We are divine enough to ask, and we are important enough to receive.
— Wayne Dyer
My grandmother, a proper German frau, was one of the most giving and generous people in my life. Especially when it came to her family. Sunday lunch at her house was characterised by a heavily laden table, and she made sure everyone, especially the children, ate enough to keep them going for the coming week.
Even in the business, started by my grandfather when they emigrated to South Africa with their two small preschool aged boys, she gave generously. Her roles included receptionist, bookkeeper, customer service, cleaning lady and tea lady, while also ensuring that she prepared fresh food for breakfast and lunch for both her and my grandfather. When they arrived home at night, she found time to tend her vegetable patch and cook an evening meal from scratch. Every single day.
Even into old age, my grandmother was someone we could turn to with any problem — from financial difficulties to emotional or parenting ones. She was always generous with her time, her resources and her heart.
The one thing she wasn’t so good with, though, was allowing herself to receive the same generosity from others. We couldn’t give her a Christmas present or take her out for a meal, or even help with the washing up after the Sunday lunch she prepared without her putting up resistance.
We all know people who, like my deceased grandmother, are generous to a fault.
And perhaps you’re one of them too.
Generosity is definitely a worthy characteristic to cultivate, but so is its partner, the ability to receive.
For many of us, receiving with an open heart, gleefully and joyously, only makes us feel guilty or embarrassed or undeserving. None of those emotions are conducive to warm-hearted receiving — instead, they act like doors that we shut every time the universe wants to gift us in some way. And then we wonder why our dreams are not manifesting when we’re working so hard at making them come true.
So the trick is learning to receive without these underlying emotions, openly and genuinely, so that the Universe can continue to gift us — with abundance, joy, health, dreams coming true and unexpected surprises.
Here are the things that I do every day to increase my ability to receive without reservation.
I can’t emphasise this enough. I make myself feel the gratitude, and until I feel it bubbling up from deep inside of me, I keep at it, searching for gifts that I can choose to receive if I bother to notice them until I find something that makes me feel undeniably, unquenchably grateful. Then I mindfully hold on to that feeling throughout the day.
I know that it’s all good and well to talk about noticing how many gifts there are to receive every day, but then there are those days….
Just yesterday, I woke up feeling mildly irritated, but after an hour with the kids and the dog and the rainy, soggy weather, I felt well and truly pissed off. I realised that I often get to this point — days of insane gratitude followed by a few days of irritability, impatience at things not moving at my preferred speed, and finding fault with everything and everyone around me. (Menstrual cycle, anyone?)
What this translates to is days and days of cultivating the ability to receive, and then undoing all that hard work when things don’t feel quite so hunky-dory. That’s no way to manifest!
Here’s what I do:
I acknowledge the fact that I’m a human being, with a wide range of emotions to experience, and it’s ok to do so.
I work with small internal changes and adjustments throughout the day to avoid slipping into anger, despair or hopelessness. I continue to seek out the gifts of the day, I continue to be actively grateful and I do all the things listed above, but I accept that on these days, the experience of gratitude is a bit less intense than on other days. And that is just fine too.
Try the techniques I described above for a few days and see if they help you become a better receiver of the wonderful gifts the universe has for all of us, every day. And if this feels selfish, then remember that once your cup is full you can give much, much more to those around you.
Here’s a recap of the techniques:
Originally published at angienoll.com on March 13, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com