When you think about the gift of receiving what arises for you?
Does the thought of openly accepting something from another fill you with dread or bliss?
The idea might sound good, but in reality the act itself can conjure up all sorts of emotions, physical sensations and mental torture.
Why is it so hard for many women to allow themselves the gift of another’s generosity?
What exactly is behind the façade of “I can do it all on my own’ or ‘ I don’t need any help’??
Every week I teach Restorative Yoga classes specifically for women at a yoga studio in my local community.
When a woman enters the yoga space, I let her know from that point on and for the duration of the practise that there is nothing she needs to do.
She can drop the mask, let go of the labels and relinquish the roles and responsibilities she plays out in the world until it’s time to go.
I gently remind her that there’s nowhere to go, no one to be, all there is the gift of simply resting back into herself.
My aspiration is to create a sacred and safe space so that she may slowly peel back the layers and reveal her beautiful authentic feminine self that’s there just beneath the surface.
During the session it is my desire to tend to my students in such a loving, unique and individual way that they leave the practise feeling deeply nurtured, nourished, held and supported.
I encourage them throughout the sequence to ‘let go’, ‘surrender’, ‘soften’ and ‘receive’.
These suggestions can be effortless for some, and yet for others in the class, they can bring up all sorts of feelings.
Resistance, fear, discomfort, stagnant emotion - all arises and I invite the students to welcome all that is being witnessed… without the constant need to judge, label or change it in any way.
I offer the insight to just ‘let it unfold’…
Throughout the class I work my way devotedly around each woman, adding extra blankets for warmth and comfort, eye pillows to inspire sensory withdrawal, and some gentle adjustments and loving touch, all in my hope to help her connect deeply to herself and give her the most luscious experience ever.
I talk a lot throughout the class about giving yourself full permission to receive, and I have definitely noticed that this is honestly the thing that my students seem to struggle with the most.
Whether it is to get extra props or put another blanket on; receive the support from the actual props themselves or from Mother Earth, or let the kindness of my words wash over them, from what I have observed, it seems like a HUGE effort for them to fully receive without the need to be in some way giving back as well…
This observation sparked a deeper enquiry within myself, and had me reflecting on my own experience when it comes to receiving...
Why is it so hard to receive gifts from another without the bombardment of inner dialogue that often goes hand in hand with this generous gesture?
What is it within us that truly finds it so hard to receive?
Is it years of conditioning, or generations of martyrdom?
Maybe it’s something deeper?
What I discovered was that yes, there are still times when I struggle and resist receiving from another. There is a little left of the women who wants you to think she's handling it all on her own.
When I looked really deep though, I could see that my insight actually pointed in another direction entirely.
I realised that my inability to receive from another without feeling like I had to give back in some way too, or that maybe I was somehow a burden to them stemmed from years of feeling 'unworthy' within myself.
Unable to give back to myself meant that I was also unable to truly and authentically receive without feeling some kind of guilt.
Happily this old pattern is just that, a part of a past Star who rarely shows up anymore.
I have definitely begun to master the art of receiving and saying 'yes' when some loving support is offered.
More importantly, I make it a daily practise and ritual to give back to myself, even if it is just in small ways....for I know now that I am worthy and deserving of this loving gift.
During my yoga classes when I see a woman finally surrender and let me look after her and give with no expectations of return, then some kind of divine magic happens…
For when we allow ourselves to be held by another, we open up space for deep alchemical healing to unfold...and the possibility of a new kind of relationship with ourselves.
So…the next time someone offers you this gift you might like to try the following if you feel a little challenged:
+ Express your gratitude – kindly accept the offering and say thank you from deep in your heart.
+ Surrender into the ‘feeling’ of receiving.
Notice what you feel in your body, emotions and mind-space - even when it’s uncomfortable. What arises when you let yourself receive?
+ Be present with your experience.
It’s all too easy to get distracted and find yourself somewhere else but in the moment(especially if you find it hard), so instead stay with all that arises from the experience of being held.
+ Know deep within that you are worthy, deserving and ‘good’ enough to receive – from another, yourself and from the abundant Universe.
+ Remember how it felt to allow yourself to receive from another....align with this feeling more and more.
I know from my experience how much joy I feel when I can hold space for another and offer richly from my heart.
Surely I’m not the only one who enjoys and feels amazing when I can give so freely of myself without any attachment to what I might get out of it?
Maybe this is something we can remember if we have a moment of resistance to being on the receiving end…
If we remind ourselves of the unconditional delight it brings us when we give, then maybe, just maybe…we will let go a little easier and let ourselves sink into the loving hands of another…
I don’t know…what do you think??
I LOVE to give, yet it did take some time and a long journey for me to feel truly comfortable with whole-heartedly receiving without feeling like there was some kind of tally.
Do you ever feel this way?
In what parts of your life is receiving effortless, and where are you challenged? I’d love to know your thoughts so be sure to share in the comments below.
May you receive with an open heart all that life has to offer you!