Posts Tagged ‘Amanda Owen’
Posted January 18, 2016on:
Don’t turn away what life wants to give you. A huge connection exists between what you are willing to receive and what you actually get. I call this step “Accept All Compliments” because I have noticed a correlation between people’s unwillingness to receive the simplest things in life, while at the same time having some pretty big expectations. Your ability to receive something as simple as a compliment is significant. It signals loud and clear that you are ready to receive.
Amanda Owen, The Power of Receiving
Affirmations-366Days#17: I receive compliments about my creative work with grace and do not externally or internally refute them.
How good are you at accepting compliments about the creative work you share with the world? Do you push away compliments about your creative work? Do you tell yourself that the person giving you a compliment is ‘only being nice’ or saying these things to you because they couldn’t find ‘the real artist’ that they wanted to talk to? Or, do you say back to them, ‘Oh, it wasn’t my best work, here’s all the things that are wrong with it’? Or, ‘That journal my poem appears in has a pretty tiny readership, so it’s not such a big deal’. If you have been in this situation (as I have on numerous occasions), then you know that the giver of the compliment gives you a funny look when you push away their compliment and often shrugs. And, then an awkward pause ensues. You’ve completely confused them!
If you find yourself perpetually pushing away compliments about your creative projects, then it’s time to unlearn this habit!
Amanda Owen, author of The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve, has thought a lot about the connection between being able to receive and the ability to manifest one’s goals. She suggests that pushing away compliments and refusing to accept them “sends the message loud and clear that we don’t want to be given to. And life cooperates by being less giving.” Reading her work several years ago helped me realize all the ways that I pushed away my good in not gracefully accepting compliments about my creative writing.
I was such a chronic ‘pusher away’ of compliments that I had to train myself to just say ‘thank you’ and stay quiet for at least 20 seconds before saying anything else. Then, I try to follow-up with: ‘I worked so hard on that piece, I really appreciate your acknowledgement’ (or something like that). If you are a chronic ‘pusher away’, try your version of the above and see how it makes you feel.
I also acknowledge that gender socialization often plays a role in this issue. I have found (as a coach, professor and member of various creative communities), that women more often tend to be dismissive of their talents and/or downplay their accomplishments.
We can practice receiving compliments differently. And, the benefits of receiving compliments about our creative work can make us better receivers in other parts of our lives, too.
To see my 2014 interview with the fabulous Amanda Owen, go here.
For my review of The Power of Receiving, go here.
Open Hands — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Posted March 30, 2014on:
How are you? Are you stuck on a creative project? Have you lost momentum on something important to you? Are you struggling with fear, doubt, procrastination and perfectionism? Are you ready for new approaches in dealing with inner critics that block you from taking the next step on creative work?
As a scholar, coach and creative writer, I know how challenging it is to continually nurture one’s creative impulses.
That’s why I’ve created the CREATIVITY BONFIRE event for YOU. I have asked 11 of the most amazing artists, writers, coaches and visionaries to come together and provide insights about how to ACCESS and SUSTAIN your most amazing renewable resource-CREATIVITY.
Get Ready for a powerful SPRING RENEWAL and an Inspiration blast off!
You are going to LOVE these 11 powerful conversations in Sustaining Your Flame-Secrets from Wildly Inspired Creators!
The list of participating speakers is INCREDIBLE! They include Amanda Owen, bestselling author of The Power of Receiving, SARK (aka Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), creativity expert and author of sixteen bestselling books, Diane Ealy, author of The Women’s Book of Creativity, Kimberly Wilson, author of Hip Tranquil Chick, Dr. Eric Maisel, creativity coach, Hay House author and transformative coach Michael Neill and MANY others.
I believe that creativity is our most vital renewable resource and I felt guided to deepen the conversation about our rich treasure.
We will gather around the virtual CREATIVITY BONFIRE during April 3-April 6th. Whatever you are trying to do–empowering others, thinking up solutions to climate change, finishing the next revision on a novel, being a better parent-accessing your creativity will help.
This is YOUR SPRING RENEWAL and it’s all FREE + speakers are providing GIFTS! That’s right, GIFTS for you!
Ignite your spring by grabbing your seat around the Creativity Bonfire! Register here
Posted October 21, 2012on:
The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve by Amanda Owen
“Receiving is a skill that can be learned, developed and strengthened.” Amanda Owen
We’ve probably all been raised with an idea of what makes a ‘good giver’. Most of us have spent considerably less time though contemplating what makes ‘a good receiver’, or how being a good receiver might help us to achieve our goals. My skepticism ran high as I approached Amanda Owen’s The Power of Receiving. Receiving, yeah…yeah…yeah isn’t that about gratitude? Haven’t we heard it all before? I thought, great, another book in the personal transformation genre that encourages narcissism and tilts toward individual versus collective solutions. Well, on most fronts, I was pleasantly surprised about how useful Owen’s philosophy of receiving can be in helping to shift our tendency to live in a constant state of ‘doing’. Owen encourages us to look at how our beliefs about the continuum of ‘giving and receiving’ and ‘active and receptive’ shape our lives.
Owen notes that the ‘Giver archetype’ is well-known and lauded in our culture, but the ‘Receiver archetype’ (as a positive image) is absent. She explores cultural and spiritual beliefs that make many of us suspicious about the value of receiving. Receiving and being a receiver can have negative connotations, especially in ‘a pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ society. She, however, dispels the notion that being a more skilled receiver is about being a taker, passive, selfish, submissive, or a doormat. Instead cultivating our ability to receive allows us to embrace a more richly textured human experience. Tuning into the power of receiving can help us feel supported, energized, and enhances our ability to give.
Owen applies her philosophy about receiving to goal setting. She argues that we rely on and are encouraged to “exaggerate the importance of initiative and to allocate most, if not all, of our resources toward the active pursuit of our goals.” Most of us have been taught to set goals in a determined and often relentless way. It’s not that this is a wrong strategy, but it is one that values “willpower” and ‘doing’ so much that we can miss what the universe is offering us at any given moment. Also if we are always in an ‘active state’ (see below), we may cultivate ‘overgiving’, miss (or misinterpret) vital information about how to best achieve what we want, or fail to as for help and support in key moments.
The gold of the book was in Chapter One and her discussion of ‘Receptive and Active States’. She lists these as the following:
‘Receptive States’: Meditating, Listening, Feeling grateful, Accepting, Allowing, Opening, Relaxing, Letting Go, Noticing, Observing Welcoming, Yielding, Including, Embracing, Feeling, Hearing, Appreciating, Being, Contemplating, Watching, Letting Be, Attracting, Revealing, Acknowledging
‘Active States’: Analyzing, Talking, Promoting, Investigating, Controlling, Influencing, Multitasking, Persuading, Defining, Judging, Exploring, Shaping, Pushing, Holding, Thinking, Informing, Building, Doing, Acting, Performing, Gong After, Hiding, Forcing, Evaluating
Her ‘active and receptive’ lists have been described elsewhere as ‘inductive and deductive thinking’, ‘inner and outer knowledge’, and ‘holistic and linear thinking’.
I looked at the two lists and honestly asked myself, ‘In what state do I spend the majority of my time?’ And, ‘What’s my preferred state?’ You guessed it–I tend to spend the majority of my time in the ‘Active States’. As a coach, I often talk a lot about the importance of receptivity (and by extension relaxation), but after reading this book, I could pinpoint my own gaps in walking my talk. Owen points out that relying almost exclusively on outer focused active states is taxing on mental, physical, and emotional levels, often leaving “no replenishment time.”
Last year a dear friend and I (who define ourselves as ‘overgivers’ and often feel challenged with receiving), read and corresponded about The Power of Receiving. Her insight about Owen’s work on ‘active and receptive states’ strikes me as important: “One part I especially appreciate is her argument that the ability to notice subtleties in one’s environment is part of the skill set needed for receiving.”
In receptive states, Owen notes, we generally can pay more attention to “information from and about other people, information from the environment and information about our own feelings.” Hard do all of these things when we’re active (or giving) all the time. If you buy this book and just read Chapter One, you’d get your money’s worth.
Owen provides a step by step approach for working on your goals using her receiving model. She recommends a gratitude practice, learning how to receive compliments (surprisingly difficult for many of us!) and developing the capacity to be ‘spiritually naked” as a different way to approach one’s goals. Being spiritually naked means that we not just allow the good parts to show, but allow people we care about to see what we consider the flawed parts of our self, too. She advocates going on a ‘complaint fast’. Complaining, Owen reminds us, saps energy, and “discharges energy without changing anything.”
All of her suggestions for becoming a better receiver are doable. I especially like the way she adapted Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s breathing exercise (Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out). She suggests an additional exercise where you breathe in a quality that you like about yourself (and breathe that out), and then breathe in a quality that you don’t like about yourself (ten in-breaths and ten out-breaths) . When we disown the parts of ourselves that we feel are negative and undeserving, they tend to as Owen says “run us from behind the scenes” and become part of a ‘shadow self’. I found this once a day breathing practice powerful and opens new channels of self-acceptance.
Her book is especially useful to read if you’ve felt blocked for a long time in waiting for your goals to manifest. Her formula: Believe + Receive=Achieve is accessible and shows how to achieve balance in creating the life you desire.
She outlines who should her read book and the list includes women (though she skirts over a detailed discussion of gendered socialization that encourage women to ‘overgive’), men (no discussion of gender roles or sexism), caregivers, the helping professions and new age, metaphysical and self-help readers. Books in this genre typically minimize history, racial group disparities, and systemic inequality. So, I didn’t really expect a discussion about how America’s political culture has created rigid ideas about ‘givers, takers, and receivers’ that default along race, class and gender lines. But, I would have willing received that level of insight and analysis and the book would have been richer for it.
Cover photo credit