be kind, be gentle


When I was a classroom teacher, I would talk about kindness at least once a day. I spent so much time and energy cultivating it amongst my students and taking oh so many deep breaths to practice it myself- all. day. long.

But I spent so much less energy on being kind to myself. The patience, forgiveness, warmth, openness that I modeled and asked my students to show to each other, was and still is, so much harder to turn toward myself.  Last week I was talking to a friend on the phone about some of the challenges I’d been facing in this move and she reminded me to be kind and gentle with myself. So simple and wise, right? But not so easy. I know I am not alone in this- I watch adults criticize and judge themselves harshly all the time. And as most of you have already gleaned, my favorite type of humor is the self-deprecating type. It brings me great joy to make fun of myself and I love when my friends make fun of themselves.

On Sunday, though, which happened to be Valentine’s Day, Mike and I seemed to come to a silent agreement to be kind and gentle with ourselves. We went for a hike with Luke where we were quiet and introspective. We both napped during Luke’s nap. I went to yoga. Mike watched the All Star game. I am fortunate to be in a relationship that is overflowing with kindness every single day. We did not need another day to give of ourselves to each other or to Luke. We needed a day to give of ourselves to ourselves.