I’ve just finished my Spring and Summer teaching obligations and now I get two and half months off from teaching. I’m always torn about the end of the semester. On the one hand, I am thrilled to be able to stop the 50-60 hour work weeks and finally get some rest. On the other hand, I struggle with truly relaxing and feel as though I should be do-ing something.
This past Spring I learned a valuable lesson about myself; an issue I thought I had already dealt with reared its ugly head. It turns out that I had learned, but not mastered, the lesson here. The lesson to which I refer is the art and gift of receiving.
A few years ago I read a wonderful little book called Born to Receive. In it, the author, Amanda Owen, argued that receptivity is a natural feminine state. Women are the cup holders, the chalice bearers, ready and waiting to receive all life has to offer. I see her point, but I think that many of us have fallen off track. In a world that rewards do-ing and achieving, our sense of self-worth is more often tied to our accomplishments and successes than to be-ingness. Thus, the art of resting and receiving, letting go and waiting, is one that is not thought highly of, let alone rewarded. After all, if you’re resting, then you aren’t do-ing. And if you’re not do-ing, you’re not producing.
But then I realized something. There is a fatal flaw in that belief system. Productivity/ achievement/success cannot be a constant stream of do-ing. There must be a balancing of creating/dreaming/nurturing what you’ve already developed with taking action to make it happen. That’s where the feminine art of receiving comes in.
Let me give you an example of how be-ing and do-ing work together. I used to be a distance runner. It was a meditative practice for me and I often found that my best ideas came to me when my brain was ‘turned off,’ or at the very least focused on something else. Problems that had plagued me were often solved quickly and easily as my feet hit the pavement. Why? I stopped do-ing, thinking, forcing and I allowed the answer to come to me.
After working too much thus far in 2016, June is my month of receptivity. I’m going on vacation, taking a retreat, opening up to allow the insights to come to me. If this resonates with you, I invite you to join the Sacred Circle, where we will be learning to receiving, to let go, to allow the flow to come as we master the feminine art of receptivity.