We love ourselves when we are gentle with ourselves.

Gentle, with ourselves?  Novel thought….didn’t think people today knew how.  We crash and bash and ram ourselves into exhaustion, physical, mental, and spiritual. Then we call it good.  We are doing what we need to do after all, and life is busy, it’s complicated.  No one’s going to call me weak, or lazy…or less than capable.  I have to crash and bash and ram myself to stay ahead. The world is a crazy place, if I don’t push, I can’t survive…

I will admit, that I have been a crasher, basher and rammer extraordinaire. I am a driver, a pusher and have not always realized what I was doing to myself, until it was too late.  Burnout.  Exhaustion.  Shut Down Time. Ugly. I did not know how to be gentle with myself. But then gentleness is a loving thing, and I was not especially good at loving myself.  Hey, I was clueless.

What does it look like?  Gentleness with one’s self?  It certainly means to take care, to go easy, to nurture, to be kind to…to understand what we need to do to be ok. To stay in balance, to not burn out and to live joyful, satisfied lives.

I think we have to figure out what serves our lives now, and what no longer serves us. We need to dump the no longer serves stuff.  This may take some time, but no is a really good word, and it works.  If we mean it when we say it….

Practice being tuned in. Extend to yourself the same kindness you might extend to a good friend or someone you really love.  Nurture the wee girl inside you, let her out to shine from time to time.  Don’t ever be too busy to spend time with her.

Go easy in the rough spots.  Life is challenging. Give yourself grace through the challenges. Spend lots of time telling yourself that “ you can do it” – “it’s going to be ok” – “I love you”.  I talk to myself lots, but then artists work alone most of the time, so I can get away with it….if you need to take a nap, take a nap.  If you need to get away, figure out a way to go away.  More about this in tomorrow’s post.

Sitting by the water is a very gentle, nurturing thing to do. If I lived by the ocean, I would be there all the time. My studio would sit on the shore and I would make things and watch the water go in and out.  I would smell the salt air and listen to the gulls.  I would be supremely happy….

I really can’t tell you how to be gentle with yourself, you know what you need.I can tell you that this kind of gentleness is an utterly important part of loving yourself.



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