The gift of receiving

I want to share with you a practice and a way of being that has really lit up my life recently and has given me so much:

Really, fully and truly receiving

Fully receiving all the gifts that come my way has been a doorway to magic in my life. It has been a true practice to allow these gifts in, and my life has become so much more full, rewarding and beautiful for it.

This blog is my offering to you, so you can start to fully embrace the magic in your life too!

I sometimes think we have forgotten how to truly receive. I see a lot of fear and resistance around receiving; it shows up in my life almost every day. Friends brushing off compliments, me downplaying my own greatness when I am acknowledged, silly jokes being made when you feel really seen by another… Many small and big ways not to say yesto the gifts that are offered.

Why is that?

Me being me, I spent some time reflecting and feeling into my own reasons and patterns around this. And I realised this: fully receiving all the gifts that come my way, means owning that I deserve them. That I am worthy. That I can let them in because I am awesome, and I know I am awesome, and it is my birth right to be showered with gifts.

There you have it.

How does that sound to you? Are you a ‘fuck yeah!’ or are you feeling resistance? Anger? Fear? Yes! I know I did, and sometimes still do. This is a big one.

Fully receiving is about allowing yourself to have it all.
Only when you truly believe it, you can receive it.

I have (had) many ways of convincing myself it is not okay to have it all. To downplay things just a little bit. To not fully acknowledge my awesomeness. Because it feels safer, less scary, and it certainly triggers less reaction in me. I have persistent stories about having to work hard to be able to receive, having to give back, being arrogant to think of myself as being big, huge, enormous and worthy, and many more.

I am here to tell you these stories are not true. They are bullshit. Sure, there might be good reasons that they are there. That does not mean they are true.

You are worthy. To have it all. To be nourished so deeply into your bones that you can do nothing else but shine. You are beautiful, awesome and amazing. Don’t downplay yourself. You are not serving anybody this way, least of all yourself.

Marianne Williamson still says it the best way possible:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

To shine we need to nourish ourselves. And fully receiving is a very good way to do that. Let yourself have it all. Know that you are worthy. And know this:

Receiving is a gift

Yes. It is. When you are truly letting in the gifts that coming your way, you are giving a gift. Let that one sink in for a moment, especially if you have been feeling resistant up until now. You are giving the gift of acknowledging what somebody wants to give you. You are giving the gift of allowing somebody to see you shine, impacted by their gift. You are giving the gift to the world of opening up and showing the true you, the big you. And in the end you are giving the gift of serving the world with your abundance.

I just came back from a stellar trip to Sweden where I practiced tantra and travelled the country, meeting the most amazing people. Right from the start, it became clear to me that this trip would be a practice in receiving. I left the Netherlands with very little money, and even before I left, the gifts started coming in: an amazing beach house in the Stockholm archipelago, all to myself – right when I needed and wanted some precious alone-time. Free rides to beautiful places, before I even considered how to get there. Boat rides in Swedish sun sets, free dinners, deep meetings, loving challenge, huge support and acknowledgement, many many hugs, being seen in beautiful, deep and life-transforming ways, spankings, dances and, and, and….

I could go on. Initially it was a lot. I felt myself resisting all this abundance. A whole range of ways to not receive came up. And then, I decided to fucking go for it. See it as a practice and see how far I could go. And: it was also a lot. A lot of the good kind. I found myself so often completely in wonder at the magic of my life. I have expanded, loved and been loved in ways I had not experienced before then. Because I could let it in.

And I want you to have that same experience. To feel so supported by life that you cannot do anything else than overflow with happiness. To share the abundance. To see the ways you are closing of to all those gifts, so can slowly start choosing differently and allow yourself to open up.

And yes, it’s a practice! Below I am listing 4 ways to start practising receiving. If this is challenging for you, start easy. You don’t have to jump in at the deep end.

But please: start. You are doing the world a service.

1. Allow yourself to receive

When a compliment or something else is coming your way: pause. Allow yourself to drop into the moment, take a breath and receive. Open your body and heart and let it in. Let the gift nourish you. Allow yourself to feel seen, really feel seen, in your deepest being. Allow whatever comes your way to be a reflection of your value.

And, if you feel resistance, allow yourself to receive as far as you can go. And acknowledge that’s where you are at right now, and take this as a practice. Allow yourself to start softening those layers, slowly, one by one. Take your time. What I used to do and sometimes still do, when something comes my way I cannot fully take in: I put it on my imaginary gift-shelf. I have one, that stores the extra big ones; the ones that would stretch me to a next level when I would fully receive – and thus believe – them. And they sit there, waiting likes gems to be picked up and celebrated. And sometimes, plop, they just drop in. And that is an amazing feeling.

2. Acknowledge the gift and/or giver

Fully receiving is a great gift. Allow yourself to be seen in receiving. And thank whoever has bestowed that gift on you. Really thank them. There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing somebody really appreciating and receiving a gift. It is such a beautiful present. And let yourself be amazed by how reception can be a gift in multiple ways. I recently borrowed some money from a dear friend and really thanked him, and he responded with: “I am really happy I can help”. There. How awesome is that. Receive.

I also thank Mother Nature, the trees and flowers in my garden, sunsets, chance meetings, the rain, the universe. So many things. Once you get going it’s pretty hard to stop.

3. Pay it forward

I am pretty sure most of you know this situation: you are receiving an amazing back massage and you can’t fully relax, because your mind is partly on the thought of having to give something back.

Do you recognise this? If so: STOP IT. If you take anything from this post I hope it’s this. Stop thinking you have to give something back. Straight away. To that person. Right in that moment. Just allow yourself to receive.

This has been one of my biggest blocks to receiving and hence also my biggest learning.

I used to be (and sometimes still am) such a ‘balance-keeper’. ‘People pleaser’ is also a good word. And I have realised this behaviour really narrows my enjoyment in life. It feels limited. I started realising that wanting to give something back straight away was not necessarily coming from a good place. I did not really want to give, I just wanted to even the score, so I would not be ‘in debt’. Yeah. It was time to start letting that go.

My beautiful friend in Sweden really thought me this. I was staying at her place and she was showering me with abundance. And I kept trying to give her things back. She wouldn’t have it. She simply said: ‘Just pay it forward”.

Just pay it forward. Give to somebody else, or at another moment in time. Trust that the universe will provide. For everybody. Trust that you can give, and will want to give, at some other point. Trust that we all get served that way. Let go of the quid pro quo.

4. Invite in more abundance

This is what I practiced with my dear friend in Sweden, as part of our exploration. Every time I / we received something, we would state:

Yes. Thank you. And more please.

Sometimes we would whisper it really softly, and sometimes we would shout it out into the Swedish night air racing our bicycles through the forest. Downhill.


And holy shit, did we get some! And it was SO good. We allowed ourselves to receive so much more than we ever allowed ourselves to have.

This sentence really opens me up to the world. Even as I am typing this right now, sat behind my computer, I feel my heart and body opening up, a smile emerging on my face and simple happiness and deep excitement bubbling up in my body.

It feels like inviting magic into my life. Life becomes a playground of wonder and infinite possibilities when I feel into this sentence.

It’s. So. Much. Fun.

Try it. Let yourself have more than you could ever imagine.

And let me know how it goes!

Posted by

Coach, trainer & lover of all things human and relational. Supporting you in finding a deeper connection to yourself & others, so you can truly lead, wherever you are.

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