Cultivating Tenderness

 Cultivating Tenderness
Loving tenderness abounds for all
from the darkest
to the most eminent one beyond the stars,
Exquisitely loving all
she bequeaths the kiss of peace
upon the ultimate King.
Hildegard von Bingen
1098 – September 17, 1179
From Healing Chants

As I shared on my facebook page last week, my intention for 2017 is to cultivate the soul quality of tenderness.  I realized that many of you who receive my newsletter don’t get my facebook feed — and thought you might enjoy part of the discussion that I shared there.

As I write in Wonders at the Veil:
“Tenderness feels almost dangerous in our often harsh and cynical world.
It requires us to remain awake in the moment, soften our hearts, and allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable—the reason it is such a valuable mood to bring to this work (veil work). When I think of tenderness I often recall the image of a delicate, soft rose or Raphael’s painting “The Small Cowper Madonna”, an image of Mother Mary holding the infant Jesus. Tenderness is being soft, yes, but without being sappy. Underlying the quality of tenderness is a sense of fortitude.”

One of the definitions of fortitude is “strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.”  Prayer and eurythmy are the two top activities help me to have fortitude.  Identify and practice your fortitude building activity as your foundation to a tender heart.

On you feel secure in your foundation of fortitude, try these three activities for cultivating tenderness.

*Tenderness Eurythmy Soul Gesture:

Tenderness Soul GestureThis is the eurythmy soul gesture for Tenderness. When one puts oneself into this gesture they will cultivate tenderness in their soul — try it.

*Stand upright on the balls of your feet (the fleshy part of your foot) with your heels slightly off the ground (so slight you could slip only a piece of paper under them). Your knees are soft, hands at your sides.

*Gently hold out your arms in front of you, elbows bent, at about waist level. *With your palms facing upward, touch your thumb and forefinger together on both hands.

*Contemplate Steiner’s words about this gesture: “If you imagined to yourselves that you were holding a baby, and that you wanted to enter into a certain relationship with the guardian angel of this baby, you would hold it in this way, and you would then have the movement for Inwardness (Tenderness).

*Nature-Color Meditation:

The color magenta exudes tenderness. When one experiences magenta in their soul Cindy Boone's Magenta“one feels wrapped in a cloak of mercy, ….in the hands of a Being of Mercy.”

The color magenta can be seen in the morning and evening sky. If you can not find magenta in your sky today, take one of the images in the photos below, and: *meditate on the color of magenta in the photo *re-create the image in your thoughts *infuse the image with feelings of love (love for a young child or infant is perfect) Result: tenderness in one’s soul.

Photo credits: Romantic Suspense Novelist, Cynthia Boone, “Magenta, As We Arrived in Destin”

*Magenta Painting Exercise

Tenderness Painting Exercise
You can try this with:
*pastels — dry vs oil, I prefer the Nupastel sticks
*crayons — pinkish ones will do fine or *watercolor pigment — Rose Madder hue, the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors are reasonably priced and fairly easy to find

For an experience of watercolor, try following these steps:
1. Choose your paper. 9×12 or 11×14 60-90 lb drawing paper are good choices.
2. Dilute the magenta paint with water in a paint pot or dish so that the paint becomes translucent.
3. Place your paper vertically, with the short edges at the top and bottom.
4. Start on the bottom left corner of your paper and slowly paint using long, slightly upward rising strokes from left to right. Make sure your strokes go all the way across the paper. After each stroke, lift the brush and start the next stroke from the left side of the paper again.
5. Gently breathe out with each stroke across the paper. Contemplate how your breathing has changed as you complete this exercise.

Can you sense the feeling of tenderness gently awakening in your soul?

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