Have we limited tenderness to the quality of meat or something expressed between lovers, or parents and their children? It seems to me that tenderness is much bigger than this and that it starts with how we treat ourselves in a million small ways throughout the day.
With a little awareness and focus we can soon become masters of tenderness, enriching our lives (and those we share it with) in remarkable ways.
Have you experienced a tender moment?
A tender touch?
A tender thought?
Have you beheld a tender act?
Just asking these questions returns me to the tenderness I have felt – it seems to be something that is alive in me and when I reconnect with it, it melts me, and whatever I’m doing, I can’t help but be tender with.
Tenderness flows from within me and through me. Tenderness can be felt in my voice, my touch, my thoughts, my ears and my eyes. It may sound funny, but even my taste becomes tender when I allow it.
There are things that I notice when I allow myself be tender:
- My body lets go. I notice how I’ve been holding my shoulders tight or my forearms hard… the tension drops away.
- When I take my time, with no rush or force, suddenly I have a sense of having plenty of time.
- I feel with my whole body, and thinking from here leads the way.
- Tenderness is definite and delicate all at once, with purpose, not wishy-washy at all.
- I have focus with no indecisiveness (or indecision) in what to do, everything is clear and simple.
- The choice to allow tenderness feels powerful, deliberate and not half-hearted.
- I am more playful, not rough or imposing, but light, open and full.
- I am super-present – in the moment, not before or beyond it, or even thinking of anything else.
- I enjoy the fullness of love, accepting the joy and letting it out and in.
These exquisite elements of tenderness are medicine to the body and being, available whenever the choice is made and applicable well beyond special moments with a select few. Tender washing up, tender typing, tender brushing hair – it melts away the hardness I can bring to get through the day and creates a deep sense of wellbeing that makes such a difference to everything.
Tenderness is like the warmth of the sun – it is there for everyone, has no off button, no dimmer and does not reserve itself for a select few.
It is there for us all equally, naturally, easily whenever we choose to let its remarkable ways unfold as we go about our day to day lives, all the richer with it.
By Adrienne Ryan, Brisbane, Australia