In this season of giving, don't forget to receive!
With so much focus on giving this time of year, we sometimes lose sight of something equally important – receiving. Most women I know have the giving part down. We give of ourselves so much that we sometimes find ourselves exhausted, depleted and even resentful of those we’re giving to. What we need is to balance all our giving with receiving. In order to receive, we have to be open to it. Unfortunately, many of us have blocks and barriers that keep us from being able to receive the gifts in our lives. To me, gifts are any form of abundance, big or small. When we aren’t open to receive, we block more abundance from coming to us. Let me give you some common examples of ways that we block receiving in our lives. We reject offers of help. I see women do this over and over again! We hear that offer, “What can I do to help?”, and instead of accepting the help, we say, “No, I’ve got it.” I’m guilty of this myself, but I’ve gotten better over the years. My husband has done the dishes almost every night for more than ten years. This act of help makes me feel loved and appreciated. If I didn’t accept his offer to help, I wouldn’t be able to receive that love. (Thank you, Honey!) We can’t take a compliment. How many times do you just say, “thank you” when someone gives you a compliment? Most women I know block these! We criticize ourselves, give someone else the credit, or otherwise deflect and dodge the compliment. This is a form of rejecting abundance in our lives. What would it feel like to just be open to accepting compliments? Try it! We don’t allow others to pay for things. Have you ever had a friend offer to buy you coffee, lunch, or a drink? Did you accept their generosity or argue over the bill? This is another way in which we can be open to receive. I’m not suggesting you never offer to pay -- no one likes a mooch! But it feels good to balance your offers with accepting the offers of others. We feel guilty about what we’ve been given. Oh boy, this is a big one. What is with women and guilt? If someone gives you something and you accept the gift but then feel guilty about it, that is a form of rejection too. You’re worthy of whatever comes to you! Accept it graciously. We reject the moment we’re in. We fill our lives with busyness, and we’re so attached to our schedules, our hectic pace and our distractions that we don’t allow time for being – for relaxing into the present where we can feel the love and connection that we crave. One of the biggest gifts in my life this fall came as a surprise to me. My son started middle school, and his school starts an hour later than my daughter’s school. He didn’t want to ride the bus at the beginning of the year, but I didn’t want to drive back and forth twice, taking him and my daughter to school. We agreed that he’d have to ride with me to take my daughter, which meant that we had an hour to kill before his school. At first, I resented this time, thinking it was ridiculous for me to spend that time driving my kids to school. But as I let go of my resistance, an amazing thing happened. We both started enjoying our time together. We read, talked, listened to music, did homework, studied and connected. On Fridays, we had a breakfast date at a local coffee shop, which we both looked forward to. The time with him in the morning became something I cherished, and now neither one of us wants to give it up. I had to let go of my resistance and relax into the present moment for this to happen, or I wouldn’t have received this precious gift. We close ourselves emotionally from receiving love. This is one of the biggest ways we block receiving. Ask yourself, “Am I open to receive love in my relationship?” One of the most important shifts in my marriage came after asking myself this question and realizing that I had closed myself off in certain ways. It’s very common for women to become closed after they feel a disappointment. Once you realize you’ve put up some walls, you can consciously take them down again. When you accept the gifts in your life, don't forget to appreciate them as gifts. Take the time to focus and feel grateful for the abundance in your life. The more you do this, the more abundance you will find. I hope your holiday celebrations are filled with the blessings of both giving and receiving. I look forward to reconnecting in the New Year! Love and light, Mendy