Fostering gentleness requires mindfulness. Mindfulness is the gateway to a fuller experience of probably every aspect of life. In fact, it is the practice of experiencing fully whatever is taking place. It is doing one thing, rather than doing one thing while daydreaming about many things, or doing one thing but with a lingering uncertainty. This doesn’t mean we can’t be both busy and mindful. Eventually that “one thing” might be multi-tasking.
Before doing anything though, mindfulness involves becoming aware of our experience. It is learning to recognize what is arising in this moment of being human, which includes our anxiety, scattered thoughts, and emotional messiness. Kindness to ourselves arises from being with ourselves as we are, without judging ourselves as unworthy, even if we discover that we are a bundle of neurotic mindlessness.
We don’t have to figure ourselves out. Don’t try to unravel the Gordian knot. Just start with what is happening right now, and be with it fully.