When you give, you are in a position of power and control. You have something to offer. But perhaps the act of giving is not of a pure intention.

When you receive, you are in a position of humbleness. You have something to welcome and accept. But perhaps what you are receiving is not what you really like, want or need.

The smallest gift

Can you receive the smallest gift possible, a complement?

Imagine your colleague says “You look great in this outfit!” or “A great presentation, indeed”.
What is your response?
Do you diminish yourself by saying, “Oh, I bought it really cheaply” or “Well… I guess it was fine.”
Or, you simply answer “Thank you. It’s nice you are telling me that”

How to receive

If somebody offers you a gift, express him/her gratitude for the time and effort spent to organize your gift. Pause for a moment, look into the eyes of the giver and say “Thank you”. It will make a difference.

Allow yourself to accept gifts from others. Appreciate what is coming. If somebody offers you a lift or paying your bill, say “yes” and be happy about such a lovely surprise. Forget about being vulnerable or owing them something in return. If you don’t like the gift or don’t need it, pass it on to someone who can enjoy it. Barter. Give it to a charity. Sell on ebay. Whatever.

As you do this, you support the flow of life going effortlessly. Everyone gets to win. When you refuse a gift, in that moment you block the flow of blessing in your life, and perhaps also in the lives of others.

True giving is always out of love. Accept the gift if it comes this way. Remember there is something majestic about receiving. A queen receives ambassadors or prime minsters. A noble man receives honors. A hotel receives guests.  Begin to see the act of receiving as an act of welcoming and accepting something special. Because it is so.

When not to receive

You may choose to decline the gift, if someone is giving for the wrong purpose. This means givning in order to make you dependent or force/expect you to do something in return that is not to your advantage.

“How do you know this is the case?”

You’ll simply notice it or sense it. There is a perplexing feeling that something is not truly all right. The best is to show appreciation while rejecting the gift. You may say something like that  “I appreciate your thinking about me and the effort you put to buy/make this gift. I cannot receive it, however. I feel this will create an extra pressure on me to do X [whatever X is in this case] which I don’t want. I am sorry if this is hurting you. I hope you can use this lovely gift for another person”.

You may also choose to accept a gift when the person is giving for the wrong reasons though. If your heart is pure, you can still help the blessings come.

How to give

Are you a joyful giver? Are you giving freely, with the purest intention possible?

True giving comes from the heart.

You give because you want to express gratitude.
You give because you want to help someone.
You give because you want to enrich the other person.
You give because you want to bless yourself and the other person.
While this may all be true, ultimately, you give because you want to grow as a conscious being.

Give and forget about your gift.

Release any expectations. In your mind set the person free to do whatever he/she wants with your gift. They are free to use it, abandon it, throw it away or give it away. The gift serves you as an outlet for your love, for sharing what you have.

Give with joy and the intention of blessing the other person. It will transform you.

Where to give

You should give to a person, place or organization where your giving is going to contribute the most.

Give to support a meaningful goal of the people you know. This may be an education of a kid.

Give to your friends to help them go through difficult times. This may be money when they desperately need it or teaching them a skill while they are looking for a new job.

Give to support where you are personally involved. This may be your local quilting club or climbing club. Give where you receive the most joy.

Give where you receive the spiritual growth. This may be your local community or your local church. Give where you receive guidance.

Give where you learn a lot. Give to people who inspire you, help you and love you. This may include your parents or siblings, your neighbours or friends, teachers, mentors, schools, universities, and so on.

Giving and receiving

If you give something to others, you should also allow them to give something back to you if they desire to. But you can perfectly receive from another source 🙂

Giving and receiving are a part of an ever-active circulation of value exchange and blessings. You cannot give that what you don’t have. When you give, you need to receive something in return to continue to give more. When you receive, you need to give something to continue to receive more. And so on.

Remember that what you give may be totally different than what you receive. You may give your efforts to teach a person a skill and receive a life-transforming book from another. You may give your knowledge and receive a place to live. You may give your laptop to a child and receive a dinner invitation from friends. Simply give and receive.

You contribute to others and you are supported by them. You bless others and they bless you. You enrich others and they enrich you.

Giving is a skill of conscious outflow. Receiving is a skill of conscious inflow.

The key is to live a life of balance and be happy with yourself. Then from that place you can reach out and help others even more.

And the final message is …

Giving and receiving are the two opposites of abundance. Your task is to maintain the flow.

{Give → Receive} × REPEAT


Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.



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