Sunday, August 29, 2010

Grace

I'm not a traditionally religious person. I don't belong to any church or assign myself any labels. However I do strongly believe that existence has a spiritual dimension. I'm happy to absorb the insights of any religion or teacher when they strike me as "true".

For many years I have subscribed to a monthly magazine called Daily Word. It is published by an organization called Unity, a non-denominational Christian group that emphasizes the core of Spirit within each of us. Daily Word is a pocket-sized booklet that offers a word, a meditation and a Scripture quote for each day of the month. I try very hard to set aside ten or fifteen minutes every morning to read and ponder the day's word and message.

Today's word (I'm writing this on Friday the 27th) is "grace". This is one of my favorite messages. Grace is the goodness that we all experience, without having to earn it. It's a continuous flow of blessings that rain down on us, which we can discern clearly if we really open our eyes. In particular, it's comfort in the time of trouble, healing and peace in the midst of turmoil.

You've probably heard the term "grace under fire". This is a different side of what I think is the same concept. "Grace under fire" means acting with strength, power and integrity when the situation makes it really difficult. I have a friend who just finished her radiation treatments after a radical mastectomy. She's smiling and sent me pictures of her family's mountain vacation. That's grace under fire. I recently read a post by a fellow author about her struggle to write even when she's in the grip of clinical depression. That's grace under fire, too.

That kind of inner certainty is something I aspire to.

Of course, "grace" also has a physical meaning, in the sense of elegant, flowing, economical movement. As a dancer, I aspire to that sort of grace as well. Sometimes I achieve it, and when I do, I know that it's because I've tapped into my inner reservoir of beauty.

Years ago, I was soul-searching (a lifetime occupation) and decided that I needed to articulate a vision for my life. What was I trying to achieve? How did I see my few decades on earth. My answer was the following poem, which touches on this same concept of grace.

Vision

My life will be a dance.

I will try to tread lightly,

buoyant

joyful

touching but not trampling.

I will trust my partners

and be trustworthy in return,

Follow through, complete the steps.

I will dance abundance

accepted and shared;

Faith, power,

peace and wonder,

And always,love.

Remember the dance

flows from inside out,

spirit to body

and out to the world,

And that all, spirit, body and world

are sacred.

Even when solo, know

that I dance a part

in a larger pattern.

Leave behind

some increase of joy,

some greater beauty.

I guess I found some kernel of truth then, because when I read this now, this is still my vision: to walk lightly - gracefully (i.e. full of grace) - through the world, focusing on the positive, celebrating love and beauty wherever I find them.

9 comments:

Ginger Simpson said...

I'd say you're doing a wonderful job.

Lisabet Sarai said...

You're a sweetheart, Ginger! Thank you. Some days are better than others (as I know you realize!)

Jade said...

I truly, deeply want to thank you for this post Lisabet. I'm going to need to come back to it a few times. There's a lot to absorb. A lot to contemplate. Thank-you.

Leslie Fish said...

"Grace" in the sense of "gracefulness" implies an understanding of one's own body and environment, an understanding so thorough that every move you make within that environment is economical, efficient, and beautiful. As to how this would relate to religion, I'm not sure; Wiccans don't use the concept. I imagine it means something related to physical grace, some sort of thorough understanding of one's spiritual environment so that one moves easily and efficiently through it.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Word Actress said...

I love the name Grace, always have, I named my Goddaughter for my friend and she called her Ava Grace. I feel like grace says it all - everything you mentioned - and I sometimes fear it's a beauty we're losing in the world w/all the narcissistic Reality Show crap dominating TV these days.
Grace to me is the opposite of me-me-me-ism. It is elegant, refined,
careful. I love ur mantra, too, Lisabet. Just the other day I wrote a kind of Mission Statement for myself, not as beautifully written as yours, but w/the same sentiments. You keep us all humble and open, Lisabet, ur posts are some of my favorites...

Lisabet Sarai said...

Jade - Thank _you_, for coming by, reading and sharing your reactions.

Leslie - Are you a Wiccan? I think you've managed to capture the essence of both spiritual and physical grace in the concept of "ease"...comfort, lack of tension, yet full of energy. Thank you for commenting!

Mary - I agree with you in a sense. The world today seems sorely lacking in grace. But then when you look more closely...it's still there, hiding in full sight.

Hugs,
Lisabet

Janice said...

What a lovely sentiment.

Louisa Bacio said...

Such graceful writing with an artful flow!

The name is special to me, too. My mother’s middle name was Graciela, and I gave my youngest the middle name Grace.

katsrus said...

That is really pretty.
Sue B

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