June's Retreat Gently Does It is all about taking a step back and adopting a more gently approach to life and getting things done.
What comes to mind when you think of living more gently?
Perhaps open skies, quiet, nature, maybe some yoga, meditation and general calm.
What probably doesn’t come to mind is a long commute, a crying baby, long sleepless nights, an argument and anxiety.
And which type of living would you prefer? Probably the first, right? But how possible does it feel?
I hear you.
So what if we could find some calm, a sense of balance or peace even in the latter scenario?
And what if we even mitigated some of the difficulties in the latter, by having different ways of responding to things, that don’t compromise our integrity or honesty about how hard things can be?
This is where living more gently comes in.
Living a gentle life isn’t about escaping the realities of everyday (unless that’s what we really decide is right for us!) It’s actually about finding a sense of focus and peace within whatever we’re experiencing, positive or negative. It isn’t, however, finding the positive in all things because that can lead to denial that difficulties might be present. Rather, it is saying ‘I will have choices in how I prepare for this, respond to this, and manage this and they can be more gentle’.
Ultimately gentle living isn’t definable in one way. I interpret it as being open for personal definition because that’s what truly leads us to find our own version of a gentle life – the life that we might well be craving and feel is so far away.
This isn’t about pretending that we’re not exhausted or stressed or even mentally unwell right now. It is about saying where do I have power and control and what skills and strengths can I call upon (that I may well have forgotten or minimised) that will see me through this.
It is also, then, about celebrating when we’re IN gentleness – the tiny moments that remind us we’ve reached it for a second or a day and a week. The times we know we can hold onto - that life is going in a direction we’re pleased about.
Living gently can also be present even when we’re pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones – to go for a new job, to present to 20 people, to host a party, to promote ourselves and more. Because it’s about holding an inner sense of strength and resilience, we take that with us wherever we go.
At the space retreat, we’ll discover more about the gentle life manifesto, which provides a framework to live more gently by. I’ll share how it all came about and how you can create your version of gentle living that will last.