GOOD HUMANING: Start in your own backyard

Photo by  Annie Spratt

Photo by Annie Spratt


It’s so easy to comment on other people’s yards, isn’t it?

But insight, the kind that broadens who I am as a human being, is gained internally, first. Starting with my own weeds of pride, aggression, self-denigration, etc. is where I need to begin. The trick is doing it with compassion.

If I were tending a garden, I would see these weeds for what they are. I would be more neutral about tending to them. They grow, I tend.

What would it look like to understand them with compassion?

Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity. It is through compassion that a person achieves the highest peak and deepest reach in his or her search for self-fulfillment. --Arthur Jersild

That gives me something to strive for, the well-tended garden—but doesn’t show me how to be compassionate toward myself. Seeing the flaws is not the problem, it’s treating them with kindness, being the wise gardener to the garden plot.

A well-tended garden needs

…to be embraced for the kind of habitat it is.

…to be tended, with neutrality. (weeds grow, some weeds are noxious)

…to know that all habitat needs good stewardship.

…imperfection is part of the process of growth.

…supportive friends, coaches, therapists, partners help to tend, tend, tend.

This post-series is about trying to anchor my experience by exploring within and reminding myself about what it means to practice "good humaning." It's about moving forward imperfectly. To follow this thread in my posts, look for these tags: #NotesFromMyYogaJournal