Learning How To Receive

“The good book says its better to give than to receive. I do my best to do my part.

Nothing my pockets, I’ve got nothing up my sleeve. I keep my magic in my heart.”

“Fight the Good Fight”

by the Canadian rock band, Triump

punch-316605_640We hear a lot about giving. We are a culture that celebrates the act of giving. The bible states “It is better to give than to receive” (though the actual translation is “It is better to be in the position to give than to receive.”). People win awards and are celebrated for their acts of giving. Statues and grants are named after those who have given or donated something sizable.

Receiving is viewed much differently. It is thought as selfish, often equated with greed and other derogatory notions descriptors.  Upon closer examination, perhaps we should re-think our views.

Our ability to receive is as important as our ability to give. In fact, we can only give to others what we are willing to receive ourselves. Here is where Systema training coming into play.

I have said this phrase with great frequency: “Virtually every other martial art (instructor) insists that you leave your troubles at the door when you come into the dojo to train. I think it best to do exactly the opposite. Bring your problems on the mats. Problems are nothing more than stuck energy.This stuckness will show up as you train. It is the greatest and safest opportunity to work through them, for when you work through them on the mats, you will find that you worked through them in your life.”

Enter the hidden value of learning to strike and learning to take strikes. This is the specific situations which are some of the most exciting and fear-evoking in all of Systema. To be able to deliver tremendous amounts of power with seemingly little effort is a spectacular feeling. To be on the receiving end of this tremendous amount of power is chilling sometimes. In fact, probably a lot more than sometimes. (I hypothesize that this is THE major reason why people quit Systema – fear of taking strikes.)

When we face fear, we are opening ourselves up to the notion of receiving; that is, on the surface, we receive strikes but underneath, we are receiving the gifts of courage, grit and adventurousness. Probably a lot more.

Also, when we open ourselves up on the mats to the “gift” of receiving strikes, we find that openness stays with us. People “spontaneously” give us gifts or opportunities “surprisingly” open up unexpectedly.

Or perhaps more accurately stated. . . .predictably. When an inner door opens, who knows what kinds of allowances and benefits will come racing through. Our lives change for the better, all because we faced our fears, opened the inner Door of Receiving and allowed the energy to move on through.