Do you have a strong drive to make others—family, co-workers, friends—feel better (helper syndrome)? Are you so used to taking care of others—putting their needs first, making them comfortable, ignoring yourself in the process—that you don’t even notice when someone offers to support you?
Do compliments pass you by—you hear the words but just don’t feel them or take them in?
Are you so busy you forget to slow down and enjoy a hug someone gives you?
With all of us feeling secretly isolated and not cared for most of the time, it’s a tragedy when we can’t experience the appreciation given to us!
Instead, wouldn’t it be wonderful to feed and nurture your receptivity so you can fully absorb all the blessings that come your way?
Lack of receptivity implies a barrier, a kind of wall around you. Often you unconsciously hope this wall will keep things as they are, prevent disruption, and protect you from having to change. Receptivity is more like a permeable membrane in your energy field, allowing appreciation, love, caring, joy, spontaneity—some of which might be unfamiliar or new—into your awareness.
Receptivity opens you to possibilities not yet explored, and different ways of perceiving your experience.
Being receptive expresses your willingness to experience passively and engage actively; so, the more open and receptive you are, the more people will love and appreciate you!
Being receptive helps you look for commonalities—what you might share with others—and also complementarities. It helps you circumvent judgment and your experience of separation.
Without receptivity, you probably do not trust enough to listen and hear; instead, you spiral within what you already know. Your mind cycles its old stories and tells you what you think. You repeat your beliefs endlessly in your conversations; and you refuse to believe that which does not correspond with your ideas. Your perception of the world remains static and rigid.
Such rigidity of beliefs has personal physical, psychological, spiritual, and health consequences. It can result in disease, fear, suffering, despair, and uncontrollable rage. It can and does prevent healing.
It’s arguable that rigid belief systems are the source of increasing national, cultural, and species dysfunction, whether in the form of climate change denial or cultural-religious wars over what is the right way to live.
For your personal health and our species’ survival, it makes sense to cultivate receptivity. Nothing will change until you perceive a different road, and take it. The first step is to be receptive to different possibilities. Then your willingness to try something new, hear something different, and experience a shift will open pathways.
In a guided journey I took many years ago, we were instructed to receive a gift from Spirit. I was given an eagle, a bird I’d resonated with since I was a young child.
When I came out of the journey I reported, “I was given an eagle. No, maybe it was a hawk.” The teachers called me out, and I realized I was acting as if I didn’t deserve and eagle—a big lesson in receptivity!
When I observed and began to acknowledge how often I deflected appreciation and praise, I was shocked and sad. I saw that my stories and interpretations of reality were clouding and dampening my receptivity. It’s taken a constant shifting-of-perception to retrain myself.
Here are five suggestions that have worked well for both me and my clients. They will help you develop your receptivity and openness.
1. Set your intent to be present. When someone hugs you, let yourself slow down, feel it, return it. When someone compliments you, take it in. Focus on conveying your gratitude rather than deflecting with something like, “Oh, it’s an old dress,” or changing the subject.
2. Pay attention to your language in the responses you give. They may help you identify your barriers of resistance—belief, lack of trust, habits of response, disconnection. For example, when someone says that you are attractive/funny/clever, a good dad or a valuable employee, do you deflect? This may indicate that you don’t believe it, that you aren’t letting yourself.
3. Develop the qualities of listening and witnessing.
4. Try being curious instead of reactive. When someone expresses an opinion that’s anathema to you, breathe deeply, and ask a question, trying to learn what’s behind that opinion. I did this intentionally at a dinner party with a Trump supporter, staying curious and calm throughout, and noticed that being heard prevented him from becoming defensive.
5. Trust your insights and the gifts Spirit gives you. When a little voice tells you that you’ve done a good job, let it speak. When you sense energetic chaos around you, let yourself leave. When Spirit gives you an eagle, accept it with gratitude.
In sum, the more receptive and clear you become internally, the stronger a conduit you can be for balanced, cosmic, healing energy, and shine your light on the world!