“In the mental calmness of a spiritual life, I have found that the answer to the whys in our lives are able to come to you. In my music I find the same thing.” Clarence Clemons
One of the blessings of growing older is that I have developed a mental calmness. Most of the time when chaos surrounds me I am able to stay with my breath and remain calm. This has helped at work and in my personal life. In fact yesterday I had chaos (known as all the grandchildren, adult children and the lab) at the house for dinner because they were having a second showing on their house they are trying to sell. I remember when my children were young and the dinner hour was not their best time. The stress from the day over-flowed, and so it did with my grandchildren. My poor daughter was stressed, her husband was trying to discipline the older boy, the granddaughter didn’t want to go home, and the youngest has hand, foot, and mouth disease. (In case you never experienced this it is a virus marked with little marks all over the body.) But I managed to stay calm in the midst of the stormy seas of children. I can still cook with a child on my hip!
Now, if they get an offer they won’t have to spend the weekend with us because they are having two open houses. Not that I don’t want them to spend the weekend, but my poor dog has not learned mental calmness.
“Good men and bad men differ radically. Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them, but wise men appreciate and are grateful. Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor but to everyone.” Buddha
How is your gratitude meter? Is it high, or is it low because you have learned to dwell on the negative rather than the positive? I do believe gratitude is a learned behavior and it is one you can start working on immediately. Why not purchase a journal and start today? At the end of your day, mentally review it and list five things you are grateful for. You’ll find it will usually be the small things that make the impact in your life. I’ll start: I’m grateful we had our show on the lot and we do not need to break the show down and drag it back. I am grateful the weather is still warm and I don’t have to dress in layers. I am grateful my flowers are still blooming outside. I am grateful for the delicious cup of coffee early this morning. I am grateful I get to see my daughter and her students at work today.
See. It wasn’t that difficult, and I’m not even out of the house yet! When you practice the art of gratitude you become mindful of your current situation. And all mindfulness is being aware of your current state of mind and noticing the instant it becomes negative. Do what you can to return it to a positive state as quickly as possible and see the silver lining in the lesson.
In other words, learn to be the noble soul you really are.
“Grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better.” Caroline Myss
Grace is a way to live calmly and firmly. Grace helps navigate the world when it seems crazy and dysfunctional. We are travelers passing through this life. Our stay is short and the moment of our departure unknown, so it is best to keep your affairs always in order, don’t get too stuck, and allow grace to enter and flow through your life.
The week is fresh, the opportunities abound. What do you want to receive this week in your life? What do you desire? What calls to you, even if it doesn’t make sense? Perhaps this week you need to schedule down time, or as I like to call it, me-time. Maybe you can squeeze in a meditation sit during your lunch this week. Play some soothing music and let your mind, body, and soul relax and unwind and allow grace to flow through your life.
I have found that when I cultivate grace through self-compassion I have more to give the world because I have filled up my own well first. This simple concept is illustrated each time we board an airplane and the flight attendant talks about the oxygen masks dropping if there is a change in cabin pressure. What are we advised to do? Put our own masks on first and breathe before we help those who need help. This is a simple lesson for living one’s life.
What basic need do you need to pay attention to right now so grace can flow through? Are you getting enough sleep? Does your body need pampering? Perhaps it’s time for a few new items for your wardrobe. Fall has arrived. Why not add a few new things? How’s your diet? We are switching from the lighter fare of summer into the comfort foods of fall.
This morning we took a long hike and I allowed Nature to flow her grace through me.
What can you do to cultivate grace in your life and let it flow?