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Reclaiming The Power of Gentleness

This is another one of those re-posts I warned you about to get the website up to speed, but it seems very apt this week, not just for me personally (as I have been having Somatic therapy to try and rebuild some resilience back into my nervous system!) but those sharing with me. Interestingly it’s about an encounter with a deer..What you don’t see, and why this is so relevent this week for me, is when a deer is safely out of danger, like many animals it literally shakes off the stress and then carries on with its business completely unaffected.

This shaking is a very natural response and one most humans do not allow to happen… This is all part of Somatic Therapy, learning to allow the body to do it’s thing…Not trying to change or supress the natural experience. I’ll write more about this another time as it is a very important thing to understand if you experience anxiety, PTSD or hyper sensitivity in the body, or are in close relationship with someone experiencing these things! Gentleness is most certainly needed in these instances. Anyway…here is the unedited original blog:

Yesterday, whilst walking Jessy around the field at the back of my house, we crossed paths with a little deer, who upon seeing us froze for a second, looked me square in the eye, and then bounded off, zigzagging across the field towards the bushes. It was one of those moments, where all time stops, and there was just pure Appreciation for the moment. I was reminded of the Native Traditions where deer is seen as a symbol of Gentleness, the ability to listen, Grace, Unconditional Love, the power of Gratitude and Appreciation for the beauty and balance in Nature. .

I remember as a child I had a little book called Aesop’s Fables. I read the stories over and over again. One of my favourites was when the wind challenged the sun to see who could get a boy to take off his coat first! As I recall, the wind, using all his might, tried with all the force he could muster, to blow off the coat, but the boy only wrapped the coat around himself more tightly. The sun just shone, and as it’s warmth gently increased in intensity, the coat was removed by the humans own volition.

Power and force are not in any way intrinsic. There is a power in Gentleness that is far greater than force alone. Gentleness allows us, in our own time, to make real choices from our Heart, to fully embrace the path we choose. Gentleness allows us to reveal the Truth of who we are within the safety and security that is offered in a space of genuinely Unconditional Love. Gentleness creates a more sustainable, on going, Peaceful experience, because it is infused with Unconditional Love.

Force often breeds lies. It is only interested in it’s ideal outcome. Submission does not equal respect, and brute force, whether physical, emotional or mental, often induces contempt, resentment and fear. It creates illusions, unstable experiences and it certainly does not equal Truth. When Truth is revealed, illusions are shattered.

Deer reminds us of the power in vulnerability. It is only when we dare to lay ourselves bare, to risk revealing the Truth of ourSelf, that we are in full Acceptance (even if the only person we reveal it to is ourSelves!)

When we are in fear of the Truth, this is when we need to be most gentle with ourselves. We need Gentleness when we know in our Heart that something is not alignment with our Truth, whether it be a situation we chose or one forced upon us. Gentleness, by it’s very Nature, offers us and those around us some Grace. It offers us a space to see more clearly, listen more intently, Love more openly.

Knowing when to act and when not to, when to speak and when not to, is the art of Wisdom. Gentleness gives us time and space to access our innate Wisdom that reveals our Truth and the appropriate timing for it’s expression. Expression infused with Gentleness is generally more easily received and more easily digested.

In Gentleness we are more likely to fully own the power of our actions.
In force, we are prone to doubt, as we never really felt we had a choice.
However, Gentleness can help us in such situations to come to terms with whatever situation we find ourselves in. It really can be a gateway to Grace.

I’m certainly not saying there isn’t a place for force. Sometimes it appears the only choice. But Gentleness is becoming a lost Virtue in our age of, “must have everything now!”, “must be perfect now”, “must fit neatly in a box” society. I’m simply asking you to remember that a little bit of Gentleness goes a long way!

So try a little self enquiry on Gentleness (remembering to be Gentle with yourself in the process!):

What in my life am I forcing?

Where in my life am I being too hard on myself (or another), based on learnt ideals and beliefs?

Is it more important for me to be “right” over Gentle?

How can I use the power of Gentleness to build bridges in my relationships?

When I feel forced, does this make me more open or closed to others?

When I try to force my will on a situation, are people more open or closed towards me?

Do I want others to be real (themselves!) or what I want them to be?

Am I willing to be Gentle with myself, while I learn to be more accepting of others?

Yoga teaches us very quickly about Gentleness. We cannot force the body to do what it’s not ready for without causing ourselves injury. Often force results in severe delays as we are then forced in return to rest up! When we are Gentle with our bodies, they respond in kind, they open very quickly because the dialogue that occurs becomes Loving. When the body Trusts the commands of a mind led by a Gentle heart, it feels safe to surrender, to let go and to grow.

Forward bends are great vehicles in which to explore Patience and Gentleness. In fact any pose that requires open hamstrings!

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This picture is of Simone, a long time student of mine, and the moment in which she touched her toes for the first time after applying the power of Gentleness. First we got her visualising that it was actually possible, even if only in her mind! She visualised going far beyond what she thought she was capable of, then very Gently moved into the pose. It only took three goes to reach her toes, with very little force at all, just Gentleness!

I do hope you will reclaim the power of Gentleness today! Let us fill the world with Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, then maybe we can really get to know the real BEaUty of our fellow human Beings…But remember, in order for that to happen we each have to create that safe and most Sacred space for each other to be real. And that really does all start with a little Gentleness.

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