Last week I tried on this dress at Anthropologie and immediately fell in love, despite not having an occasion in the world to wear it to.
I didn't end up buying it, even though I got "permission" from a newly valued male opinion (actually I got an "absofu*kinglutely") and now I can't stop thinking about it.
Can someone invite me somewhere I can wear it? Sigh. Needs vs. wants. Still slowly learning the difference....
Michael Chase gave a beautiful talk at the Hay House Ignite conference I attended back in March titled "A Revolution of the Heart: Igniting the Power of Kindess Within" that I was reminded of during my time in Costa Rica. One of the sentiments from his lecture that has stuck with me was the concept of receiving--or allowing others to give to you as an ultimate act of kindness.
Upon first hearing this, my discomfort immediately set in. Eeek, kindness in receiving? How awkward. I have the willies just thinking about that. We're supposed to give, not take.
The truth is we are often conditioned to believe, whether it be from a parent or teacher or just general elder, that receiving can be a sign of selfishness or greed or even arrogant entitlement. We are taught that giving is good, great, grand, wonderful (and it super duper is!) but never really trained to receive in big, bold, beautiful ways as well.
Michael told a sweet story of a time when receiving should have been an act of kindness from him, which I will attempt to summarize for you here. He explained that in his town lived a well known homeless woman. One afternoon Michael offered this woman a ride just a few blocks from where she stood in the rain to the local Walmart, where she needed to go. She accepted and when they arrived at their destination a few minutes later the woman attempted to give Michael $3 as a thank you for the ride. Of course his gut reaction was to politely decline her offer (which is completely natural) over and over, despite her insistence. He confessed that in retrospect he should have accepted her money; not because, by any stretch of the imagination, he needed or "deserved" the $3. But it was a gesture of pride, equality, kindness and gratitude from the woman and in turning her down, he prevented her from being a part of the energy exchange between them.
Multiple times during my Costa Rican excursion I was told I needed to get better at receiving. My first thought? Girl (boy), you cray cray...I receive just fine, thanks! Then my beautiful new friend Julie pulled me aside on the 3rd day of the retreat and said "So, I want to do something for you, and you can't say no." ...which of course instantly made me want to say no, without even knowing what this something was. "You are such a giving person and I think you need to be better at receiving, so I'm giving you one of my spa appointments, already paid for, and well, you just have accept it." My ego voice shouted NO!, cringed and wanted to run away...I'm apparently pretty bad at receiving compliments as well as tangible gifts. But instead I gulped, hugged her swiftly and said "Despite how uncomfortable this makes me, I accept your incredibly thoughtful and generous gift, thank you." Julie was so excited for me to enjoy my amazing massage that I realized simply by accepting her kindness I, in turn, extended kindness right back. From start to finish my body work was heavenly and I am still overwhelmed with gratitude for her gift.
Then, a few days later, I injured my foot while surfing and realized even more deeply that whoa, I am one stubborn little lady. I didn't want to accept help from anyone, not even as I limped along wincing in pain. But once I let 14 of some of the most beautiful and loving and divinely feminine ladies I've ever met step up to aid me in ordinary tasks that now were slightly more difficult (as if I ever had a choice--these mamas were fiercely insistent!), I felt supported and loved and cared for. The fact of the matter was that they wanted to help me and if the tables had been turned I deeply would have wanted to help them, too.
The bottom line?
As Michael said, both giving AND receiving energies must flow for the world to be a better place.
Let people give to you, share with you, praise you, appreciate you and help you.
Seriously, let people help you.
Saying thank you and accepting these gifts is part of the exchange of being human. It's part of what connects us and keeps us as one.
Nosara, Costa Rica
"You know that dreamy look of deep, soulful love you've sometimes seen in the eyes of another as they gazed into your own, Tricia ?
Expect a lot more of it.
ps- You are so deserving."
During my magical Costa Rican retreat I dug down deep into the depths of my being and I came up with...much to my surprise and delight...so. much. space. Space for connection. Space for forgiveness and patience, trust and faith. Space for what is yet to come.
Space, most importantly, for love.
When my friends come to me with questions on love and relationship struggles I almost always start my humble opinion off with the notion that there is truly no script to life. What works for one individual or one couple does not necessarily work for another. My opinion is simply that--just one single thought in a sea of millions. But, here is what I think is most important for them to remember regardless of the specific situation; s.p.a.c.e.
1. It is crucial to ask yourself what it is you really want and whether or not you are being entirely authentic. Can you speak your truth? Is this a space of openness?
2. How much of this "problem" is about the other person? And I mean really about them. Check in with yourself. What personal fears or doubts or insecurities might you be projecting on them to cause a disturbance in your flow together? Is there a blockage in your shared space from anything dealing with the past? Open up to the space of now, instead.
3. Hold space for you. Expand. Explore the abundance of possibilities found in opening your heart to others with love and compassion. But don't force it. Real love is an exchange between 2 people. Sure, some days one person will naturally make more of an effort than the other...heck, some months or years this may be true. But as a general rule, your space should feel as if there is a core of common ground. Strength in your differences; comfort where you overlap.
4. Let go a little. Space for breathing room (deep, full bellied breathing room) can work wonders on a sticky situation. My friend and coworker always tells me to "give it 100 hours" before making a move. My bestie always says "patience, young grasshopper".
And to my fabulously single readers, I give you Pema Chodron:
I loved my friend Kim's comment on my surfing post 2 days ago--I think it actually applies quite beautifully here;
"....Learning to surf is so much about just showing up. Spending time in the water, even if you're not 'catching waves' is educational and important. And there's no way to know when that breakthrough is coming. Let's say each person needs to attempt (and fail) at a certain number of waves. For you, it could be 25 waves. For me, it could be 78, for someone really good, it's probably 5 waves. The point is, you don't know exactly how many waves it's going to take for you to stand up, but every attempt puts you one wave closer to your magic number. So it would be pretty silly to for me to give up on wave 77, if my breakthrough wave is just around the corner at #78."
Dead on, Kim!
I guess what I'm trying to say is, for me (and my humble recommendation to you is), even if it takes 1,000 more tries, I will never stop opening my heart for love and those deep, soulful gazes.
I will never stop exploring the boundless space of my heart in every friendship, relationship, partnership or brief encounter...and with myself, too!
Single or not-so-single, I hope you continue to widen your heart. I promise, love is waiting to rush in...
...And you are so deserving.