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Try a Little Tenderness

In that classic song made famous by Otis Redding, he urges the listener to be tender with their beloved, for it makes weariness easier to bear. The beloved in this song is waiting.... anticipating for things "she'll never possess."

Otis Redding was from Georgia and died in 1967, at the age of 26, in a private airplane crash. If he was alive today, I wonder what he would think about voting rights in his home state. If there's something his beloved might not ever possess, it could be equal access to voting rights.

We continue to weather so much inequality in our country. And our process to become or remain woke to the suffering and inequity does cause weariness. Some of us bear the brunt of this weariness more than others, due to direct impacts of oppression. And others of us have more privilege and can wade-in as we like.

Either way, it causes weariness (to say the least). What do we "do" with this weariness?

Last month, we explored surrender - giving in to it. Practicing letting go and recognizing that our control of anything and everything very, very limited.

This moth, we try a little tenderness.

What I love about this shift is that it implies that we each have the wherewithal to be the generator of the tenderness. So, even if we are having a really difficult time, we can be not only the one having the hard time, but also the one to create the tenderness for it.

This concept relates to loving-kindness, or the practice of metta. And it also seems like a more simplified quality. It has the potential to be more passive, when that's all we have. It also has the potential to be paired with anything. It can be used when we're talking with someone. It can be called upon when we're looking at our own weariness, or when we're relating to another person's weariness.

When the concept or practice of loving-kindness feels like too tall of an order. How about a little tenderness? Is it a bit more accessible? Maybe. And that's something.

In honor of tenderness and the many ways we can offer that to ourselves, we are excited to announce a new restorative yoga class with Sarah Nelsen on Wednesdays at 7.30pm pst. Restorative yoga is about resting and restoring the nervous system. It allows structure within which we can slow ourselves down, and perhaps hold space for those tender places that need space, healing, attention or just some quiet.

Restorative Yoga with Sarah starts on Wednesday, April 7th. Click here to reserve your spot and treat yourself to some nurturing rest.

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