Tuesday, June 14, 2011

how grace (as in moving) is like grace (as in being moved)

I've been thinking about people who have the ability to move through space with agility and not crash into things. Or people who can take a dance class and not look like a robot made entirely out of elbows. Or people who glide rather than stumble. Or people who can employ their bodies in such a way as to enhance their appeal rather than just dragging them along because they're stuck in them.

And I've noticed some similarities between those graceful people and people who are full of grace. (The other kind.)

1. Graceful people stretch.
It's not sheer luck that those glidey folks have a strong relationship with their bodies. Many of them work on that connection regularly, and part of that is stretching. Reaching past themselves towards others, or towards greater fulfillment. Or simply reaching out, away from themselves.

2. Graceful people don't flail.
I'm noticing my tendency to emotionally flail. So much so in the last few days that I'm getting exhausted by it. One day things seem perfect, the next they seem to have fallen into the toilet, and there's only my bare hand to pull them out. To fill myself with grace, I have to curb this tendency. I'm struggling with it (which is causing its own flailing, no doubt), but am finding that focusing on the present moment and letting go of judgments, shoulds, and other thoughts is helpful.

3. Graceful people have terrific alignment.
This is, to me, the core of the non-moving-around grace. It's finding an alignment between what I believe, what I value, what I love, and what I do. When I'm in that place, my metaphorical vertebrae are perfectly stacked on top of each other. When I bend over backwards or contort myself out of my "natural" state, I lose my grace.

4. Graceful people can choose to look ungraceful.
Grace is about choice. I can choose to live in alignment, or I can choose to allow myself to get out of whack. (Though, truth be told, I'm a little out of whack at the moment and it does NOT feel like a choice. So I have sympathy for those who say it's not a choice, while still believing it is. In fairness, I'm not always sure how to choose it.)

5. Graceful people star in movies with Fred Astaire.

6. Graceful people radiate light.
They make it easy to be around them. They will adapt to the circumstances with ease and flexibility (because they stretch) and they shine.

In both senses of the word, I aspire to have more grace.

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