in: Mindful Moment

Mindful Moment #53 – Grace²

Take a deep breath
Grace Revisited
I’ve been thinking about grace again. I wrote a post last year about what grace is and how we should give ourselves grace instead of being so self-critical that we get trapped in a rut of doubt, unable to find our way out of problems and into solutions. I wrote:
“Grace is one of those concepts that religious people hold out like a coat, “Here, have grace.” But I struggle with it feeling too much like the Emperor’s robe. I have always played along, nodding yes, saying “Oh, it’s exquisite! I will absolutely wear this home now!” But it was a little too imaginary for me to grasp, and what had been offered just evaporated before I got out the door.
“In a sense, grace is forgiveness paired with acceptance, wrapped with encouragement, and filled with hope. When you can cultivate it, it becomes a place you can exist from, a garment you can pull on like your favorite sweater or a handmade quilt, or even something sharable like a cup of coffee you bought for a friend.”
I’ve been thinking about this more often lately. Grace is something I need to share, or at least offer to others, not just myself. I find myself bridging so many different spaces in my life, navigating so many different situations and relationships. I am confronted and challenged by how to move forward sometimes.
Part of me wants to take my toys and go home when I sense an unpleasant interaction might take place. That’s totally doable at, say, the playground or the beach or any truly temporary situation. When an actual unpleasant interaction happens, though, a whole range of options are on the table. Bowing out can work if it’s low stakes—if someone cuts me off in traffic or gives me the finger when I honk at them for not going at a green light—the decision to shrug it off and let it go is an easy one to make. I can even find an excuse for them: “Maybe they’re having a really crappy morning. We’ve all been there.”
When the stakes are higher, there’s a whole decision tree I’m working through in my mind. I might want to keep the peace given the setting, especially if it is at work or I have my kid with me. I might want to challenge the “offender” in order to save face or protect my kid from someone. I might want to ignore problems in the short term so I can convey them to a boss in the long term. I am rarely drawn into out loud yelling arguments, but it’s not above me. That happens when the idea of grace has completely fallen off that decision tree. My face gets red, I might stomp around and rage clean if I am at home, or I might cry. You never know. But this is never where I want to end up. As soon as I am there, I am looking for ways out. I am looking for grace.
This is how I think when I am put into an “me vs. them” kind of mindset. When I am in an “us” mindset, grace is more readily available, somehow. I can see that person I have a conflict with as a person, and I can see how we need to move beyond our stubbornness, pettiness, or anger to maintain our relationship. I might even know them well enough to know how they take their coffee and what size sweater they wear, so that when I hold out the grace, they’re likely to accept it.
It’s poetic to speak in metaphors, but real relationships are messy and complicated. Giving grace to some people is hard to do. You might feel like they don’t deserve it. You might have been hurt by them. You might want to run far, far away from them. Or you may desperately want to heal what is wrong, set things straight again, and just return to peace and love. If you can’t wrap your head around “how,” start with offering grace.
For today’s meditation, let’s try something a little different. I want you to be able to move around while you consider these concepts. How you do that is up to you. You may choose to stay on your feet or to be on the floor with a yoga mat or towel. Please select some music to do this with.
Once you have the music playing, I want you to close your eyes, drop your shoulders, and relax the muscles in your face and neck. Breathe deeply, expanding the belly, holding and releasing your breath, at least three times. Now begin to let your body move to the music. It can be a gentle sway or bouncing or really just all out dancing.
As the music continues, stretch your legs, pointing your toes. Stretch your arms, flexing your fingers. Try to consciously engage the muscles in your shoulders, your back, your chest, and your abdomen. Move your hips, and flex your knees. As you are engaging your body, keep these concepts in mind:
I am present in the here and now.
I am grounded. My body is connected to the Earth.
I am confident within myself, and I love me.
I am energy, which I use to move throughout this life.
I am an abundant source of grace, and I extend forgiveness, compassion, encouragement, and hope to myself and those people in my life who need it.
Continue moving or dancing however you wish for as long as you’d like. Challenge yourself to ponder who in your life, aside from yourself, needs some grace. Further challenge yourself to plan a way to give that grace to them, tactfully, of course. When you are ready to stop dancing, I challenge you to reach out to whomever needs the grace and share it with them authentically. Do not expect anything in return.
I hope this meditation lets you find an abundance of grace.
As always, friends,
Amy Barth-Morales


We’re feeling inspired by these incredible and thought provoking pieces:

  1. Sleep divorce: Sleeping in different beds may help couples get more restNews reports find there are some benefits, as well as cautions against, sleeping separately as a couple
  2. Archeologists in Peru find a 1,000-year-old adolescent mummy wrapped in bundle – ArkeonewsArchaeologists have unearthed a more than 1,000-year-old mummy on the outskirts of Peru’s capital, Lima.
  3. Scientists discover never-before-seen brain wave after reading octopuses’ mindsBy surgically attaching electrodes to octopuses, researchers have been able to peer inside the cephalopods’ minds for the very first time.

That’s all for today, y’all – remember, taking time to focus on you is an act of love.

We hope you found this helpful – don’t hesitate to reply with any feedback on how we can improve future Mindful Moments! We can’t wait to hear from you.


See you next time! 


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