I recall sitting in church as a child listening to the congregation praying “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee…” and in my youthful mind, it conjured the image of Mary floating around Jerusalem like a ballerina. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized that “grace” and “graceful” meant two entirely different things.
When we look in the dictionary, there are numerous meanings of the word “grace,” from, “a short prayer,” “a pleasing appearance,” “virtue coming from God,” or “approval and favor.” Yet, I feel none of these definitions properly sum up the true meaning of this powerful word. To have grace means that we are coming from the purest part of ourselves, and it is something we should all aspire to do!
When we live in grace, it is our higher self that leads the way. That spark of the Divine that we all hold. Although we are beautiful spiritual beings, we are currently living as humans, so it is much easier to come from our lower selves, otherwise known as our egos. Our egos feel vindicated to be self righteous, which means when we operate from our lower selves, we get triggered easily, are reactionary, and easily offended.
So how do we live a life of grace when we are in our current human form?
1) Being of Service
One of the primary reasons that our souls reincarnate is because it is part of our purpose to be of service to others. Not only does the act of giving feed our souls, it teaches us lessons, and helps others to grow and learn their lessons as well. If we only live with “self“ in mind, we will never find true contentment or happiness. The act of unselfishly giving to another, with out agenda, preconceived ideas or outcomes, can allow us to achieve deep joy. Keep in mind that we can help others in small and simple daily ways by doing little things. Perhaps we let a car in front of us in traffic, or take someone else’s shopping cart back for them, or pull to the side of the road to aid someone with a flat tire. Truly being of service should be an every day occurrence, and needs to encompass more than just our friends and family. When we live in grace, we recognize the need to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
2) Understanding We Are All One
When we begin to understand how our actions effect others (good or bad) we can intentionally live our lives. We understand that there is always a cause and effect, and even the small things we choose to do, will effect the greater good. We ARE responsible for our actions and should be aware that these actions will effect others. Whether we call it the collective consciousness, spirit, or the Divine Matrix, we are all connected to one another, and what one does, effects the whole. Once we wrap our heads around this simple yet powerful fact, we will live as more aware beings who take responsibility for our actions.
3) Living Consciously
Much like understanding that our individual pieces make up the whole, when we live consciously, we move outside our emotional attachments, and become the passive observers in our life. This doesn’t mean we won’t be triggered, or become angry, but rather that we will be consciously aware of these emotions and learn ways not to react. When we are conscious about what triggers us, we can emotionally detach and not react, but rather respond from a place of love and understanding, for both ourselves and those around us. Living this way promotes empathy, compassion, and peace.
4) Take a Breath
Many good things begin with a breath! Whether the birth of a child, a cleansing breath to calm down, or a beautiful note coming from a singer, when we stop and focus on our breath, we ground, center and stabilize our energy. A deep cleansing breath immediately takes our bodies out of “fight or flight” mode, thereby causing us to be more positive and vibrationally high. So often we don’t realize how tightly we are holding the tension in our bodies until we take a deep intentional breath. Out with the old stale air, and in with the new positive energy!
It takes awareness, consciousness and practice to allow our higher selves to lead the way. When we do this, we are fully living “in grace” and are centered on being compassionate, loving, authentic, patient, and full of empathy for our fellow man.