Like walk softly, I think this phrase can have many different meanings. To me it means to not only be gentle to yourself in all ways, but to the environment, and others as well. Being gentle means to be respectful of other people’s feelings, hopes, and dreams. Being encouraging, and of course loving.
First to “live gently” I think it means to not be so hard on yourself, to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, and to know your limits. I myself am living gently at the moment, by sitting on my couch, propped up by lot’s of pillows, with the heating pad on my back, and my foot in hot water. Oh, and watching a Hallmark movie! It was a long, hard day so this is my way of taking care of myself. Being an introvert, and working at the circulation desk, all while talking to so many people during the day wears me out. You wouldn’t think working in a library is physical, but I’m here to tell you it actually is! So a night of mainly nothing, along with these “first aid” treatments, recharges me. Weekends, especially spent with no one but myself, recharge me. Some may think this is me being antisocial, but it is what I need.
Not being so hard on myself is a constant struggle also. I am my own worst critic. It is a habit that I think I will constantly have to try and break, but at least I eventually become aware of it when it’s happening, ha ha! I need to be gentle on myself, not beat myself up. We go through enough stress and crud in life to not treat ourselves well, and be nice to our bodies.
One of my motto’s is to “treat others as you wish to be treated.” Even the crabbiest, hardest, people I help or work with on any given day I treat just as I would a kind, and polite person. Who knows what kind of day they are having? Or maybe that’s just who they are. No matter, they deserve to be treated with respect, and kindness.
The environment where you live whether it be inside your home, your neighborhood, or your workplace all should be a place where you feel safe and comfortable. The one exception to this is may be your workplace. Sometimes these places can be miserable. Miserable surroundings, full of not so happy people. I say try and make the best of your work station in this situation. I have a wonderful home decorated just the way I like it, comfy and cozy. But I wish there was a way to make my own little haven at work. No break room, or space of my own makes it impossible. But just having my home close enough to come to for breaks works for me.
I encourage you to come up with your own definition of “living gently.” What does it mean to you? There is no right or wrong answer, it simply is what is meaningful to you regarding these two powerful words.