Question of the week: Do you assimilate the gifts of the universe?
This question was posed indirectly by an article about receiving gifts written by Meditation and Philosophy Teacher Sally Kempton.
In short, Kempton suggested that many of us struggle to experience genuine gratitude because we don’t know how to (1) recognize the kind acts, words, or gestures we receive as forms of gifts being given. This happens because we often struggle to (2) be still long enough to receive the kind act or gesture for what it is (i.e. a gift). Which of course makes it difficult to truly (3) appreciate the gesture as an an act of love and desire for deeper connection (which is increasingly challenging when the “gift” doesn’t look the way we think it “should.”) (4) All because, at some unconscious level we’ve (4) bought into the idea that we are unworthy and undeserving of love, celebration, connection, joy, you name it.
Consequently, she suggests that we often dismiss many kind acts, words, and gestures with such phrases as “Oh it was nothing” and yet feel angry/upset/overlooked when another person has a similar response to a kind act, gesture, or gift we attempt to share with another.
To analogy Kempton uses to compares our ability to genuinely receive a gift, compliment, or kind act from one another is akin to how one can occasionally eat and yet feel starved. She writes: if one’s body is unable to assimilate and process the food it takes in, it doesn’t matter how much one eats. The body will not be well and feel malnourished. Likewise, if we’re unable to genuinely receive the gifts, compliments, kind words and gestures offered daily by our fellow inhabitants we’re unable to feel or assimilate the support of the universe. Thereby negatively impacting our outlook on life.
The question that I have for you, the question I am working to answer for myself is: Can I take a moment to be still, recognize, accept, and feel worthy of the support that is always around me at every moment? Can I assimilate these gifts and be nourished by their support? Can I be open to the love and support of the universe?
For you, this question might apply to your intimate relationships, where some times you may feel misunderstood by your loved ones. This question might be applicable at work where you might often feel that things rarely work out in your favor. Or perhaps this question might apply to your physical body and asana practice, where some injuries or set backs may have you questioning “what you did to deserve this?”
Whatever it happens to be for you, can you take a moment to be still and invite in the possibility that there are numerous gifts around you? Can you accept that these acts, gestures, people, and/or situations are gifts intended for your betterment? Can you trust that you are worthy of feeling nourished and supported by the universe?
To help with this practice of inquiry, I’d like to leave with the following meditation/mantra offered by Kempton:
This is the perfect time. Right now
This is the perfect place. Right here.
This is the perfect person.
This is the perfect gift.
I am the perfect person to receive it.