explore deeply

Receiving

Why you haven't found what you're looking for...

Be who you wantChloë RainComment
Why haven't I found what I'm looking for? Life Coach Virginia
Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
— Zen Proverb

It's difficult to achieve a state of happiness and well being, if we are continuously telling ourselves that "change is difficult, takes forever, or is near impossible, and/ or "my life doesn't change" and "this is as good as it's gonna get for me".

The key is to instill efforts each and every day to achieve an everyday practice.  You can create from a higher vibration from one day to the next.

At one point along the journey I thought that saying meant that you will always have to "work hard and begrudgingly live out your days doing mundane tasks no matter how far you get". I thought that it meant that even after you "make it", life was gonna suck sometimes and be hard work.  

So then why bother?!

Now this saying has a lighter greater more expansive meaning for me and I hope it serves you....

When you are seeking and you're doing all the self help things and reading all the books and listening to all the mantras and maybe even chanting a few of them on the sly, you're working to get to a state you've never been before... maybe it's happiness, maybe it's peace, maybe it's prosperity.... 

When you arrive you do all those things anyways, because they not only help you to maintain your state but they are the simplest joyous tasks of living, and Thank God there are some joyful regular things you can count on in life, right?! 

When a state of happiness or contentment and prosperity is reached, we don't stop doing what we did to get ourselves there! We have regular and daily practices that maintain and heighten our state of being.  

When you wake up in the morning you don't get upset and angry that you have to brush your teeth.... AGAIN! Its maintenance, it feels good, every morning you brush your teeth and your mouth feels fresh and you're ready to talk to people with your clean teeth and fresh perspective and get up close and personal each and every day! This is awesome that "all it takes is brushing your teeth every morning" to prepare for all the great stuff you're doing in the world.  

When you get to the end of the clean underwear pile you don't curse God and all there is because you have to wash your underwear... AGAIN!!! Why God, why?!?! Why do you make me clean my underwear AGAIN!? Haven't I done this enough!!!? Didn't I just wash my underwear last week?!

No.  There are some shortcuts in life, like, I personally don't wear underwear every day... so the washing cycle can be prolonged... BUT! I do brush my teeth every day, and eat my spiritual food. Some days I eat a lot, some days, I'm not hungry and I just want something to hold me over, and some days I feast on all the delicacies... but every day I eat my spiritual food and brush my teeth.

You know You best, and you know what’s best for you… the acting on the knowledge is the difficult part.

What it takes to prepare for all the great stuff you're going to do in the world, is brushing your teeth every morning. Who doesn't feel better with clean teeth and fresh undies?!?

Just saying.

 
Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment ~Mary Oliver,  In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment ~Mary Oliver, In Blackwater Woods

 
Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Teacher & Intuitive Guide.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and joy in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

What We Can Learn About Receiving from the Full Moon & Sufis

Creative Feature, Receive More Thursdays, Guest WriterHelen AveryComment
The sun is the wine, the moon is the cup. Pour the sun into the moon if you want to be filled.
— Sufi Poet Hafiz

Often we are so heavily focused on giving, we forget that receiving is a practice all by itself. The Sufis point to the moon as a reminder.

How many of us find it uncomfortable to receive? A gift? A compliment? A friend offering to pay? I know I do. 

We can practice gratitude for the things that come our way, but that doesn’t always help us feel less overwhelmed or less awkward in that moment of receiving. Yet the Sufis tell us that if we want to live a life of love, it’s imperative that we get to know what it means to receive—to stop resisting.

The Sufis and the yogis have a long and connected history. It’s no coincidence that yoga teachers quote Sufi poets Rumi and Hafiz in classes. The two mystical paths share the same passion for devotion and surrender on the path to awakening. They also both recognize the importance of balance, of giving and receiving, of the sun and the moon.

In Sufism, there are 99 names or qualities of the Beloved, and each represents a facet for us to explore and experience in order to become united with this Beloved. The second of these “pathways of the heart” as Neil Douglas-Klotz calls them, is Ar-Rahim, The Moon of Love, and when called to it, we are asked to deeply consider our capacity to receive, and to look to the moon.

I love this pathway.

The Good of Giving

Our greater emphasis on giving is understandable. We are genetically wired to give—scientific studies show that when we give, the brain releases the pleasure hormone dopamine. We also are reminded to give much more often—especially if following a spiritual path. In the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita we are reminded that service is a path to self-realization. Generosity, dana paramita, is the first of Buddha’s six perfections. In Kabbalah, giving is vital to overcoming self-centeredness. And in Judeo-Christian religions we are told that “it is in giving that we receive.”

Ar-Rahim, the Moon of Love, teaches us that when we allow ourselves to receive, the world gets our moonbeams.

This encouragement is wonderful, and there are clear practices we can follow to cultivate our giving nature: being of service to others, performing random acts of kindness, volunteering, donating, saying kind words….

But by comparison receiving can feel far less noble an action. There aren’t really any clear guidelines for practice as it is almost assumed we receive by default. As such, we’re not very adept at it. We confuse receiving with “taking.” We can judge receiving as selfish, or only suitable for certain people who we deem “needy” enough. How many of us do not practice the art of receiving, but simply regard it as something to fit it in “between” giving? “OK, I’ll accept your help,” we might acknowledge with defeat, while we figure out how we’re going to pay them back.

But the Sufis ask us to rethink how we view receiving, and to reflect upon the moon to help us do so.

The Moon of Love

When the moon is full, the light that bounces off it is enough to illuminate streets, yards, forests, lakes, and oceans. How many of us have enjoyed a night bathed in moonlight? Yet, upon exploration, we find that the moon isn’t really “giving” us any light—it’s receiving light from the sun. We simply benefit from the reflection. Ar-Rahim, The Moon of Love, teaches us that when we allow ourselves to receive, the world gets our moonbeams.

As we look at receiving through this new lens, we can begin to imagine… What if the moon could grow and receive even more sunlight? How many more moonbeams would the world get? While the moon can’t get any bigger, there is no end to the love we can receive if we practice opening our hearts and letting love in.

This requires giving up our judgments, and exploring the moments when we feel uncomfortable receiving. Why is it we find it hard to receive gifts? Do we feel obligated to give back? Why are some compliments hard to accept? Do we think we’re not worthy? Why don’t we let others pay? Do we judge those with less money as weak? These are all just pointers to what Sufi poet Rumi would call our “barriers to love”.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
— Rumi

Practicing Receiving

Practicing receiving helps us uncover these barriers. It also helps us recognize that if we think giving is “better” than receiving, we are mistaken. They are one action, as the sun and moon teach us. To resist receiving is to resist giving.

I learned this beautiful lesson not under the moon, but in a checkout line at a New York City supermarket. The woman in front of me, a stranger, was gathering her food stamps and coupons to pay when I felt an internal nudge to offer to buy her groceries. But I hesitated. I started thinking about whether she would be offended—or what if she said no?

It was at that very moment the woman turned to the teller and said: “And I would like to pay for the groceries of this lady behind me.” I was shocked. It was like we both heard the giving/receiving voice at the same time, but her mind did not get in the way. Her heartfelt capacity to give was far greater than mine.

Be assured, it was not easy to receive, although I did so with great thanks. My mind had several opinions about what it meant to accept such a gift from someone who appeared to have less money than myself. I would have been much more comfortable being the one to pay. But if we want to unite with the Beloved, then it’s not the comfortable path we take. As Rumi says: “Run from what’s comfortable.” If receiving is your barrier to love, then it’s worth making receiving your practice. And if we need a reminder, we need only look out the window at night.


Helen Avery is a journalist, writer, yoga teacher, & ordained Minister, living in New York City.
 
"Asana. meditation, reading and writing - for me, these all are gifts that enable me to learn and practice what it means to live from my heart. They help me to remember in all moments, outside of solitude, that there is only love."

Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement. She is a Spiritual Teacher & Intuitive Guide.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and joy in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!