The Art of Receiving is a wonderful practice that can help to liberate a woman’s sense of self and boost her self-esteem. As women, we often hear compliments and let them fly over our heads, in one ear and out the other or simply nod and say, “uh huh thanks”. We may have been taught that our purpose in life is to give to others, make others our priority and take our identity from the happiness of those around us.  It becomes almost rote to hear, “thanks” or, “you did a good job” or possibly to get no thanks at all! Sometimes, feminine women are used to being objectified just walking down the street and that unwanted attention or too much of that attention can cause barriers to come up and walls to start to form.  Maybe pretty women who hear, “you look hot today, baby” or, “you look good in that dress” have heard it so many times that it doesn’t feel real anymore or it doesn’t feel genuine.  Have you experienced any of these things? You are not alone! I hear from women every day that even though they get complimented regularly they still don’t feel beautiful or they still don’t feel loved and appreciated.  Why is that? Well, it may be because it has lost it’s honestly and over the years it feels like just another phrase along with the hollow I love yous or brief kisses on the cheek.  And, there is a way to fix this! There is something called The Art of Receiving that I highly encourage women to try.

  1.  Stop –  The next time someone says, “you look great”, or, “thanks for all your hard work”.  Stop and take a deep breath. Before you say, “uh huh, thanks” or listen to your inner critic stop and do nothing.
  2. Take a Deep Breath & Check In With Your Body – Check in with your body, what are you feeling right now? Are you tense? Nervous? Have you put up a wall?
  3. Tell the person who is talking to you that you need a minute and, Close Your Eyes –  If a loved one has given you a compliment and you are in a neutral space where you have time for this (in your home, on a walk, at dinner) tell them you need just a second and close your eyes.
  4. Visualize a door and a large bookshelf blocking the door.  Next, push the bookshelf out of the way and open the door.   – You can use this visualization to start again with an open door for the compliment to come through. When you are ready and the doorway in your mind is open have them repeat the compliment again and this time…  
  5. Receive the compliment! Allow it to penetrate all the way through your whole body, feel the words and allow yourself to hear, feel and appreciate what your loved one is telling you
  6. How do you feel now? If you are anything like me and other women who have tried this you may feel a little more relaxed and uplifted.  Chances are you have not been open to receiving and with just a few steps you can change your mental attitude a lot!

The Art of Receiving takes practice.  And, it goes way beyond just words.  It is a daily art of receiving the love that is all around you and that is spoken to you all the time.  Try this for a month and see if your self-esteem gets better.  I did it for a whole year and it changed my life!


Dr. Anya

Dr. Anya is a sexuality expert with over 25 years experience working with individuals, couples, and groups. Dr. Anya has a Doctor of Human Sexuality degree and is a certified sex educator and certified sexologist. Dr. Anya has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area working with individuals and couples and invites straight and LGBTQ people into her practice.


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