The #1 Most Blown-Off Success Principle Ever

Written by Christine Kane

Four-Leaf CloverOver the course of a month, my husband and I found 16 four-leaf clovers between us. Some of them were huge. We’re talking NUCLEAR huge. Some of them were small. They seem to be throwing themselves in our path.

I remember the sacred feeling of finding four-leaf clovers when I was little. It was like God was speaking directly to me. No words needed. I would silently pick it and feel a Moment of Special.

I still feel that way.

However, last week, as we were getting in bed, I asked my husband:

“Do you think the planet is going through some chemical adjustment – and there’s just a lot more four-leaf clovers out there?”

My husband gave me one of his looks.

Then he said, “I think the more interesting question is why you’re trying to figure out a way to dismiss something that’s really fun and meaningful to you by wondering if there’s a problem on the planet.”

———-

It made me think of something I said to a client recently. She was receiving rave reviews for something she created. People were falling all over themselves praising her work. And yet, she kept on talking as if she hadn’t even heard.  She couldn’t take it in.

When I stopped her and asked her to really listen to what these women were saying, she burst into tears. Like me looking for a planetary chemical problem, she was finding a million things to say to block out the sound of their praise.

She could not let herself receive.

The gist of what I then told her – and what I had to remind myself the other night – is this:

Receiving is crucial in order for us to thrive.  When we can’t receive, we can’t succeed.

As women, we give life. We create. We birth. We ROCK at care-giving.

That being said, it is imperative that we learn to inhale deeply, to allow praise, to be special, to nourish ourselves, to feed ourselves, to absorb the abundance of love that is out there for the taking.

Often we are so busy giving and coaching and befriending and serving – that we lose sight of the simple truth that energy is meant to flow.

If you can’t stop and receive, then you stop the flow. You break the laws of nature. And you will never truly experience success.

Here are simple ways to practice receiving and succeeding:

• When someone compliments you, stop and say, ‘THANK YOU.’ (Don’t explain why you don’t deserve their praise.)

• When you eat a meal, sit down at the table. (Don’t shove the food in your face at the refrigerator – or worse, while checking email.)

• When your partner or friend hugs you, let yourself pause for a moment and take it in. (Don’t brush it off as “too uncomfortable.”)

• Learn to inhale deeply and stop at various moments in the day to feel your breath moving deep into your being.

• When you see material things that you love (but perhaps are out of your price range), say, “That’s for me!” (Don’t block your connection to it by judging it as unreachable.)

• Treat yourself to a massage. Massage therapists talk about touch in terms of “receiving.” It’s a beautiful concept.

• Read books that are fun. Go to movies and take in the scenes. Experience art and let the colors splash all over you.

Comment please…

How do you fill up? How do you RECEIVE amidst all the giving you do?

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{49 comments ... read them below or add one}

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{49 comments ... read them below or add one}

KMG November 14, 2012 at 1:03 am

The sad truth is that I don’t allow myself to receive. It seems profoundly wrong, as though it is being greedy, imposing on the other person, taking something from them. Intellectually I know this isn’t the case, that people want to give just like I do, and that my issue is probably a result of a strict “never take handouts” upbringing (I remember being about seven years old and a friend made me the kind of trinket little girls make each other, and I hid it from my parents because I thought they’d be angry at me for accepting a gift).

Yeah, I know all that intellectually, But I still just don’t feel right about receiving. I’ll try your suggestions–thank you for making them.

[Reply]

Claudia Reply:

Your parents were much like mine. I think their fear was something like “There always is free cheese in a mouse trap”, and then there was their own upbringing during the war where there was absolutely no surplus of anything, only of hunger. Everything you took – be it even an afternoon spent in somebody’s heated parlour – had to be returned with interest. So if you take, you have to be aware of the obligation that comes along with the gift. And you keep your children from accepting anything, because you cannot control the extent of obligations that go with it.

I remember when a few friends swapped toys with me. We were rather happy – new, interesting toys instead of the boring old ones – but then all the children came back, one by one, sent by their parents, and swapped back. I invited some friends to my birthday party but some were not allowed to come, because their parents could or would not host such a party themselves.

This was sooo absolute, like a law of nature. But today we suffer no lack – at least not in US/EU – we have an almost toxic surplus, and still we act as if every little giveaway, every bit of help has to be reciprocated 1:1. Western culture – my father used to tell me, with a very serious face, that “our society was founded on private property”.

For my part I feel that being on the receiving end is uncomfortable because it gets me in a one-down position. Now I tell myself again and again that being, and doing, everything myself does not make me extra powerful, but rather the head of amateurishness. Still, brain and gut differ on this point…

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Dena November 14, 2012 at 2:31 am

I love to read. I read more books than I should, but they make me appreciate creativity and all the beautiful minds in the world.

I listen to my children chatter about things that are important to them. It may seem like that one is more of a giving thing, but I feel like I receive more out of it than I give.

I go to church. I feel that life is better when it is full of faith.

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Dr. Anna Garrett November 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

I have (after many years of trying to handle everything myself) learned to say a very grateful “YES” when people offer to help me.

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Raederle Reply:

I have learned to do this too, and it is wonderful!

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jill goldman November 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

MUSIC fills me up. SINGING fills me up. TAKING WALKS fills me up. SMELLING ROSES ALONG MY WALK fills me up. thanks for the reminder to make time for these things, christine! i generally do, but it’s good to remember that doing these things isn’t just for pleasure, but also to keep the flow of energy going inward as well as outward. thank you!

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Susan November 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

Great post Christine! Dena (above response) is right. If I could learn to enjoy and receive in the midst of giving … this would be the way to live. Like when I’m really busy and frustrated that I have to take the time to walk my dog (poor precious thing … I adore her!), I’d be better off to look at it as receiving … receiving the gorgeous day, or the luscious rain, her sweet company, the work break … the list is endless, instead of dutiful giving. Mindset and attitude. And gratitude. Receive in midst of giving. That’s the ticket, isn’t it?

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Alexandre L'Eveille November 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

Receiving is hard when you hold on to past invalidation you had growing up. Letting go of that is hard. But, every day I make it a point to affirm that I am worthy. I am learning to receive. I remind myself that if you don’t love yourself, no one will be able to love you. I still fight the embarrassment of receiving a compliment or having attention put on me, but I know it is essential to receive, so I keep at it! Great post, Christine!

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Deb Prewitt November 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

I have been uncomfortable accepting praise in the past. Brushing it off as ‘nothing’ or discounting who it was coming from or deflecting it in some way. But I have really been working on accepting praise lately. Saying thank-you and really biting my tongue when I want to respond in a dismissive way. And I feel better now. And I feel more likely to offer up my own praises to others. It is all part of a greater circle I think. Receive and give and repeat.

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Frauke Moebius November 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

Dear Christine,

yes, this is written for me. Thank you so much for teaching this (again). I know I need to hear it often. I’ve been practicing receiving for a while now, allowing compliments, receiving them with a “thank you!”. Even so, I guess there is room for improvement, and I’m glad you mentioned more ways to receive.

For a bit longer than a year I’ve given myself the pleasure of taking one riding lesson a week. That has changed a lot already – and enabled me to sign up for UYB. So yes, it is wonderful and very important advice.

Thanks, again.

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Lori November 14, 2012 at 10:54 am

LOVE this article! Thank you!

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Sara Marchessault November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

I loved this post, Christina! It has taken me a lot of time and effort in personal growth to be able to receive, and it is absolutely one of the greatest parts of being human. I love being able to receive compliments and feel good about what I’m doing. I love giving to others so that they feel the same way! I believe that because I can receive when it’s my turn to give, I am more authentic.

But here’s what causes me pause.

I often notice when I am around women who can’t receive. It breaks my heart a little. My mother is one of these women. It is incredibly difficult for her to slow down and just breathe. She doesn’t understand why I invest time and money in personal growth and when I convince her to try it for herself, she steps into it with intense emotion and rarely lasts long in that space.

I’m proud of her for trying. Even if it’s only small moments of receiving, it’s better than no moments at all. :) I won’t give up on her!

I know that in being able to receive I benefit because I feel good. I show other people that it’s okay to receive, and that the end result doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.

One more thought…since having my children (Ayla, 3, and Jude, 1) it is clear to me how easy it is to fall into the trap of giving non-stop. And so many of us do it. We give and give and start to lose a sense of self. Being able to receive, take my “me time,” and maintain a healthy balance in my life really makes me a better mom. I adore my kids and love and appreciate the wonder they bring to my life. When they get older, I hope my life will bring wonder to theirs in the sense that they can see how wonderful this experience of life can be.

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Paula November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

Such a great post Christine,
It took me many years to learn to receive. It became clear when someone said “There is such joy in giving, why would you want to deny that joy to someone else? Allow them to give to you so they can also have that great feeling.”
And I agree with Frauke, learn to give to yourself. Treat yourself like a best friend.

[Reply]

Jaci November 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

Awesome Christine! I can see why you married him! Its good when someone calls us out on our stuff. Love it.
I fill myself up with inspiration, online and off. I have created a space for myself to be creative in. I read your affirmation from UYL in the mornings while doing my facial cream. And I dance. I enjoy being with friends. In fact I was just in a new Jacuzzi at my friends house in the middle of the afternoon. How awesome it that! x

[Reply]

Kelly Pfeiffer November 14, 2012 at 11:58 am

It has been a struggle for me to learn to receive, but I’ve come a long way. Harville Hendrix wrote a book called “Receiving Love” which was very helpful to me.

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Susan November 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I hear a song in this post, Christine. Are you still writing songs?

Thank you for this beauty and your reminder to receive.

Love to you,
Susan

[Reply]

Barb Churchill November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Love the reminder and the image of the clovers. I can see your face when you asked your hubby the question. :o) It’s all about the “pause” for me. I’ve learned to slow my pace so I can be present, notice and take in the smallest of gifts. It’s how I “fill my cup”.

[Reply]

Lesley Reid Cross November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’ve just realized while reading this that there is a HUGE way I haven’t allowed myself to receive. For most of the past 13 years, I’ve been a stay at home mom. Sometimes also a work at home mom, sometimes a student, sometimes working part-time out of the home. During none of this time have I simply allowed my husband to support us without concerning myself about how I can contribute financially. There may have been a few times we actually needed the money, but not usually. And I think the biggest way this is a block for my own financial success (because yes, I desire having financial abundance that *I* create) is that it keeps me focused on lack and not thankful for my husband’s willingness to be the sole wage-earner, his commitment to our children’s freedom in learning (we unschool), and his desire, as he’s stated SO many times, for me to simply be happy and do what I love.

So, how DO I allow myself to receive? Hugs and laughter with my children. Spending time outside, with the plants and anoles and dragonflies and hawks, going to the ocean and letting it’s sheer size and power ground me. Music. Art. Food. Reading.

Thank you, Christine, for the opportunity to look at all these ways to receive.

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Michelle Smith November 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Here’s something I learned about receiving when I worked as a Development Director, raising funds for great non-profit organizations:
Always being a Giver is a power-trip. Receiving can make us feel vulnerable. We judge vulnerability as “needy” and “weak”. When we’re filled with shame that we can’t experience the quiet poise of humility – knowing that we are neither less than nor greater than any other.

Board members often wanted to feel the pleasure of giving — time, talent or treasure. But it is often very uncomfortable to step into vulnerability enough to ask and receive on behalf of one’s highest vision of the world. Uncomfortable and liberating.

Great post, Christine. And up till now I’ve never found a four-leaf clover myself, though I’ve received a number as gifts from other people. So in response to image of the four-leafed clover you included with this post, I say, “That’s for me!”.

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MarieNeige November 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

It is all so very true! I am the mother of 2 grown-ups, the grandma of 4, always giving, giving, giving, and I do love it of course… But, when do I think about myself and receive and accept? I’ll have to think about it!
Thank you, merci so much, Christine.

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Barbara November 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Am in the midst of a difficult receiving time right as I read this. A friend’s spouse is gravely ill. I am a communication link between my friend and our network of mutual friends. I spend a lot of my day letting people know what’s happening and how they can support our friend. And, of course, they do. Then they offer their support to me, as well, which feels ridiculous and is also so appreciated. i’d prefer to learn this lesson in a different way, but I am trying to learn it.

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Christine November 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

When I was planning my wedding (years ago now) I realized that receiving — allowing others to give or to help — was a form of giving. I was giving them the opportunity to have a warm fuzzy feeling inside. As everyone attests, it is a difficult thing to do. Changing my mindset has allowed me to thank the giver more sincerely and accept the gift more graciously.

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Kerry Dexter November 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

music, always music. even though, or perhaps because, that’s the field I work in, still there is always so much more to understand, and to receive, from the music itself and from the people who make it.

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Stacey November 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Breathing is an excellent point. The very act of inhaling is an act of receiving the abundance of oxygen that the Universe provides. Breathe and receive. Love it!

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Jennifer Flint ~ The Aura Reader November 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Oh, I’m huge with the hugging, myself! In fact I largely credit this for the fact that my boyfriend and I really never argue about anything.

It’s just super difficult be mad at anyone when you’re having long, lingering hugs every chance you get. It’s the world’s best stress reliever. I recommend it! :-)

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Maria November 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Invalidation!!! Alexandre you nailed it ! My hero today! Yep, grew up with it, still get it from parents (unknowingly) in large, unsolicited doses. It just so happens that I am an unmarried parent of a 12 year old, and that further fuels their INVALIDATION LANGUAGE AND BEHAVIOR.. Ok, so you all get it…

Now.. I’ve gone through life striving for success, and have done well, but not STELLAR!! Limitations can be so unconscious….so paralyzing…..always searching….always circling and never rising.
I am having that V-8, lightbulb moment, friends!! Clunk me in the head, I feel something triggered simply by Alexandre’s word: INVALIDATION. Exciting!! Motivating!! Determinating!! (is that a word? It is now!) Wow. I gotta get busy.

Great article, Christine, and thanks for gathering all these lovely people and their insights.

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Kalia November 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I agree that this is so important, and for many of us, very challenging. I receive by giving to myself. I honor my body by kindly rubbing oil into my skin after a shower or bath. I let myself feel grateful for the gifts of myself instead of constantly comparing myself to others.
I think it’s in the small ways that I practice receiving, that allows me to open up to being more receptive- it’s a joyful loop.

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Melissa November 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Thank you Christine for your incredible insights and writing – I really connect to your honest writing approach and somehow always have giant AHA!’s when reading your posts.

Just now as I read this I burst into tears after reading
“…it is imperative that we learn to inhale deeply, to allow praise, to be special, to nourish ourselves, to feed ourselves, to absorb the abundance of love that is out there for the taking.”

In a particular the ‘be special’ words really hit home and made me realise I’ve never allowed myself to feel special for beiing my true self. Growing up I had a severe anxiety disorder where I would gouge holes in my own skin during my sleep. My legs, arms, and face were covered with giant welts and sores and it was a constant source of stress and anger on the part of my parents. Every conversation with me as a young girl revolved around my physical appearance and how ashamed I should be for what I was doing to myself. I was never praised for maintaining my dignity, resiliance, open mindedness, and continuing to shine my light throughout my childhood regardless of my physical appearance.

Because of that, I just realised I’ve never truly received praise for the value I provide to people by simply being me. By being my true self. By shining my brightest light. And that even I have been living my life without acknowledging my own internal value and light.

Huge AHA.

Thank you!

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Natalie November 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Just realized that a few minutes ago I was feeling uncomfortable because I asked my brother and my sister to each come once to feed my cat while I’m away this weekend. I feel uncomfortable because they look after each other’s cats when either of them is away, since they live so close to each other — they never ask me. So I feel that I ‘owe’ them, instead of receiving wholeheartedly and giving them my heartfelt gratitude in return.

Hmmm…great timing, Christine!

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Sue Simpson November 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

While reading this I thought, “Christine wrote this just for me”. She’s coaching me to step up and be, live, and share who I really am. Good news, I recently went for a massage. Although it still felt a bit “selfish”, I did it and will do it again. I encourage my clients to start a ‘they didn’t have to say that’ journal or folder in their email. A place to record the compliments they receive that weren’t fished for. Do you like my dress -fished for. Wow, you are beaming and look great “They didn’t have to say that’. It was something someone saw in you. Recently, I received a wonderful email from one of my students. After reading it I wondered how I could express to her how much her insight and email meant to me. By honoring her with a thank you, and go and live that truth.

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Heather Elliott November 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm

GREAT story Christine! Good catch on your husband’s part to see so clearly what you were doing that was literally ‘tossing back into the ocean of abundance’ all the good stuff these 4 leaf clovers implied were looming in your future! It’s nice to be so conscious and aware isn’t it – makes being the person you want to be and doing the right things so much easier.

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Araceli November 15, 2012 at 9:46 am

I do have a question and maybe someone can help me answer it. I believe in good vibes, I am a happy, positive person. However, I do find myself not really knowing how to stay connected to who I want to be and keeping my heart open for the entire day. I am so busy moving my feet and taking action that I think I bypass the whole connection to stopping or slowing down to receive (from God). I want to begin my day in a state of thankfulness but I haven’t found a way that works every day. I would appreciate any suggestions for what I can do five to 10 minutes in the morning to get me to that place where I am always open to receive the blessings of the day and what it’s meant for me…I always feel like I have to go out and get it but I wonder if I tried less, would it still come?
Thanks!

[Reply]

Christine Kane Reply:

Araceli – There’s only one way to do this – and that is to do it SO you can experience it and then tweak from there.

I would begin with writing down five things in a gratitude journal every morning.

Another idea is to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stop for 10 seconds and inhale and exhale throughout the day. These are tiny things, but they go a long way towards creating more mindfulness and cultivating a mindset of receiving – rather than just achieving.

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Katt November 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Could I mention my favorite gift to give myself? Sleep! The best advice I ever got in my life was from my younger sister, “Go to bed and go to sleep. The only thing that’s different after is you, you are better able to deal.” Even a nap can help, I was feeling cranky and unappreciated earlier today, and gave myself the gift of a short nap in the car. My mood was so much better after and I did not feel a bit guilty for taking the time for myself. I deserve it and the rest of my world likes having me rested. Now if I could only learn to meditate, another useful thing for my life-utility belt. ;-)

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Christine Kane November 15, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Thank you for all of these awesome posts, y’all! I’ve been teaching my Gold mastermind all week – so I haven’t been able to keep up with responses – but I did read each and every one of them ( and will continue to do that!) But just wanted to say what a beautiful way to end a long day of coaching!

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anastasia November 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

“Often we are so busy giving and coaching and befriending and serving – that we lose sight of the simple truth that energy is meant to flow.”
THIS- this spoke to me I forget so often that energy doesn’t only flow from me but BACK TO ME- how silly to think that it’s one directional! You are awesome and so helpful! I also love- • When you see material things that you love (but perhaps are out of your price range), say, “That’s for me!” (Don’t block your connection to it by judging it as unreachable.)
I do that always “i want that but…”
You really have opened my eyes!

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Dave Berman November 17, 2012 at 2:36 am

I’m part of a Law of Attraction practice group and earlier this year we started singing a simple little song about receiving. It is sung to the tune of Happy Birthday…

I am ready to receive
I am ready to receive
I am ready to receive
And I’m willing to allow

I’ve started tagging the last line with something specific I’m manifesting, the way the song often gets “and many more” added on. I find this now runs on auto pilot at certain times, often when I’m running, showering or meditating.

BTW, please forgive my disruption of what appears to be all women commenters. I’m grateful that your posts hold value for us guys too! Thanks :-)

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Christine Springer November 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

Thank you, Christine, for writing this post! You are so right that receiving is a key to maintaining the positive flow of energy in the universe. I am grateful for receiving this message today :)

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Jack Kinley November 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Working with you has been a huge journey in allowing myself to receive! Thank you for putting that so squarely at the core of our work together.

I most often find myself receiving in the form of hearing people’s compliments and replying with an enthusiastic and grateful, “Thank you.” I used to brush off praise and dodge it—if I heard it at all. I actually practiced my response to praise for a while after our first Platinum retreat. I pause after hearing a compliment and don’t allow myself to say ANYTHING – usually more praise comes (yay for that); then I smile and say “thank you;” I often have to hug someone after they compliment me (I can’t help myself). That genuine act of listening/receiving demonstrates the value of kindness and expressions of love; and it creates an energy flow that feeds upon itself.

I’m also beginning to MAKE time to receive – by meditating and journaling daily. I open that pathway for receiving by making it a priority at the beginning and end of each day. The reality that we can make this happen is such a powerful lesson. Every day, I invite the good things in, and they come.

Can’t wait to be challenged by the powerful receiving exercise we do in our Platinum retreats in January. The more I learn to receive, the more I am able to give. It’s a beautiful system.

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Jennifer Carson November 20, 2012 at 9:28 am

Christine – LOVE this. I

t’s so true that we dismiss good things that come our way or our own achievements because they make us feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Or because we believe we don’t deserve them. Or we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I wrote a free ebook on this topic called “The Incredible Power of Receiving” that’s available on my website. All my clients read it before we get started because when you’re creating new things in your life, you’ve got to notice when they show up and actually receive what you create!

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M November 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

This is a great ode to caregivers in the trenches who need not forget themselves! I personally love journaling and collaging and singing with a ballad in the car as I commute.

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Raederle December 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I have a free e-course via e-mail available on my website. One of the lessons in this course comes from my own powerful experience with “receiving.” I started putting all the compliments I received together in a file. After a year I was amazed at all the compliments I had received, printed them out and hung them on my wall. This has been such a positive experience for me!

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Michelle Belnager December 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I was at a workshop one time and the leader was talking about responding to someone who thanked you. One of the participants said “I like to say ‘No- thank YOU’” and the leader encouraged us to consider just saying ‘you’re welcome” by offering “Let them have their moment”. In other words, if someone thanks you they are offering a gift. If you insist on being the one who says “no- I thank YOU”- you steal their opportunity to give you that gift. It is really kind of selfish. Let them have their moment. I loved that and have carried it with me ever since. I also find it useful to understand that if I can’t accept the smallest gift of praise, how can I hope to attract any larger wealth?

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Stacey Pruim May 28, 2013 at 7:58 am

Don’t know why I’m just seeing this now. Maybe because I was attending the Gold Mastermind when it came out ;-)

It’s amazing how the universe gives you WHAT you need WHEN you need it.

Thanks Christine! I needed that.

[Reply]

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