“Yes! Yes! Yes!” I didn’t even realize I was saying this out loud as I devoured Dr. Roz’s incredibly readable The Deep Yes: The Lost Art of True Receiving. As I read the early pages of the book, I reflected on the many ways my culture taught me to say, “No” simply as a matter of courtesy. It’s customary to refuse several times when offered something by a host, a friend, or even a well-meaning stranger. I even recall learning this very young as I refused a ride home from school by a neighbor during a storm, preferring to walk the half-mile by my five-year-old self rather than receive the kindness easily offered by another. This tradition, I discovered, formed my belief about receiving, and to this day I don’t receive well.
I read a few pages further and “Yes! Yes! Yes!” discovered a chapter entitled “The Role Model No” exploring the very emotions I was feeling.
“…parents today have become indoctrinated into the standing belief that to receive is self-indulgent.”
Rethinking “’Tis more blessed to give than to receive”
Dr. Dischiavo reveals over and over the facets of life where we’ve learned to short circuit true self, true relationship, true community, and true love. Topic by topic, she explores the role of receiving by weaving personal stories of her own journey as well as those experiences with her students through the years. She says, “I find that I have become less and less self-centered, more and more productive, more loving, and happier by far. I believe that receiving is one of the lost keys to happiness.”
As she explores the daily practices of life involving food, fitness, sleep, and beauty, she contrasts our No condition of being unable or unwilling to receive with that of a Yes or receiving condition where we participate fully in the receiving cycle of life and relationships. The No condition leaves us continually wanting while the Yes or receiving condition leaves us happy, able to engage with life and others and contribute to our world.
Out Of Control Yes
Dr. Roz brings decades of experience with addiction study and practice and suggests that the “No” which so many attempt to practice in addiction does in fact lead to a cascade of self-destructive “Yes” which is “never enough”. She explores the principles of 12 Step and Alcoholics Anonymous and explains that the powerless position a person eventually will need to assume in this program actually creates room for them to receive and say, “Yes” to personal recovery.
Listen To Your Body
Terrifying what you might hear from your body until you learn to relate and respond. The next seven chapters tangle with the body in tangible and intangible ways. There’s no getting away from it, our body is all we have to interact with our world, and it’s in receiving on behalf of and from our body that we graduate to more integrated humanness.
Roz’s discussions about food and sleep resonated with me as these are contests I play in regularly. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed her first lines, “Sleep requires surrender. It’s not something that we do, it’s something that we allow to overtake us. Maybe this is why it’s so unpopular in our culture. Sleep demands that we give up conscious control and let our bodies run the show, and many of us have little practice with this.” She goes on to describe the deep receiving and the deep Yes we experience in sleep as an indulgence — indulgence is a very good and necessary thing.
Naturally, I would love this chapter. Social nudity has been as transformative for me as it has for many. Dr. Dischiavo discusses nudity as a means of personal development as well as considerable discussion about the nudity of children as well as family nudity in the presence of children. Her exploration is frank, complete, and settling.
Sex, Love and The Deep Yes
“Sex is the life force.” It’s a powerful first sentence — unabashed, concise, and direct. Most essentially know this about sex. Few would agree with it. We all must contend with a life force that “comes from the deepest part of ourselves and carries the vitality of our beings.” To believe this and respond to it leaves only one thing to do: receive. And in our sex life, it is so difficult to play and love and not feel as though we must control and measure and balance because that is exactly what we are conditioned to do. We can and will find and live in that Yes and a condition of receiving. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
I will leave you here at the end with a quote from the beginning of The Deep Yes: The Lost Art of True Receiving.
“It never occurs to us that accepting love IS love–that fully taking love in is the most loving thing we can do, not only for ourselves but also for the “giver”. It doesn’t occur to us that embracing love is, in fact, love itself. In the end, there is no giver and no receiver. There is only the received and the receiver, or both are denied.”
Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo is a health educator, poet, and former marriage and family therapist with a background in addictions. Her spiritual studies and practices have included Christianity, Zen Buddhism, reform Judaism, Goddess studies, Native American traditions, and Himalayan Tantra, an Indian sister science to yoga and Ayurveda. In 2011, she founded the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment (ISEE) in order to bring a mind-body-spirit approach into the fields of health education, sex education, and therapy. Roz lives in the Farmington Valley in northwest Connecticut.
The Deep Yes: The Lost Art of True Receiving
Paperback, 154 pages
Published January 15, 2016 by Spanda Press
Also Available on Kindle