Pema Chodron: Be Gentle with Yourself

pocket pema chodronAs a coach, I often ask my coaching clients to be “kind, gentle and compassionate” with themselves. Change is a challenge, and it doesn’t come overnight. When we don’t accomplish our goal as quickly or as smoothly as we’d like, we need to remember to be as gentle with ourselves as we are with our loved ones. When we judge, we clench, and we cannot move ahead when we are clenching. In order to move ahead, we need to maintain an open, agile stance.

When I picked up a Coco Chanel biography at BookWoman last week, I succumbed to the irresistible impulse buy at the counter: “The Pocket Pema Chodron.” I’ve enjoyed dipping into these brief excerpts from Chodron’s books. I want to share this one with you here:

Gentleness in our practice and in our life helps to awaken the genuine heart of bodhichitta. It’s like remembering something. This compassion, this clarity, this openness are like something we have forgotten. Since here being gentle with ourselves, we’re rediscovering something. It’s like a mother reuniting with her child; having been lost to each other for a long, long time, they reunite. The way to reunite with the genuine heart of bodhichitta is to lighten up in your practice and in your whole life.

If you can lighten your stance and take a lighter attitude toward your journey, you will remember how amazing you have always been and you will return to that self with a greater sense of ease.

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