The Journey to Gentleness

Hello and welcome back as we go through the journey to find gentleness. I hope the negative appraisal went well for you, that you discovered things about yourself upon which to improve…

Today, I am going to talk about compassion and forgiveness, and how they contribute to your gentleness. Compassion is defined as the ability to have sympathy or sorrow for another’s plight, usually accompanied with a desire to help the other person.

Compassion is a great strength to have because it softens your heart, it brings you to gentleness. As you consider those who have hurt you in some way, see them as wounded people. Once you see their wounds, apply compassion just as you would for any sick person.

Keep revisiting and revisiting that recognition of the other person’s wounds. Offer compassion and before you know it, forgiveness will gently fall upon you one day when you least expect it. Just as you would for anyone else, have compassion for your wounds; hold yourself in compassion and allow forgiveness for yourself to flow in.

Doing a self-appraisal, both negative and positive, and then identifying the wounds that exist, is a powerful way to bring yourself to gentleness. The act of forgiveness is icing on the cake… Once you forgive, you will know gentleness like never before, along with great peace, happiness, and freedom.

I wish you well on your search for gentleness.

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Completing a Negative Self-Appraisal Gets Us to Gentleness

Ah, geez. I am a week late on the continuation of a self-appraisal. Please forgive me for my tardiness. Last week was a week from hell and it just got away from me. Luckily, you were left hanging in the positive self-appraisal points, and not the negative ones.

Today’s task is looking at your negative points, your areas for improvement. Grab your writing stuff and make a list of all the negative things you do, say, and think about others AND yourself. Try to be detached when you do this. The point is not to beat yourself up, but rather, to identify the things which you can improve.

Look at the things you have done which were unkind or hateful. Own your behavior… be honest about it. You may owe an apology to others, or to yourself, for that matter. Follow through with this task with humility. Just be humble. There is no need to grovel while asking for forgiveness. Just be matter-of-fact, and sincerely apologetic.

Look at this list and determine if you are willing to change the things you do that are mean and hateful. Ask the Universe or God to show you the way.

After you have established your willingness to change and what to change, it is time to look at the past 3 days and to write down everything you did during that time period that was unkind, impatient, and generally mean to others or yourself.

Be sure to include yourself as you look at how you acted negatively. Once you have made this list, look at it to determine your level of willingness to make a change in negative behavior. Own your stuff, the bad behavior you displayed. This may mean apologizing to someone for what you have done.

Remember, we are each human, and in being human, we have both positive and negative qualities. Look at this exercise in a detached manner. Learn to say things like, “Oh. I see how I was mean to Suzi when I x,y,z.”  Rather than beat yourself up or have remorse and guilt, make plans to apologize to her; vow to change your behavior on an on-going basis.

There is nothing quite as freeing on the pathway to gentleness as doing a self-appraisal. You will find you do one continually throughout the day, keeping a check on your behaviors and actions. A self-appraisal will become second nature to you and you will gain tremendous peace as you keep continual watch over yourself.

How was this process for you? Was it enlightening and did you make apologies to those you harmed, both physically, verbally, and spiritually? Consider carefully before you apologize; sometimes to do so would hurt the person more and in those cases, we often do it to feel better ourselves. Remember, this is about the other person, not about you.

Go forth and complete the appraisal, and may you find it fruitful. Join me later this week as I continue the discussion about how to find gentleness.

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In Search of Quiet Gentleness

Good morning to each of you! Thank you for your steadfast following of my blog! I hope you find it of use to you. As I promised in my last post, I’m going to spend a couple of days talking about the quietness found in gentleness.

The first step in the search for that gentleness is to envision it. See in your mind’s eye what gentleness would look like for you… a soft and quiet place in which to rest. See a less harried mind and heart than what you currently have today. Take the time to see it before you start…

Once you have a vision of what you want your gentleness to look like, then you can start on the process to get to that point. The first thing to do is to develop willingness… willingness to see the world from a new perspective, with new eyes. Develop willingness to have a one degree shift in your thinking. When you do this, you open the way for major things to shift inside of you.

The next step we’re going to undertake is that of performing a self-appraisal. This will yield you great information about yourself. The point of doing this is to locate yourself in the world, to determine the ways that you are so you can alter your behavior, actions, and thoughts to become who you want to be… that gentle and peaceful person you envisioned.

Start your self-appraisal by becoming willing to look honestly at yourself. Next, get writing stuff ready. Then, make a list of all your positive traits. List out what you see as those traits, as well as things others have told you. Include your skills and talents in this list. If you are having trouble identifying your positive traits, google positive character traits and use what comes up as a guide to possible traits.

Once you have this list completed, spend a day reveling in it, being in awe of who you are in your essence, at your core. Then, take the past three-day period and list out every kind and considerate thing you did for others and for yourself during that time period.

Now I’d like you to just “be” with those lists, soaking in deeply the goodness of your soul. Do this for a couple of days. Then, we will continue… Join me again on Monday, and we will go further into the self-appraisal… We’ll continue with our search for gentleness…

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In the Quiet with Gentleness

Good morning to each of you. May this day be a quiet one, filled with gentleness.

I really liked the search term, “in the quiet with gentleness.” It took me immediately to a place of serenity, of peace, and I felt my soul washed clean with the gentleness spoken of in the query. I am excited about the term, because it speaks so eloquently, yet simply, of the place where I live today, where you can live also.

When we have been on a journey of peace, searching for it, finding it, then we know quietness like never before. We have learned to see ourselves with gentleness, rather than the harshness of days past. We offer ourselves and others that gentleness, and it feels expansive in our soul. It is a deep knowingness that all is well.

How do we find the quiet with gentleness? We learn peace… peace with ourselves, peace with the world around us. We find forgiveness of others and ourselves; we actively seek this out. Our primary goal is to find that peace-of-mind and to live in grace, in gentleness. Ah, yes, gentleness is living in grace, that place of unearned favor, that quietness of the soul, where everything just flows smoothly.

This is a lovely place in which to live and I enjoy that place every day. But it wasn’t always this way. No, I used to be pretty hyper, very judgmental and critical, both of myself and others. I was angry and bitter, blaming everyone and everything for my woes. Then, after I found sobriety and worked at being sober in my life, I began to find forgiveness… of others and of myself and I began to live in gentleness of spirit, gentleness of soul.

It was a choice I made, to find that place of peace, that place of gentleness. You, too, can find that place. All it takes is willingness, and some work on your part. Let’s spend a couple of days and look at how to find that quiet place where gentleness resides. Over the next few days, I’ll write about the process I underwent in hopes that you, too, can find the place of gentleness, that place of quiet in your mind and spirit, you soul. Join me, won’t you?

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Living with Hope

Good morning! May you have a fruitful day, filled with the hope of living.

Several searches today had to do with hopelessness, and wanting some inspirational quotes about hope. While I do not have quotes, I do have a general way in which I talk about hope, and that is what I wish to share with you today.

Webster defines hope as a desire accompanied by expectation, a feeling that what is wanted will happen. Perhaps hopelessness occurs over the expectations we hold, and when they are not met, we become disappointed. Not knowing how to deal with or even recognize the fact that we are disappointed, we feel hopeless instead.

Let’s look at that a minute. We can have hope that things will turn out a certain way, and that’s where it needs to end. We hope, and then we let go of the outcome, willing to become pleasantly surprised if our hope is met. To add an expectation to the mix only invites disappointment to come when our hope is not met.

So, it seems the trouble lies in our expectations. I think this is so. Often, our expectations have to deal with how another will treat us, or how a situation will turn out. The fact is, we have no control over either – not how another will act nor how a situation will turn out. So, our expectations become unrealistic and we set ourselves up for a shattered hope, and out of that grows hopelessness.

We can avoid that scenario from happening by dropping our expectations. Just let them go. If the thing we hope for does not occur, then we can be disappointed and it does not go into deeper emotions. We do not need to dip into the realm of hopelessness. Instead, we can move forward in our lives to the next situation.

For example, I auditioned on Thursday for a chance to speak on someone’s stage for 20 minutes at a large networking event. This would be a wonderful opportunity for me to get my message of hope out to lots of people. I hope I am one of the six selected out of 35. And I truly hope for this. If it does not occur, I will be disappointed, yet, it will not crush me and I will not believe that life is hopeless, or I am hopeless, because I do not win.

Instead, I will acknowledge my disappointment, talk about it to a couple of people, and move on to the next opportunity when it comes along. In fact, I will create new opportunities to speak by taking action. This is relatively new behavior for me, as I spent most of my life hoping and expecting things to occur that didn’t, and when they didn’t, I became despairing and hopeless, bitter and cynical.

In present day, I realize that sometimes, what I want is not intended to be, that another opportunity will come along, something else that I do not know about currently. And I move forward. This attitude is new in sobriety… I learned to live this way in sobriety. It is a softer and more gentle way to live, believe me.

I can have an expectation and be bitterly disappointed or hopeless when it doesn’t occur, or, I can look forward with hope and when something doesn’t happen as I had hoped, I can look forward to the next opportunity to come along. It is my choice; I choose the latter as a way to live. I choose to live with hope in my life.

How about you? What are the expectations you are placing on your hope? Can you learn to hope and let go of the outcome?

 

 

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The Best Way to Overcome Low Self-Esteem

Good morning! May you each have a lovely and profitable day. Today’s term that caught my eye deals with overcoming a low self-esteem. There are a couple of things you can do to increase your self-esteem.

The first thing to do to overcome a low self-esteem is to consider what you are telling yourself about yourself. When you identify these things, consider where they came from, i.e., who told you that you were these things? Consider, point-by-point, if what you were told about yourself is true. Usually, what you were told were lies, told by someone who was unhealed or insecure themselves.

Once you recognize these things you were told that were not true, begin to tell yourself the truth, and when the negative self-talk reappears, gently talk yourself past the negativity by reminding yourself that the person who said those things was wrong.

The next thing you can do to overcome low self-esteem is to make a list f all of your positive points. Fill two standard-sized pages of paper, 8 1/2 x 11. Be creative. If you are having difficulty coming up with positive attributes, google positive character traits and see the lists that come up. See which apply to you and write them down on your list.

When you have compiled your list, simply “be” with the positivity of who you are for three days. Then, make a list of all the things you did for others in the past three days that were kind, generous, and loving. Once that list is completed, “be” with it for three days. The point is, you are trying to imbed in your heart, your soul, that you are a good person with merit.

The final thing you can do to raise your self-esteem is to do esteem-able acts. Be of service to another. Get out of yourself for even a short period of time and do something nice for another. Help them out. Talk to them. Volunteer. The point is, be of service to another, in whatever manner feels comfortable for you.

Once you do all of these things, your self-esteem will begin to improve. When it slips, as it will do, remind yourself of your positive points and attributes, and do something for someone else. You will find that your self-esteem improves.

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Blaming Others for Your Sadness

Good morning, all! May this be a fabulous day for you!

I say that, and yet, from your search terms, I recognize that there are those of you who read this blog who are feeling sad, or worthless, or just plain down. Having a good day is far from your grasp… you think. Or is it?

In the search term for today, “blaming others for my sadness,” lies the clue to continued difficulty. You see, when you blame others for your sadness, you are looking in the wrong direction. You are looking outside of yourself, when it is far more productive and appropriate to be looking within.

You may avoid looking within, as it is painful to discover what it there… painful to see your hurts, your pains of life. And, yet, it is the only way to happiness. I’d like to say that once you deal with those pains, what lies on the other side is magnificent. Peace, happiness, and freedom lie on the other side of pain, sadness, and despair.

I invite you to consider that you have the task of being responsible only for yourself, no one else. It is your task in life to look within yourself for managing your feelings yourself, not blaming others for your woes.

For example, I spent 38 years blaming my parents and everyone else for my upset feelings, but when I started looking inside and taking responsibility for my own feelings, my own healing, the result was discovering how I was creating my own pain, my own sadness. When I stopped putting that on others and started healing myself by, for example, seeing a therapist, writing about my feelings, reading books about my wounds, I began to feel so much better about myself and feelings of peace and happiness started.

You can learn to manage your own feelings instead of blaming others for them. We each have the responsibility to make our own happiness through our thoughts, our action, our behaviors. Take as your challenge the task of doing that, of looking within for your happiness, focusing on yourself instead of another.

They don’t make you unhappy; you make yourself unhappy by your thoughts about what is going on. So, focus today on yourself, and take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. Manage them by owning them, expressing them. Look within for your happiness instead of blaming others. When you stop blaming others, you will experience so much peace and freedom in your life. I invite you to own your feelings, and stop blaming others. Leave a comment and let us know how that is going.

 

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How to Practice Honesty

Good morning and happy Thursday! May this be a great day for each of you! Today’s search that got my attention was “how can I practice honesty?” Allow me to address this from my perspective…

When you think about honesty, you are most likely thinking about not lying to others, not cheating, and not stealing. These are all behaviors to practice which lead you to be an honest person. But there is more to honesty than that.

Consider that honesty can be expanded to include how you share what you are thinking or feeling at any given moment. When you keep quiet if you are angry or hurt, for example, you are not displaying honesty. The solution is to speak up in a matter-of-fact way, without attacking the other person or making them wrong, and letting them know what you are feeling. You may want to take some time to process your feelings first.

It also has to do with being honest with yourself about your actions and behaviors. This is very difficult for many of us. We have trouble admitting to less-than-stellar behavior. Yet, to be considered an honest person, you must look at and admit to your non-perfect behavior, your bad behavior.

We all have it, you know. We all act poorly at times. You are not the only one. That’s because we are human beings with feelings and often don’t know how to deal with those feelings. And practicing honesty has to do with owning your negative behavior, apologizing when indicated.

This is another slant on honesty, and I hope it provides food for thought for you.

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How to Practice Honesty

Good morning everyone, and top of the day to you on this lovely Memorial Day Weekend! The search term was “how to practice honesty,” and today I’m going to address this and the ways in which honesty can show up for you in your life.

When I refer to honesty, I am certainly including being honest and not cheating, lying, or stealing. Yet, I want to address the ways in which to practice honesty with yourself and others about who you really are, what you really feel.

Do you avoid looking at yourself and owning your behavior, both positive and negative? This was me for my life until I had many years in sobriety. The issue was, I just couldn’t be honest with myself about who I was and what I’d done. I was terrified to do so, and too ashamed. And I certainly couldn’t see my good points.

Gradually, as I learned to manage my fear, I began to be able to take an honest look at myself, owning my behavior, my actions, my words, owning my greatness. Can you relate? Am I describing you?

Consider this… do you shrink away from practicing honesty about who and what you really are because of fear of what you will find, because of shame, or because you just don’t know that’s your job? If you are doing these things, I suggest there’s another way…

I suggest there is the way of looking yourself right in the eye, in the heart, and openly admitting to yourself exactly who and what you are. Some of this means admitting to your strengths, your beauty, your good points, your greatness. No more pretending to be small. Practice honesty!

Spend some time making a list of all your strong traits, all the things that make you a grand person. Don’t play small. Really sing your praises. Sit with that list when you’re done and just “be” with who and what you are at your core. Then, take a period of 3-4 days and track every good thought, word, and deed you had during that 3-4 days. Practice honesty about who you really are. Revel in your kindness, your goodness. Know that no one can take that away from you.

Then make a list of your not-so-good points, the times you were selfish, or arrogant, or unkind to others. Spend time being honest about this. Then, take a 3-4 day time period and consider all the unkind and mean things you thought, said, or did during that time period and list them out. You will have a list of areas for improvement.

This is an excellent time to practice honesty, as you list out even the things for which you hold shame or embarrassment. Apologize for harms done to others in order to set the slate clean. Then, move forward and try to improve upon that part of yourself.

So, practice honesty by performing a self-appraisal and really looking at your positive and negative points. When you are done, you will have an honest appraisal of yourself. You will discover more peace as a result of this appraisal.

 

 

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Dealing with Fear

Good morning to each of you! May you have a calm and peaceful day, filled with joy! Pardon my silence for the past few days… I have been recuperating. The search term I liked today is “dealing with fear,” and so, will discuss fear today.

We all experience fear It is a normal human emotion. It warns us of danger so we can go into the fight or flight mode. That is its purpose and it does its job well, or you wouldn’t be here today. Yet, does it get out of hand, preventing you from moving forward in your life? Do you find yourself not getting things done because you are in fear?

Ah, if you said yes, then you are among the company of many, for many of us allow fear to stop us from doing many things, such as following our dreams, for example. Is that you? Can’t seem to get your dream off the ground because of your fear? There is way through it and here it is.

There are three steps you can take to get through fear. The thing is, when you’re in fear, you don’t breathe. It is a typical physiological occurrence, as oxygen goes to the parts of the brain necessary for fight or flight. But that keeps you stuck, so there are the three things I have referred to that will allow you to get unstuck, able to move forward through the fear.

The first thing is to breathe, ask for help, and take action. Breathe, ask for help, take action… That’s the first step. The second step is to acknowledge you are in the fear state. Feel it, recognize it, acknowledge it. Then, the third step is to choose whether to stay in that state or to move forward to something new.

It doesn’t work to say “Move on!” “Get past your fear!” It doesn’t work that way. Instead, you must recognize your fear-state and take action to get unstuck from it by doing what I outlined above.

By doing this, getting unstuck, you will find that you move forward to fulfill your dreams, your desires. The next time you are in fear, try this exercise and let us know how it worked for you.

If you find it doesn’t, then ask for help by calling to schedule a free 30-minute discovery call with me. In this call, we will explore the factors behind your fear. You may decide to work with me in my coaching program to uncover more about your fear. I can be reached at 415-883-8325 or carolyncjjones@yahoo.com. There is help out there; all you need to do is ask and it shall be given. 🙂

Have a great day!

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