“I’m a giver.” There, I said it. It’s woven into the fabric of my being, from my yoga classes to my role as a mom. Every ounce of extra time, talent, and energy I have seems to flow naturally towards others. But here’s the truth: as much as I love giving, it can be a double-edged sword. In the relentless pursuit of helping others, I often neglect the most important recipient – myself. Empathy has always been my compass, guiding me towards those in need. Being a mother and a yoga therapist definitely amplified this desire, but it’s not the only place that I see this pattern.

Balance receiving and giving in your life

Too much giving can lead to exhaustion.

This constant state of giving can lead to an unsettling depletion. Like a bank account perpetually overdrawn, I start feeling the pangs of exhaustion when I’m in the cycle of over giving. It was during a recent yoga practice that the revelation struck – I need to flip the script. Receiving isn’t a weakness, it’s a necessity! Instead of pushing my body into every yoga pose, when I surrendered to the support of props, the sensation was transformative. For the first time in months, I received, and it felt…good.

This realization sparked a challenge: what if I actively sought opportunities to receive, not just from myself, but from others? What a foreign idea!

Let’s rediscover balance together. We’ll explore simple yet powerful ways to shift the “give and receive” equation, from saying yes to offered help to embracing props in your yoga practice, and even the transformative power of simply sharing your burdens with a friend. Remember, you’re not just a giver, you’re also worthy of receiving. Let’s create a space where giving and receiving dance in harmony, enriching both ourselves and those around us.

Balance the giving & receiving

All of this giving, though, can lead to a depletion of yourself.  In order to stay healthy and in balance, you have to let yourself receive sometimes.  That receiving can look differently for each of us, but it is a necessary part of the equation.  Without letting yourself receive in some way, you eventually wear yourself out so that you don’t have anything left to give, and then you’re not able to help anybody, yourself included.

Last week, I was reminded of this important lesson during my daily yoga practice.  I don’t always have to give.  For me, that day it meant that I switched from an active yoga practice to a passive one.  Instead of using my own energy to hold myself in the poses, I let my props take care of me.  I used the props to provide support and I let my body drape over top of them.

Since it’s not something that I do very often, it felt so good to receive! 

I find that there are times when extra is asked of me.  I usually do my best to keep up with the requests.  I suspect that many of you do the same.  You go out of your way to give to friends and family in order to support them  Why not let yourself receive from others too? 

I know that I need to shift that giving vs. receiving balance right now and I’m going to look for ways to do just that over the next week.  It will be a gift that only I can give to myself.

Read on for some suggestions about how you too can let yourself receive.

Here are 3 simple ways to let yourself receive more often.

1- Say yes when someone offers to help you. 

Several years ago, I was challenged to say yes when someone offers to help me. It didn’t matter whether it was something small like offering to help me carry an awkward load or something bigger, I found it really hard!  It’s like I have to prove how tough I am by saying ‘No, I’ve got this’.   Really?  I can do everything by myself?  No, not so much. 

Yes, it really does sometimes take a village to get something done. Accepting help means you get to share the load of the task with others and only gives you more energy to help someone else.

It’s taken years of practice, but now, I try as often as I can to say ‘Yes, thank you!’ I sometimes still have to remind myself that it’s okay to allow someone else to help me. When I do, I find that nothing bad happened by letting someone else help me. Instead, the opposite happened and I was able to get something accomplished with less effort on my part.

Don’t forget that by refusing to receive someone’s help, you’re also refusing to let them be a giver.  I feel good when I give of myself.  Why not let other people feel that way about themselves too?

2-  Use props in your yoga practice.

Receive support from your yoga blocks

If you practice yoga already, then try using your props more often.  If you don’t have a yoga practice, then start with an easy practice by using props.  (There are lots of videos out there that you can follow.  You can join me in a prerecorded class here.)

If you’re naturally a giver in life, then you’re likely pushing yourself all of the time.  This takes extra energy on your part and sometimes means you don’t have as much to give to your own yoga practice. Think about it this way…Who are you trying to impress by making your yoga practice harder at all times?  What are you trying to prove to yourself?  To other people? 

These are great questions to ask yourself when you find yourself always pushing to do more in your yoga practice.

Give yourself a break.  Receive support from your props.  Then, check in with your body & notice how it reacts to this support.

3 – Call a friend to talk with them about an issue.

I know that you give great advice!  I know that you’re used to handling life challenges all on your own.  What if you tried something different for once? Maybe let someone else listen to you for a change? 

You don’t actually have to get advice from them.  You can ask them just to listen to you.  It’s so powerful and supportive to have someone simply listen to you.  I’ve heard it said from more than one client that they aren’t used to having someone actually listen to them. It can be very powerful simply to say the words out loud about a current problem or issue. When this happens, you get to hear the words come out of your own mouth, and you get to release from your mind & body the issue that’s bothering you.

Share the burden of your issue with someone else and lighten your own load a bit. You deserve to receive that help too!

Practice receiving!

That’s just what it is. A practice. When you have a habit of giving more than receiving, then you have to practice balancing the scales out a bit. Let other people give to you at least occasionally.  Practice receiving and equal out the Give vs. Receive equation.  Let yourself be supported in the way that you’re always supporting others. Notice how it feels to receive and take care of yourself too!

And remember, it’s never too late to live healthier & happier! Take just one step to make a change to a better you today. Practice receiving in order to be a healthier, happier YOU.

Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!

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