What is it to be gentle? It is a question that has been swirling around my sphere for some time and one I feel has relevance in the point in space time we all find ourselves. We have all been shown what this paradigm defines as gentle. You know the fluffy little yellow duck waddling around amongst toilet paper rolls. Oh! what a reckless little duck with all that scarce toilet paper. It is shown to us that gentle means shit paper and ducks , or that dishwashing liquid really is gentle on your skin. We derive our understanding of words through different forms of media. It then takes discernment to understand what the message is and who’s actually delivering it. In the case of fluffy duck it is a marketer who’s crafted a message of his or her belief of what gentle is. As long as it sells units everybody is happy, right! How gentle are you? Does that define gentle for you?
“If one doesn’t know himself how can he trust anyone else”
“How do you cultivate gentleness ,what does it mean to be a Gentle-man?” Is a statement that I read or heard sometime ago. It led me down a path of questioning what it means to be gentle and fostered an exploration of the self at a much deeper level than I considered possible. I look around my world, from my memories as a child till this present moment and from that information I attempted to decipher gentleness in this conceptual reality we are born into. And it can be overwhelming. We live in a time of mass information and there is so much data being thrown at us for our attention, that our balance can be knocked around. Before you trust the source of any information, do you trust in yourself? All around us is an intoxicating array of phenomena that attempt to garner our attention. Whether its people, (friends, family, lovers or adversaries) places (work, home, nature or the pub) or substances (drugs, alcohol, food or the internet) they all divert our attention outward drawing our energy away from ourselves. Even a cycling journey across the top of Australia is an external diversion. “Where our attention goes our energy flows!” When we channel that attention inward, it becomes intention where we uncover a piece of ourselves that was hidden in plain sight. Along the way discovering what it means to BE, whilst shining a light to those questions illuminating a new path forward.
“The wisdom of obscurity, the gentle outlast the strong, the obscure outlast the obvious”
If you’ve ever spent time in complete darkness you become accustomed to where things are. You know where the obstacles are. You adjust your movements to a slower pace so that you don’t crash into things. You begin to feel your way around your dark place until you’re comfortable. Once we know the lay of the land we accept it and never question it or move the furniture again. It becomes comfortable. We believe that once it is known it never needs revisiting, unless it is shifted by an outside force. Then we are compelled to question its validity. A hell of a lot of our knowledge comes from our parents and family. It’s their primary role, to illuminate things so that you don’t bump into them and hurt yourself. However have you ever stopped to think or even contemplate where their beliefs came from. What happened to them that caused them to become who they are and thus inform you and your beliefs, what was their lived experience and what makes them right or wrong? In a healthy society we question beliefs and we question the paradigm, not because we want to destroy it. We do it because new information surfaces when we become illuminated by life, we are naturally curious to seek and discover whether the old ways are relevant anymore or whether they need amending. That is the basis of scientific theory, always question the premise. Is where we are going consciously ours or is it an unconscious process layered upon us by an ancestral belief system that is no longer relevant for this time?
“Know this Primal Power, that guides without forcing, that serves without seeking, that brings forth and sustains life, yet does not own or possess it”
To be a Gentle-man isn’t to be defined by the sexes. Just because the word man is in it does not mean it is only for men. It is for all of mankind. We are all HU-MAN that is our species. So to my eyes a man of many colours is who we all have the potential to be. So what about gentle. I feel the paragraph of the Tao Te Ching above describes it perfectly. To embody gentle means that we guide ourselves and others without force. We all have built in beliefs and ideologies, they come from our culture and the world we evolved in. They are also handed down through the generations, however what worked in the past isn’t necessarily true now or is it? Ideology is a great guide however when it is forced upon you it becomes indoctrination. Don’t force your will or your answers onto others or yourself. Sit with it and allow your own inner guidance to gently guide you to your truth.Just because its your truth doesn’t necessarily mean its true for others. To be gentle with ourselves and others without seeking anything in return, is to be of service. When we do this from our heart centres with pure intent it gently flows from us resonating with all who are able to receive it in kind. It does not seek. If we desire something in return it becomes servitude not service and there is the great distinction. Are you in service or seeking servitude? Once our actions generate love and grace it magnetises life on such a grand level that it feeds our soul and sustains within us the beauty of our creation in every moment. The euphoria such actions and intention generates feels amazing, yet to truly embody it we must allow it to pass through us. It is not ours to own or to possess. It is an e-motion (energy in motion) to hang onto to those motions is to introduce rigidity which is the opposite of gentleness. Experience the emotion, feel it in every cell, allow it to wash over you like a gentle wave, then witness the tide receding to create space for more of the same. That is our Primal empowerment, it is our strength, it is so silent in the face of all the noise we have created it is almost obscure. However it is there for all to share.
“Take on difficulties while they are still easy
Do great things while they are small
Step by step the world’s burden is lifted
Piece by piece the world’s treasure is amassed.
So the Sage stays with his daily task
and accomplishes the greatest thing
Beware of those who promote a quick and easy way
for much ease brings many difficulties”
We can unpack every point for eternity, we can go around in circles looking for an answer that suits us. Or we can sit with that wide eyed wonder and feel comfortable knowing that we do not know all the answers and that’s ok. All I know for myself personally is that I will continue to seek ways to become gentler, softer and more loving of everything that comes across my way. Let us all endeavour to be more flexible and less rigid in our ways and allow life to pass through us not by us. We are transitory beings on a journey to evolve our consciousness to a higher level. That frequency and vibration is one of gentleness, grace, gratitude and love. Love of everything as it is. Embodying the graceful gentleman within us all. The gratitude of a primal power that is inherit within the incarnate presence of all humans. Gentleness is our natural state everything else is an imposition that we have allowed to take hold. Lastly to use a phrase from the comedian Steven K Amos: “Life is like a fart, if you force it, it’s going to be shit”
“The Sage sees the world as an expansion of his own self
So what need has he to accumulate things?
By giving to others, he gains more and more
By serving others, he receives everything”