givers and receivers

I haven’t been to yoga in a couple of weeks. Mainly because sleeping in sounded so much better than waking up early to climb into a freezing car. And in the mornings after Andrew has left for work the dogs cuddle up real close to me for those extra couple of hours — Robin in the crook of my arm and Benji curled up on the pillow next to my head. That’s namaste, for real. Today though, I managed to take on the Southern Tundra and get my downward dog on. My studio mates very sweetly complimented me on my baby belly modifications and mentioned they’ve missed me. It was like coming home from college on the weekends to my little spandex-clad family.

mfyogaAn old photo from this past summer.

There was a great moment as we were winding down the practice. One of those moments when universe stuff clicks into place and you can feel it in your bones. We were sitting in sukhasana with our palms facing up. Sonya began talking  to us about the visualization of receiving what we needed through one hand and giving what we had through the other. “Find your dominant, active hand. This is where you give. Now find your submissive, passive hand. This is where you receive.”  Giving is active, receiving is passive.

Giving is active.

Receiving is passive.



My realization was almost audible. Receiving is passive because we do not need to be active in it. We are receiving always, all the time, from all directions. Receiving is such a constant we often do not even realize it is happening. It comes in so many forms it can be hard to recognize. Let that sink in. We receive SO many gifts from the people, God, and universe around us that we have become numb to it. That is incredible.

The flip side to this is that giving is an active choice that we have to make the conscious decision to participate in. Giving won’t happen unless we initiate it. We are the catalyst, we are the movement. And yet, the only reason we CAN give is because we have already received. It is cyclical. There is no guilt in receiving and there is no pride in giving. There is no fair and unfair. It is inherently balanced. Yin and yang. We don’t have to wait to receive before we give because it has already happened and will continue to happen for the rest of our lives. We don’t have to wait for the ball to be passed to us before we can pass it on; it has already been placed in our hands and there are hundreds waiting to take its place.

For me, this is something that is deeply rooted in my belief in God and our calling to love and serve. We are not called to keep tabs and maintain the score. God established that when all sins were declared equal to one another. Not only is there not a score, there’s not even a scoreboard. There is no record to be lorded over your head nor one to boast about.

There is no guilt in receiving and there is no pride in giving.

We need not worry about being taken care of because that is already in place and set into motion. Our piece of the puzzle is to take care of others and keep the wheel turning. Receiving is passive, giving is active.

It was a good day to get out of bed.

2 thoughts on “givers and receivers

  1. There is no guilt in receiving and there is no pride in giving.

    I’ve gone back to that thought over and over the past week or so. Thanks for putting it out there for me.

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