The Skill of Receiving

By: Anne Pitman, OICC Yoga Therapist

It is better to give than to receive.  At holiday time, we hear this repeated over and over. 
From Scrooge to the Grinch, we have learned to accept that the benefits of gifting are all in the act of giving.

But what about receiving?  Is it only selfish, greedy and entitled?

Although it doesn’t have nearly the same reputation, receiving is actually an important skill to learn
and equally beneficial to both giver and receiver.  Our nervous systems are built to be in connection with others – we experience both elation, a sense of security and belonging when we have true human connection; when we care and are cared for.

Some thoughts on the art of receiving:

  • Celebrate being seen and appreciated; that is the message of a true gift
  • Consider the possibility that the giver has offered this gift freely; that the giving is not a burden, but a joy.
  • Receiving is actually a more challenging skill to hone.  We all love to give, but consider all the learning benefits (brain, body and soul) to practicing this new way of being.
  • Givers need receivers; the interdependence is quite necessary and lovely.  And there is nothing worse for the giver than to have their offering less than fully received.  Do them a favour and think about the joy and well-being that comes from a gift being received.
  • Take a moment and get curious about actually feeling in the body when you receive a gift.  Notice the inner delight – does your chest open up?  Your throat clear?  Your legs wobble a bit.  How wonderful to feel human!
  • Proceed as though you have been gifted.  Be nourished.  Let your soul sing.  And maybe even think about paying it forward (not necessary, but nice too).

To get you into the flow of receiving, we have a great practice for you! 

Come in to the OICC and see our Instant Karma Board! 

This board is a place where patients, caregivers, friends, family, ND’s, and all the practitioners at the OICC can write up a card with a gift, free to anyone.

At the moment, there are cards offering:

  • 2 wigs
  • a compression sleeve
  • a colourful chemo hat
  • peach and ginger sauce
  • 2 books
  • 7 cancer poems
  • a latte
  • a hug

Come in (or phone us – we’ll put a card aside for you) and practice receiving. 

And…you could always write a card and enjoy giving too!