Free to Receive

embellished detail from Gaia Oracle cards
by Toni Carmine Salerno

There’s an art to taking a bow.
A big part of that art is knowing how to receive.

At my daughter’s dance recitals, I experience the sweet contrast of the girls’ quick, shy, curtain calls with the powerful, gracious–even regal–curtain call that their teacher takes at the end of the show. She stands deeply rooted and receiving, arms wide, for as long as we stand and clap.

As an audience member, I am taken aback by the profound satisfaction of having my applause fully received. I clap even harder, in gratitude for this rare gift of intimacy. Her groundedness in the intensity of the spotlight has the effect of actually shining beauty back upon us, the audience, illuminating our own magnificence.

I have taken two curtain calls, myself, this month–and I have called upon the inspiration of this great dancer to stand, receive, and beam love back to the audience.

There is a myth in our culture that it is humble to deflect praise.
You know the drill, “aw, shucks, it was nothing…”
The corollary to this myth is that receiving praise is egotistical.

But the real truth is quite the opposite.
We don’t deflect praise because we’re humble–
We deflect it because we’re scared.
Specifically our ego is TERRIFIED of the vulnerability and intimacy

it takes to receive and be seen at a deep level.
Deflecting praise is actually how the ego stays SAFE from that vulnerability.
(which is why, ironically,  deflecting praise is actually the egotistical thing to do!)

But knowing this intellectually doesn’t make it any less gut-churning
when it’s YOU standing in the spotlight!
No doubt about it, truly receiving is vulnerable and intense.
It is also a deeply rewarding spiritual path for those willing to be push up

against the edges of their comfort zone, and meet their limiting beliefs with love
(the only way I recommend meeting any part of yourself!)

As an artist, creator and visionary,
your ability to succeed is directly correlated to your ability to receive.

Expanding your capacity to receive and to be be seen is one of the best investments
you can make in our own happiness, prosperity and impact
in the world

…and it can be a wild ride!

Be gentle with yourself.
Cultivate the support that makes that vulnerability easier
and remember practice expands your “receiving” comfort level over time.

I’ve been practicing the “extreme sport” of receiving for quite a while now
(here is a “white water” receiving experiment I wrote about 4 years ago!)

It may (or may not…) soothe your ego to know that
that none of my “receiving fears” have manifested, and
I have left behind nothing that was worth keeping.

True receiving is a gift of intimacy & grace
that elevates all who experience it.
I invite you to receive the love I’m beaming back at you right now

deeply, fully, without condition–simply for being you.

Thank you for the gift of receiving it.


Wishing you your heart’s desire– with a cherry on top!


Visual Magic, Creative Change
512. 534.1100

P.S. How do YOU train (or dabble :)) in the extreme sport of receiving?  Please post your breakthroughs, your limiting beliefs, and your successes below! I cherish your responses and respond personally to every comment.