While the Giver archetype is well-known and celebrated in our culture, its opposite, the Receiver, is almost wholly unfamiliar…Busyness is a virtue, and countless people multitask themselves into exhaustion, overextend their energy reserves and take care of other people’s needs at the expense of their own health and emotional well-being.
~ Amanda Owen ~
As a creativity and book coach, I often have conversations with clients about the need to take care of themselves and their creative work as well as they take care of everyone else.
Expectations on both sexes create situations where the Muse is left gasping for air and reaching for sunlight because the demands from family, friends and work push the Muse into a closet or drawer or under the bed.
Even after a client and I lay out goals with first steps that include creating boundaries and shifting demands for help and care to others to share in, it’s not unusual for me to learn that the client is back to giving too much.
Because the cultural mindset is don’t be selfish; it is better to give than receive; others won’t like you if you say no; receiving means being indebted to that person.
Years ago, a friend said to me in no uncertain terms, “You’re not good at letting others help you. It’s important to give others that opportunity, you know.” I’d never thought of it that way before, that receiving is as important as giving.
It’s important physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In fact, receiving with grace and humility and gratefulness is a great spiritual practice.
Receiving is also an important part of the creative cycle.
Imagine that you weren’t open to receiving ideas and inspiration, whatever the source. How would you create?
Imagine that others weren’t open to receiving. Who would appreciate your work?
Imagine that those who wanted your work weren’t open to receiving unexpected gifts of money or opportunities to earn it? Who would buy your work?
Imagine that by always being the one doing for others, you rob them of the opportunity to do for you or others?
When you are truly open to receiving more will be offered, whether it’s time, dreams, inspiration, sales, friends, etc.
It’s not just about an attitude of gratitude. It’s about an attitude of receptiveness first. Then gratitude.
Before the holiday season is in full swing, practice receiving. Ask for help. Ask for time and space. Ask for what you want for your creative work and for yourself.
Before you get caught in habitual seasonal giving.
Your Muse will be grateful.