Stress Tip #198: Gently

In instructions for mindfulness practices we frequently hear the word “gently,” as in “gently return your attention to the sensation of breathing.” What exactly could that mean? First, it could be a call to pay attention to our experience, whether gentle or not. Being gentle sometimes requires us to slow down so that we can pay attention. We’re not in a hurry to judge or to change the experience. It could also remind us to be compassionate and kind with all beings, including ourselves. And gentleness invites us to soften the edges from the harsh, abrasive demands of hard work and busy lives. The more transformative way for you to explore the meaning of “gently” is to sit quietly for just a moment, softly breathe in the word as if whispering to yourself, and let it resonate like a bell tone over several cycles of inhaling and exhaling. What do you notice?

(Thanks go to Leslie Seabury for suggesting this topic.)

I welcome your comments. If you wish to contact me in private, send an email to info@pathfinderscoaching.com.

Wishing you a fulfilling life,


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The Book and the Workshops

The 8-week series of Mindfulness-Based Stress and Pain Management sessions start throughout the year on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. You may visit the UNC website for information. Additionally, 90-minute refresher sessions will be held on the first Saturdays of May and June, and anyone with mindfulness experience is welcome to join us.

Ease into Freedom: Keys to Reducing Stress and Unlocking Your Potential, a collection of the first 53 Stress Tips, is available directly from the author for $10.