Our times are calling for BOTH life’s actions AND a resting state of being to arise from a dynamic harmony of gentle fierceness. Or fierce gentleness. A way of dancing with those parts of ourselves that are afraid or want to turn away. Invite a compelling and interesting draw from deep within…. to remain curious in those moments…. and all moments.
To remain in the dance and allow a slightly new dance to emerge. One that navigates the internal sense of fear with a gentle courage to stay put until that very new way emerges. Emerges from the vulnerability of not knowing. This emergent adaptability fosters resilience in us and in our collective field.
I watch these moments in my own life. In those relationships that are most personal and intimate to me as well as those moments when I perceive myself as ‘small’ in the chaos of personal, local, and global events. This quality of fierce gentleness is innate to all Consciousness. We are all born with it. It has a genuine interest or curiosity and an open heart quality embedded within it. A compassion and Universal love for the vibrancy and deep connection to life as it is expressing itself.
Animals and small children automatically evoke this state frequently. We, as adults often have buried our access to this state through the many ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ we have practiced for years.
I am imagining and remembering a moment a couple of summers ago while on a backpack in the Olympics when this quality was so accurately and beautifully shown to me. Two friends and I were sitting next to a lake in a high alpine region. No one else was around. It was sunny and we were at the far end of a lake with the breeze blowing past us. In the distance we were watching a mother bear and two cubs frolicking in the meadow uplake from us. They were eating huckleberries, rolling in the meadow and playing as all sentient beings are drawn to do when it is a warm, beautiful sunny day. The cubs would jump and land on each other on their backs and dash in and around their mother. She engaged in play with them for a long time. This was so heartwarming to watch. They couldn’t smell us so we got to watch for a long while!
There came a moment when it was time to eat. Mom began to graze on the berries and head a little uplake to a small bluff. She beautifully nuzzled the cubs to follow her with a gentle fierceness and didn’t take no for an answer. She offered a multitude of directions of nuzzling, pawing, turning and drawing with her eyes. She then patiently, yet directly, waited for a new pattern with the cubs to emerge. They began feeding. Fierce gentleness in action.
This example so wonderfully creates the space inside of me to remember that quality as I move into the interactions of my life. Especially when those moments of fear, apathy or distraction arise and I react from a place of unawareness. Here’s my practice for those moments of fear.
I sit for a moment and connect clearly to the felt sense of fierce gentleness as I experience it within me. I create a word that matches the quality I wish to navigate the difficult moment with. In this case, fierce gentleness or mother bear. Now, with the same fierce gentleness for myself, I take a breath and move forward with a word or an action from that inner quality. I continue on one moment at a time from that quality without over-extending myself or criticizing myself. As I breathe each breath, keeping the idea of smooth flow, fierce gentleness moves through.I keep reconnecting to the felt sense inside and allow this quality to generate my unfolding words and actions.
This process can be done with any quality you wish to step into and embody. Likely whatever the quality is, it will require some fierce gentleness for yourself to remain curious and connected.
Practice and cultivate fierce gentleness with yourself, your dear ones, those you just meet and those you don’t know. Reap the adaptable, mutable and resilient qualities that arise with this profound practice. Our world is calling for this brand of resilience to emerge.
How are you cultivating a fierce gentleness in your life?