I’m a giver.   There I said it.

I’ve been that way for a very long time.  As a yoga teacher, I give my time after classes in order to connect to my students and help however I can.  As a yoga therapist, I spend extra time with clients because I know that the time I spend with them is helping them.  Those 2 parts of my life are important to me & I give so that I can be of service to other people.  However, as a mom, I’ve really turned up these acts of giving.

Of course, this isn’t where my habit of giving started.  I’ve always felt empathy for other people that are in pain or distress.  I will do what I can to help you.  That’s just a part of who I am.

As a mom though, this desire to give has been integral to my daily life for over 23 years.  When I see that I can do something for my kids, I give of my time, talent and/or energy.

Most moms that I know would be able to understand this & agree that they will give what they can to help their kids.  It’s a part of our dna as a mom.

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 as well.  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 during my daily practice that it was okay for me to receive.  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.

It felt so good to receive.  I haven’t been letting myself do that very much in recent months.  I’ve been giving to all of those around me but not to myself.  That is probably one of the reasons that I’ve really needed extra sleep for the past month.  I’ve needed to heal the imbalance in me.

Right now, I find that there are times when extra is being asked of me.  I do my best to keep up with the requests.  I suspect that many of you are in this same situation.  You’re giving to friends and family in order to support them through this unusual time that we are in with the Coronavirus.   If you’ve been busy giving of yourself, why not let yourself receive from others too?  I know that I need it right now and I’m going to look for ways to receive over the next week.  It will be a gift 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. 

I was challenged to do this several years ago & 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.  Now, I try as often as I can to say ‘Yes, thank you!’

By refusing to receive someone’s help, I’m 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.

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.  I’ve also been doing live yoga classes on my Facebook page.  I’ve left the recordings on the page, so you can check out any of the previous ones.  Look for the videos for an easy way to find them all.  Like my page while you’re there too!)

When you are someone who is driven to give, you are pushing yourself all of the time.  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.

Give yourself a break.  Receive support from your props.  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 are used to handling life challenges all on your own.  What if you let someone else listen to you for a change?  You don’t actually have to get advice from them.  You can simply ask them to listen to you.  It’s so powerful and supportive to have someone simply listen to you.  You get to hear the words come out of your own mouth.  You also get to release from your mind & body the issue that is bothering you.

Practice receiving!

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 are always supporting others.

Let me know if you try any of these suggestions.  Leave me a comment and share what you are going to receive this week.

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