What is Grace?
The word "Grace" calls up both secular and spiritual meanings. It means coordinated elegance, such as a graceful dance. It means the state of your account before the interest is charged, such as a grace period. It means a free gift from that which is beyond you, and far greater. Like "olly olly oxen free" in the ancient childrens' game, Grace is the feeling of relief that results from resetting all anxiety.
Though Grace is a free gift, it requires us to be receptive. Grace cannot benefit one whose life is closed, just as love cannot warm a cold heart that stays distant. When we kindle our hearts with self-love, and warm up to giving love, others' love can provide an abundance of fuel for our life. Likewise when we prepare ourselves to receive the benefits of Grace, we change our connection to the power that can move our boat more surely and powerfully through the waters of life.
Laissez Faire Yoga is a "course in grace." C-O-U-R-S-E in grace is also the memory device that reminds us "how to be" as we begin the movements. In a broader context, this is how we practice to live a more wholesome and abundant life.
The Oars of Intentional Action
Like a boat moves through the water from the effort applied to oars and rudder, life moves ahead (at least in part) through intent. Setting goals and taking action are important, but not the only elements driving our life development--just as the force of rowing is not the only force moving a boat. Because forces beyond us push us hither and yon, too.
Currents in the water, like circumstances in our life, impel us forward or impede our progress. Turbulence, like chaos and disorder, interferes with our direction.
The Sails of Regular Practice
And like a boat that has a sail, our life of practice can catch the wind and move "all ahead full." Moving our body, clearing our mind, opening our heart, imagining the expansion of our soul: each of these practices raises a canvas. Tying the sail with regular practice, we swing our lives to fill with the winds of Grace, and to develop under the applied force of its influence.
And so at the beginning of light adaptive yoga stretch (LAYS), we use the letters C-O-U-R-S-E in grace to remind us:
Open to awareness
Unify or blend
Sync up/sink down
(c) Copyright 2011-2013, Leland S. Ferguson, all rights reserved. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners*.
*Photo Credit: Caribbean Sunset Image courtesy of Tim Seed | FreeDigitalPhotos.net