Amanda Owen has learned the art of receiving and wants everyone in the world to exercise their receiving muscles. She knows that there can be no free flow of energy unless those on the receiving and offering end of an exchange are open to playing their roles. To me it feels like a graceful dance with one partner leading at times and following at others.
How do you live your Bliss?
I have a motto: ‘Receive everything—decide later.’ When I remember to take in (receive) what someone says or does without feeling that I need to do something or say something right away, it gives me time to sit with (receive) my feelings and thoughts. And it helps me to be present since I am not trying to figure everything out or trying to fix anything. For me, this is bliss!
What led you to the life you are living now?
When I began investigating the dynamics of receiving twenty years ago, little did I know that doing so would ultimately change the way I looked at life, myself and my relationships, and even how it would affect my decisions.
In the early days (the 1990’s), I was solely focused on how to help people gain more reciprocity in their relationships. Many people give and give and give without receiving much back. This leads to exhaustion and resentment. I came to phrase it this way: “The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive is someone who doesn’t know how to give.”
Later, I discovered that receptivity is also a key to manifestation and created my ‘Receive and Manifest’ course in 2004 to teach people how to achieve their goals. My hypothesis was this: If I could get people (and myself!) to lower the barriers to receiving, then life’s abundance would rush in as if a flood-gate had been lowered. Each time I taught the course, I participated in all of the exercises. As I became a skilled receiver, I not only made healthier decisions, I also began to welcome the help and support that previously I had refused. That, in turn, strengthened my relationships.
Life is easier now. I don’t feel that I have to do everything by myself. I am more receptive to my environment and to people. And, because I replenish my energy by receiving, I have much more to give.
Were there times when you wondered (as I often do) ‘who thought this one up?’
Yes! I am very grateful that this concept about the importance and benefits of receiving was given to me. And I am glad that I listened to the message, became curious about it, and stayed with it for all of these years.
I have become passionate about showing people how to balance their giving with receiving. We have not grown up in a culture that teaches us this valuable skill. We don’t even have a vocabulary for receiving. Has anybody ever heard someone say, “Wow! Look at that person—what a great receiver!” Yet when giving and receiving are balanced, we not only are healthier in mind, body and spirit and our giving made stronger, we also have a better chance of achieving our goals.
In your book The Power of Receiving, you speak about the life we ‘want and deserve’…how do we acknowledge that we deserve what we want when so many of us feel so unworthy of our heart’s desires?
I have come to see the act of receiving as having nothing to do with our opinions of ourselves, just as a flower doesn’t have to have good self-esteem to attract a butterfly. The relationship and flow between activity and receptivity is natural. It is our cultural that has taught us that “it is better to give than receive.”
When you think about it, since every giver has a recipient of that giving, why would we always want to be the giver and never the receiver? Both giving and receiving are not only natural states, they are intimately connected.
Step One of my Three Steps to Receiving is ‘Accept All Compliments.’ Many people turn away something as simple as a compliment. They don’t see the line between the refusal to accept a compliment and all of things they want to receive in life.
Even if you have low self-esteem you can still say “thank you” when someone says something nice to you! Saying “thank you” is simply expressing gratitude.
Can you speak about the Big Circle/Little Circle concept you describe in your book?
I created the concept of the Big Circle and the Little Circle to give my clients and students an easy way to achieve their goals. So often if we have something concrete that we can see, it helps us make successful changes.
I call the Big Circle the Circle of Manifestation. The Little Circle is the repository for all of the feelings and ideas we have cast out. The psychologist Carl Jung calls this the shadow. To manifest a goal, these Little Circle inhabitants need to enter the Big Circle. Otherwise they sabotage your goals. Here is an example:
You know you don’t want to eat the ice cream in the freezer because you are trying to lose weight. The entire time you are thinking this, you walk to the kitchen, open the freezer door, take out the ice cream, get a spoon and eat what’s left of the ice cream.
What is it that makes you go for the ice cream even though you know you want to avoid it? The Little Circle is the voice that says: “What’s the use in stopping yourself? You know you’ll just eat it eventually anyway.” It’s the voice that says: “Eat it now and then it won’t be there tomorrow when you really start your diet.”
This is a big topic. I go into detail in my book about how to utilize this exercise so that it leads to goal-achievement.
Loved the Monster Celebration idea. Can you elaborate?
The Monster Celebration is a guided visualization exercise that is as profound as it is enjoyable. In this exercise, we create a party to welcome the very thing that is interfering with the successful attainment of our goals. Again, this is such a big subject and I can’t really do it justice here! I have many fun exercises in my book from ‘Send Cinderella to Rehab’ to the ‘No Suffering Allowed, No Suffering Aloud’ Complaint Fast. They are all designed to strengthen your receive-muscles, which in turn draws your goals to you like a magnet.
To find out more about Amanda Owen and her book ‘The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve’ (Tarcher/Penguin), go to www.ThePowerofReceiving.com