As the season of spring unfolds, I have been pondering the balance between giving and receiving in our working and living. Life is blossoming and unfurling in a generative and generous way right now. Yet all of this blossoming comes after a time of deep rest and restoration. Nature has the cycles of giving and receiving built into its rhythms.
As I work with clients and facilitate retreats, I often hear how many of us find it easier to be the givers rather than the receivers. Perhaps this comes from the old adage that it is better to give than to receive. This act of always giving, without receiving what we need for deep replenishment can leave us feeling like we are running on empty. Giving without receiving is like operating as if it is always spring and summer; we are always blossoming and bearing fruit without moving into cycles of rest, and receptivity that the seasons of fall and winter provide.
Just like the waxing and waning of the moon, there are times to shine bright, and there are times to withdraw and restore.
In our culture, many of us tend to overuse our giving muscles and underuse our receiving muscles. We are conditioned to always be productive without receiving adequate amounts of rest. This can create imbalance in our lives.
In one of my meditations this week, these words came to me:
“Your every breath is an act of giving and receiving – an exchange in perfect balance and harmony with the natural world.”
These words felt like a teaching from Spirit. Whenever we need to come back into harmony and balance with the natural rhythms of giving and receiving, we can come back to our breath and allow it to be our teacher.
With each inhale, our chest expands and receives the oxygen provided by the trees. With each exhale, we give back carbon dioxide to the trees. Giving AND receiving is built right into the natural cycles of our every breath.
As these spring days unfold, may you open to receive rest, support and nurturing in equal measure to what you give.
Giving and receiving is the law of life. When we give with love and accept with deepest gratitude, our souls rejoice.
– Debasish Mridha