How many times have you rushed through your day ignoring the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures that surround you? With so much going on these days, pausing to reflect, assess, and receive may seem impossible. Yet, when you are sense-absorbed, your busy mind retreats; your worries are a million miles away. Think about it. Isn’t it true that your mind is calm when, for example, you watch a beautiful sunset, smell baking bread, or listen to birds singing? In this video, I show you a couple of receptive exercises I use almost every day. If you want to learn more ways to open up and receive through your senses, I write about them in my book Born to Receive.
Halloween is the coming attractions preview of the holidays. Those little witches, ghosts, and goblins will soon morph into angels, elves, and reindeer, and the candy you gave in October will give way to more expensive gift-giving in December.
While the old proverb tells us it is better to give than receive, countless people bemoan the absence of grateful receivers. Thank you letters seem to be a relic of the past and expressions of gratitude are often drowned out in a sea of complaints about what is wrong with the world.
When you get back nothing or little in response to what you give, it’s natural to feel mystified or even resentful. Interestingly, our culture spends a lot of time on the value of giving, while little attention is paid to receiving. Yet, for every giver there is a receiver. And when something is not received well—whether it is candy, a gift, or a compliment—we notice!
With a little time left before the holiday season arrives, it’s not too late to strengthen your ability to receive and help your children brush up on their receiving skills. Here are three simple steps that will help you receive as well as you give:
1. Notice what people do for you and thank them
Don’t think for a second that a lack of acknowledgment or a refusal to receive is not noticed by the person who gave! When we don’t receive graciously, we thwart an opportunity for connection and prevent a mutually satisfying transaction from occurring.
The simple expression of gratitude is one of the ways that we give back to the giver. It feels good for our giving to be received and it makes us want to give again! Here are a few ideas to help you practice saying thank you:
• Thank the grocery clerk for putting the food in the bag.
• Thank the bank teller for saying, “Have a nice day.”
• Thank the driver who waves at you to go first at the stop sign.
• Thank the waiter for bringing you coffee.
• Thank your cat for using the litter box.
• Thank your coworker for saying, “Have a great weekend.”
• Thank your houseplants for their beauty.
2. Accept compliments
When people pay you a compliment, do you downplay what they are saying about you? Or do you thank them? If someone wants to do something for you, do you say something like, “Oh, you don’t need to do that! I can handle it myself!”
Many people are uncomfortable accepting compliments and then wonder why people aren’t kinder or don’t help them out more. Receiving something as simple as a compliment is a huge statement about your willingness to receive the good things in life.
Even if you are uncomfortable accepting a compliment, kind words, or a gift, note that feeling and receive it. But still say, “Thank you.” Here are a few ways to graciously respond to a compliment:
• It’s so nice of you to notice!
• I really appreciate that!
• How sweet of you to say that!
• It’s great to hear such encouraging words!
• How lovely of you to acknowledge that!
• You made my day!
3. Start a gratitude journal
To be grateful is to be receptive to life’s abundance. Gratitude is a state of mind, a way of seeing life, of noticing and relating to life. There are those who have an overall attitude of gratitude. Conversely, some people are rarely grateful—even when people bend over backward to give to them.
Appreciation and gratitude come from inside a person as a way of looking at life, as a way of being in life. It is completely independent of external circumstances. Start a journal where you can record every day at least five things for which you feel grateful. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
• I am grateful for my morning coffee.
• I am grateful for the beautiful tree in my front yard.
• I am grateful that my husband received a job promotion.
• I am grateful for the recommendation my friend gave me for a massage therapist.
• I am grateful that my sister is content in her life.
• I am grateful for my home.
• I am grateful that I have been feeling better
Someone once said, “Life is a marathon.” Through all of life’s peaks and valleys, there are people who help make the journey a little brighter and a lot more fun.
When you express your appreciation, when you respond graciously to compliments, offers of help, gifts (and candy!) you not only strengthen your relationship bonds, you create a life where people want to give to you as much as you give to them. You create a two-way street, giving sometimes and receiving at other times.
This holiday season, receive from the people who give to you. Listen to what they say, notice what they do, and most of all, respond with a sincere ‘thank you!’
When you enter receptive states and receive what people and the world have to give, you open up pathways you couldn’t see before, stimulate your imagination in ways that could not happen before, and have energy that was not previously available to you.
Years ago, I would never have dreamed that I would have two books about receiving out in the world. But once I strengthened my receive-muscles and balanced my activities with receptive states, I not only became healthier in mind, body, and spirit, I achieved the thing I wanted most — to become an author of two books about receiving: The Power of Receiving and Born to Receive.
Most of us are focused on trying to advance our goals solely by doing things, through our activities because this is what we have been taught.
In the two decades I have been studying and researching the benefits of receiving, I have found that 50% of all progress is found in the realms of receptive states, which includes relaxation. It seems counterintuitive because it doesn’t seem like you are really doing anything to advance your goals. Even so, when you get your foot off the metaphorical accelerator and look around, you discover a whole world teeming with data, information, insights, assistance, and inspiration.
In both of my books, I give plenty of examples of people just like you who began to receive as much as they gave, and experienced the miracles that occurred when their giving was balanced with receiving and their activities were balanced with receptive states. (I call them receptivities.)
Now I am working on a new book and have new goals. Since I want to succeed, I spend as much time in receptive states as active states.
I encourage you to become familiar with what receptivity offers. Once you experience the benefits, you will never go back to a life that hinges solely on your activities. In fact, you will wonder why you ever thought that was a good idea or helpful to you.
I’ll finish up here with a quote from my first book:
“When receiving is balanced with giving, you are not only healthier in mind, body, and spirit—you give yourself the key that unlocks the door to your goals, hopes and dreams.”
THE TOP TEN FEATURES OF SKILLED RECEIVERS
1. A receiver knows how to accept a compliment graciously and is genuinely pleased to receive it.
2. A receiver regularly expresses gratitude.
3. A receiver’s attention is on the present rather than dwelling on the past or fretting about the future.
4. A receiver is a good listener.
5. A receiver is observant.
6. A receiver defines a good person as a whole person rather than as someone who consistently places other people’s needs above her own.
7. A receiver does not enable people.
8. A receiver knows when to cease activity.
9. A receiver utilizes data in her environment to help her make decisions.
10. A receiver doesn’t complain.
I have learned a lot about receiving over the last couple of years as the primary caregiver for my mother who passed away last January. (See my post here for more about that.
I’ve learned a lot about giving, too. As anyone who has been a caregiver knows, there is a fine line between emptying one’s energy reserves and knowing when or how to fill them back up. I’ve found it’s a delicate balance walking that edge without going over and depleting myself. I can’t say I succeeded every day, but I approached my caregiving with my two-decade knowledge of receiving and that helped me immeasurably.
I’ve taken some time to reorient myself back into a full-time schedule and I am happy to report that I have three events on my calendar.
The first is in September in Arizona where I am giving a keynote for the Strong Families Arizona Home Visiting conference which is sponsored by the Arizona Department of Health Services. I will be talking about how to prevent burnout when you are in a caregiving role. This particular conference is for home healthcare professionals.
My second event is in Philadelphia in October for the Walnut Club, an organization that serves professional women in the Philadelphia area. The format for this event is an interview. Marla McDermott, the Club’s president will interview me about the topic of receiving, my work over the decades, and I will discuss my two books about receiving. This is a networking event at the Ritz Carlton with food, wine, and stimulating group discussion about receiving and how leaning to receive helps women both in their work life and personal life. Learn more about it here: Walnut Club
The third event is a new Receive and Manifest course. It’s been three years since I offered my five-week tele-course and I am really looking forward to working with a small group of people to help them manifest their goals. I will be doing this as a video conferencing call for the first time. The course starts on October 23rd and runs for five Mondays. You can learn more about it here: Receive Course
You can learn more about these events on my website at Amanda Owen Website If you have a group that would like to schedule a course or workshop, let me know. I am also available for private coaching.
Thanks everybody for your good wishes and support. Stay tuned for more workshops, articles, etc. as I get back into the swing of things, of my life.
I am back. Some of you know that I took time off to take care of my mom when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. She passed away peacefully on January 27. I have adopted her pets Tinkerbell (dog) and Stella (cat) and am eager to get back to a full-time schedule.
But today, I just want to say hello and post this picture to remind you that receiving leads to achieving. Don’t burn yourself out by overdoing and overcommitting.
Instead, speak up and ask for help when you could use it. If you balance all that you give with encouraging energy, people, and ideas to move toward you, to join you—you will accomplish your goals, you will move mountains, you will change the world.
Receive and Manifest Tele-Course
Begins Saturday, October 1, 2016
10:00 am to 12:00 PM
The course dates are October 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th
We all have areas of life that we wish were more abundant, whether we’d like more money, more love, more support, more discipline, or simply more satisfaction or joy.
Perhaps you have wanted to lose weight, have more energy, feel more appreciated, generate more revenue in your business or even fall in love.
For the past 20 years I have been studying and perfecting the art of receiving with hundreds of clients around the world. Through my workshops and classwork, I have witnessed clients transform their lives and experience phenomenal results. In short: I teach people how to not just manifest, but to actively receive what they desire the most.
Books like the The Secret and The Law of Attraction have helped people learn about about the concept of manifestation. But those books have missed a key component. They do not explain how you can prepare yourself to be open and ready to receive what you are asking for in order to attain it.
Notice I say attain and not attract. You can attract your goal right to your front door, but if you are not ready or able to open that door to receive it, the goal will pass you by.
Those who are not able to receive are attracted those who are unable to give.
The basic premise is this: You are only able to attract what you are energetically able to receive.
Otherwise it’s like you have a gate that only swings one way and all that you give doesn’t bring anything back to you because the gate doesn’t open toward you – only away from you.
If you are ready to remove the barriers that prevent you from receiving, join me for my October Receive and Manifest Course. I will personally work with you to guide you through a step-by-step process that will open up your life to the miracles of receiving so that you can achieve your goals and create the life you want and deserve.
This course is for you if you:
•Have a goal that you can’t seem to attain no matter how much you try or how hard you work.
•Feel you give, give, and give with all of your energy going out and little or nothing coming back.
•Are not even sure what would make you feel joyful.
•Feel guilty and selfish for wanting to be happy or have your needs met.
•Are ready to make a significant change in your life.
•Are tired of having the same old complaints about situations that never change.
•Could use a support group to help you stay on course, but would like some individual attention as well.
After working with me, you will…
•Learn tools and techniques you can always rely on to help you “flex your receiving muscles.”
•Learn how to create a partnership with your goal.
•Work successfully with one specific goal during the course. (see testimonials here)
•Go from a state of feeling stuck to a state of clarity and confidence.
•Go from feeling overwhelmed to confident; from a state of lack to a state of abundance.
•Learn exercises you can always use that produce extraordinary life-changing results.
•Feel empowered after the course ends to take your future goals from inception to completion.
This Receive course is the only one I am giving this year. Ten spots are available. Details here: RECEIVE
I was featured in an article for Fast Company written by Laura Vanderkam. You can read it here: How To Graciously Accept Compliments.
Those of you who have read my books The Power of Receiving and Born to Receive know that accepting compliments is a powerful way to signal that you are ready to manifest your most cherished dreams, desires, and goals.
Accepting compliments is one of three cornerstones that together provide an unshakable foundation for a successful Receive Practice.
Consider this: How will you get what you want in life if you can’t receive something as simple as a compliment? Opening up to the good that comes your way is a powerful statement about who you are. It broadcasts loudly and clearly that you are ready to receive. Once that happens, life cooperates and more and more people naturally want to give to you, support you, and help you.
In How To Graciously Accept A Compliment I talk about the ways we commonly deflect compliments, the reasons we shouldn’t, and how we can respond graciously when someone says something nice to us.
Once you have your accepting-a-compliment skills nailed, move on to “Be Spiritually Naked” and “Count Your Blessings” and then watch the miracles in your life unfold.
Do you feel vulnerable to cultural pressures that tell you to do more, try harder, and keep going when all you want is a nap and a snack?
Multitasking has become such an entrenched feature of modern living that many people think it is natural to be constantly busy. Our society is filled with stress junkies who are mentally frazzled, emotionally fragile, and physically depleted.
What does this have to do with the topic of writing? Creativity thrives in a receptive environment. That’s why people attend writing retreats, write behind closed doors, or seek out other environments that are free from distractions.
Whether you want to connect with your muse, an agent, a publisher, or an audience, learning how to receive as much as you give will help you. The reason for this is that giving and receiving are a natural team. If you invest in only the giving side of this equation, you will end up feeling drained and uninspired.
Energy goes out when you give, help out, and do. Energy comes in when you receive, take in, absorb, listen, or observe to name only a few receptive states.
Here is a simple way to think about this: Activity = energy out. Receptivity = energy in.
If you don’t know how to receive, you don’t get what every writer needs: those who can help you.
Your Best Friends
- Creativity: Your relationship with your muse (inspiration, imagination, ideas, etc.)
- Craft: Your relationship with your teachers (educators, other writers, articles, books, etc.)
- Connections: Your relationship with the people who will bring what you have written to readers (agents, publishers, bloggers, other writers, etc.)
Every relationship is a two-way street. How you give to and receive from the ambassadors of these three important areas will help to determine your success as a writer.