05/23/2011 11:57 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2011

Unleashing the True Power of Giving and Receiving

You've probably heard a lot about giving and receiving, and much of it can be quite conflicted. In my experience, you'll find that as you open the floodgates of the energy we call giving and receiving, it will take you to a completely new level of comfort and abundance in the world. Yet, for most of us there are conflicts that are holding us back.

Conflict 1: The Effects of "Constant Commerce"

Let's first discuss the paradigm in which most of us live. We live in a world that's all about commerce -- so much so that it robs us of our ability to fully give from our hearts, as well as to fully receive the abundance that's constantly being offered to us. The sense of "constant commerce" is in every part of our lives, even where it's completely inappropriate -- like in our love relationships.

This paradigm encourages us to think that if we give, we should get something back in return. We may also find ourselves holding back from giving or helping others because we think we need to put ourselves first. On the other hand, we may feel suspect when people are trying to give to us or support us, rather than just simply being open. We may also block receiving abundance because we don't want to feel obligated to pay the metaphorical bill we believe we'll create for ourselves by doing so.

Even in commerce, these unconscious internal conflicts can really hold us back.

Conflict 2: Giving with One Hand Instead of Two

What is the sound of one hand giving? Another pattern we may fall into is giving with one hand and being pushy or grabby, trying to get what we want, with the other. This is like demanding instantaneous justice instead of natural, powerful flow. The only thing this type of giving may increase is the likelihood of making a mess of both giving and receiving.

Conflict 3: Out-of-Balance Giving and Receiving

Some of us find it easier to give than to receive. If this is you, you may regularly choose giving instead of receiving, or giving even if it hurts you. When you do this, it may feel nobler than being on the receiving side of the equation, but it's just as much of a holdback.

Others may see the world and everyone else only in terms of "what's in it for me?" always looking to see what they can gain in every situation.

Both of these perspectives are highly out of balance and don't produce the flow, power and ease that come from having the channels of giving and receiving fully open.

Here are some powerful ways to break through giving and receiving barriers:

  1. From time to time, allow yourself to experiment with giving without wanting something back in return. You can do this with your time, money, expertise or energy. You can even do simple things like pick up the check when you're dining with someone who could use the support. Or make a donation to a worthy cause anonymously. Or simply reach out with your heart to someone in need and give them your love and affection. The more you give without wanting anything back in return, the better you'll feel, and the more you'll be contributing to your family, friends, community and the planet as a whole. The more often you do this, the more open the energetic flow will become.
  2. Allow yourself to experiment with receiving without feeling obligated. This can be a little trickier. I'm not suggesting that you take advantage of anyone; just simply allow yourself to be more open to others who are already wanting to support you without immediately insisting on bringing things into balance by giving something right back.
  3. You can dramatically increase the flow of giving by letting go of all the conflicting thoughts, feelings and beliefs that are standing in the way. For example, whenever you pay a bill or give money, time, attention or expertise, check to see if there's any resistance to the action, especially if you feel like you must do that particular action. If there's a feeling of resistance, simply welcome it as best as you can, and then ask yourself: Could I let this feeling go? Would I? When? Keep letting go until the resistance falls away and you can actually feel happy about giving.
  4. Whenever someone else moves in the direction of giving you something or supporting you, check to see if there's any resistance to receiving, and be open to letting go of any internal conflict you may find. If there's a feeling of resistance or discomfort, simply welcome it as best as you can, and then ask yourself: Could I let this feeling go? Would I? When? Keep letting go until the blocks fall away and you can feel more comfortable about receiving.

As you use these suggestions to get into action around giving and receiving and to let go of your internal conflict, you'll be dismantling the dam that holds back the abundance that's inherent in the natural flow of life and energy -- and you will reap the benefits of unleashing the power of giving and receiving for yourself and others, and for our lovely planet, as well.

I'd love to hear what you think about this post and what else you'd like me to explore and share. Please post comments, questions, ideas and experiences below.

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