When did criticism ever work for anyone – ever?

It doesn’t. That’s right. It does NOT.

Have you ever listened to a bully? You know, that person who berates you publicly or privately.

Do you ever feel compelled to do what they say, to change? I’m betting, not so much.

Maybe they compelled you to learn some mega annoyance skill for the next time, or martial arts for a fantasy encounter.

But most likely, it just closed the door of relationship with them forever. Forever.

And just like it did with them, you don’t want that to happen to you – with you.

Gentleness is a better path.

A little gentleness goes a long way.

The quiet understanding you give your beloved friend or animal. The attention you give the one who may be hurting and is sad or grieving or tender.

Otherwise, to kick them with “Why can’t you do that?” “Why did you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?” makes everything worse.

Now you may protest, “Easier said than done!” and I’ll tell you, “It takes practice.”

And here’s how in 5 steps.

When you notice that surliness come over you when you have not met your expectations of yourself, here’s what you can do:

  1. Notice how you’re feeling in your body. Clue: You won’t like how you feel. That’s how you know it’s time to pay attention. It’s a great signal to pay attention. Say Hello anyway.
  2. Find the should thought that’s creating the pain. “I have a program coming up, and I should be talking about it.” Say Hello, I see you.
  3. Ever so gently, take your hand and ask yourself, “What’s the tiniest little step I might take to glance at that task or idea or deep emotion?”
  4. And even before you hear anything or have a sense of what you could do, thank yourself for asking, for taking your little hand, for being gentle.
  5. Celebrate that sweet moment of breaking the spell and of allowing a kinder voice to lead you. P.S. Because you are in charge.

That will change you every time – over time. Be patient.

Pretend you are learning the piano for the first time.

You’ll need to show up for a lifetime to play that piece you adore.

Go for it!


Here’s a gentle invitation to come learn strategies for luscious aging, creative living, and endless enchantment. It’s almost time for Tiny Playful Project. Early-bird savings March 15. A Luscious Gathering of Women. I’d love to have you there. Click here for information.

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