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Want to Change the World? Learn to receive.

I am friends with some of the best people on earth. They are kind, devoted, and disciplined. Many of them want to change the world. Some want to change it through activism or nonprofit work, others want to create powerful businesses that solve the world's problems, some are artists with incredible perspectives to share, and some want to change the world by becoming enlightened. If you're reading this, you're one of them. I am too. Full stop.

So, if our intentions are good and our efforts focused, why are so many of us playing small? Our books are being self-published, our classes reach numbers in the tens or maybe hundreds, but not thousands. Our nonprofits struggle for funding or our B-corps lack investors. Even with our best efforts, our community of influence never breaks beyond a certain bubble.

Here's what I felt deeply this morning that is changing me: I used to believe that to change the world, I needed to set aside my ego and be a channel for something bigger than me. Now I know that to change the world, I need to receive its love and gifts with such acceptance that it fuels ME to BE BIGGER.

Every time someone used to say to me, "Great job Gita," or, "Thank you, you've helped me so much," I would shrink. I would reply with uncomfortable responses like, "It wasn't me, it was the Divine, but thank you," or, "it's been a team effort, but thanks." These responses came from fear that the praise would grow my ego and my ego was the enemy.

Here is what happened this morning that changed me. I was standing inside the gate to my horse pasture, halter in hand. I observed three of my horses notice me. Slowly they stopped their grazing and turned to face me as if to say, "hello."

There they stood, about fifty feet away, facing me. It felt like they were waiting for me to answer a question. I closed my eyes and scanned my body. I noticed my breath and took a big one. Then I decided to ask myself a question, "Who do I need to be to have them choose to come to me?" The answer came, "You need to be so full of love that they feel amazing in your presence and they can't wait to be near you."

Then a visual came to me. I was walking out onto a stage, about to give a speech to an audience of thousands. I felt my big open heart, I breathed deeply from my belly. A wave of adoration and appreciation flooded me from the audience. Rather than ducking the wave and fearing it will make me an ego-maniac, I let it wash all over me. It felt like a huge tsunami of love and as I let it into my heart, I felt myself expand bigger and bigger until I could feel every single person in the audience! I WAS HUGE!

I opened my eyes. My three horses were RUNNING toward me! They halted about five feet from me and stared me down. Their bodies were filled with energy and they were clearly waiting for me to greet them in return. I realized that by really, fully receiving the wave of appreciation and love, my little self grew to such a size that I was a huge magnet, vibrating the frequency of love.

I was reminded of a talk that I once listened to by Swami Kriyananda, my spiritual teacher. In it, he explains that he is fed by the people who he is teaching, they are a blessing to him as much as he is to them. This is the art of reciprocity, of giving and receiving. When we let our fear of ego, or any number of other fears or beliefs about ourselves, divert the wave of gratitude that naturally comes to us when we give so powerfully of ourselves, we cut off the loop of electricity that is the fuel for abundance, for greatness, for creating the impact we want to see in the world.

So, how are you at receiving praise? What comes up for you when someone gives you a compliment? If it makes you uncomfortable, if you feel a knee-jerk reaction to lob the compliment back like a hot potato, it's time to check-in about the receiving end of your electrical circuitry. And, if you want to change the world, you're going to need all the energy you can get.

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