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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The Art of Gentleness

Good morning and hello to each of you after a few days of silence. I have been flying to workshops during that time, so I apologize for the lack of posts. Today’s search term I resonated with was “the art of gentleness.” I think in our haste to get things done, we forget to show gentleness.

In fact, it is more that we forget, or get too busy, to “be” gentleness. It’s a state of being, gentleness is. It occurs when we are working from, operating from, our heart. It flows naturally when we are “in” our heart.

How do you get into that state of gentleness? Well, it starts with having a good feeling about yourself, holding yourself in your heart with good feelings. When you are feeling good about yourself, you can generally feel good about others, as well. When in this space, you feel softness for others, and you can express your gentleness through such acts as acknowledging another, complimenting someone, or offering comfort.

It all starts with a good feeling about yourself. To get to a good place when thinking about yourself, list out all your positive attributes, your positive qualities. Then, consider the past month and write down, list out, all the positive and kind things you did during that time period. Include the kindness you showed yourself. Let yourself “be” with those things you listed until you realize your goodness.

The thing about gentleness is that, often you can show it to another, but you don’t to yourself. Maybe you don’t think to offer yourself gentleness, or perhaps you feel you are not worthy of it. The anecdote to these two things is to first take the time to think about it, and resolve to think about it for yourself more often.

If you don’t offer yourself gentleness because you feel unworthy, stop. Offer yourself compassion for that wounded person you are, for in my belief, you must be wounded if you do not feel yourself worthy. We are each worthy. You are worthy simply because you are a human being on this earth. Look at your lists again of your positive traits and of all the good things you’ve done in the past month and allow yourself to consider your worthiness.

Once that settles within you, then feel some gentleness for yourself. Feel a soft spot in your heart for yourself. Remember to stop and do this several times a day until it becomes a habit. Calendar it if you must, just remember to do it. Soon, it will flow naturally.

How do you get to a space of gentleness? How do you express gentleness to yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

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The Art of Gentleness

Good morning and happy almost-New-Year. My cat Izzy is walking back and forth in front of me, looking for pets, reaching out her paw, asking for more, so I pet her with great gentleness. She is so precious. She brightens my life.

This morning, I wanted to write about gentleness of heart, gentleness of spirit. I wanted to talk about gentleness to others as we interact with them and to ourselves as we grow and change. I feel light in my heart when I am gentle with others, when I treat them in a kind, serene and patient way.

The same goes for me when I treat myself with gentleness, with kindness, patience, and serenity. I am more gentle with others than I am with myself, as I forget a lot of the time to be patient with my progress, my attempts to learn, grow, and heal. Yet, when I show gentleness to myself, I progress further than when I am being unkind and impatient.

Bed of Gentleness

This is the image from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. The verse is: “Oh, could we not treat ourselves with great gentleness as we go through life learning, growing, healing? Would we then be more gentle with others, too?”

How do I show gentleness to others? It truly is as simple as being kind and serene… patient with them. When I am in that space, I am quiet and assured in my heart, and that is reflected in my actions, my behavior, my words, and my tone of voice. I am relaxed and others, in turn, become more relaxed as well.

And how do I show gentleness to myself? I use a lot of self-talk with quiet, reassuring words that I am okay, that I am doing fine. I show myself kindness and patience, and I act in a serene manner. This leads to a gentler way to approach my thoughts, my behaviors, and my actions.

Do you treat others and yourself with gentleness? How does that feel for you? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Opening Your Heart in Sobriety

Good morning. One of the search terms, the one we’ll talk about today, is opening your heart and I added “in sobriety.” You will find, as your sobriety progresses, that your heart will open. But there are specific things you can do to help this to happen.

The photo to the right is one from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. The verse that accompanies it is:

“We spend our lives behind the barriers of a closed gate, protected from the hurt and pain that may come to us. If we allow our hearts to open, we will see things in a different light. We will grow through the barriers of our heart and be able to fully experience the richness of life.”

So, how do you let down the barrier of your heart that you have erected to protect yourself?

First of all, if you approach yourself and others with gentleness, your heart will begin to open more. Next, kindness to others and yourself will help. Then, there is tolerance, which will add to your ability to open your heart in sobriety. Being tolerant of others’ differences, being tolerant of yourself and your foibles, will aid your journey to an open heart.

The most important thing, though, for allowing your heart to open is the practice of compassion – for yourself and for others. When you practice compassion, your heart softens. Sometimes, to get to compassion, it helps to do a self-appraisal, so you can discover the things you do that others do, to annoy you.

For example, you may get angry at others for something and when you do a self-appraisal, you may discover that you do the very same thing. Instead of continuing to blame the other, you can open your heart and see you both as wounded humans, and accept the foibles you are both demonstrating.

In sobriety, these steps will aid you to open your heart. And certainly, you do not have to be practicing sobriety to do these things.

How do you open your heart? Let us know what you have learned in sobriety that allows you to open your heart by leaving a comment.

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Be Gentle with Yourself in Sobriety

Bed of Gentleness

Be gentle with yourself as you move forward in your sobriety. This is so very important, so listen… 🙂 We get so mired in beating ourselves up and criticizing ourselves, that we are beaten down before we even start. 

This is so self-defeating. It does nothing except put a damper on our sobriety. It makes us wrong, rather than human. Instead, be as gentle as a bed of ivy…

This is especially true for our work with our performance appraisal. As we look at our shortcomings, we want to be especially gentle with ourselves. I’m not saying we excuse ourselves from our bad behavior, but we can still be gentle with ourselves while we become responsible for ourselves.

We also need to be gentle with others, just as we are with ourselves. Be like that bed of ivy – soft, caressing, swaying in the breeze.

Remember to treat others as we would like to be treated and don’t forget to be gentle with yourself! This is necessary on our path to peace…

Today, practice being gentle to yourself and see how that feels.

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Show Gentleness to Yourself as You Heal and Grow

Bed of Gentleness

There is nothing quite like showing yourself gentleness to speed along your healing and growth processes.

It will go a long way toward helping you to overcome the desire to beat yourself up, or to criticize yourself, not only during the appraisal portion of your journey, but throughout your journey.

Cut yourself some slack. I’m not advocating you pat yourself on the back for unkind and uncaring behaviors, but I am saying to allow yourself to be human with failings.

The thing about your failings, your short-comings is that you can choose to change them into victories, lessons to learn.

I am advocating you take a long, hard, honest look at yourself, using humility to do so. And I am advocating that you show yourself gentleness as you do that looking. Beating yourself up is counter-productive.

Feeling regret or remorse over some action, words, or behavior? Be gentle; recognize that you did the best you could at the time. If you’d have known better, you would have done better.

Now you have the opportunity to change anything you did that you don’t like, or, at the very least, to get some peace from your regrets. Be gentle with yourself as you go about making those changes.

Allow yourself to slowly and gently reveal yourself to yourself and others. Showing gentleness to yourself and others is paramount as you continue on your journey to living your dream and finding peace. 

 

 

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Getting Past Hopelessness

This morning we continue on in my book and reach hope. We have now experienced ways for getting past hopelessness.

Ray of Hope

Ray of Hope

“A ray of light across the bars of my being lights my way, instills hope in my heart.” This is the verse that accompanies the photo on the left.

Hopelessness is defined as having no expectation of an event occurring, being despondent. Despondent implies being in very low spirits due to a loss of hope and a sense of futility about continuing our efforts.

Hope, on the other hand, is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will happen, a desire accompanied by expectation. It is hope which we want to cultivate in order to dispel hopelessness.

We have come a long way in our journey and have learned several tools and ways to act and behave that will be useful in combatting hopelessness. We have learned to surrender the pretense that everything is fine with us and we have discussed awakening to awareness of what is going on around and within us.

We have learned to trust in a power greater than ourselves, and to have courage and humility. Ways to treat ourselves with such things as gentleness, kindness, and compassion have been discussed.

We have become honest about ourselves and heave learned to practice willingness, to commit to the journey, to move forward. Finally, we have learned the tremendous tool of how to conduct a self-appraisal. Through that appraisal, we have come to forgiveness of both others and ourselves. Do you see how far we’ve come?

Now, after going through what we have, we have learned to accept ourselves. All of these things in combination provide for us a ray of hope that life can and will get better for us. Hopefully, it already has begun to do so.

We focus on that ray of hope as we work on getting past hopelessness, allowing hope to grow. We take a deep breath, reveling in this new-found hope, and we allow it to blossom.

Today, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come, and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the way past hopelessness to sobriety and inner peace.

 

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