Are you ready to receive?I don’t mean can you accept a new handbag or a compliment, but are you really ready to receive into the depths of your being? Just imagine what life would be like if, within your deepest self, all you would have to do is recognize your own perfection to receive your heart’s greatest desire. Did you know that it is your very nature to receive; that unlimited abundance has been yours all along? Sink into the part of you that thrived as an infant, just absorbing food, taking in swaddling comfort and receiving love. That part still exists. Receptivity is at the core of your very being.
Are you ready to be healed? I don’t mean can you take a pill or go a doctor; but can you acknowledge yourself as perfectly whole? The root word for heal is the same as for whole and holy. You were inherently created whole, capable of receiving the gift of healing that has been yours all along, if you can open up to the most powerful transformative process in creation, that of recognizing yourself as holy.
It is inherent within the female nature to be open and receptive. Yet our society has ingrained within us that we have to fight and struggle and crawl over the next gal to get what we want! I have been treating “infertile” women for many years now, and have found that their greatest impediment to conceiving is their own inability to open up to receive. They believe they are infertile, and must fight to get a baby before their time runs out. They panic into grasping for anything and everything outside themselves. They go from doctor to doctor, from mind/body clinic to in-vitro fertilization procedures, to donated eggs and sperm, ever finding their goal more elusive. One of my patients, Carrie, for example, went through 27 IVF procedures and nine cycles of donated eggs and never reached her goal. She was trying as hard as she could! When we discussed how this process was killing her, she said, “I’m really trying to let it go, but I can’t!” She spent over 2.2 million dollars, lost all her friends and pleasures in life, and developed an autoimmune disease, but didn’t know how to stop. She only knew how to try harder, and it was killing her.
Most of us just don’t know how to let go. We think it means giving up, and we won’t do that! Like Carrie, we have mastered the “how to” process of trying to get whatever material object we desire out of life. But true receiving involves more of a “how not to” process of releasing the tight grip that prevents accepting the gift – of a baby, of happiness, of joy, of abundance.
The process of receiving may not be easy, but it is simple. It is our very nature. The ground receives the seed and absorbs the rain. The little sprout bursts through and grows toward the sun. It receives from above and below, and just does what it was meant to do. It doesn’t try to grow; it just grows. Like a kitten, a puppy or a baby, it is our nature to receive and to grow. Then something happens and we start to struggle. We think we are going to lose the nurturing sustenance that has been there all along; we’ve just forgotten how to receive it.
The process of trying involves effort: holding the breath, sucking in the stomach and pushing out the chest, compressing us ever tighter internally, all in an attempt to get the prize. It is as if there are tight fists clenching from within, trying desperately to hold on, to force us one step closer to the goal. Physiologically this process forces our adrenal glands to dispatch stress hormones that actually prevent us from receiving. When we are in fight mode, the housekeeping functions of the parasympathetic nervous system shut down. Our breathing becomes shallow and ineffective. Our blood becomes acidic and inflammatory processes ensue to protect us from the internal conflict. The reproductive system screeches to a halt. It knows we can’t receive when we are struggling to “get” something. And it sets up internal protective mechanisms so that we won’t be able to receive. Just as animals in the wild won’t go into heat when they are under stress, nature knows that when we struggle, we cannot take in. We can’t absorb food or water, we can’t sleep, rest, or receive. We stop producing the feel good chemicals like beta-endorphins in our brain and serotonin in our gut. We feel bad. We’re worn out, our heart is strained, our blood pressure elevates. Our immune system falters, and we remain sick. We labor ever harder because we don’t know how not to.
The things that we cling to most fiercely close us off the most. When we feel we must fight for a child, we are actually preventing ourselves from receiving it. When we habitually tighten any body part, it becomes more and more dense until it can actually calcify, becoming like bone. This process of internal tightening has become second nature. We try to hold on to our figures, our appearance, our youth, our money, our spouses, our jobs, our status, our security, and our lives. We resist the natural processes of ebbing and flowing. We seek, grasp, hold tightly, and look for the next thing to seek, grasp, and hold. Western medicine recognizes that at least 70% of all disease can be directly related to this internal tension. I would say it’s at least 90%. But the good news is that as water dissolves minerals like salt, we can dissolve physical impediments by allowing ourselves to flow again.
I practice traditional Chinese medicine, which seeks balance so that the inherent life force can flow within our being, throughout our relationships, and in our interactions in the world. And this involves letting go of the processes that obstruct, or cut off the flow of our life force, or qi. You don’t need to understand the life force, and you don’t need to seek it, either. All it asks is recognition. I recall the story of the fish that was madly swimming around seeking the source of life. He sought out a wise old fish and asked him what the secret to the source of life was. The old fish, said, “It’s water.” “Where can I find this water?” asked the young fish. The old fish replied, “Just recognize it. It is all around you. You are it.” The young fish pondered this for a moment, and said, “That’s crazy. It makes no sense”, and he swam on in search of the source.
So how do we recognize what is at the core of our being and all around us, waiting to be received? We unclench. Here is the process: It’s a moment-by-moment recognition. Are you clenching or unclenching? Let’s practice.
(a) Clench: Make a tight fist. Close your teeth together, and tense your jaw. Look around and compare yourselves to others. See how different they are from you. Take small, smallow breaths as you recognize they have it better than you. Their stomachs are flatter than yours; hold yours tighter. At all costs, protect yourself, as you turn your thoughts to all you don’t have, but desire, to make yourselves more like them. Think about all you haven’t done at your job. Maybe you can stay later at the office tomorrow, or just worry about it tonight in bed. Can you feel what that does to your body? (b) Unclench: Release your fists. Lay open your hands. Let your shoulders down. Close your eyes, Go within. Exhale. Feel the depths of your breaths as you let out your gut. If you quiet yourself enough, you may be able to hear the amazing sound of your own heart beating, with no involvement from you at all. It is a part of the miracle that you are. Now laugh, and notice the vibrations of the laughter. See if you can feel it in your fingers and toes. Dance like you’ve just been unleashed. You have been!
That’s it. If you choose to live by (b) above, don’t worry; it will not transform you from a high functioning Type A into a couch potato. All of your endeavors will actually require much less effort. You expend less energy as you function on a much higher level. As you unclench, you breathe deeper. Your sympathetic nervous system relaxes, and blood flows to oxygenate your entire body. You actually have more energy. Your hormones can balance themselves. Your digestive system can absorb nutrients, and your intestines can move. Chemicals of relaxation and pleasure are released in your brain and gut. You rest deeper, and can become more effective in all your pursuits.
As an ocean refuses no river, it is your nature to receive. As a river refuses no raindrop, it is your nature to accept the gifts of the universe. You become ever more abundant, and you don’t even have to try. The process involves recognizing the internal wisdom and allowing your inherent health to be released. You don’t have to try to be proficient and outline every page in this book, to adhere to a militant method, or to be worthy of letting go. You only have to recognize it and let it express itself. By going through the unclenching process in this book, you will experience a shift in the core of your being that will allow your cells to enliven with love. Joy and peace fill very cell in your body as you relax into the healing process. You open up to receive. A child. Abundance. All that is yours and has been yours all along!