Let me just start this blog post by saying that I’m currently sitting in the airport, four hours before my flight back to Los Angeles from Mexico City. After losing my immigration form and missing my first flight I’m faced with a few hours to spare and a clear head to finally write this. Interpol is playing, my anxiety has almost all but dissipated and let’s just say the intention behind my missed flight fiasco has been received. I’ll get into the message behind that in a bit, but first I’d like to muse (because what else is a blog but a place to do just that?)

Receiving. It’s a constant practice isn’t it? We’re taught to give. To be modest. To allow ourselves the space to grow and bloom. To water our roots. But receiving? If you’re a female or femme bodied person you can all but forget it. The only thing worse than a woman who knows her power is one who claims it. But the thing is we can’t claim our power if we don’t receive it in the first place. And that’s where the practice comes in.


A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ivory and I were showing our art project Temple of Glamour at an event called Pussy Powerhouse. The theme was “flowers” and literally everyone was dressed in their best. People came dripping in blooms and florals, looking straight out of a garden. My soul was set aflame. If you’ve ever met me, you know I firmly believe in compliments. If I like something about you I’ll tell you. I’ve made many friends this way and I truly believe in the power of giving love through vocal expression. But one thing I noticed throughout this event is that when I complimented people (literally everyone I came into contact with) almost everyone made up an excuse about how their outfit wasn’t perfect, or that they just threw it together, or that it really wasn’t great…etc etc. Almost everyone deflected my compliments instead of receiving them. This happens ALL THE TIME and yes, I’m absolutely guilty of this. But I had to wonder… why is it so hard for us to receive?! And how can we practice this gift so we can receive, and in turn give, even more love into the world?!


My whole life purpose is to love. To live, experience and LOVE. And you know what love is? It’s a relationship. You can’t give love, and I mean TRULY give love, if you can’t receive it. When we receive love, we open our hearts to our own worth. We witness our imperfections as a part of who we are and recognize that those imperfections don’t make us unworthy. Confidence is important, obviously, but you can still fake it until you make it. So how do we do this? We create a relationship with our own hearts. We start to witness our energy. We start to feel grateful for what we have. We start to see the love we have in our lives and we start to live it. Because what’s the point of life if not to receive every experience we can with an open heart and with the ability to, at the very least, learn from it?

There are many ways to do this; writing poetry and love letters to yourself, placing your palm on your heart and breathing into it, talking to your heart, dancing, masturbating/ sex, working with plant medicine, yoga, meditation, spellwork and ritual, having conversations with loved ones about what you love about them, gratitude journaling… the list goes on and on.


So why do we work on opening our hearts to receive? Because when we don’t we reject the person who’s trying to send us love. Think about it; when someone is complimenting you, they’re usually doing it with good intentions because they believe what they’re saying. When we reject this, we’re rejecting the opportunity to connect, to open, to allow ourselves to feel and be thankful that someone is witnessing us. If we’re all mirrors for one another, the least we can do is hope that we are able to reflect our love and appreciation to someone else so they can witness our magick and their magick through us too!

This has been a huge lesson I’ve had since my book (Craft: How To Be A Modern Witch) came out. The praise and love I have been getting for it has been quite frankly overwhelming! I want to say “oh no, there are typos, I messed this up, it’s really not that great” when people tell me that it resonated with them, but I’m learning not to. If someone wants to share some kindness with me – which let us not forget, is a gift – how dare I not receive it! Saying “thank you!” and breathing into my heart space and believing the love and finding comfort in it has been a huge learning process, and one of the most potent lessons of my book baby coming out! 

We can receive lessons in this same way as well. One of my favorite mantras is “the universe is working in my highest favor” and though this can be really hard to believe, I really believe in it. Life isn’t fair all the time, and this mantra isn’t claiming it is. Instead, it’s asking us to receive lessons to help us grow. It’s asking us to trust. It’s asking us to see the positive which can be hard as hell!


Receiving lessons doesn’t mean we reject the fear or anxiety that comes with them. It means we move through them to get to the other side. After misplacing my immigration form and missing my flight I was in tears calling my mom, super anxious about what to do since this has never happened before. But I learned my lesson and more importantly, I received it! Now I know to keep everything organized, not to be carless with my things and if this ever happens again I know how to handle it.

We can’t control the outside forces in the universe, but we can control how we react to them. We can do this by breathing, by saying thank you and by connecting to our heart. We can do this by saying thank you to the universe, and by trusting. We can do this by making the art of receiving a practice. It’s baby steps into our own power, into our purpose, into our heart. I hope you are able to receive all the love this world has to offer you.

gabriela herstik