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Yours in Health: The art of giving and receiving

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November is the month of giving thanks and gratitude. Most of us forget the importance of receiving, and are taught from an early age that giving and sharing are more noble than receiving. However, if we all gave, gave and gave who would be there on the receiving end?

During my internship in chiropractic school, I worked in Dr. Suzan Rossi’s office, and she noticed that I had a difficult time receiving compliments or gifts. She pointed out to me, “Whenever I give you a compliment, you bounce it right back to me! If I say I like what you are wearing you tell me you like what I’m wearing also. Instead of replying with, ‘You’re welcome,’ you reply with, ‘Oh no problem,’ or ‘No, thank you.’ You need to start being able to receive from people.”

This soon hit home with me because I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough. I soon started to consistently practice saying, “You’re welcome,” and it was very tough for me at first.

People that do not like receiving will subconsciously surround themselves by people that don’t like or know how to give. The more I learned to focus on really receiving compliments and gifts, the happier I became in my life. I loved giving even more and I became much more appreciative. Write down every day what you are thankful for and it will be returned to you ten-fold.

The practice of giving is a masculine trait, the practice of receiving is a feminine trait. In our culture, masculine traits are more sought after than feminine traits. Learning to nurture and passively give, without expecting anything in return is a receiving, feminine practice.

Examples of people who give all their time are parents caring for their children, adult children caring for their parents, and those who work in service professions. It’s important to give to yourself and care for yourself when you give all your time to everyone else. Practicing mindfulness and self-care can be one of the most important, life-saving rituals to adapt.

Self-care can be as easy as taking 15 minutes a day for yourself, or dedicating a whole day to taking care of yourself. The length doesn’t matter, but receiving that time daily will change your life.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Take a bath (include a good book, candles, oils)
  2. Do a morning meditation
  3. Receive body work (massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga)
  4. Take a girl’s night or man’s night out
  5. Go for a walk or hike
  6. Eat healthy, nourishing food that you enjoy
  7. Do something you are passionate about

When you are always caring for others, you will put others before yourself. This can be a dangerous practice giving from a half empty glass. If your cup is full you can give and give and come from a place of balance and happiness.

During the season of giving, don’t forget to take time for yourself in order to have a joyous, less stressful holiday season.

Dr. Andrea Wick is a chiropractor and applied kinesiologist. She graduated from Life University in Marietta, Georgia, and now practices at Healing Hands Chiropractic in Big Sky. She has a passion for holistic health care and being active in the outdoors

Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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