Recently, as I sat with a friend over coffee reviewing our lives, I casually said “I’m in grace.” What I meant by that was that I stay in gratitude for the blessings that show up in my life and I say thank you … a lot.
I’m grateful for the many friends that support and love me. I’m unbelievably happy that my girls married very special men, have healthy children and work that inspires them. I give thanks for a roof over my head, the rainbow that crossed my path yesterday, my health … You name it, I say thank you many times each day to my higher power and to a world that has provided for me.
There were (and are) many days I wasn’t clear what lay ahead or how I would navigate the seemingly murky waters of my future. Yet, I have always had faith it would all be fine - somehow, someway. This conviction has allowed me to take risks I might not have otherwise.
In an instant, over one sip of coffee, my view of the word grace was expanded and became more inclusive and thoughtful because of my friend. For her, being “in grace” was about the other person, it was about giving, not receiving. It meant that we take others into our lives as they are. We acknowledge their differences, their life paths and believe in them with no judgment. We cut them some slack.
This conversation has had me ruminating about this concept of grace and where and how it fits into our daily lives, both from a personal and professional point of view. Although there are those that might confine it to a theological notion in terms of divine grace and unmerited favors, I would like to think that there is more spaciousness around this concept that includes both receiving and giving.
It’s a word that quiets us and gives us a sense of wellbeing. We use it referring to second chances (grace period), honor, civility and decency.
We are drawn to ballet dancers who glide gracefully, with a simple elegance and refined movement. Their steps look effortless as they move fluidly with the music. They appreciate the harmony that allows them to be a valued partner with the orchestra. Each of the instruments have a respected and integral role to the final outcome and success of the production.
From a personal point of view, when I walk in grace, I don’t sweat the small stuff. I take five, breathe deeply and accept that life just gets in the way when we least expect it. Much to my dismay sometimes, I have to come to terms with the fact that the world doesn’t always revolve around me. Many times, I have had to put myself in the other person’s shoes and find empathy when stubbornness was my path of choice, learning to give them a reprieve from me by stepping into grace.
Our personal acts of grace should be trickling up to the very companies that we work for. If they are to succeed, they need to be in grace. As a collective, we need to have a sincere appreciation for the skills and talents our peers bring to work each day that allow our businesses to continue to move forward. And, we need to reflect grace by ensuring that our culture is richer and deeper with a diversity of voices, opinions and gender parity.
This ying yang of a graceful business model gives us the opportunity to step into our roles as global citizens ensuring that our value exchange is honest and fair and that it moves fluidly, taking into account the community of stakeholders that we impact and the earth we share.
Somehow, we have come to expect risk mitigation, defensive driving, worse-case scenarios, thoughtlessness, carelessness and complicated living to be the norm. Can we shift and come into grace? It starts with the girl in the mirror.
Copyright © 2019
Linda Lattimore – all rights reserved