#18 Practice Giving and Receiving; It’s a beautiful dance… (from) 49 Life Lessons it took me 50 years to learn
It was around 2009 that I first heard someone reference giving and receiving as a ‘beautiful dance’. I was at a full moon meditation in a hall on Chambers Island. I was sitting on a yoga mat in a circle with around about 40 other people. In the middle of the darkened room was an intricate display of crystals, flowers and candles. It was truly mesmerising. We were all offered freshly brewed chai tea. It tasted like Christmas in a cup! The start of my love affair with chai tea…
This was the first guided group meditation I had ever been to and I was completely awestruck by the energy, the people, and the atmosphere. The facilitator was Raelene Byrne and I thought she was like some kind of angel. Her words, to me, were captivating and calming all in one. I don’t remember everything she said that night (although I will never forget the feelings I experienced) I do remember this one phrase she spoke; “practice giving and receiving; It’s a beautiful dance…”.
She was talking about how for most of us, we are really good givers and not so good at being receivers. We are also very good at offering help but not so good at asking for it. At the time I was about a year into my solo parenting gig and what she was saying was totally resonating with me. For me, asking for help was a sign of weakness. For me it meant I wasn’t able to manage by myself. Of course these days I realise how silly that is. But I also believe it’s possible that many parents can relate to this.
It was what she said next that made the biggest impact on me and why I am now able to, with ease and grace. ask for and receive help.
She asked us to consider that when we next needed to ask for help to imagine what WE would answer if WE were asked by a friend for the same help we were needing in that moment. Would we answer ‘yes’ and help willingly or would we actually answer ‘no’?
I thought about this for a moment and pondered over the last few times I needed help and without hesitation, I knew that if anyone had asked for my help in the same situation I would, of course, say YES! It’s hard to put into words but I immediately felt a large weight lift from my body. I knew that from that day on, I could, if I needed to, ask for help AND receive it with ease and grace.
I am sure that if you ask Raelene if she remembers this night, it is likely that she won’t. But for me, I will never forget it and it changed my whole outlook on giving and receiving. Just like watching two people dance, when it looks effortless, light and beautiful, it is often because the two people dancing are exchanging an equal amount of energy in that space, in that moment. Giving and receiving is exactly like this. It’s a light, effortless and equal exchange of energy.
When you move about your day, doing what you do best, being authentically you, you never know just who you might be touching, moving and inspiring. That night in that hall on Chambers Island, I was touched, moved and inspired by an authentic and beautiful person. In that moment she was effortlessly giving and I (and 40 other people) were effortlessly receiving…