Let’s use the new moon in December to practice the art of receiving!
We are at a time of year best known as the season of giving. Most of us are comfortable with giving. Giving doesn’t challenge us. It makes us feel good. It sparks a warm feeling in our hearts. It lifts our spirits and makes us feel happy. It activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. It releases endorphins and our bodies feel a warm glow.
Receiving, on the other hand, isn’t always so pleasurable.
Are you like me? Do you get triggered when there’s some big beautiful goodness coming your way? Does it make you feel scared? It should make us feel wonderful but instead it feels unfamiliar and we distrust the unfamiliar. We feel uncomfortable and anxious. It’s not logical but it happens. Our body responds as if it perceives danger.
The belly tightens up. You feel a knot in your throat. There’s a desire to reject what is being given – whether it’s a compliment or a gift or someone going out of their way to help you or someone giving you the gift of their time and a listening ear. There can be a restriction, a withdrawal or a closing down when you should be opening to receive.
You may even wonder why you are rejecting the offering of love. You don’t want to reject the offering but it happens automatically. Something inside cringes or feels shame. You want to apologize or run away. You feel too small and insignificant to accept the love that is being given. Something in you doesn’t know how to let go and receive, accept or take in.
There are different reasons you might feel uncomfortable receiving.
In the western culture, we’ve been trained to be independent. We believe unhelpful things like, “I shouldn’t need anything from anyone else.” “I should be able to handle this on my own.” “No one should have to go out of their way to take care of me.” “I don’t want to be a burden.”
You might believe you have to reach certain criteria in order to receive something in return, as if you have to earn it first. If you don’t see yourself as having reached that criteria then you won’t feel worthy of what is being given to you and you won’t be open to receiving it. You’ll want to reject it – even if it’s something you really want or need.
If you have an internal trauma response, you might think there is something inherently wrong with you or you are bad or broken. Of course there’s nothing wrong with you; something bad just happened to you but the idea of receiving might trigger your trauma response. Your nervous system gets hijacked and something that should make you feel happy and good makes you feel anxious instead.
Your mind might naturally try to protect yourself by thinking such things as:
• No one should go out of their way to take care of me
• They will see me as a needy person who doesn’t know how to take care of themselves
• I don’t deserve it
• It is selfish
• If these really good things happen to me, something bad is just around the corner
• It’s too good to be true
• If I receive this there will be strings attached and I’ll regret it
• All this good is meant for someone else
• This goodness can’t possibly be for me
Receiving is actually a deeply vulnerable experience. Accepting someone’s love, care, concern, nurturing or gifts creates intimacy. When you truly receive from someone it creates a beautiful moment of connection but if you are secretly afraid of being seen, you will want to reject the offering. You won’t want them to truly see you because then they’ll see your flaws or they’ll see the truth of how unworthy you are and that feels like too big of a risk.
On this December new moon journal page, we’re going to work with our inner child and develop a bigger tolerance for receiving because this season of giving is also your time to receive.
It’s your time and you deserve it. You are enough. You are magic. Welcome the love in. Enjoy it. Let the goodness of it wash over you. Be in it. The love that brought you into being wants good for you. It wants you to have what makes you happy. The Love that birthed you into being wants the same good things for you that you want for yourself. Your wishes are Love’s wishes for you too.
If you are not on my email list and haven’t received this month’s moon page, visit my homepage and sign up. You’ll receive a link where you can download the hand-drawn page I created for this particular moon. Print it, grab a tea and a cozy blanket, get comfortable then follow the instructions below.
If moon rituals are familiar to you, prepare your sacred space and invite Spirit to join you in whatever way works best for you.
If, however, you are new to moon rituals, I’ve included a quick guide to the steps I follow to prepare for my moon rituals in a past blog post. Take a look at it before moving forward.
Print out the December new moon journal page.
The page depicts a dark new moon with a large hand and then a child’s hand on top of it. There is a spiral in the palm of the child’s hand and roses surround the hands and moon. This journal has a lot of white space around it. In the white space, you are to write a letter to your inner child. Start at the top of the page and write:
“Dear little me,
Then complete the sentence by describing what you promise to help your inner child receive. Really think back to the deeper more meaningful things that she really wanted but did not receive from the adults around her. How would she have loved to be treated? How do you promise to treat her now? What do you want her to receive?
When the white spaces are filled with your words and you are done writing your letter, take a moment to place your left hand over the outline of the hands on the page. Place your right hand on your heart and sum up your promise in a couple sentences and state it out loud. Let the universe carry your promise from your hand to the big dark moon where your words become magic.
Finally, color your moon page as you think about how you will feel when your intentions become real.
If you end up completing this spiritual art ritual, I’d love to hear how it went. You can even take a picture of a part of your process and share it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #danasmoonpages or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me how it went for you. It’s fun for me to know there are others out there enjoying the moon with me.