The pursuit of grace. It’s difficult to put words to what this means. It likely means different things to each of us. Part of why the title of this post is “A” Path to Grace is that I sense each of us has to take our own journey to find it. So much of what I’ve been posting about on “adult stage development” really boils down to finding a way to embody grace in deeper and deeper ways.
Everywhere I’ve turned in the last few years I’ve come into contact with the mindfulness movement. Whether it’s reading Rohr or Bourgeault, whether it’s in my Georgetown program, whether it’s in BB&T’s Leadership program, whether it’s all the neuroscience research–meditation, consciousness, mindfulness, and being present have become mainstream.
I figured the universe was trying to get my attention by bringing this subject in my path repeatedly (there’s only so many times you can ignore something pulling on your sleeve). So, I started, stopped, read some more, tried again, gave up, learned some more, and got a tip on a tool from a Georgetown colleague. The “tool” was Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience. I started in November and have been pretty consistent ever since.
After completing the first set of meditations, I went to their website to find other subjects. Imagine my delight when there was one titled, “Manifesting Grace through Gratitude.” I purchased that one and one called “Finding Your Flow.” Onward I went into this brave new world of listening first to Oprah introduce the topic for the day and then to Deepak who took the information deeper. Then as Oprah always says, “We’ll meditate!” and the session basically concludes with about 10-12 minutes of meditation. That’s probably the right amount for an antsy gal like me but they do offer an extended session version where the meditation time lasts around 20 minutes.
I have to say all of these meditations have been enlightening and encouraging, but the one on grace has been inspirational. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised–given my resonance with its title. The following is an excerpt from one:
Living in a state of grace takes gratitude from a feeling to a way of being in the world. You no longer question the value of trust, love, surrender and faith because you have tested them and made them your own.
Before the state of grace has ripened completely, however, a moment of grace or a feeling of gratitude can be fleeting. To make it last and become a way of life requires that we establish new habits. The conditioning from our past that’s based on negativity, struggle and judgment needs to be worked on.
This work, which happens inside, becomes a joy because you can feel that each step brings more happiness and fulfillment. You feel free as you become who you really are beneath the layers of habit and old conditioning. All this time grace stands beside you. It never changes even as we do.
How do we get there? The only answer I know to this question hit me square between the eyes when I was watching the movie Doctor Strange. No, really! I’m not kidding. When the good doctor was trying to understand the new world he was drawn into he asked his spiritual guide/advisor the question, “How do I get from here to there?” She returns his question with a question, “How did you become a doctor?” To which Doctor Strange answers, “Study and practice.”
Study and practice. It’s probably the only way–at least for me– to let go of old thoughts and habits and adopt new ones.
Sigh. I was hoping for a magic vitamin.