The National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) is an organization created specifically for neonatal occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists. NANT provides multiple ways for neonatal therapists to connect, learn, mentor and inspire while advancing this focused field of therapy on a national level.[catlist name=socialnetworks content=yes numberposts=1 template=rawcontent]
By Sue Ludwig September 1, 2015
Our current Launch participants (NANT’s leadership program) have been discussing, in part, the concept of receiving.
We’ve noted how uncomfortable it can be to receive compliments, help, or positive feedback without immediately minimizing or refusing it. AND how aligned leaders benefit from learning to receive – not to feed their ego, but to truly accept and be refueled by the gift that was given in that moment.
Gift? Yes, gift.
See if you relate to this:
Years ago, my husband and I arrived at a party hosted by one of his co-workers.
I really liked this couple, and was blown away at how many people they were entertaining.
Joanna, the hostess, went on and on about how she loved to host parties. She loved sharing her home and her cooking with their guests.
I asked Joanna, “Can I help you do anything?”
“Oh no! Thanks, but I’ve got it.”
I replied, “Really, I’d like to help. There are so many people here. Let me do something.” But I was unsuccessful in my drive to aid Joanna. She had it “totally under control”.
And I would’ve completely accepted her response if she was floating around peacefully refilling the veggie trays.
But she was not.
She ran around with an oven mitt in one hand and wine glass charms in the other making sure everyone had a drink, an appetizer, and someone to converse with. I saw sweat beading up on her brow. She seemed internally frantic.
Joanna is a ‘giver’. She gives and gives to every event and every person in her life, and she never accepts any help.
To fill up her tank she ‘must’ give tirelessly of herself. And while she is an outwardly generous person, giving to her is a one way street. It feels more like she’s giving AT me than TO me.
That’s because receiving is one of the best (and most difficult) forms of giving. And Joanna has a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign in her receiving lane.
We all know someone like Joanna.
And sometimes we are Joanna!
We’re unwilling to take a compliment without degrading ourselves. We pretend our own accomplishments aren’t a big deal. We may think we’re just being humble, but if we can’t accept graciously we are closing off traffic to our hearts.
And our friends and family feel the resistance. Their intention is not honored. It waits for us like an unopened gift. (Do you have piles of these gifts lying around?)
Next time you feel the urge to deny help when you really need it or discount a compliment, try receiving like this:
1. Take it in!
Take 10 seconds and allow the true intention of someone’s offer or compliment to sink in. “Let me help you!” “You look beautiful!” “You’re really great at working with families.” “You make the best guacamole on the planet!"
2. Respond from a place of gratitude.
Look right at that person and say, “Thank you!” In that moment feel what it’s like to share that reciprocal appreciation. You will truly give back to your friend in an immediate and gracious way.
And resist the tendency to say, “Oh, I’ve got it.” “You should see me without my make-up!” “Oh, I think we’re all good with families.” “Actually my sister’s guacamole is the best.” (This takes practice! It feels strange to receive. But you aren’t just accepting-you’re giving back.)
3. Practice this thought: You don’t have to hustle for worthiness. (This might be a direct quote from Brene Brown.)
When you live your life surrounded (protected) by your accomplishments or your acts of kindness AS IF those things make you ‘worthy’, you place yourself squarely in a cycle of depletion. You give and give and accomplish and toil to fill yourself up. But the depth of that place in you is endless. It is un-fill-able.
Try instead to entertain the thought that you were born worthy.
The things you do are great. Your accomplishments fantastic. AND if they all went away, you’d still be amazing.
When you really get that you’re innately worthy, it feels less uncomfortable to receive. It even feels good! And guiltless. When the path of your giving changes from a straight line to a circle watch how it creates energy, excitement, and love. The void will lessen and then seem far away.
And you’ll have that much more to give.
P.S. My sister DOES make the best guacamole on the planet.
By Laura Madlinger-Lewis August 25, 2015