I receive my biggest doses of insight whenever I’m coaching—and in this particular coaching session, something crucial came up: the art of receiving.
Even though we are feminine creatures, an energy that is inherently receptive, it doesn’t mean receiving comes naturally. Given that the world we live in today thrives off of a fast-paced, hyper, get-shit-done-mode, it’s a skill to learn how to ask for help and receive it when it comes.
Let’s say you grew up in a household that valued work ethic. You were a young girl that was praised for doing things right and getting your chores done. You were punished (can’t go out with friends, no dessert, no sleepover, no technology, spanked) whenever you didn’t do something right or get something done.
Let’s say that your exploration and curiosity wasn’t encouraged. Your “failures” weren’t supported. Your requests for help weren’t acknowledged.
If this sounds remotely like your upbringing, it makes sense that you struggle with asking for help and receiving it. You weren’t taught to include that into your identity—rather you were taught to do everything yourself in order to be worthy.
On the flip side, let’s say you don’t resonate with that at all. In fact, let’s go the opposite end and assume that you were raised to be an endless giver. To give the shirt off your back, be like Mother Teresa and to act selflessly. Let’s say you were encouraged to let go of material things, abandon your desire for money and play follow the leader in all things.
Let’s say you were taught all of the above and you were sexually shamed due to religious beliefs or cultural dogma.
Combine sexual shame with the habit of endless giving and it’s no surprise that, sexually speaking, you have a block when it comes to receiving and letting go. Maybe you are afraid to ask what you want in bed because you’re scared you’re being a nuisance or you’re taking up too much space. For many of us, the simple sound of our voice making a request feels scarily confronting. It means you run the risk of annoying someone or being rejected: two things you were taught to avoid at all costs.
What are a few other reasons why we fear the act of receiving? Why do we not ask for help when we need it?
- Worthiness– thinking the time of the other person is more valuable than your own.
- Fear of taking up space in someone’s life OR inbox/phone– you don’t want to be a nuisance. You don’t want to annoy them. In your mind, silence is better than heard because it’s safer. There is nothing not to like about a person that doesn’t say anything.
- Looking inconsiderate– this is directly opposed to what we were taught as young girls—to be lady like and polite. To be considerate.
- Appearing lazy– also opposed to what we were taught in our hyper masculine / hustle culture. Asking for help means you are not doing something on your own. Asking for help means you are needy—which you may be confusing for neediness.
- Fear of rejection– if you can’t bear the thought of hearing “no” it’s easier not to ask altogether.
Here are three steps for slowly unraveling your fear of receiving:
- Notice what is already trying to get to you. Where are you blocking the natural flow of gifts? I invite you to take today to simply observe how often people offer something to you. Maybe it’s simple, like the opening of a door to lunch. Maybe it’s a smile as you check out at the grocery store. Maybe it’s to have your dinner paid for. Maybe it’s something bigger, like someone offers you a gift they bought you. Maybe it’s a phone call or a free coaching session. How often is the Universe trying to give something to you that you either turn away from or automatically say, “Oh thanks, but that’s okay.” Begin to say a simple THANK YOU and receive. A great mantra for this is: “I am worthy of receiving.” Simple and to the point.
- BECOME the person who gives without expecting anything in return….and become that as often as possible. As my first coach Jake Ducey always used to say, “You don’t get what you want, you get what you are.” The client who I was talking about receiving with told me that she struggled with receiving from others because she always suspected they were only giving so that they would have the favor returned later (particularly in relationships and sexually). The best remedy for healing this assumption is to BECOME that person who simply gives without expecting in return. Break the story that people only give in order to receive by being a person who doesn’t do this. When you become the thing you want to see in the world, you are not only healing this story for the collective but you are inviting in more of this beautiful energy. Don’t be surprised when you begin to attract people into your life who only want to give for the sake of giving.
- Ask for what you want—in baby steps. And finally, begin to notice when you are desiring something and take baby steps to ask for it. Ask for alone time from your husband. Ask for more attention to be put on your body during sex with your love. Ask for words of affirmation. Ask for a raise. Ask for someone to cover your shift. Ask for a discount at Starbucks. Ask for a discount on your next Airbnb (I have done this recently and literally everyone I’ve asked has been open to it). And don’t forget to ask the Universe for what you want too! It doesn’t know what to bring you if you don’t tell it.
As Laura, one of my best friends and also the AcroYoga teacher at my retreats, says, “Giving IS receiving.” If you still feel afraid to ask for what you want because you don’t want to bother the person who would give it, you need to do some work around your mindset on giving.
When Laura teaches Thai massage, she always talks about how giving massage is an honor. It’s an honor to be trusted enough that someone else would let you touch them. Even if you are giving the massage, you are receiving. You are receiving trust….someone’s body….someone’s vulnerability. You are BOTH receiving.
Being a feminine creature, you already have the innate ability to receive. You aren’t learning how to receive, necessarily, but you’re now forgetting to say no to receiving in the first place. You’re forgetting your habit of refusing love that is trying to get to you. You say yes to letting the flow naturally occur.
I would love to hear from you! How are you going to receive this week? How do you ask for help when your ego says you can’t? Share below!
If you want to learn the art of receiving at my next Feminine Surrender Retreat, sign up to be on the list HERE.