I sat across from this able-bodied, white-haired woman with a kindly face. Her face had seen its share of pain, and an equal amount of fervor, joy and warmth.
“I’ve made some goose feathers for us,” she pointed to a scrumptious casserole dish filled with a fluffy pastry on the kitchen table.
I made a guilty, sheepish look, “Ahhh…that is so sweet of you, Rhona, but I try to avoid gluten.” She quickly said that was okay because she brought us each out a plate of strawberries and honeydew with vanilla pudding on top.
“Do you like coconut?” I assured her I did. She sprinkled some roasted coconut flakes on top of the pudding.
We proceeded to leisurely eat the delicious, made-with-love fruit and learn about each other’s past, truly connecting. I’d only planned to stay a few minutes and walk Rhona’s property, a quaint Bed & Breakfast in St. Charles, MO, for an upcoming retreat.
Two and one-half hours later, I prepared to leave. I was enjoying my time with her so much, slowing down and being in the present moment, I couldn’t seem to pull myself away…
We Struggle to Receive
I also relished being served and pampered. I struggled not to help Rhona clean up the dishes from the table. Women are so programmed to serve others and give of our time and energy, that we have a difficult time receiving.
Why is it so difficult to receive, to the point that we feel guilty if we don’t think we’re doing enough? I’ve seen many women join networking groups, in particular BNI (Business Network International), and they end up leaving because they feel like they did all of the giving, but didn’t receive enough in return.
I don’t believe BNI’s structure of accountability and process is the problem. I believe it’s our inability to receive that hinders our success in programs like BNI.
I invite you to explore deeper this notion of receiving. Do you accept compliments? Gifts? Support from others?
I was talking to a friend the other day who was complaining how his life is like ground hog day, where he constantly repeats the same patterns in relationships, leaving him lonely and frustrated.
Formula to Receive: GH²K
What naturally evolved from the conversation was a formula for how to live life, disrupt unhealthy habits, and allow us to become better receivers. We termed it “GH²K.”
G stands for Gratitude, H² stands for Humility and Humor, and K stands for Kindness.
If we approached every interaction with gratitude, humility, humor and kindness, we’d become natural receptors for a happy life.
When we feel disgruntled, cheated by life, remorseful of our past or present circumstances, we are focusing on all that could go wrong. When we really look at our lives, it’s always possible to find something
to be grateful about.
When we complain and cut ourselves or others down, we are feeling humiliated by life, but not humble. Humility places us neither above nor below others, but on an equal footing.
When we feel sorry for ourselves, we are taking ourselves very seriously. We’ve lost our sense of humor. What if we could lighten up and remember that life is one big game, in which we are ever being tested to relinquish the EGO’s need to be right and in control.
Finally, when we are feeling self-pity, victimized, ungrateful, humiliated, very serious indeed, in other words, when we are in our own heads and making everything about ourselves, we cannot
practice kindness to ourselves or anyone, for that matter.
When we can’t be kind to ourselves, in thought, word or deed, it’s more difficult to receive.
Back to Rhona. She really inspired me, because as I get older (I’m now 48), I am appreciating my health more and more and realizing how important it is to keep a positive attitude and look for the silver lining in any situation.
There is More to Worry About as We Age
It’s so easy to find more and more to complain about as we age. There is more to worry about, aging parents, our grown children, grandchildren and how they’re being raised, critical bosses and
spouses, our own health, etc.
Rhona’s example reminds me to always check my attitude. Though she lost her husband tragically almost 4 years ago and without warning, she wants to go out with a bang! She continues to operate her BNB and serve others from her heart.
She’s not worried about aging and all that can go wrong. She has a zest for life that is refreshing and courageous. May we approach life the same way, and in order to do that, we need to learn to receive and give without strings attached.
If you believe you need to learn to be a better receiver, please consider attending a workshop I have coming up on January 11th.
It’s called Frontier to Your Freedom, in which we will use emotional freedom technique (EFT or tapping) to help you receive more fully all that you desire and deserve.
Register here for the 2nd Thursday of the month class (January 11th) from 6-8pm.
P.S.: If you want to join others in a small group setting and make YOUR life work first by loving, accepting and forgiving yourself, come to our next Thursday night Frontier to Freedom class.