Thoughtful Thursday: How to Receive Recognition with Grace

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clappingTo clap or not to clap?  We often want to feel recognized for our accomplishments but often times we don’t know how to receive that recognition.  We blush when people compliment us or act modest when deep down, there’s a part of us that wants to figure out a way to receive our recognition and feel good about it.

Christine Hassler explores this feeling in her latest “Thoughtful Thursday” post.  Check it out!

Guest Post by Christine Hassler

This past weekend I facilitated my first retreat at Kripalu, which is a destination on the East Coast where people go to experience the “yoga of life.” Every time I teach, I experience so much fulfillment. But this weekend I even got MORE of an extra special treat on a personal level . . .

For the six years I have been teaching workshops, I incorporate music as it’s deeply healing and anchors transformational moments.  One of my favorite artists to play is Snatam Kaur because her music speaks straight to my soul.  And guess what? She was also at Kripalu and I had the gift of seeing her perform live. To me it was more exciting than a rockstar (well except for Bono).

All I can say is OMG. Seriously. This woman has the voice of an angel and the musicians that played with her made for a truly out of body experience. Listening and chanting with her was profoundly devotional.

After they completed the first song, I raised my hands to clap until I realized that no one else was clapping. No one. Silence. I looked at my friends sitting next to me and whispered, “Are we not supposed to clap?” The answer evidently was no.  At the completion of each song, Snatam closed her eyes and we all were quiet.

Yet there was a part of me that REALLY wanted to applaud after each song to express my gratitude and recognition the magnificent music they had just shared.

The experience got me thinking about recognition.

Recognition is an interesting thing.  We all want it yet when it comes at us, we often deflect or reject it. We give someone a compliment and they brush it off, make a self-deprecating comment or immediately pass back a compliment.  For example, I was walking back to my room yesterday and saw a woman in a beautiful dress. “I LOVE that dress,” I said with a huge smile. Her reply, “This? Oh well it was only twenty dollars.” I wished that she had let my compliment light her up just like seeing her beautiful dress lit me up.

Why is giving and receiving recognition so awkward sometimes?

When I got my first standing ovation in an auditorium of 2,000 people, I literally ran off the stage. It was so unexpected and overwhelming I didn’t know what to do with it.   I asked my teacher about this and she said, “Be in the flow, receive with grace and remember that the Glory goes to God.”

That’s all I needed to hear to understand how to deal with recognition.

Whenever we share our gifts or express ourselves in an authentic way, we are giving. Even the clothes you wear are a form of self-expression!  Recognition in the form of applause, a compliment or acknowledgment is a way for our receivers to give back to us. There is a natural flow to it. When we receive recognition, we give back to our givers.  And then we give that recognition back to the Uni-verse by moving into gratitude for the Uni-verse as the TRUE source of our gifts.

Now back to my pontification about not recognizing Snatam Kar with applause.  As the Law of Attraction would have it, her guitar player was in the car with me on the two-hour ride to the airport the next day (oh, Spirit, you’re so awesome!).  So of course the first question I asked him was why no clapping?  He shared that it totally depends on the audience.  In certain situations where the vibe is more spiritual, people understand that chanting is a form of meditation so not clapping, but rather continuing in the devotional practice fits. In other situations, people applaud. My aha in that moment is that sitting in silence was indeed a form of recognition. We recognized the sacredness of the experience. We recognized her gift as an instrument of Spirit.  And at the end of the concert we did recognize her with applause (which did seem to make her blush!).

My encouragement to you through this story is to offer recognition in a variety of forms and receive recognition when it comes your way in whatever form it comes.  At the same time, don’t seek it out cuz that is your ego looking for external validation. Simply share your gifts and your self-expression, Spirit LOVES it when we do this!  And never miss an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge someone who is sharing their gift with you, Spirit LOVES this too!!

Oh and if you don’t have Snatam’s music on your iPod, download it immediately. Some of my personal favorites are: “By thy Grace,” “Long time Sun,” and “Servant of Peace.”

With love,



P.S. My retreat Chrysalis is coming on the West Coast that is perfect for any woman who longs to let go of what is holding her back for good! It’s a life changing experience based on the work that changed my life. Click here for details.

P.P.S I recently released my first meditation CD to uplift your mind and heart.  Each track is a prescription for exactly what you desire to experience. Check it out here

About the Author:

Christine Hassler left her successful job as a Hollywood agent at 25 to pursue a life she could be passionate about…but it did not come easily. After being inspired by her own unexpected challenges and experiences, she realized her journey was indeed her destination. In 2005, she wrote the first guide book written exclusively for young women, entitled 20 Something 20 Everything. Christine’s second book, The 20 Something Manifesto written for men and women stems from her experience coaching twenty-something’s.

Today, she supports individuals as a Life Coach helping clients discover the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.

Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100.

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