Gentle Is As Gentle Does


 

Last night I went to meditation at the bookstore around the corner from my house. I was lucky enough to go to meditation twice in one week. With summer break just four days away for my kids, I need all the meditation I can get.

Monday was women’s meditation. In that one, the guide chooses a card from Doreen Virtue’s Goddess card deck and uses the message as the theme for the meditation. Just before we started, I was speaking with one of the other women. Of course, with summer being so close the conversation turned to when the kids get out of school.

I find nearly everyone asks, “Are you excited for the year to end? For the break?”

Being that I wear my heart on sleeve, I find it hard to lie. The lie would be a hardy, “Oh yes!” But, like I said, I’m not good at lying. So, I told the truth, which is that I enjoy the break in routine and we usually take a little trip the day school gets out, so I’m looking forward to that, but after about three weeks, I could use a break myself from the summer “break” because my sanity starts to crack.

As I closed my eyes for meditation and began to float away into the moment, my mind wandered to one word – “gentle.” And what floated by like a cloud was the message, “Try and be gentle with your kids, and kind. And be gentle with yourself as well.”

Kisha, the meditation guide, drew her card and began to read the meaning. The card was “Damara, Guiding Children.” Damara is a Celtic fertility goddess and her name means, “gentle.” The meaning was about children who need you, keeping a harmonious household and being a youthful spirit yourself. I smiled knowing that I was, in fact, being guided to reflect deeply on being gentle with those around me, including myself and my own “inner child.”

damara

Tonight (Saturday), I was lucky enough to go back to meditation for a second time this week. It used to happen much more often that I went more than once a week, but these days I find it harder to get away. I see that when I make it happen it does, and when I concede that “it’s not a good time to leave,” I allow myself to be pulled away from the place I love, my meditation retreat just down the street.

Don led us and his theme for the evening was Gratitude. As he guided us he asked a question, “What part of your life do you feel happy about?” My kids came to mind. I saw myself smiling and being with them in a happy moment. Then he said, “What in your life makes you feel anxious?” I almost laughed out loud – I saw myself again with my kids!

That’s the duality of motherhood. Those two little people give me plenty of happiness and in the next moment give me a heaping helping of anxiety pie.

But I’m grateful for both. I was able to say “Thank You,” to both the happy and the anxious, because both help me evolve into who I am in my soul. I know that when I am able to laugh with my kids, my own inner child is freed. And, when I am able to face an anxious situation with mindfulness, rather than reaction, my soul is freed. The latter is the one I struggle the most with. Being mindful when I’m anxious is very hard for me, but I am working on it.

I’ve been reading the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement is, Be impeccable with your word.

Being impeccable with our word is not just “say what we mean, mean what we say.” It is that, but it also means not saying everything that comes to mind. It’s being aware that the spoken word has meaning and can be used as good energy or as poisonous energy. I wish I could say I always use my word for good. But I can’t. Don Miguel says the first agreement is the hardest because we have been trained from childhood to use our words to gossip and to control, as we were controlled by words when we were children.

My children are my greatest lesson in being impeccable with my word because they are the people in my life with the least amount of filters. They are so used to me that they give it to me straight in all instances and situations. They are kids and kids are free, non-domesticated people, until they grow into the domestication (belief system) that we and all of the other people in their lives (teachers, preachers and other kids) give them to graduate into adulthood with.

But for now, they are giving me their version of me with all they know how, mostly by arguing with everything I say! They are nine and 11 years old and both have a will as strong as I did, and maybe more in my son’s case, at that age. They don’t mind telling me exactly what they think of everything I do and say. I find myself arguing back and becoming a child myself, or saying things very parent-like. Not that any of this is not “right.” But it is not real.

What’s real is love. I have immense love for them. I want so badly to be impeccable with my word where they are concerned. So now, after studying what Don Miguel says, I am more aware of what I say. Even when I don’t say what I think was best for all involved, I leave a situation and ask myself what I could have said to make this a better interaction. And sometimes I am aware that saying nothing at all would have been the better choice. Just being quiet can say more than words when the words are getting nowhere!

I’m grateful. I’m grateful for all of the happy times I have with my kids and for the challenging times where I get to use awareness to be a better person. And when all seems chaotic and anxious, I am so very grateful for meditations that are close to my home with meditation guides who seem to know just the right topic at just the right time.

Today, I will be grateful and I will be aware. I will use my words wisely and impeccably or not at all.

 

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2 Responses to Gentle Is As Gentle Does

  1. memagigi says:

    What a wonderful lesson! I love the idea of being impeccable with our words. Thank you for continuing to share your studies and thought provoking ideas.

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