During one of the first tantra groups I ever attended, we did an exercise in asking for what you want and being able to receive it. The men sat in one circle and the women in another. One person from each circle would go visit the other circle to ask for something - anything. We could ask for a massage, a listening ear, a cup of tea - anything we wanted. The individuals in the circle decided whether they had that to give and if so, you got to receive what you’d asked for. You could change your mind or ask for something else at any time.
When it was my turn, I timidly and reluctantly went and took my place in the centre of the men’s circle. I was terrified. I slowly looked around at each of the men. I saw nothing but love, eagerness and open hearts looking back at me. I burst into quiet tears, shut my eyes (you know, to appear invisible), and contracted into a tiny ball. It was too much. The teacher saw what was happening and came over. She was soft, loving and gentle. She stroked my head and asked me what was going on. I had no idea what I wanted or needed and more than that, I was terrified to receive anything at all.
Imagine that - a circle full of tender loving men, wanting to give to me and I was curled up in a ball crying my eyes out. Let me tell you, I would be very different these days! More on that another time.
How many times has someone said something nice to you and you’ve blown it off? How many times has someone commented on something you’re wearing and you’ve said, ‘Oh, this old thing?’ or ‘I got it cheap’? How many times has someone offered you something that you really wanted and for whatever reason, you’ve said no? If you’re like most people, you find it easier to give and do for others than you do to receive something for yourself.
Receiving generously requires trust, vulnerability and feeling worthy. It requires allowing yourself to open up and let someone in.
In my work, I see almost always see men who feel much more comfortable giving than receiving. Giving, even when their confidence is low, is still easier than receiving.
In my personal life, over the years, I’ve been a much better giver than receiver. To the point of over giving and bringing myself to my knees with exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. Not cool. Not cool at all. When it recently looked like I was going to need an ankle operation, my daughter told me that she was grateful because it meant she would have the opportunity to look after me for a bit. I was so conflicted. In part that she felt she hadn’t been able to in the past and that now I would actually have to receive.
When we don’t allow ourselves to receive - in whatever way - we are stopping the natural flow of energy. In a world full of givers there is no circulation of energy.
Imagine a world where we can be generous givers AND generous receivers. Imagine how good it would feel to offer someone a kindness, a cup of tea, a compliment, a loving touch and have them say, ’Thank you’ rather than batting your comment or gesture away.
More than seeking to be loved, most people are looking for somewhere to put their love. Somewhere to have their love received. It feels deeply delicious to have someone receive you.
Imagine then how it would feel to be a generous receiver? How would it feel to say, ‘Yes, thank you’ without any caveats or self depreciation? How would it feel to open your heart, mind, body and soul and say YES! to the generosity of the Universe, of your lovers, of the people around you?
Although it might feel vulnerable at first, as you get more and more comfortable with it, it feels utterly amazing! It feels at least as good as being a generous giver. Imagine a world of generous givers and generous receivers. That's a world I want to live in!
So how do you be a generous receiver?
Be aware of your patterns around receiving. What is your default setting?
Make a conscious effort to receive generously, kindly and with love.
Notice when you go to say no to something, could you possibly say yes instead?
Practice opening up and allowing your vulnerability.
Allow help, support, care, love, nurturing into your life.
When someone offers you something you want, say ‘Yes, thank you’ without telling them why you don’t deserve it
Enjoy and appreciate whatever you’re receiving.
Express your gratitude in a healthy way.
Reflect on how it feels to have your love or offerings generously received.
Reflect on how it feels to have your love or offerings rejected or badly received.
All most people want is to have their love or their full self received. By being a generous receiver you are showing love and appreciation for the giver. You are allowing them to feel their worth and value. Paradoxically, you are giving them a meaningful experience of giving.
Want to explore further with me?
I look forward to exploring with you!