Mowing the lawn with tenderness is a bold statement, and something that I thought I was already doing – until last week. I had decided I would mow my lawn in the very early hours of the morning, before the sun had risen.
However, I decided to nurture myself with an esoteric yoga session before getting up; I then rose from bed in the early hours and enjoyed my morning routine of gentle exercises. Exercising in this way I find is very supportive and allows me to drop more deeply into my body and feel more clearly what is there to be felt.
So after breakfast and feeding the animals I decided it was time to start on the lawn.
The moment I made that decision I felt my body tense up – it felt like it was preparing for an onslaught, an attack – like it had to harden to do this. To be honest this surprised me as I mow the lawn regularly and I have not felt this before.
On feeling my body harden I could have gone with not mowing the lawn at all, citing that it is too hard on my body. However, to not mow the lawn did not feel right, so I decided to continue on with my plans. Now, my lawn can be a challenge to mow as it is on a hill and has some rather difficult spots in it. For some time I have been doing half of the lawn one day and the other half the following day: this is because by the time I have finished half of the lawn I have felt quite tired.
This day though, when I felt my body tense up I acknowledged it and made the choice to be tender with my body as I prepared myself to mow. I honoured my feet and treated them with the utmost tenderness as I put on my socks and boots.
I then walked down to get my mower out and start it. For a while it has been difficult to start, however this day it started on the second pull.
I began to mow and found myself choosing to mow differently to how I normally do, dividing the lawn into smaller pieces and for the most part going across the hill instead of up and down it. Of course this is not possible over the whole lawn, but where it was possible it felt natural to do this.
I also felt myself being very caring and loving of my body as I walked behind the mower, finding myself actually loving my lawn and loving what I was doing. Now this was rather remarkable as always before it has felt like a chore, something that I had to do, not something that I loved.
I mowed half of the lawn and as I had been doing previously, I felt to stop and do the remainder another time. This day however I didn’t feel tired in the way that I had before, instead I simply felt that my body had done enough and if I continued I would be dishonouring what my body was telling me.
This whole experience was very poignant for it has shown me that even when faced with doing difficult things, I can still choose my tenderness. This is something that I am now beginning to explore. I am beginning to realise that my rhythm of living is actually loving and tender.
It is now a few weeks on from my wonderful experience of mowing the lawn with tenderness. And with that I can feel I am tender and the feeling of living this way is exquisite. There is no perfection or any need to be the same as I was yesterday or any other day; there is simply a feeling and knowing that I am tender.
As I continue to explore this feeling of tenderness each day, there is a joy and a lightness within me. I am forever grateful that I chose to mow the lawn with tenderness that day.
by Leigh Strack, Receptionist, Eungella – Queensland – Australia