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December 13, 2017

The Problem with “It is Better to Give than to Receive.”

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” ~  William Blake

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It’s the holiday season, and many of us are focused on buying presents and giving back to the community.

But without joyful receivers, it would be pointless. By practicing the art of receiving, we open the flow of abundance into our lives—and have more to give.

We know the old saying: “it is better to give than to receive.” We have bought into it hook, line, and sinker. Don’t get me wrong—of course it’s wonderful to be a giver. Community and connection are built on those who selflessly serve and support others.

But I think receiving has gotten a bad rap. And as the holiday season approaches, it’s not only important to give; we need to learn to be good receivers, too.

Receiving is an art, and it’s essential for our growth and transformation. Yet most of us are uncomfortable with it. We believe we’re not worthy. We think we have to do something to earn it, and worry about what will be expected of us.

You already are giving!

Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you are receiving a gift—whether in a box wrapped in colorful paper, a thoughtful gesture from a woman at the grocery store, or a windfall deposited in your bank account—is that you have already given to the universe?

Recognize all that you do in the world: for your family, friends, clients, co-workers, neighbors, and even strangers. The kindness you showed a stray dog when it was wandering on your street, or when you picked up a piece of trash at the park. The time you spent, patiently listening to a friend, when they poured their heart out to you. You are a giver extraordinaire, and it’s time that you allow yourself to receive. You’re already worthy, and there’s nothing you have to do to earn it.

We just need to learn to receive.

Your job is to let it in.

To manifest what we want in our lives, we can work to become amazing receivers. The universe wants to give everything to us, and our job is to open up and let it all in.

It’s an art to receive fully. We amplify the power of what we are given when we receive with gratitude and appreciation. Acknowledge what every moment offers: the sunshine and rain, the air we breathe, having a firm surface to walk on (imagine if you had to live on gaseous Jupiter!), the peace and quiet of the early morning hours. There’s an abundance all around us, and when we are receptive, we’ll see how much is flowing in.

Receiving is a gift.

Think about when you offer someone a present. When they receive it enthusiastically, with gratitude and appreciation—maybe even with a big hug—doesn’t it make you want to give them more? Doesn’t it feel wonderful to have your gift loved and valued? We bless those who give to us by receiving their offerings well. Receiving is a gift to the giver when we receive with pleasure and gratitude.

This is true on for the universe too. Receptivity creates magnetism. The more we’re willing to receive, the more we appreciate what is given—and the more capacity we have for receiving, the more we’re given to. It’s a law of the universe. If we create the receptive space, the universe fills it.

No expectations—only receptivity.

One key to increasing our receptivity—the capacity to receive—and our enjoyment of the holidays: let go of expectations. When we’re open to whatever gifts the universe has for us, magic happens.

Recently, my daughter had her 13th birthday party. She invited a lot of new friends who didn’t know her well, and she worried that she would end up with a bunch of gifts she didn’t like. When she opened the presents, she was astonished: every single one delighted her. “Mom, I think I was happy with all my gifts because I didn’t have any expectations!” She discovered one of the magical keys to receiving.

A simple exercise to amplify your receptivity.

You can amplify your ability and capacity to receive with joy right now with a simple exercise:

>> Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart.
>> Reach your arms out wide, in a gesture of openness to the universe. Smile from your heart. Breathe deeply.
>> Let yourself receive what this simple moment offers, joyfully—the aliveness in your body, the deep breaths, the strength in your legs. You have a lot to celebrate that you can receive, right now. Drink in how good that feels.
>> Slowly, gather that energy as you bring your hands out in front of you; then, bring your hands into your chest, cupping the heart. Imagine receiving with deep appreciation.
>> Next, extend your arms forward and offer your hands out in front of you. Give from your heart to the universe. Repeat the process over again, as many times as you like.
>> Practice often, indoors and out, at different times of day; notice what you’re receiving, and how you’re increasing your capacity to receive as well as to give, the more you practice.
>> Give thanks. A friend of mine shared how she expresses gratitude: “Thank you, universe! More, please!” Open yourself to the continuous flow of abundance.

After the exercise, notice how much energy you have. When you’re fulfilled, don’t you feel like you have more to give? That’s the universal flow: deeply receiving, generously giving.

As we embark upon the holidays and our traditional gift-giving, remember the other half of this universal flow of abundance. Open to receiving fully, and we’ll deeply experience the magic of the season.

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Author: Connie L. Habash
Image: Al Parker ad
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis

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