Many of us are great at giving and not so good at receiving. Here I am talking about anything, whether it is receiving a gift, a compliment, help etc. Example: Someone comes over with flowers and you say: “This is really kind but you didn’t have too.” Someone says you have a great sweater on and you respond “Oh, it’s old and I got it really cheap”. And when it comes to help, many of us feel too embarrassed to even ask for help so block for receiving any at all! Somehow it is easy for us to feel guilty for being given something. Maybe it is because we don’t feel worthy of receiving? Perhaps it is because we feel we are not enough…

If this sounds true to you how about turning this around now. First of all, re-mind yourself it is okay to receive. Secondly, become aware of what you normally say when something kind is being offered to you. Some time ago I recognised this not-okay-receiving pattern in myself. I would hear a little voice in my head saying “I don’t deserve this, I can’t accept”. Ever since becoming conscious of these automatic internal comments I have been doing my best to turn it around and instead receive with joy.

So, how about accepting without holding back when you are given a present. Saying thank you with confidence and freedom when you are told something kind. Accepting help whenever it is offered to you and not hesitating asking for help when you need it. People love helping others, it makes them happy! Accepting receiving is a way of giving to the person giving.

In a yoga and mindfulness context you can let the breath be a teacher for receiving in a natural and effortless way. Try this out: Sit or lie down, eyes closed, and follow the breath coming in, going out. Notice how, after every breath out, there is a new breath coming in. You are receiving a new breath in and it just happens! Become aware of how natural this is. If you want to, let this be an opening for receiving with ease in daily life as well.

The Japanese writer Ken Honda suggests to change the expression “Give & Take” to “Receive & Share”. I think that is genius. How about living in a natural and continuous loop of receiving and sharing. Everyone helping each other out and everything working together as one.

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.