TEMPLE OF VENUS: HOW TO RECEIVE

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns with some wise words on the practice of receiving… Artwork: Megan Thorp-Levitt

The paragon of the divine feminine, Venus is born of water. She, like water, receives, or takes in. Receiving then is the nature of the feminine, right? But paradoxically, we often talk about women as “givers.” The woman is the mother, the gatherer, the caretaker, the nurturer. And of course, we all give and receive, regardless of gender. But I want to posit that many of us, women in particular, are not receiving enough.

Especially if you’re an empath or a healer and a highly sensitive person, you may feel as if your tank is constantly empty. As if you’re “giving” all the time, in small and subtle ways – like giving up your ability to make decisions, giving up your lunch hour to a friend, giving up your freedom because of “should’s” or “supposed to’s.” Are you an over-giver? Venus is here to help!

The first thing to remember is that receiving is not about doing. It is about simply being and allowing. But society is set up for us to do, and do, and do some more. We’re taught to do our homework, to get good grades. We’re expected to be brilliant self-starters and become CEOs of our own empires. Our society loves masculine, Yang phrases that get us fired up like: “hit the ground running,” “just do it,” “get it done,” and “killing it.” And well, ehem, can I please get a “fuck that”?

Receiving is your birthright as a divinely feminine creature. Here are some ways to receive…

:: RECEIVE GIFTS ::

A receiving practice is really about cultivating deeper awareness about what you’re already receiving. By truly acknowledging what you receive, you can take this energy in consciously and use it to refill your tank.

A simple way to do this is to receive your gifts! Whenever someone offers to pay for you, cover the tab, or gives you some kind of gift receive it willingly. Say “thank you” with graciousness, and do not offer to pay instead. Feel into the sensation of receiving by taking a second to breathe in the kindness and the loving feelings it brings up. Visualize this feeling filling you up.

Now try it with praise. When someone compliments you, do not leap in to downplay your worthiness! Breathe it in. Receive this gift. It may feel awkward at first, but once accepted, it can feel so good. I’m going to give you one right now to practice: with “You are an incredible being, always doing the best you can. I love you and I see you.” No joke, that is the truth!

Another great way to receive more “gifts” is to ask for help and favors. Can’t reach a top shelf and a tall person is nearby? Ask them for help! This is a really simple way to receive and I’ve noticed in doing this that people really like being given a simple, discrete way to help out. Try it with kids. They LOVE it.

In fact, one of my favorite phrases about receiving is: “receiving empowers the giver.” So be a gracious receiver and empower the people who give to you. It makes everyone feel good.

:: RECEIVE THE PRESENT ::

The present moment is always ripe with abundance and possibilities, and so when we stop to just be, we get in touch with our receiving nature. We are “being” rather than “doing.” (NB: I have learned so much about this from my dear friend Lindsay Mack, who now writes the Numinous Tarotscopes).

A great way to be more present is to practice deep listening. Next time you’re in conversation, notice the cadence of your interlocutor’s speech. Notice each word. Take them in. This is deep receiving.

Is there someone in your life you can do a better job listening to? Make a commitment right now to listen more deeply in conversation with this person (I’m doing it too, believe me). Really receive his or her words, and see what you notice. Were you keeping yourself from receiving this person’s love in certain ways? How can you take in more of the love that’s all around you? Which brings me too…

:: RECEIVE NATURE ::

Nature is always waiting to shower you with her myriad gifts. So whenever your tank is really low, take any opportunity you can to find nature. Even an office plant or the sidewalk tree will help you to reset.

In many belief systems, nature is the feminine polarity of the divine — that’s why we call her “mother nature” and “mama earth.” By stepping out into nature, we are refreshed. We are filled to the brim with nature’s essence, which is a mirror of our own. We are reminded of our inner nature, which is peace, strength, love, beauty, wonder, and so much more.

An energy healing secret is this: when you’re tired, touch a tree. And on a long hike through rugged terrain, touch tons of trees! They will energize you. Once when I went out in nature with a teacher of mine, we were connecting with trees, and she was teaching me how to feel the spirit of a plant. I turned to a Ponderosa Pine and exclaimed, “This tree needs love.”

I put my hand on the tree and breathed into it. I let it take me on a little visual journey and it showed me how it was a mama bear. It grounded me. It made me feel safe. I laughed, telling her, “Obviously this tree didn’t need love. She just wanted to give me some of hers.” My teacher nodded: “That’s usually how it goes.”

It turns out, of course, Ponderosa Pine was exactly the medicine I needed for what was going on in my life at the time. So receive your dose of nature. Give your heart to the earth and she will give you so much it will bring you to your knees (in the rapturous way).

:: RECEIVE YOUR LIFE ::

This bears repeating: receiving is following your intuition. This section has fewer tangible steps, for it is intangible and highly personal – yet so many of us are striving to learn how to follow our intuition as one by one we “wake up.”

Difficult, since following your intuition may go against the Yang ways we have been taught (do your homework, go to college, no days off, time spent doing nothing is SLACKING). But this is needed in order to balance the energy on this planet right now. So, can we embrace the slack? In the Western world, we have been living in such a masculine paradigm, that it’s time to strengthen our other muscles – the intuitive receptive muscles. Yes, the pelvic floor muscles just to complete the metaphor!

So how can you be more intuitive, and open to receiving messages from spirit? Where can you put space in your life just to be and listen to your inner guidance? Here is the biggest secret of all: the Divine is standing right next to you, ready to guide you, ready to give to you every day if you let it.

So let go and let God. Do less to receive more (wisdom, love, creativity). It’s funny, it’s miraculous, but it works! And it feels damn good. Bowing to you, may you receive all the gifts and may you feel radiantly receptive, revivified, and rejuvenated.

Please note: this article is intended to be useful to all, regardless of gender. We can all use help with receiving.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on connecting to your inner child through crafting.

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