Are you willing to be nurtured? Are you willing to receive? Can you ask for help? Can you take a compliment? Can you take a full inhale? Are you willing to take in the practical life support of air and sun and the abundant growing world around you? Not just the people in your life, but the support of creation itself? Do you trust?

Without balanced receiving, people get depleted (and, on the other hand, without balanced giving, people get sick from greed.) The ideal is to have both ends open, so things flow easily through you. A steady constant pulse and exchange. When you receive more, you can give more, too.

Yes, asking for help can be vulnerable. Receiving from other people sometimes creates a feeling of obligation, or comes with strings attached. It’s sometimes not clean. Sometimes there’s even shame in asking, from a warped culture that values self sufficiency uber alles. And sometimes we want help, but can’t even name it. Sometimes we don’t need help, really, but would love the company and joy of a shared thing.

As a master of self sufficiency, a mistress of “I don’t need any help, thank you”… this was hard for me to learn. This last year, I’ve let myself receive 10x more than ever before: touch, money, compliments, moving help, party cleanup. I stopped working so hard to do it all myself (or to do it all by paying people), and things improved dramatically. Surrendered to the many hands that were willing to help – not because I was weak- but because it was fun to be part of things. A cooperative economy and culture.

Asking for help, or not even asking, but allowing, created an opportunity for others to give, with no conditions in the receiving, or the giving. We need a more cooperative culture at this time in history. It starts inside each one of us. Our internal cooperation with ourselves. Our intimacy with the natural world. Our intimacy with others.

I practice receiving through the very real tangible experience of taking a full inhale, and letting the body get the nourishment it needs. As much inhale time as exhale time.