Keep the universe in good harmony: Give and receive |

Keep the universe in good harmony: Give and receive

Kelly Major Heath
Vail CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” I don’t usually read and reshare the e-mail spam I receive, but this particular story has a beautiful relevance to this time of year:

“Take it!” the elderly woman said to me as I graciously refused a $20 bill she was giving me in the hall of the church. “I know you need it, please take it. No one else will know,” she said.

“But it is more blessed to give than receive,” I countered, even though she was right. I had not eaten in a whole day and I was in the hall heading for the service.

“So, you would deny me the benefit of giving? The universe needs gracious givers, but it also needs gracious receivers in order for everyone to be blessed.”

I didn’t know what to say. I feebly smiled as I accepted the folded bill and I slid it into my pocket so that no one would see. I did not speak of the incident for years, but it made an impression. Graciously receiving is as important as generously giving.

This story illustrates how the universe wants to work in balance and harmony, which, according to Deepak Chopra, is the process by which the unmanifest becomes the manifest and the dreamer manifests his dreams.

What he means is that the universe operates through a dynamic exchange, and giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. In our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.

There is a very powerful annual Native American tribal custom where several of the tribal elders take all of their most treasured items and lay them on a blanket for other members of the tribe to walk by and take anything they may need. The elders keep nothing of value at their home. By the end of the ceremony, most of the items are gone. Following, a new line forms as tribal members walk back by the blankets. This time the tribe gives anything the elders need ” blankets, sacred items, food and cash. Not only do most of the items return, but the blankets are overflowing. This is an astonishingly simple and the powerful lesson of giving and receiving, of letting go of what is valued in this world and trusting that our needs will be met.

I’m not a religious person, but as a child I was taught the story of the three wise men who came to Bethlehem to bring the newborn baby gifts symbolic of the noblest of our possessions. Apparently, these gifts came from their treasures, security and savings. But these wise men also offered their gifts out of love. Love is the common source of all genuine giving and receiving. Had their gifts not been preceded and motivated by the act of love expressed in kneeling, adoration and worship, their value would not have been as great and authentic as their material wealth would suggest.

Deepak Chopra also says: “Wherever you go, and whoever you encounter, bring them a gift. The gift may be a compliment, a flower or a prayer.”

Today, give something to everyone you come into contact with and begin the process of circulating joy, wealth and affluence in your life and in the lives of others. Not necessarily money, it can be a gift, compliment, silent blessing or prayer.

Equally as important today, gratefully receive all the gifts that life has to offer you. Receive the gifts of nature: sunlight and the sound of birds singing, winter snow, the beautiful color of sky or the smell of winter. Be open to receiving from others, whether it be in the form of a material gift, money, a compliment or a prayer.

During this holiday season, make a commitment to keep wealth circulating in your life by giving and receiving life’s most precious gifts: the gifts of caring, affection, appreciation and love. Each time you meet someone, silently wish them happiness, joy and laughter.

Kelly Major Heath is the director of Mountain Lotus yoga in the Vail Athletic Club. She writes a monthly yoga column for the Vail Daily. Send comments about this column to

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