“Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.” (William Hazlitt)
In Hazlitt’s eyes, grace derives from our own state of inner peace. When our insides are peaceful and harmonious, then the divine nature of grace flows freely in our external life. And on the flip side,when we are not living our lives from a soulful place, grace can get blocked or might flow in fits and starts.
Wendell Berry seems to agree with this idea of grace, when he says, “I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief…For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
He finds peace in nature where animals don’t spend time worrying about things that may never happen, and don’t care about attachment to things (or the loss of them). It is there that he finds grace — and with that, freedom.
I’m sure many of you also feel that sense of peace, wonder, grace and even freedom when you spend time out in the beauty of nature. Nature might just be the earth’s reminder to us of our beauty, how to live in peace, the grace that is available to us, and how to live free from attachment.
What’s so great about grace is that you don’t have to understand it or how it works in order to benefit from it, to receive its blessings. Anne Lamott said, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.”
Mystery is an apt word to describe grace — for grace is indefinable. There are not sufficient words to encompass and surround the concept of grace. It seems to appear at the times when it is most needed and unexpected, and then flows through us and our life in just the right way, carving a path of both big and small miracles before our very eyes.
So how can you experience grace? Open up to its many expressions, be willing to embrace it when it appears, fall back into its trusting presence, unclench your fist-hold on life and relax, breathe and allow its mystical power to take over.
As Rumi wrote,
“Give up to grace
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to shore.”
So how can you welcome grace’s many expressions? Aim to create a peaceful inner world (your internal climate) and let the wave of grace wash over and through you, touching your life in magical ways. Trust that it will carry you forward with ease and miraculous occurrences, as you watch in awe, wonder and gratitude.