will be comprised of things you or someone else did that continue to make you feel bad.  Next to each item, in the right column write down a specific example of something the individual did that was kind or positive.  You might list “walked across the stage at graduation with my head held high” across from the tripping incident.  The right column will be your default thoughts.  Anytime you find yourself drifting back to an unpleasant memory, immediately substitute your default thought.

In reality, there are far more positive incidents than negative, although it’s the nasty memories that seem to linger.  For instance, perhaps someone you’re close to did something uncharacteristically unkind.  For some reason you find yourself mulling the incident over, replaying it as if eventually it will turn out differently.  Because this is someone you care about, there are likely to be many wonderful things this person has done for you.  Chose one that you’re especially grateful for as your default thought.  Anytime you find yourself drifting back to the unpleasant memory, immediately substitute your default thought.  Any feelings of hurt or resentment will be replaced with gratitude and love.  Not only will you feel better, you’ll put yourself in a position to receive even more good.