How Can We Be Better Receivers?

There are many reasons why we don't fully receive gifts, favors, and compliments—ranging from feelings of guilt or insecurity ("I don't deserve it") to a sense of entitlement ("I have it coming to me, so what's the big deal?"), a fear that we don't have the wherewithal to reciprocate, or a sneaking suspicion that the gift has hidden strings. Even when we're truly in need, our ego will often resist the discomfort of fully receiving.

One of our biggest problems with receiving has to do with what I like to call the holes in our bucket. If you try to hold water in a container with a hole in it, the water will leak out. In the same way, when we feel chronically needy or deprived, or when we don't take care of what we already have, it can be hard to hold on to or feel happy about the new gifts we are being given. We may want desperately to feel heard, acknowledged, honored, or be offered a helping hand, but the affirmations and help that come our way may never feel like it’s enough or the right kind.

First and Foremost, Begin with Cultivating Presence.

So, what can we do to become better receivers? There are a few core practices that can help us fully receive, take in, and assimilate whatever gifts our loved ones—and the universe—are offering.

When you're feeling rushed, distracted, or preoccupied, you are much less capable of fully receiving these precious gifts that you’ve been asking for. So when someone offers you something—a kind word, a present, a favor—begin by noticing your state of mind. If you're feeling distracted, resistant, or disconnected from them, try a quick, simple yogic practice that can help you bring your energies into the present moment. First, take a deep breath and notice where it lands in your body. Then feel the sensations of the breath meeting your inner body.

The Five Recognitions of Perfection through Mantras.

The practice is very simple. These mantras will help you create an internal environment that will help you hold the gift with sincere appreciation. You say to yourself:

“The perfect time to receive is right now.”
“I am receptive to receiving life’s gifts that I deserve.”
“I am worthy of this acknowledgment and admiration.”
“This the perfect place is right here.”
“This is the perfect gift and I am the perfect person to receive it.”