“Gentle” seems to be my chosen word just now, a little mantra to anchor me back to what’s true. Maybe it’s the mellowness of Autumn; maybe it’s because I feel a little fragile as I transition to my 50’s and adjust to my eldest leaving home. Perhaps it’s because my Facebook feed feels full of overachievers and grand deeds – remarkable diets and exercise regimes, talk of ‘discipline’, ‘pushing yourself’, and ‘no surrender’. That’s not what I want.
“It doesn’t have to be so hard,” my soul whispers to me, “You know there’s a gentler way”. Gentle does not mean ineffective. Gentle does not mean weak. Gentle does not mean giving up. My greatest successes have come, not from striving and pushing, but from a place of gentle flow, connection and simply being rooted in who I truly am.
As I sat down to pen this blog post, I suddenly remembered something I wrote on my blog over two years ago. I smiled to find and re-read it as it’s an echo of my gentle theme. A reminder to slow down, gently unhook from the noise and how compassion softens even the hardest of times. I smile too as I notice the cycles and seasons of my own development:
“Faster, faster, wider, higher, more, more!” they urge
“You must, you should, you ought” the admonishing cry
The things you must know, should do, must have, ought to be to win the glittering prize, ever just out of reach.
“Look what we’ve done, achieved, overcome”, their desperate boast, “the best is yet to come.”
“Have you not done similar? Are you not the same?”
The contemptuous accusation swelling the shameful fear – am I enough?
In confusion I stay cowering small
Until inside, when still
I feel the truth
Warm, strong, amused and sure
“No. Slower, yet slower,
Deeper and rich;
Less will feed and nourish you more.”
My Soul’s reassuring voice
Stand tall, don’t heed the clamour,
The relentless noise;
Step aside, still the mind.
Choose to be, to feel, to see
Shame and fear
Melting in the warmth of compassion.
I know my worth,
And trusting self, can stand sure
Are you a fellow gentle soul? I’ve a closed Facebook group Introvert by Nature if you want somewhere quiet and thoughtful to hang out where we share poems, photographs, thoughts, and writing.