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Posted on 14 Sep, 2015 | 6 comments

Be More Gentle With Yourself

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit raw and vulnerable. There was no real reason for it that I could see and I certainly wasn’t going to make it worse by scratching around inside myself to try to figure out why. So what was my alternative?

I spent some time meditating and doing balancing energy work on myself. I monitored my thoughts and feelings more closely with the intention of deliberately lingering on the things that made me feel better and swiftly shifting off  thoughts that made me feel worse and I did nice things for myself.

I’m delighted to tell you that I didn’t push any of this or get panicked that I HAD to fix it. I just sort of experimented with what would feel better to me in every given moment. I was gentle.

But the underlying fragile feeling remained. It’s still with me right now as I write this and you know what? It’s ok. In fact I feel so very pleased with myself and cared for because at around midday I could see that this was not really budging, so I simply let go and said, “Ok, I need to be very gentle with myself today.”

It’s been a very nice day so far.

There is this thing we do in our society where we spot something that isn’t the way we think it should be and we HAMMER at it until it either dies, or changes, gives in or we are too exhausted to continue. The outcomes vary but the hammering remains the same.

hammering

Einstein is rumoured to have said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.  If we go along with that definition we would have to conclude that most of us are insane. Maybe you’ve already concluded that for other reasons – but this really affirms it, don’t you think?

We hammer and hammer and hammer at ourselves, at each other, at our children, at our partners, at our bosses, at success, at money at EVERYTHING and then we tear at our hair and wail that we are trying so hard but it isn’t changing.

Maybe a different approach might be called for here? Whatchya think?

Now gentleness may appear to be a weak way to go but it is often far more powerful, effective and efficient a way to go about things. Think of a gently flowing stream that slowly but surely erodes and smooths large boulders. Or the martial art technique of using the force of your opponent to overthrow them. (If someone throws a punch at you and you block it you sustain the full impact of the blow but if you move with the direction of the punch your opponent is off balance and then you can easily knock them over. See this link for demo.)

So – Gentleness.

Yesterday I chatted with someone who is collapsing under the pressure she is putting on herself. In an attempt to self-care she took two days off work which is great, but do you know what she spent those two days doing? Judging, shaming and stressing herself out about the work she should be getting done instead of lying around. How helpful is that? Hammer, hammer, hammer. She was neither being productive nor resting so she was losing out on the self-care she was trying to provide for herself – and actually becoming more stressed and feeling like a loser to boot.

For goodness sake people! Can we please order in a very large batch of Gentleness?

This week try to be very kind to yourself. Whether you are feeling strong at the moment or fragile, keep looking at yourself with kind eyes and say very loving reassuring things to yourself. And when things are not going the way you think they should, be EVEN GENTLER! It’s not easy to want things that aren’t working out. Don’t you think someone in that situation needs kindness and care?

At the end of writing this now I still feel that undercurrent of fragility and raw emotion within me but I feel safe and cared for because I know that I’m looking after me.

How lucky am I?!!

I hope you get lucky with you too. Let me know?

 

6 Comments

  1. What great fortune and timing to find this in my inbox as I enter that phase of monthly hormonal changes and regress to age-old ineffective behaviour…
    Being gentle on myself and my loved ones works wonderfully well. I’ll remind myself and maybe put a reminder in my phone and diary too.
    I am very grateful to you for continually sharing your wisdom, Eilat!

    • Oh Maria I’m so glad the message came to you at just the right time. I have a friend who has always been very hard on herself who lately keeps telling me rapturously that the only way to really teach is through positive reinforcement and kindness. I so agree with her. Yay for your daily reminders! Its a great idea. I hope you pass this message on to everyone around you too. Imagine a world where we were all gentle with each other. Its a wonderful vision.
      I’m so happy you are part of my journey too Maria – hormonal or not! 😀

  2. I just read this this weekend as I was trying to practice exactly some of the self-care you mention: http://www.upworthy.com/4-simple-ways-to-be-a-good-friend-to-yourself-take-a-step-back-and-try-em-they-work?c=tpstream

    Thank you for writing this. You are being strong and brave in your undercurrent of frailty, so frailty didn’t win today! I’ve asked the same thing, whether I can simply observe my baseline of “feeling like I’m about to be eaten by a tiger constantly” and say, “hey, look at that” and keep going. Today I can keep going, and I’m glad I have even more encouragement from your words, Brave One.

    P.S. It’s not luck. It’s pushing forward and being able to look back on today and say, “yeah, I did keep going, and I am glad I did,” tomorrow.

    • Alexis thank you for your words. So affirming and encouraging. Now I feel even more cared for 🙂 Now that really IS lucky, wouldn’t you say?
      Ok, to be honest I don’t really believe in luck so perhaps I can rather say, I’m delighted to have drawn to me your heartwarming comment and I SO appreciate you taking the time to comment and share that very cool link.
      Read the article people. Its a good one!

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