On Gentleness

On Gentleness

As I walk through one of the biggest transitions of my life, I’ve been reflecting a lot on gentleness versus harshness…we be so unkind and harsh to ourselves in our culture! We have a tendency to internally berate ourselves, or even light-heartedly talk 💩 about ourselves in our inner narrative (have you ever said to yourself, “Oh I’m such an idiot that I forgot ______”?) And though we’d like to think that our inner world of thought has no meaningful impact on the world around us…it very much does, in direct and indirect ways, tangible and intangible, seen and unseen.

As we walk into the holiday season, many of us are culturally imbued with stories of saints, miracles, and time-honored traditions connecting humanity to Nature. And I find myself wondering…did these holy people talk crap about themselves? Did they berate themselves when they made a mistake? Or were they beyond-human, and didn’t make mistakes or have so-called negative feelings? It’s possible they didn’t, but holding them as non-human in our minds makes it that much harder to realize our innate human potential…so I prefer to think that they had normal human issues, and they worked through them, gently. And we—you & I—can too.

Because how can we be truly compassionate with another’s tenderness if we can’t be compassionate with our own? Being gentle with ourselves—and our darkness, our fears, our mistakes—is a practice, and one that gives us the perfect training ground to be gentle with others.

I sometimes think about it this way (with a li’l help from my friends, you know who you are :)—if one of my kids is having a hard time, has berating them and telling them they shouldn’t feel that way ever actually…”worked”? Short answer: nope. How about inviting them into my lap and acknowledging their feelings, and helping them see that’s not the only way to relate to this moment in time? 

That’s a bit more like it, eh?

Well, I’ve seen how many of us use the inextricable link between energy and productivity as weapons against ourselves, and I want to invite a different path.

Very often, people use coffee as a weapon—“I need to do ______, and I feel ______ (usually tired, because let’s face it: MODERN LIFE IS EXHAUSTING AND INHUMANE), so I’m going to drink coffee.”

I also tried using coffee as fuel to override my nervous system’s clear messages and just…keep…going.

And sometimes we have to just keep going. We truly feel like we don’t have a choice. This is not an invitation to use “how you’re using coffee as a weapon”…as a weapon! You feel me? This is important. BE NICE TO YOU.

Before I started Rasa, I’d been through a HELL of a year—multiple hospitalizations and surgeries, becoming a mother, complex PTSD on top of postpartum depression & anxiety on top of “regular” depression & anxiety…I was overwhelmed. Frazzled. Fried. Exhausted. Coffee was harsh to my tenderized system. I wanted a gentler way to keep going, because I had to. And so, Rasa was born, not long after my first babe was.

Drinking Rasa is a way to be gentle with yourself.

Now, here’s the trick. I bet there are some of you out there who “should” on yourself about Rasa. “I should drink Rasa (but I really want coffee).” Please do not do that to yourself or to this beautiful agent of gentleness we made for your body!

If you truly want the coffee, be gentle with yourself and drink the coffee. No shame, no guilt. Enjoy it! You can drink a cup of Rasa later and yes, the medicinal herbs in Rasa will help to counteract the side effects of the coffee. Isn’t that wondrous? You can have your coffee and drink it, too! (And, do ideally drink your Rasa daily, as the herbs in Rasa work their best magic when taken daily!)

Don’t “should” on yourself. Speaking from personal experience…it gets messy! 💩

All of this is a warm invitation (into my proverbial lap, if you wanna!) to be gentle with yourself—all of yourself, especially the crunchy bits.

Being gentle with yourself can look like:

  • Canceling something so you can rest instead
  • Asking for help
  • Saying “no” to something you actually don’t want to do
  • Saying “yes” to something you do want to do but have feared you “shouldn’t”
  • Being understanding and compassionate with yourself when you have difficult feelings—like you’d want to be with a child who’s having a hard time
  • Drinking Rasa instead of coffee (or vice versa! See above!)

See, we’re not anti-coffee, we’re just pro-being gentle with yourself—whatever that looks like for you.

So please, join me in committing to being gentle with yourself, in all the many ways that can look. You deserve it, the world needs it, and it’ll be more fun, too.