I never knew the meaning of Grace but today I do.
While I used to think it was something that I needed to earn, today I know it is something that is within me. My only job is to make room for it to enter my full expression of life.
This post is not meant to define Grace for you; that is not my job. The deeper purpose is one encompassing a larger intention, and that is so that one day when I have left this plane, Oskar will be able to read these and know a little more about how I lived.
Back to Grace. During my intense recovery period, part of my daily practice was to implement practices to calm my mind. My mind was my Master, and it ran every single decision and thought. There was not a moment throughout my day when my mind was not fully engaged in processing my life and what had happened to me.
It wasn’t until my mind began to slow down and release for moments throughout my day. The inner interior of my life felt expanded, free, and I could only describe this as the fragrance of Grace. Unfortunately, I could not keep this going the entire day. I was relieved when Moe mentioned to me even the most spiritually evolved people aren’t living in a state of bliss all day long.
Through the practices, I will share with you below I was able to allow my mind to settle in a place where it felt steady and balanced. With that, Grace could flow from within me outwards into my life. I do believe we all have this; it is part of who we are.
Empty The Bowl
Moe refers to this “brain dump” as emptying the bowl. This is something I did on a daily basis, and it saved my life. My mind was FULL of junk, and it was only until I realized by letting it go I was making room for the good stuff which I was in control of letting in.
I would sit down and just write what every thought was that came to my mind for five minutes only. Dwelling won’t help so just write it out and then throw it away.
Emptying the bowl can also be done with another person, but I advise you to choose a person with a healthy practice of not informing, interrupting or the desire to fix others. We only need someone to listen, and it really helps if it is someone who loves us. I do believe it is the love of another that heals our wounds.
Being mindful of my principles kept my mind from wandering all over the map. It always wanted to land of blame, shame, judgment, criticism, hate, rage and fear. As soon as I was able to understand what my principles were in life I was able to dissolve my discord right away, leaving my mind calm.
For example, I was once given an opportunity to write for a magazine and after submitting my article it was torn apart in edits. The editor didn’t like it at all, and it ripped me up inside because I thought is was quite good. Ever experienced that before? The principle that became active in this situation was this: Every person is a teacher. Every experience is a lesson. Now, my mind started to head towards, “you are so terrible at writing – what an idiot for not checking all those errors.” but instead I implemented my principle, and the discord disappeared.
In Buddhism, it is called noble position, in the 12-step program it is referred to “Principles before Personalities” and in Christianity it is part of the 12 commandments. We need to ask ourselves what our principles are for living and then USE those throughout our day to encourage the mind to calm and make space for Grace to flow.
The Next Single Thing
I have mentioned this many times before, and while it seems incredibly easy, it is also very hard for the mind to stay singularly focused on one thing.
During the day, we can help calm the mind by doing the next single thing that will provide us with peace. For me, it was sometimes walking to the post box, opening the box, getting the mail and then looking at the mail. At the time, it felt as though I was thinking all the time but what I was doing was a type of meditation. I was just doing what I was doing. There were no extra thoughts tagging along for the joyride. My mind didn’t spring to the future or fall back to the past; it was just at the mailbox.
I still practice this today and I will for my entire life. “TNST” is what saves me when my mind starts to spiral out of balance, and I find Grace so far away.
When our minds are calm, Grace has room to flow, going before us and as us to make the crooked places straight.
Try it, give these practices a go and watch Grace take over. Feel Grace enter your full expression. It may look like a new job, a great idea, a beautiful capture with your camera or is just may result in living the life of your dreams. The choice is up to us.
The next single thing is all we have to do…..
+photo is my own ~ feel free to use it if you’d like+