In this time of year there is a lot of flurry around buying presents and doing things to prepare for shared time together. It is an interesting thing, having a specific day that we give gifts and make time to spend with family and friends. It is always something I ponder, even as a kid I thought “Why do we not do all of this just because we WANT to and we CARE?” As I have grown up and gotten caught on the hamster wheel of our chaotic society, I am sadden by the harsh reality that if we did not have specific dates set aside, we would not take the time to be together or share gifts.
The other night I was blessed to present to a local Meetup group. I shared one of my favorite processes, “Mirror Work”; a mini-class of what I offer in longer workshops. It was a fabulous evening, with an incredible group of women. They dug into the work with such authentic presence, very awe inspiring. At this point you are asking me, “What does this have to do with Christmas and the sharing of gifts and time together?” A great question!! It has to do with RECEIVING and the Infinite Loop of “Giving and Receiving”, one does not exist without the other.
My life journey has graced me with powerful experiences on both sides of this glorious loop. Humbly bringing me to my very knees at times. Forcing me into awareness of the pure grace in learning how to receive. I love to give, that is the easy part, as many of us know. However, it has been my experience that most people sincerely struggle with receiving. Why is this? What have we been taught that makes this an awkward uncomfortable experience, especially if it is a personal compliment we are receiving?
The other day I went for a glorious walk along the river. I was lost in my own quiet thoughts and dreams, when I passed a gentleman who stopped me to share, “What beautiful hair you have.” Totally caught off guard, I came to a complete stop, looked this man in the eye, smiled and thanked him with true gratitude while reaching out to touch his shoulder. As we walked on in our separate directions, I marveled at how deeply a sincere compliment can touch our hearts and souls. Now here is where the power of the “Mirror Work” comes in, most people will respond to such a compliment with an internal and often external retort that denies the compliment. Here is an example, I tell a woman I meet, “What beautiful eyes you have, they are very bright and expressive.” She says “Thank you”, to me, while internally saying “Does she really mean that, my eyes are not that beautiful, what does she mean by expressive…” It has been my experience over the years as I teach and guide, that people have a very strong internal negative dialogue with themselves. They do not even notice, it has become a habit. Not only is it awkward to receive the compliment, they will often deny or counter it through their own “self talk”. They say things to themselves that they would never say to a friend or family member.
Learning how to receive graciously with an open heart, soul and mind is a powerful experience. It is the half of the Infinite Loop which needs a little work. I am grateful that life has taught me this important lesson, for it has enriched my life in profound ways. I am completely humbled at how often I am gifted to breathe deep in the rich gratitude for all that I get to Receive. It enhances the joy I feel when I Give, bolstering the experience with a keen awareness of the need for a FULL LOOP.
As you go forth into the Holidays, I wish for you an open heart, soul, and mind as you GIVE and RECEIVE. May you take a moment to truly connect during this exchange, for that will lift the experience as nothing else can. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with loving grace as you open to receive and share…