April 1, 2016

Swans remind us of our inner grace, beauty and gentleness.

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Gentleness is healing. It’s an expression of our divine and loving nature. I find that many would never say or do to another person the things that they say and do to themselves. Too often we can be so unkind with ourselves without even thinking or noticing. Even if no one knows what we’re doing to ourselves or what we’re saying to ourselves, we still feel ashamed about it and we carry that with us into every moment of our day.

Let’s put an end to that.

Being gentle with myself has become a practice. I used to drive myself so hard and expect so much of myself that it was truly unkind. I had no idea how hard I was on myself. I’d lost perspective. This is the case with many spiritual students that I meet.

Expectations are disappointments waiting to happen. Why set ourselves (and our loved ones) up for failure? It’s like living on an UN-merry-go-round. Gentleness can get us out of that vicious cycle because gentleness is loving and Love is our healer.

I’ve discovered many ways to be kind to myself and I’ve found them to be simple and healing. Rather than deprive myself of the things I enjoy, I cultivate them. I love fresh raspberries, and going for a swim in the ocean. I love to have dinner with a friend and to play a game of cards. It’s easy to think there’s too much to do and there’s not time to take a break. We can put it off and put it off and that makes for a punishing life of little variety.

Gentleness for me, is taking a bath instead of a shower. It’s giving myself time to take a break and walk around the block or sit in the sun for 15 minutes.

I find that there’s often a sweetness and gentleness in nature. Many people enjoy those qualities in being with the animals in their life – cuddling with a dog or a cat can bring out our playfulness and our gentleness.

So many participants in my classes tell me it’s life-changing for them to start calling themselves “darling” and “sweetheart” as a helpful way to begin to change their self-talk. We can be gently encouraging with ourselves.

Consider what you would do differently today if you were going to be more gentle with yourself?

If you’re going to practice gentleness, will you give yourself more time to get ready for work so you can arrive on time without rushing and feeling worried? Does it feel gentle to pack your days with so much to do?

In your practice of gentleness would you plan to eat your lunch in a leisurely manner in a beautiful place?

What feels gentle to you that you can add to your day? What difference will you being gentle to yourself make in all your relationships with co-workers, loved ones, acquaintances and anyone you happen to meet today? Trust me, they will feel your Self-gentleness and know that you are a person who might be safe for them to be more themselves – which means more loving and more gentle with you!

What goes around, comes around. Let’s send waves of gentleness around the world and watch it catch on!

Check out my Stop Playing Small Retreat this May in North Carolina! ALSO I’m offering my Spiritual Counseling Intensive Training again – check it out, also in May in North Carolina!

If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!

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