I'll never forget the first time I "got" the connection between receiving and my ability to access and experience abundance. I was reading Shakti Gawain's book, Creating True Prosperity, and these words jumped from the pages and hit me straight between the eyes: "Until we learn to receive appreciation, we won't be able to fully (or easily) receive love, nurturing, success, money, fulfillment or other forms of abundance."

I don't know about you, but I grew up conditioned to resist receiving. I was told that "it is better to give than to receive"; in my mind, receiving was not a good thing. When people complimented or praised me, I learned to respond by discounting what they said ("Oh, it's nothing"), or deflecting it ("But you're so much better at it!"), or flat out denying it ("Oh, that's not true. I'm really...."). A part of me, deep within, secretly relished these compliments--but I didn't want to admit that. In my mind, this was what being humble required--and humility was a good thing.

Of course, my conditioning in relation to receiving (or, more accurately, to not receiving) went beyond mere compliments and acknowledgments. When people would offer to help me or my family, the model I grew up with was to refuse the help whenever possible. "Thanks, but we can take care of ourselves," or, "It's okay, we can handle it on our own," are attitudes and habitual responses that still exert a powerful influence over me today.


Hope for the Receiving-Impaired

When I read Shakti's quote, I recognized that I could be described as "receiving-impaired." I also realized that I was not alone. I began to understand that our ability to access abundance, in our businesses and in all areas of our lives, is contingent on our ability to receive. If the abundance you desire is already available for you (i.e., you don't have to create it or make it happen all by yourself), then you must be able to receive it as the gift that it is.

This is especially true in building a successful networking business and creating a residual income. If you, like me, are even slightly "receiving-impaired," how will you be able to receive the rewards that come from the activities and efforts of the people in your organization and on your team? If you are uncomfortable (consciously or subconsciously) with receiving, you may feel that you need to keep doing something in your business in order to justify or deserve your residual income.

This seems only logical to the receiving-impaired--but think about that logic for a moment. If you have to keep working your business in order to justifiably "earn" that residual income, how "residual" is it?

In my experience, the art of receiving takes practice...and more practice...and more practice. The best way to begin is to make a commitment to receive everything that comes your way--even if you have no need or desire for it.

Why? Well, unless you train yourself to receive everything, you may go through life with automatic deflector shields in place. For example, you might make up your mind that you don't want or need something before you've even let yourself receive it. Someone will ask you if you would be open to some feedback or assistance--and you automatically deflect or decline it. Saying "No"--even when cleverly disguised as an appreciative "No, thank you"--becomes a knee-jerk reaction.

With this knee-jerk, automatic deflector shield solidly in place, you and I will frequently and unknowingly block opportunities for support, love, money and all manner of other forms of abundance. This neither empowers you nor allows you to access a greater level of abundance.

This is why training yourself to receive is as essential to building your business as making phone calls or sending e-mails. Begin today, using this simple five-step model for receiving anything and everything that comes your way:


1. Pause.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Take or receive what you've been given. If it's something physical, take it in your hands. If it's a suggestion, a compliment or some other intangible, then consciously let it in.

4. Say, "Thank you." Just, "Thank you"--and nothing else! Receive it with gratitude.

5. Now that you've received it and it belongs to you, choose how or if you are going to keep or use it.


As I said, this formula for receiving works best when it is applied to everything that comes your way. A good place to begin is with receiving compliments, acknowledgements and statements of affection. Then start to expand the range of things you are able to receive graciously. Use these steps to receive assistance in doing things, suggestions, advice, gifts and even money. Use these steps to receive coaching or feedback and to be open to new possibilities or new ideas.

Be consistent in your training: receive all things. As you become more consistent in your ability to receive, you'll find that the opportunities for you to receive more and more abundance, in your life as in your business, will more consistently come your way as well.




is founder of Access Abundance
an organization dedicated to helping people access greater levels of
abundance, freedom and fulfillment in their daily lives. She lives with her husband, Dan, in the small town of Baraboo, Wisconsin.