the tenderness experiment

So far, I am actually remembering to tune into tenderness at least once or twice a day.  Which may not seem like much, but for me, it's a lot; I'm the queen of thought experiments that never make it to 3D.

here's what I've noticed so far:  it's possible to walk, talk, chew, scrub, fold, breathe, listen and think with tenderness.  On my morning walk I picture myself moving through the air with tenderness, and meeting the earth with tenderness in each step.  I can tenderly wash dishes and water my plants.  When I am listening, I can imagine my attention as a soft pillow upon which your words can rest.  I can speak in tones that will nurture and comfort those who listen.  When I fold laundry, I can intend love into each crease, so that when the garment is worn, joy will be released like a fragrance.  When I bake, I can add loving intention just like I add the eggs.  I can sense my heart before speaking or acting, and intend to express compassion. 

I'm becoming aware of what makes tenderness different than mindfulness for me - tenderness is an active extension, whereas mindfulness seems to be receptive.  Each has its place, and its charm.  The experiment continues. 

try a little tenderness

this is my five hundredth post on this blog, if you can believe it.  gee, I sure do have a lot of opinions ...

After a week of vacation and a few more days at home with minimal work to do and a lot of fresh air and sunshine, my body and mind are finally beginning to relax.  As usual, contrast inspires clarity, and I am realizing that the speed of my thoughts and movements is a very good barometer of my inner state.  The more internally settled I become, the more slowly I am able to move as I do the tasks of daily living.

I've learned so much over the years about mindfulness, which I'll arbitrarily define as paying conscious attention to what is happening in each moment.  And although I get it and I know how to do it, I don't find it all that satisfying for whatever reason.  Maybe I am missing some important part of it?  In any case, I've found something else that I like better for now:  tenderness.