Receptivity – The art of listening

These are very rational times, so much information to be processed on a daily basis asking of us to make decisions, to be reasonable, rational, to act responsibly, to protect ourselves and others.

Receptivity. What a soft word in these times.

How to be receptive when we are being asked to isolate and everything is on shut down mode?

Receptivity in this situation comes in softly as if riding on the wings of a butterfly. Gentle and light, soft and tender, fragile and beautiful. Receptivity is essentially feminine and is ultimately a deep capacity to experience everything at once while staying present. It is a deep allowance, an unconditional acceptance of everything that is.

It invites us to take a minute, to open up again, to allow ourselves to feel into it all not with resistance, but with admission.

We can invite it in by pausing for a moment and breathing into our body. We can give permission to open up completely, with all our being. With this openness, I can perceive what it actually going on, for me, in this moment. This may be the opposite of what the world around me is acting upon. Confusing at times but also refreshing, uplifting and ultimately liberating.

In communication with other receptivity can help us connect. We can allow ourselves to open up and receive the other simply as they are presenting themselves to us in this moment. We can hear their opinion, feel their emotions and receive them without the need to “do” anything.

Receiving someone is a beautiful, tender experience in which ultimately, you make space not only for the other but for yourself also. In receptive mode, capacity is endless. Like a vast, open space in which I am allowed, all of me is welcome. When I feel received I feel safe and loved and can feel resistance and aggravation melting away.

We all know how beautiful it is to be received when we offer someone our presence, our love. When love can flow freely, unrestricted and the other is there, receptive. Such a sacred, soft, deep and true connection is established. There is just as much pleasure in giving as there is in receiving, a space of unconditional love is opened in which true communication takes place. For this moment, there is consensus. This can be in words, in touch, or simply a feeling.

We also know what it feels like to not be received, for whatever reason. The rejection can feel so harsh and cold in comparison to the intended offering. It is difficult to not hold a grudge, to not take it personally and to not shut down. It is painful to not be received; When we don’t feel understood by someone we trust. When we feel we are not ok because of how we feel, how we look, how we act or speak. Painful.

As we are constantly communicating, whether it is conscious or not, it is helpful to become sensitive to receptivity. I am not always open for feedback, for criticism just as I am not always open for love or for kindness. Knowing this I know, that it is the same for others. This can help me understand, that what I would like to offer can not always be received. Instead of offering it for the sake of offering, it has become helpful for me to feel into the other or to simply ask, if he or she is open for touch, feedback, a compliment. These can be very simple sentences: “I have something I would like to share with you, is this a good time?” “I would like to hug you, may I?”

And then, of course, it is ok for the other to say “no”, or “not now” and so on.

It might sound a little complicated or stilted but it’s just a matter of practice and usage and of course, the deeper understanding that what I would like to offer is mine and the other may be in a very different space. The importance here is to start with myself “I” instead of with “you”.

In these times I have learned much about receptivity as we are all having very different opinions and experiences and I have learned that in receptivity, I have space, understanding and compassion for each and every one of you.

It is much easier for me to accept differences when I too feel accepted. I am more receptive when I feel received. In honoring you, I honor myself.

With love,
Charu Eliza Hermsdorf

Co-Founder of DIMA Mallorca, A Centre for Conscious Living
Mediator and Conflict counselor at MediateBerlin