Why Gentleness is a Pillar of Self-Mastery


“We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey.” ~George Leonard

The Closed Cafe

I was in a yoga class this week and the teacher suggested that to be able to personally master your life it is important to learn how to be more gentle with yourself.  That resonated with me, as a self-described achiever.  I equate drive and grit with productivity and high performance.  But there is a pendulum that swings and being too far in one direction or another can create imbalance.

So how does it look for you, as you consider gentleness and choices you make in your everyday life?   Where do you fall on that pendulum?  Do you know people who seem to have the natural ability to know when to push and when to back off?   Are you one of those people?  If not, how do you learn to discern and find this balance and trust?  This, to me, is at the heart of personal mastery as we learn and unlearn what got us to where we are now, knowing instinctively that some of our ways are no longer useful and need to be shed to make room for new (sometimes more gentle and less aggressive) choices that are a better fit.

What’s key here is trust—knowing the process of letting go and moving out of the zone of comfort is how we grow and transform into better versions of ourselves.  Personal mastery is an inside job.  It takes a lot of soul searching and practice, going two steps forward and one back as we ebb and flow and find our way in the cycle of life, pushing ourselves and then taking breaks to rejuvenate and recharge.

And the summer is an ideal season to contemplate the idea of gentleness and balance.  We tend to take more days off and kick off our shoes and enjoy the longer days and more balmy evenings.  Energy is different in the summer — like how you feel if you have ever travelled in the southern hemisphere where siestas are part of the fabric of life culturally.

This summer why not find a way to bring more siesta into your life?  Whatever that means to you—but a way that you could show yourself a gentler, kinder way to live some of the time.  Pick three ways now and then do them this week and see how it feels.  My guess is you will feel more rejuvenated and masterful.


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