Awareness of the Sacred Art of Receiving
One day when I first opened the doors of BodiScience, I had the honor of meeting a lovely lady named Margie. Margie was a woman who was before her time when it came to understanding the dynamic value of self-care, the principles of respecting yourself and teaching others how to respect you. She was the leader of a community of women that would one day have an enormous impact on my business.
Margie would come in for her treatments, and when some of those treatments were in an open area, we would “get to talking”. She would not hesitate to jump into another’s conversation and actually, I would welcome it, as often she would say what I have said for years, but without holding back and being brutally honest, and kissed with kindness!
A part of Margie’s way of stepping through life as a strong woman was to guide other woman to be strong along with her. Margie would observe that many woman had a hard time with receiving a compliment. Many of us have heard these responses, and maybe out of our own mouths. “Oh I have had this for years” or “This is old thing”, “oh this?” you get the idea – Margie would say “Just say THANK YOU! Say thank you and be done, no explanation, no side story, no sad story and certainly no putting yourself down. Just say Thank You.” She would say, “Learn how to receive a compliment will ya?”
I mention this story because it is important. It has great relevance when it comes to the word RECEIVING. As women, we may not think about receiving because we are so busy giving. I have seen moments where woman are giving to others that do not want what they are giving, because they are not taking care of themselves first. We can draw an analogy with nutrition and how we absorb our nutrients. We cannot force feed ourselves, we need to have a unique balance of essential elements present in order for our body to receive the nutrients.
Think of ourselves as a vessel, a pitcher or a bucket. As we step through life it is our job to fill that vessel, no one else’s, “us”. When we do not take care of ourselves the vessel starts to get holes. So as we step through life all the good that others try to fil us up with, goes right through us, anything goes through us – even a compliment.
There is an “art” to receiving in Ayurveda. It is an intricate dance of giving and receiving.
An extreme example of the consequences of not receiving a gift is described in the Puranas, the sacred mythology texts of India. Durvasa, a particularly irascible sage, finds a garland that he recognizes as the material embodiment of auspiciousness itself. But when he offers it to Indra, the king of the gods, Indra takes the garland carelessly and flings it over the head of his elephant. Durvasa is so insulted by Indra’s inability to receive the offering that he declares that henceforth, good fortune will depart from Indra’s worlds. And, voilá, Indra’s worlds turn dim and gray. Things come out all right in the end, of course, but not without some superhuman effort on the part of gods and titans.
Durvasa isn’t just being touchy: His reaction points to a truth about the way the cosmos works. When we aren’t able to receive a genuine and heartfelt gift, we subtly upset the balance of the cosmos. One of the core Vedic understandings is that life is based on exchange, the dynamic interaction of giving and receiving. In the Bhagavad Gita (a classic yogic text), the interdependence between human beings, the natural world, and the invisible world of spirit is captured in the image of the cosmic sacrifice. In the sacrifice, the earth receives the gift of rain, and crops begin to grow. Moisture evaporates from the earth and is received by the atmosphere. Similarly, as humans, we receive gifts of food, shelter,
knowledge, and all sorts of other forms of support from the earth, from our parents and ancestors, from the accumulated wisdom and technology of our culture, and from our fellow humans. We carry these gifts in our genes, and they themselves carry unspoken obligations—most often through all the ways we “pay it forward,” helping others materially or energetically by sharing our own gifts, skills, and support.
When we enter into BodiScience, there are sacred gift we are able to share. Allowing your body to rest and receive is the greatest gift we can allow ourselves to receive. Many times we are too tense, filled with angst, having a sense of guilt being here, not feeling worthy of receiving or not ready for someone to touch us. The art of receiving is an intimate moment of trust. We teach our team that many souls walk through our doors and each one has a different capability of allowing themselves to receive. It is a beautiful dance of give and take and some may take away enormous value of the gift and others are not in that place to invite or allow it to happen.
Just for today, take a moment to invite and allow yourself to receive the gift around you. It is often a magical surprise it we let it be.
Wishing you a magical day!