By Lisa Templeton, Ph.D.
As we move into the season of giving, we must not only open our generous hearts to others but also take time to mindfully receive. How often do we truly ground into our hearts the receipt of a gift, whether it be a compliment, an expensive item, or a simple smile? Receive the love and care behind the gift into your heart and give it back to the world in kind.
The point of this time of year is truly about reciprocity – giving and receiving, a mutual dependence on each other for both to occur. The entire universe works on a give and take basis. The leaves turn colors and tumble from the trees to become nutrients for the earth; a mother gives her body for her child to receive life and grow.
Consider the idea of reciprocity and how you can connect more deeply with this gift. Through this practice of staying open to giving and receiving, you see how closely tied to each other we really are. Here are 6 tips for mindfully giving and receiving this season:
1) Know that you are worth it - you deserve to receive love and care from others. Consider that your worth never changes, much like a twenty-dollar bill, no matter how it is torn or battered. Regardless of what you have been through, done or not done, you still have worth. When you remember your worth, giving yourself more love and care, it is much easier to receive.
2) Stay aware of the present moment – in each moment, we can be mindful of how it feels in our mind and body when we give and when we receive. Do you feel open or closed off in your body? Also, be consciously aware of your thoughts in this process. Stay mindful with no judgment so you can shift your mindset and be more open to what the universe has to offer.
3) Be generous – as you receive, give back in kind. Pay it forward. Open your heart to others in need and consider offering anything you feel called to provide to another person, be it a smile, a donation, a compliment, or a prayer.
4) Release expectations – it’s easy to fall into expectations about how reciprocity might work. You may not receive from the same person to whom you gave. You may not give to the person from whom you received. Perhaps, you may have a prayer that has not been answered. This can lead to frustration and an unconscious closing off to abundance. Allow yourself to receive whatever comes into your life. Be in the moment and trust that if you are open to receiving, abundance will come in its own timing.
5) Open yourself to abundance through gratitude – as you sit in gratitude, you automatically open yourself to receiving and will likely receive more. Gratitude opens our minds, our hearts, and our neuropathways. Stay grateful for all blessings, big and small. This allows space to receive and let in abundance. If you find it is hard to receive, simply say the words, “thank you” to begin gently opening.
6) Take note of reciprocity – be a part of the mutual dependence of all beings in the world. When you offer a smile, you are more likely to receive a smile; if you give some help, you will more likely receive some help; if you give some love, you will more likely receive some love. Stay open to how this exchange of energy flows and how truly important each of us is in this process.