One of my favorite parts about a yoga practice is that it somewhat forces you to get in touch with and learn about yourself through your body.
Your body is ridiculously reflective of what is going on in your life; when you’re craving more intimacy, your body seems to want to go deeper into a pose. When you’re needing to take a step back, you feel humbled enough to drop a knee or use a block.
When you’re buzzing with energy, anxiety, jitters, caffeine – your hands seem to naturally want to face downward. Maybe resting them on your knees with your palms facing down. Soaking in all of that grounding energy.
When you’re exhausted or bored or empty or struggling, your hands seem to want to be facing upward & open… perhaps waiting for, whatever it is that you need, to simply drop into the palms of your hands.
Your mind doesn’t always recognizes these needs as quickly as your body can because your mind actually doesn’t know all that much about you… that’s where yoga comes in. To teach your mind, to peel back the layers of what it thinks it knows… so that you can become more of you.
The same reflection is true for givers.
Those that have a tendency to exhaust themselves and their resources making sure that everyone else is taken care of.
Those that don’t even think twice about placing the needs of others before their own.
Givers have a tendency to feel more comfortable in any pose that is similar to a hugging posture; your chest caved in slightly, your arms extended forward. You love forward folds, hugging your knees into your chest, maybe even plank pose.
Maybe you’ve been hurt. Maybe you’ve experienced major loss. Maybe your heart has been hardened and you’re finding yourself hiding it. You prefer that hugging posture because it’s less vulnerable. It’s safe. It doesn’t allow for your heart to be exposed and open… Think about how much longer it would take for you to put your hands over your heart, protecting it if your wings were spread wide open than it would if they were extended out in front of you.
But what happens when you try to or want to receive? Maybe it’s difficult.
Maybe it’s easy, but then again – maybe when you think back on it, you never really are able to receive fully.
In order to receive (anything) you have to be open. You can’t fill an empty pot that’s turned upside down. In order to (actually) receive, you have to open up and give yourself permission to be vulnerable.
Any posture that opens up your heart (commonly referred to as heart openers) are challenging for givers but so necessary. It’s literally forcing yourself out of your default giving mode of extending forward into the opposite motion of extending back and open.
Sometimes these postures induce anxiety for the giver… Some givers even get nauseous. They don’t feel comfortable… understandably. But that’s why it’s so necessary.
The only thing more uncomfortable than a giver practicing a heart opener is a giver who is burnt out and can’t give anymore.
There is a balance between give and receive. It’s a yin and a yang. You need both.
Even the bible talks about it being more blessed to give than it is to receive… but I challenge you to think about what you’re able to give if you’re not also receiving. If you’re not also being fed. If you’re not also opening yourself up to opportunities and blessings.
You need to be full in order to have something to give.
You need to be open to receive in order to be filled.
And you need to give in order to be re-filled again.
The bible also mentions (specifically) that the Garden of Eden has a water source (life source) that flows both in and out of the garden… like, at the same time.
And just like anything else, the more you practice – the easier it gets.
The more you manipulate your body into becoming a receiver, the more that will reflect into your daily life.
It’s true. It works.
If you are a person that gives – everything – I think that’s amazing. I admire you.
But I really encourage you to practice, slowly, opening up your heart; cracking open it’s shell and GIVING yourself the gift of being open to receive… Even if you don’t have anything in particular that you’re wanting or needing, some day you will… And it’s important to have the ability and the know-how to receive for when that time comes.
Because behind every true giver is a heart that’s dying to receive love in return.
A burnt out giver.
***** Party Favor ****
Try repeating this mantra in your head and out loud as often as possible:
“I AM OPEN TO RECEIVE.”