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We all can do with being more gentle and compassionate with ourselves, especially when life feels hard or challenging. Can we meet ourselves with gentleness — the beautiful, unique and lovable being that we are?

While I have come a long way regarding this, I certainly can do with more gentleness and compassion towards myself.

Life is great and it is fun. I love it! I love being in a body, here on earth; what an epic journey …!

And … life can be hard. Being in a body can be limiting and painful. Having a feeling heart can be overwhelming. Losing loved ones or a family is sad. Navigating outdated and disconnected systems which do not honour the heart, the earth, the sacredness of life, our needs or our bodies … can be hard. I find that one particularly sore.

Life is not always gentle. The world we created is not gentle, more like the opposite. Nature is not always gentle and the elements can be rough and tough to meet. There can be challenging circumstances or emotions or people that hurt us.

So, can I be gentle and compassionate with myself? I certainly have a choice.

The earth is not a fluffy place. That’s OK, nothing wrong with this. I just wonder, whether amidst the roughness of our crazy and wonderful world, I can meet the soft parts in me more often. The ones that may need to be seen and held by me; loved, embraced and acknowledged?

Recently, I was touched deeply when someone special reminded me that this is something my being needs more of: me pausing to be with what my heart is feeling when the challenges and the hardness of the world and of simply being human feel tough. I was reminded that, sometimes, I need to wrap my arms around myself, holding myself with love and presence. No fixing. Just presence.

And so I thought, perhaps this is something we may all need — as you are me and I am you: to be more gentle with ourselves, especially when life feels rough and tough.

Can we meet our tender selves, when we feel challenged, when the world feels sore or makes us sad or angry? Can we pause, make space for our hearts and just allow ourselves to feel whatever it is we are feeling, giving it space, movement, expression, silence — whatever it might need, that feeling.

And can we dare to just feel, without a story or an explanation, without dwelling in it and without brushing it away? Can we ‘just’ make space to be with our hearts when we know that’s what is needed, that’s what our being is calling for, however softly? Presence is medicine.

I do intend to bring more awareness to these tender parts in me, in those times when they yearn for me to simply … meet them. I like to do more of this — for me and for all that I am connected to.

May all we bring more gentleness to ourselves and, through that, into the world.

This is how gentleness is not just an antidote for hardness. Whenever we dare to be gentle with ourselves, we instantly change the world. Gentleness is a necessity for a healthier you, a healthier me and a kinder world.

Whenever we feel the world should be different, whenever we are overwhelmed by the question of how to change it, wondering what our part is in making this a better world … we can always start with ourselves, the little version of the world that we are. When we tend to the world that we are with love and gentleness, this always ripples powerfully, without exception, into our relationships and touches everything we are connected to.

Thus, by meeting ourselves with more kindness, we change the world a little bit by adding the transformative energies of gentleness, however subtle and softy, into the web of life around us. We get to heal ourselves and change the world at the same time.

And, by practising gentleness towards ourselves, we also give permission and inspiration for others to cultivate more kindness and compassion towards themselves. The ripples of this are unknown to us but continue to go out and out … into the wider world.

How about you start right away and commit to one act of gentleness toward yourself, today?

Gentleness is the medicine our crazy and wonderful world needs a lot of. And because we are the world, we all need some of that medicine. We can always ask, can I be more gentle and compassionate towards myself?