“It’s never crowded in the last mile,” is one of my favorite sayings because it speaks to the importance of tenacity. We admire the individual who never gives up and reaches the finish line. Many of us wish we had more of this trait and did not become discouraged by obstacles or set-backs. We know that to be successful in life, we must be disciplined and persevere.
An equally important, yet little recognized skill, is the act of receiving. When giving your all is not balanced with receiving from others, the inevitable result is to end up exhausted and discouraged, which is not a good frame of mind to be in when you are trying to achieve your goals!
The idea that receiving offers a pathway to the fulfilment of personal and professional goals may not be a concept that has crossed your mind for we have not grown up in a culture that teaches us this valuable skill. We don’t even have a vocabulary for receiving. Has anybody ever heard someone say, “Wow! Look at that person—what a great receiver!”
Even though every giver has a receiver—there is a recipient for every act of giving—the giver is elevated and celebrated in our culture, while the receiver is almost wholly unknown. Most of us are familiar with the maxim, “It is better to give than receive.” Giving is important and should be encouraged. But we can’t be the giver all of the time. Sometimes we are the receiver and how we receive is just as important as how we give.
I believe the lack of understanding about the role of the receiver contributes to the current multitasking epidemic as people try to achieve their aims by piling pile upon task after task. I call it multitasking mayhem.
If you spend one week paying attention to the balance between your giving and receiving, you will be amazed by how often you turn away what people try to give to you. Here are ideas to get you started:
5 Ways to Replenish, Refuel, and Receive
• Accept offers of help. Just like you put gas in the car so it will run and eat food for energy fuel, let people replenish your reserves by giving to you.
• Don’t try to do it all. Ask people to do their fair share at home and at work. Let someone else return the library books, walk the dog, or take care of a work assignment.
• Learn how to say “no.” If you do not honor your boundaries, others won’t either.
• Take time to smell the roses. Take a break and go outside. Breathe deeply, watch the clouds, and listen to the birds.
• Pause, watch, and notice the results of what you set in motion by your activities, and you will learn important information that will help you.
Make a commitment to receive something every day, whether you accept a compliment, welcome an offer of help, or notice something beautiful in your environment. You will not only feel healthier in mind, body and spirit, you will also have a better chance of achieving your personal and professional goals.
I wrote about the importance of developing intuition in my last book, Born to Receive.
I’ve ended up thinking a lot about this topic since I’ve been working on a new book, How to Be Safe: What Every Woman Needs to Know to Thrive in the 21st Century.
In Born to Receive, I shared an event that happened to me when I was robbed at gunpoint by two men in New York City.
Although my intuition told me that I should not let them follow me into my apartment building, I ignored that little voice.
I’ve had conversations with many people since that time who also ignored their intuition and ended up in a dangerous situation.
I will be blogging about my new book in the months ahead. But first, here is an excerpt from Born to Receive:
The Role of Intuition
When you drill down into a feeling, logic helps you connect a situation or person to how you feel. Intuition is different. It’s a feeling that you can’t explain. Intuition is when you get a hunch, a vibe, or a premonition that doesn’t make logical sense. Intuition is often present in those decisions that turn your life in a positive direction such as a hunch to take a certain job, or move to a new area, or contact a particular person.
Intuition is also at work when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you are in the presence of someone who otherwise seems perfectly nice. It’s at work when you walk into a room and feel like you need to get out. But if anybody asked you why, you would be hard-pressed to explain your reason.
Many of us are very good at tending to people’s needs and helping them to feel comfortable. This gift can put us in a difficult position if our intuition tells us that someone is bad news. A lot of us don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Have you ever overridden your natural instinct for survival by doing any of the following?
- Have you stepped into an elevator with a man you didn’t know because you didn’t want to hurt his feelings or make him feel uncomfortable?
- Have you ever stayed in a relationship even though you feared your partner may hurt or even kill you?
- Have you ever remained in a relationship with someone who emotionally, verbally, or physically abused you?
- Have you ever gotten into a car with someone who made you nervous?
Gavin De Becker, a leading expert on violent behavior, listed thirty pre-indicators of violence and murder in his book The Gift of Fear. Here’s number one: The woman has an intuitive feeling that she is at risk.
Your intuition is one of your most valuable gifts. If you practice paying attention to those hunches, vibes, and sixth-sense feelings, you will become skilled at being able to read people and situations accurately. That, in turn, will help you make positive changes in your life.
You Were Born to Receive: 7 Steps to a Life of Energy, Passion, and Purpose
Are you better at giving than receiving? Do you know how to help others get what they want but don’t know what you want? Join me at Esalen in Big Sur, California where I will work with you to help you achieve your goals, reduce stress, and create greater happiness by tapping into your receptive power.
I’ve been researching the benefits of receiving for two decades and am looking forward to leading you through powerful exercises and guiding you through your own personal journey of transformation. Find out more here: Born to Receive: 7 Steps to a Life of Energy, Passion, and Purpose.
A friend told me recently about the miracle that occurred when she stopped being 100% available to her family members. Weeks before, she had complained about their lack of appreciation for all that she did for them.
Stop being so available, I said. Just go about your business. Don’t make a fuss. Don’t announce your intention. Just go on with your day and don’t let their requests and demands interrupt what you are doing – even if you are sitting on the couch reading a magazine. Just because you aren’t doing anything “important,” it doesn’t mean you are available to them.
I have a saying: The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive is someone who doesn’t know how to give.
When you over-give and over-do, you don’t create reciprocal relationships.
This is what my friend told me about what had happened: “First they were surprised, then they were upset, then they were considerate of me and respectful of my time. Now they ask what they can do for me!”
It will feel unnatural to stop being available when you are used to being on autopilot. But that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you get the relationships you want.
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.
I will write more about the link between writing and receptivity in a future blog post. In the meantime, if you are in Arizona or California, join me for my talk and workshop about writing. The first is for the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers on July 30, and the second is for the Fresh Intuition Women’s Book Luncheon talk and writing workshop in Los Gatos, California on September 14.
If you are unable to attend, you can learn more about the benefits of receiving here: The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve and Born to Receive: 7 Powerful Steps Women Can Take Today to Reclaim Their Half of the Universe. You can read reviews and access articles on my website.
I am a fairly introverted person, but venturing out into the world to spread the word about the benefits of receiving opens me up and turns me into a semi-extrovert.
In late May, I gave three book signings in California and also visited with friends including a classmate from grade school (Hi Steve!), from 8th grade (Hi Judy!), a good friend from when I was in my twenties (Hi Stephanie!), friends from Arizona who are back in California (Hi Mary-Rose and Patrick!), and cousins and their family members (Hi Liz, Matt, Lynda, Jennie, Jax, Dana, and Dawn!) and a neighbor of my grandma’s (Hi Doris!)
Here is a photo of cousin Dana, her wife Dawn, and me when I stopped at their place on my way from Mountain View to Carmel.
Here is beautiful Jennie and Jax.
The beautiful thing about talking about receiving, practicing receiving, and opening up to what the world and people have to give, is that you open up a whole universe that you would otherwise miss out on. Here is Carmel beach at sunset.
I spent time in San Francisco seeing friends and giving a talk and book signing at Books Inc.
Marcus and Stephanie Me
Mary-Rose The sounds of San Francisco
Me at Books Inc. Mia, Emory, and me at Luminata Books in Monterey
One more photo of Carmel beach.
And now back to the book I am currently writing about women and safety. I’ll have more about that in future newsletters. In the meantime, you can read about it here : How To Be Safe
If you would like information about my schedule of events, you can learn more here: Amanda Owen’s Events I’ll be in the Chicago area giving a one-day workshop for Infinity Foundation on July 26th, a talk for the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers on July 30, and I’ll be in Los Gatos, California on September 14th giving a talk for the Fresh Intuition Women’s Luncheon which will be followed by a writing workshop.
I am looking forward to bringing you more information about my new book. Until later then … I hope to see some of you when I am back on the road.
Join me in beautiful Sedona where I will be presenting a talk for the Woman Arising Conference. I will be joined by meditation expert and Hay House author Sarah McLean, internationally renowned intuitive Colette Baron-Reid, Rev. Paulettte Pipe, Barbara Litrell: former advertising executive with The New York Times and President and Group Publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother Magazines, and other inspiring women during the weekend of May 9 to 10.
I had a wonderful conversation with Brenda Michaels and Diana Clark this morning on The Women’s Hour, Seattle’s Conscious Talk Radio. Here is the description and link to today’s interview: The Women’s Hour places the feminine focus on women reclaiming their power with the author of Born to Receive as special guest.