The Art of Noticing: Receiving Love

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to receive a compliment? We deflect. We defer. We downplay our own participation, or efforts, or skills. We say “Oh, it was nothing.”

My brother-in-law, Jamie, is from the deep south. He told me a story once about how, as a young man, an older lady gave him a compliment. He mumbled and stumbled, trying to figure out how to respond. Finally, the lady said, “Son, just say ‘Thank you Ma’am.'”

It strikes me that the same thing happens often with gifts of love. We hem and haw. We don’t know what to say. We blush and deflect and let it slide right by.

Don’t do that today. Today, notice instead.

Notice when someone says something kind to you. Notice when someone sends an act of love — be it large or small — in your direction. Notice the litle ways love is throwing itself at you, begging to be let in. Love is winging it’s way to you. Pay attention.

And then….

Just say, “Thank You.”

What acts of love have come your way today or in recent days? What would have gone by unheeded and unwelcomed had you not been paying attention? We’d love to be inspired by the things you notice.

More Love to Receive from Magpie Girl:


Train with Magpie Girl iconThe Art of Noticing is an small series dedicated to practicing presence in accessible, everyday ways. To train further in the Art of Noticing, join my mailing list . I’ll let you know when my private tutoring group is available. (Coming this April.) For more topical ways to learn along with me, try my Train with Magpie Girl Collection. Thank you for being here today!

Evelyn February 15, 2011 at 6:31 am

Thank you… what a gift from you, Rachelle! And adding to that…
I spent the weekend with a new friend, whose hands hold mine with such tender, nurturing, love-filled, safe energy I sometimes felt like my little girl holding grandpa’s hand while navigating the world for just a moment. I forget how warm and loving it feels to have a hand to hold, noticing how he moves, the softness of his hand, the heat as it warms my cold fingers, the strength of his grip, or the gentle laxity to allow for my own movement of energy. I loved that I could extend my hand out for his at any time throughout our weekend, and he was there, willing and reaching in return.

Rachelle Mee-Chapman February 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm


That is so beautiful. I love how this newness awoke your awareness — both an awareness of the present moment with your new friend, and an awareness of your Grandpa’s memory. Thank you for sharing this moment with us.


Ed February 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Thank you.

Rachelle February 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm


You’re welcome. :-)


Tess Giles Marshall February 17, 2011 at 12:48 am

I would add a smile to the thank you. And say that there are some people who give compliments to make themselves feel better, to flatter. But if you’ve paid attention to their need, then your thank you can be a gift to them.

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