This past February I found great pleasure watching athletes compete in the winter Olympics. One overriding impression, regardless of the sport, was the great degree of grace exhibited by athletes while performing.
The expression of grace should not be underestimated. It is the smooth, controlled, effortless, invisible force that allows competitors to display elegance and ease. Within virtually every sport – curling, the biathlon, freestyle skiing, ice skating – there are moments of grace. It is not about perfection or the absence of clumsiness; it is the ability to demonstrate a presence and heed adversity with bravery and balance, while remaining in the present moment.
These traits demonstrated by athletes can parallel our daily lives – especially when we are presented with life experiences that rock our balance and create unpleasant circumstances. Life’s unexpected experiences can throw us dramatically off kilter, and remaining balanced emotionally in the moment is not always easy.
As we visually experience grace, we see the embodiment of virtue and its importance in someone or something. When we are faced with adversity, we might ask someone if they see grace in our moment. If we make a commitment to upholding this essence, I am convinced that this somehow enhances daily health and well–being.
In those times that we become reactive, dramatic, fearful, and chaotic in presence, we need to realize how our out-of-touch actions and presence affect others, as well as our own well-being.
There are some simple steps to move into an embodiment of grace. The first experience is to shift into the present moment and feel it, instead of thinking it. Feelings of being overwhelmed, devastated, or stressed can either be thought through, or felt through. Our minds love to place labels on feelings and to then create the story. We then easily progress to act on the story without grace. There is a significant amount of grace in mere observation, being in the moment, breathing and softening the reaction.
Take a moment to identify people in your life who embody grace. Make a list of who they are and annotate what you see or feel that gives you the impression of grace. The more we can strive to embody this ease and composure seen in others, the more likely it will echo in the body, mind and spirit. Grace changes everything.