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5 Thoughts on how to 'receive' gracefully

Updated on July 3, 2015

When it comes to our life on this Earth, the one thing that we are always encouraged to do is to give, give, give! Be it at the shops or for charity or simply told when we were little people that we should break our crayons in half to give to other kids when they come to play.

The underlying message that we are given is to always give when we can. I’d like to turn that theory on its head and focus on something that we are less able to do. In fact it is less discussed and not much focus is ever placed on this- but how about we place ourselves in a position to receive instead?

Here I am not talking about being a sponge –like receptacle and simply drinking in what others have to give. But what about being able to be still and just being able to offer up a simple prayer of thanks for what somebody has to give to you.

1. Accept that compliment


“That is a lovely dress you have on.”

“You look amazing.”

“Congratulations on the promotion.”

Chances are in reading this, you painted the mental picture of squirming uncomfortably, face going a shade of beet red as you received this praise. Think again to a time where you may have been called out on something that you did wrong and how you willingly stepped forward and took responsibility for being wrong and apologized. We are so quick to acknowledge the bad in our lives, how about for a change we sat up and basked in the good?

2. Don’t self-deprecate: Say ‘Thank You’


Equally on the whole compliment and praise front, besides us getting uncomfortable, to heap onto our pile of issues we decide to take the mickey out of ourselves. ‘Oh that dress, you know it is so old, I got it at the garage sale last year.’ We have become so uncomfortable with the idea that somebody might want to appreciate something about us that we end up trying to deflect attention from ourselves. What if just for once we stop to just say a gracious thank you and accept the praise?

3. Stop feeling restless and transactional: Accept with grace


We might feel like compliments have to be a two way street, that for every compliment that we receive, we need to give one in return. Understand that no matter how mercenary this world may seem or how much we imagine that people are in it only for something there may honestly just be an instance where somebody needs to get in touch with you. Human relationships are less about transactions, adding up and minus-ing and more about the warmth of an experience and the reality of a smile. Stay within the moment, appreciate who and what is in the here and now and simply be. Life should not be that stressful.

4. Affirm that you are deserving


Know that no matter what you are going through in life, you are still deserving of the warmth and love of a human experience. We are all flesh and blood, teeth and bone, living breathing entities that need care and cultivation. In running from one business meeting to the next and having to pretend that we are not human, it is easy to lose sight of the all-important reality that everybody is deserving of love, happiness and the richness of the human experience. Accept this and receive it.

Take a look at these beautiful and inspiring affirmations that will keep you feeling on top of your emotional game.

Louise Hay 101 power thoughts

5. Pay it forward


Perhaps the most important thing about the ability to receive is to understand the idea that the process works in full circle. If you receive, give- if you give, don’t run yourself ragged, knowing that you too have the power to receive. Have the courage and the empathy to look around you, for someone who might need a kind word, a step up, a hand to work on something, some way in which you specifically are able to provide nurturing and close the gap. Reach out. You will be glad when you do.

Discover the Three Keys of Gratitude to Unlock Your Happiest Life!: Jane Ransom at TEDxChennai

Receiving in itself can be something that we work on as a life-long challenge. It is easy to give, give and give until we bleed ourselves dry of not just physical but emotional and spiritual resources. Understand that there comes a time, where one must simply just take a deep breath, go very quiet and still and then totally inhabit the spirit of a place. Yes it is time to belong completely to the here and now and when bounty is offered to you freely, do not lose a chance to slow down and accept with grace.


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