The Art of Receiving in a Season of Giving

I just finished reading the January feature article with Oprah and Dr. Oz. and read with interest Oprah’s response to Dr. Oz when she said, “For years I’ve been writing in this magazine, what I know for sure is that I need more balance. I’m not going to keep saying it until I can create it.”

Dr. Oz replied, “Very fair. If you can figure it out, it should be one of our 28 days to better health because that’s one thing I have no idea how to fix.”

I think a lot of people are mystified about how to achieve balance in the midst of the multitasking mayhem that is such a feature of modern life. I am convinced that this imbalance occurs because people don’t know how to receive.

When you think about it, how can you create a balanced life when you believe activity is the only way to achieve your goals and to get things done?

During the holidays, you may have more on your plate than usual. Embracing receptivity will give you breathing room. “How do I do that?” you may ask. (Isn’t it interesting that even though every Giver has a Receiver, we are familiar with the benefits of giving and unknowledgeable about the benefits of receiving? That’s 50% of the give/receive equation!)

In this season of giving and receiving, it’s more important than ever bring these two into balance. Here is a formula you can adopt to get you started.

Want. Ask. Receive.

1. Want: Be receptive to your inner life, to your feelings. There is nothing wrong with wanting something for yourself, whether it’s a moment of quiet, an extra hour of sleep, or appreciation from those to whom you give.

2. Ask: Once you know what you want, you must ask for it. People are not mind-readers! Sometimes the answer will be no. But many times the answer will be yes. The point of asking is not to control the outcome. The point is to get used to including you and your desires in your relationships.

3. Receive: Express your appreciation when people give something to you, whether it is a compliment, a gift, or encouragement. Gratitude is one of the ways you give back to the person who has given to you.

During this holiday season, give generously and receive graciously. Be helpful to others but let them be there for you too. Not only will you feel better and have more energy, you will create more reciprocity in your relationships and balance in your life. And that is a great way to start the New Year.

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