Crafting Gentleness

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Better to Give Than Receive??

Soooz...I relate to what you are saying about growing pains. I have been blogging about this alot lately. Having recently turned 40 I have been waking up to the life energy I give out and asking myself if it is proportionate to what I am receiving back? It looks like I will be getting a raise at work as well at my request. My contract is coming up for an art program I started through public health one year ago.

I started my expressive art program for adults with acquired brain injuries as an experiment on a plastic covered dining room table in a group home and has grown into a well-loved place to gather each week with a full working artist's studio. I am questioning the adage, "It is better to give than receive." What does this mean? I am wondering if this is yet another one of the societal misnomers that we unconsciously live under that keeps us small.

I often awake in the night imbued with the richness I feel for all the giving I do. Yet I am asking myself do I really know how to receive...and if I do not feel open to receiving... what sort of richness am I giving from? What does true receiving feel like? I too am used to being resourceful, creative and ingenious about "getting by" on very little money.

When my daughter was a baby and we were in the breastfeeding stage I remember having a hard time accepting a massage. How do I accept and receive abundance? Just this week I stopped all my volunteer work because of the life energy I pour into it. In reality I am not creating enough money to meet my family's basic needs and my volunteer skills have reached the capacity for money-making.

Ayn Rand and "The Virtues of Selfishness" comes to mind. I read her books in my early twenties and was immensely inspired but then I seemed to slip right back into my feminine conditioning and made it my goal to give more than I receive. I realize there must be a balance of both.


  • Hi Shelley,

    Thanks for your response, It was interesting reading Ant's post first and then yours.

    I did this amazing exercise once where I got to put on paper a (energy flows) picture all the relationships in my life - in terms of life energy, out in (and sometimes around). It very quickly told me my job was sucking all the life out of me, and my friends were equal the relationship was fair. Those that weren't kinda fell by the wayside shortly after.

    The exercise is called sustainabilty mapping (it's along the lines of what Ant is talking about). It's sustainabilty because if you are always giving of yourself, instead of from yourself you are not sustainable. If you are always taking you are a parasite (ok pretty severe but you know what I mean)

    I hope you don't miss your community work too much. sounds like it was a good move...

    Currently I am experimenting with little changes that make a big difference (hence why I'm in total revolt around the changes) *g*. For me its' much too easy to trash it, throw it out, start again... the disposable era of my life *g*.

    Now I'm working on 'telling, being, doing" subtle things... I don't know that it's a great idea because the growing pains were kinda strong on the weekend, but they were good. However now, I feel that I am in my new stature...hope that makes sence.


    By Blogger Soooz, at Sunday, 17 September, 2006  

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