THE ART OF RECEIVING
Most people I know are great at giving, we receive pleasure from bringing joy to others but receiving gifts or acts of kindness can be a challenge. Society likes givers, doers and givers, quite the popular breeds. Forget yourself, think of others.
Some years back I went to a yoga class. It was a class on being open to receiving. At the end the teacher said: ‘And just so you know, if someone offers to buy you a new car today, just say yes… and thank you.’ Everybody laughed, because we all know those things don’t happen, right? Until they do and then all of a sudden your life starts to look a lot like your vision board. Ponies and all.
My first big lesson in accepting gifts (from people and the universe) came when I decided to leave my marriage. I was terrified, with no family around, no money, no car (in LA mind you), no place to live and no friends that I had known long enough to feel comfortable crashing with for an undetermined amount of time, I was wondering how on earth I was going to take care of myself and my dog. I didn’t want to leave, LA is home now.
A friend wisely suggested that I focus on the larger vision and not to get hung up on the details. The details tend to work out somehow, mostly in ways we couldn’t have ever imagined. A year later I find myself living my dream in so many ways. I certainly miss the man I was married to, I wish I could share my adventures with him, but this past year has been priceless. What I have learned about myself is a gift I wouldn’t have received had I stayed in that relationship. I needed to learn that I am indeed capable of taking care of myself, I needed to learn that I am guided and I can trust that inner vanguard to lead me in the right way.
Right after my separation I started a new job, my boss, one of the kindest people I have ever met, gave me a temporary place to live and many rides to work and back home. I borrowed friend’s cars to go on 4Runner hunts. I crashed with friends, I ate their meals, I let them listen to me, be there for me in whatever way they could, because without them I couldn’t be where I am today, in a – most of time – happy place.
When I did find a car, it was like a scene out of a movie, that’s how I knew it was right. When your life feels like an indie movie it’s a good sign. A friend and I pulled up in front of his house and out comes this cool AF Irish man with a perfect black Great Dane. I knew it was meant to be, we had the best time and immediately became friends. He helped me though the whole process of buying my fist car. A year later we still love each other dearly. I named the car after his dog, Finn.
After my ex-husband and I moved to LA I went through a phase of being really depressed, I was lonely mostly and out of alignment. I started seeing a therapist. My first sentence to him was: ‘ You know how we all have an internal voice? I can’t hear mine. I don’t know where I’m going.’ That voice is back, and it’s strong and confident. It tells me when to say YES and when to back away.
There is still moments in my life when I ask myself? Can I really take this? Can I let you buy me vegan ice cream? Can I truly stay on your couch? Can I accept an offer from a random person on the street? I try to think of the moments when I give without expectations in return, when I give a homeless person 10 bucks cuz their sign says they are vegan, or someone wants a head rub or just a listener to be there. It’s still hard for me to receive at times, it feels so vulnerable, like our society judges us as selfish or simply not ‘selfless’ enough. I am afraid to even share these words out of fear that people might think I take too much. My heart disagrees, it knows I share my abundance and others share theirs. Happiness is a good parameter for how things are working out for you. For every single person who has touched my path, I love you.