RECEPTIVITY. This will be my practice for 2017.
To me, this means to practice being OPEN to receiving love, praise, affection, opportunities, and whatever else the Universe throws my way.
Today, while in line to pay for lunch at Panera the kind cashier named Claire says, “Your head scarf is beautiful.” I happen to be on a longed-for solo date with myself. So, without having to share my attention with my gregarious and spirited toddler, I am fully available to feel her KINDNESS, to let it deeply sink in. I lift my eyes from my wallet to meet hers, offer a genuine smile, and mindfully reply, “Thank you. That was a really sweet thing to say.” She warmly replies with, “You’re welcome. It’s a bright spot on this cloudy winter day.” I think to myself, “I saw that, God”, and mentally winked at him.
I strolled to my table feeling warm and fuzzy inside, and thought about the MAGIC that can happen when there is open and mutual exchange of giver and receiver. When it’s done with conscious awareness by both people, a rich opportunity for connection, purpose, and honoring takes root.
Receiving becomes difficult for me when I am rushing, or in my head-space instead of HEART-SPACE, or the voice of my inner critic is too loud. Yet, at 37 years old, I offer myself a comforting pat on the back for having come a long way since my teens and early twenties when I was so tightly wound in a cocoon of self-protection that I had no idea of what it meant to graciously receive – to readily soak in the best of humanity, then amiably pay it forward in due time.
Next month, and for most of 2017, I am about to be the receiver of the biggie gift we were generously offered almost 11 months ago. It’s a gigantic gift of love, support, and opportunity like no other. GRATITUDE for this too-good-to-be-true offering was, and is, readily and immediately at the forefront of my response. But I notice there is also this subtle resistance toward graciously receiving this gift to the max that is keeping me from resting in its safe and strong embrace. I’ve had the last 11 months to practice allowing the comfort and magic of this gift to sink in, yet, I wonder why it’s still feels somewhat unsettled.
Man, receiving in big ways is really really hard for me sometimes. This makes me sad. I invite this uncomfortable feeling stay with me for a bit, rather than be repulsed by it. I remember to breathe. I become a curious observer. I breathe into it again. Eventually clarity sets in and I am ready to rise above this life-draining obstacle. I decide to perceive my resistance to receiving in a big way as a traveling teacher reminding me to use this as an opportunity to blossom.
John is deploying a month from today. My heart breaks into a million pieces when I think about our family being geographically separated for 9 months of this one precious life we get. John and Oliver have this extraordinary connection that has been present since Oliver’s birth. Oliver and I are tightly bonded, but John plays and connects with him in a beauty-FULL daddy way that I, nor anyone else, will ever be able to replicate. I compassionately make space for my big mama bear heart to grieve for both of them as need be. I sure am going to miss and ache for the daily steadfast presence of my best friend of 10 years and reliable parenting partner who relishes in the growth of our child with me and tags me out when I need to catch my breath.
The LIGHT always shows itself in the dark. Always. Even on the darkest of deployment storm clouds, I am able to see that thin silver lining shimmering just enough for me to recognize the magic amid this trying time.
LOVE. Utterly unconditional love in all its radiant glory is the gift we’ve been offered. Love that is being divinely poured through our Auntie Eileen and filling us up to the brim. The Universe is using her as a vessel to remind me that its steadfast and unwavering sparkling presence is alive and real and present, even during this dark season. Auntie Eileen has generously opened her ultra comfortable and gorgeous home in dreamy Weaverville, NC (a stone’s throw from Asheville, NC – our future forever home post military life) to be our sanctuary while John fulfills his duty to preserve freedom – BECAUSE IT TAKES A VILLAGE. I’m fully aware this is a luscious and rare gem of a gift. Thank you to our Weaverville/Asheville family for wholeheartedly and readily welcoming our tattered and hopeful hearts into your lives.
I’m doing it God. I’ve decided to take on your challenge to be a gracious receiver of love, praise, affection, opportunities, and whatever else the Universe throws my way in 2017. Game on.
Photo credit to Sacred Pregnancy