I awoke the other night, and a small voice kept saying, “Gently now. Very gently now. You are safe. Be gentle to yourself.” Immediately, my body relaxed and went into a profound state of peace and gratitude. As I rose to go to the bathroom, I felt subtle energies of peace and compassion helping me to stand, all the while saying, “Be gentle. Be peace. You are safe.”
I’ve had many of these “energy visitations” in the past, but this one has persisted and has seemed to be filtering through all the layers of my being and physicality. My chronic pains of this 65 year old have seemed to fade some, replaced by this steady mantra of a Gentle Campaign.
This has taken me into a new area of self-inquiry. We are all so acculturated with concepts of waging war on what we do not want or like, that to fully embody such an idea as gentle peace, seems like giving up. Yet, just the opposite is true. Once we give up the war, peace and grace can at last come to rest upon us, and we wonder why we were so all-fired forcible about things.
Especially, as a man, we are socialized to “aggressively pursue our objectives”. We are taught that the “manly” way is to “attack” a problem and “make a solution happen”. The irony is that just as much can be “accomplished” through non-forcible means, with less expenditure of energy and less risk of self-diminishment should we fail.
All this fighting for “success” ends up taking a toll on the body, which is remarkably resilient, yet still subject to the wear and tear of war. All this pushing and forcing puts the body in a constant state of “fight or flight”, and results in inflammatory responses, and eventual wasting.
For the last several months, when I ask the body, What do you need? It has consistently responded with, “REST”. I did what I could to shift my lifestyle to allow for more sleep, but that wasn’t it. The body was actually trying to tell me to be peaceful and gentle with it. Under stressful conditions, such as financial threats (in my case), there is a constant sort of forcing of attention on solution objectives, spending stressful times juggling accounts and forcibly pondering solutions. This sort of operating basis actually hurts the body, keeping it from repair and rejuvenation.
I have come to see that gentle, certain intent trumps high-energy, forcible intent. Both achieve the objective, yet the former does it much more lovingly within the context of a healing space. Gratitude is the over-arching theme, as opposed to the unforgiving battleground of overcoming survival threats.
In David Hawkins’ book, Power vs. Force, he points out that there is true power only in grace. And that Grace is a sort of loving, nurturing background energy within which all things come into being. It is only the illusion of individuality and disconnectedness that creates the conditions of fear and separation. By giving up this illusion and embracing this field of Grace, we reconnect not only to our own expression, but with our humanness and our fellow humans.
The I Ching has a hexagram, “The Gentle (Penetrating Wind)”. This hexagram refers to the power of wind to reduce mountains to hills, and rocks to dust. “The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of [perception] that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.” (Richard Wilhelm)
So I’ve laid down my battle gear in favor of garbs of light. It’s much more comfortable, and the body gives thanks.
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