Adopting an attitude of gentleness can be a powerful antidote to the stresses of living in the modern world.
I was reminded of the importance of living with gentleness during a trip to the stunningly beautiful Oregon coastline . I had walked some distance down to a deserted beach. Directly ahead across the water on rocks jutting out, about a hundred yards or so, there was an enormous colony of seals and sea lions. I was entranced by their antics and their raucous communications, feeling fully humbled to be able to see them in their natural habitat.
While sitting on some rocks I quietly sent these beautiful sea animals a mind request, asking them to swim across closer to where I was sitting. It was not long before a large brown male swam directly toward me, his head bobbing up and down with his keen eyes curiously eyeing this foreign being. He came close and then circled a couple of times before moving back a little way. In the meantime a large number of seals also swam from their rocky outpost and were equally curious about this human who was sitting absolutely still and observing them. It was a surreal and magical experience. I felt as one with the sea and the animals. Feelings of gentleness and peace flowed within my soul and remained within for the rest of the day.
We can create our own reality
So often we are confronted by the harsh and violent reality of our world that it is easy to forget the opposite qualities also exist. Our daily news service provides a grim reminder of the violence, greed, anger, and dangers inherent in living on planet Earth. We begin to believe that this is all there is to life. As a result, we see and experience only those aspects that are continually flashed across our screens daily.
My spiritual guidance often reminds me that whatever happens in life is of our creation. As spirit having a human experience, we are indeed powerful beings for we have the ability to create whatever reality we choose. There are, however, a couple of aspects to reality creation to bear in mind.
Creating reality consciously
The first step to creating reality effectively is that there has to be conscious intent. When continually exposed to a diet of anger, conflict, and chaos it is easy to wallow in those energies and accept them as normal. Instead, by consciously focusing intention on living in a state of harmony and healing there will be, over time, a gradual change toward that state.
Mindfulness is also essential to reality creation. Being mindful of thoughts, intentions, emotions, and actions means having awareness of exactly what is happening in each and every moment. This does not mean analysing all that happens; rather it involves being fully present and engaging with consciousness in all aspects of daily life.
Addressing the imbalance
When imbalance exists within an organism its first instinctual response is to attempt to regain its equilibrium. There already exists an excess of anger and violence in our world and in order to facilitate healing on both individual and global levels now is the time to begin the process of re-creating a state of balance. This is where living with gentleness has a profound effect, and the benefits are numerous.
Living with gentleness involves engaging in kindness, mildness, thoughtfulness, tenderness, patience, graciousness, calm and peacefulness. It means living with compassion, mercifulness, lenience, and quietness. There are other equally valid qualities that exemplify gentleness. All these qualities are the opposite of those that we are exposed to on a daily basis.
Simple steps to living gently
To create gentleness as a way of living, these suggestions are worthwhile putting into practice.
- Instead of reacting, learn to accept whatever is happening. Accepting someone or something as they are, without infusing your perceptions with emotional energy, results in feelings of calm. This then enables you to respond in a manner that does not hold emotional intensity, thereby defusing the stressful situation.
- Spend time daily in silence. This affords the opportunity to relax both body and mind, and enables the voice of inner spirit its expression. Even if meditation is not your thing, fifteen to twenty minutes of silence daily assists your body to heal and rebalance its energies.
- Remind yourself often that ‘life is beautiful’. Or, you may choose your own phrase of affirmation that best fits your reality. However, use an affirming statement daily or, even better, several times daily. In time you will actually feel and believe the truth of your particular affirmation.
- Treat yourself to a vacation from negative news. Omit television viewing from your daily routine. Also stop reading the newspapers. While you may initially feel deprived, you will find that after a while life begins to feel sweeter and less stressful.
- Focus your intention to only see the very best in people and situations. This can be an extremely challenging task, because we are conditioned to be critical and suspicious. By changing your perception to positive and affirming, even when a situation is tough, you will find that the situation actually becomes what you think it is. Thus, you are actually able to manage your stress levels when you minimise your reactivity.
- Take care of that which you can change. Commit yourself to those issues, causes and concerns that are important to you. Give the very best that you can. Let go of stress and worry over things that you are unable to change.
- Treat the planet and all who share of its beauty and gifts with reverence. There is magic in nature, in wildlife, and in humanity. Learn to see it and appreciate the inherent beauty in all things. When you are able to do this you will find yourself living with gentleness.
- Finally, honour the beautiful person you are. At all times be gentle and considerate toward your own ideals, aspirations, and needs.
Gentleness begins as a state of mind, and with focus and intention it becomes a way of living. Give it a try and see what a difference it makes to your reality!
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