GRACE: A simple word, yet profound in its meaning. Elegance and fluidity. To add presence and beauty. A touch of spirit. A whisper of love. A wave of breath. Grace is powerful, yet subtle. It is something that can be felt and experienced, yet still remains mystical and mysterious. And somehow, I believe at the deepest level we are all looking for a little more grace, in our bodies, hearts, and lives.
There is a human longing to find ease in our being, freedom in our living, and harmony with others and the world around us. To know intimately our true purpose and innate essence, and to trust the path that will allow our creativity and potential to be expressed.
Grace is the bridge between our human story and our spiritual, divine journey. When we have the patience, courage, and willingness to look below the surface of our lives, the wisdom and light of the soul will make itself known. The reflective nature of our inner world and outer life reveals itself. And, the interdependent relationship with all things pierces through. From this awareness, we can encounter greater possibility, synchronicity, and connection. And when challenges and conflicts do arise, rather than hardening us, they can call forth new dimensions and capacities.
Grace, a power we open to. A power that opens us.
In some ways the spirit of grace is always present. Like the sun warming the skin we don’t always notice it but when we do, it feels heavenly and perfect. And, at the same time, there is work to be done to attune to it and abide in it.
Retreats offer us a sacred pause away from our regular routines. As we unplug from the busyness of our lives, we can plug into a deeper source of support and wisdom. A week away allows time for personal reflection and can infuse our hearts with new inspirations and passions.
As we connect with ourselves, others, and our surroundings, we naturally uplift and transform our state of being, infusing our lives with greater joy, vitality, and freedom.
4 SIMPLE WAYS TO INVITE GRACE INTO YOUR LIFE
1. TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Although breathing seems simple, consciously paying attention to it can have a profound effect on our minds and nervous systems. Just a few long, deep breaths through the nose with a longer exhale out the mouth can cultivate a sense of calm and groundedness.
TRY IT: Find a comfortable seat. Close your eyes and let your hands fall on your thighs. Once you are settled, take a deep inhale through your nose, followed by a slightly longer exhale out the mouth. Empty your belly and empty your mind. Without forcing your breath, take another deep inhale. Exhale. Sigh it out, softening your jaw, your face, and releasing any unnecessary tension. One more time. Deep inhale through the nose and exhale completely, surrendering to gravity. After three intentional breaths, let your breath be natural.
Sit for a few more moments feeling the quality in your body and the quality in your mind. Notice the air on your skin. Sharpen your awareness to any sounds. Perhaps there is a feeling of being more present and spacious. Soak in the stillness.
2. CONNECT WITH THE ELEMENTS
Connecting with nature is one of the simplest ways to ground our bodies and create harmony with the world around us. Attuning to the natural elements and seasonal rhythms brings balance to our own inner landscape. It highlights how our inner world and outer experiences reflect each other and reminds us that we too are stable like a mountain, fluid like a river, and luminous like the sun. Although different traditions address the elements in various ways, we can find qualities of earth, fire, water, and air in our constitutions and expressions.
Maui is a magical island that invites us to connect more deeply with ourselves while opening to the beauty and power of the natural world. Capture moments of grace by walking on the sand, swimming with the sea turtles, soaking in the sunrise, or relaxing in the vibrant gardens of Lumeria.
3. THE SPACE IN BETWEEN
In our fast-paced, tech-filled, success-driven, creative lives, we spend the majority of our time focusing on the material form and the physical aspects of reality. We move from one meeting to the next. Our minds are filled with thoughts and endless to-do lists. That’s the nature of our daily, ever-changing human experience. And, with a little shift in our attention, we can remember that there is a presence of space and grace that permeates through us and all around us. It’s an unbounded field of energy that is timeless, formless, and always here.
It’s the vast sky that remains, even when the clouds shift and the weather changes. It’s the space between an exhale and an inhale. When we bring awareness to this dimension and give ourselves moments of pause, we can attune to the greater intelligence and source of life. Whether you call it the divine, the mystery, or the flow, there is an opportunity to open to the space, creating room to breathe and room to be.
Whether it’s creating space in your physical environment, allowing free time in your day, or pausing to just listen more in a conversation, turn your attention to the moments in between. Like poetry, it’s the pause that creates the rhythm, and it’s the silence woven into a symphony.
Surrendering is a sacred practice. It is the art of riding the waves of life, and the willingness to relinquish control.
In the act of surrendering, we invite a deeper source of intelligence and wisdom. We open the door to greater mystery and learn to trust the forces we can’t always see.
We all have moments, personally or professionally, when we hold so tightly to a certain outcome. Internally, it can feel like we are kicking and screaming, and externally, we keep pushing and efforting. The forcing only tightens our bodies, narrows our thinking, and creates tension in our connections and conversations.
When we consciously surrender, we loosen the grip and create space around our personal agenda. It’s an act of faith. It’s a gesture of devotion. It’s the power of patience. After we have done all that we can do, then the next step is to let go and allow something bigger to take over.
In that moment, there is a subtle softening of the physical and emotional tension. Perhaps, the one thing you were holding on to fades into the periphery, and you realize how much energy it takes to grip so tightly!
When we relax, we make room for new possibilities. The results might not show up instantaneously, and they might look different than our original vision. The beauty, however, is that when we surrender, we create space for the universe’s magic to kick in. Our job is not to give up but to stay open.
Learn more about Hillary by visiting www.breathingroom.net