As I’m valiantly trying to get back into the rhythm of regular blogging, I thought I’d give the open, ruffle and point method a shot for inspiration.
I have The Random House Thesaurus College Edition on my bookshelf. Archaic, huh?
I know, Google can give me a thesaurus anytime I want. But since, I’ve carted this big lug of a book around with me for decades, I thought I’d blow the dust off of it and use it. An old school tactile kind of method. Brilliant minds before me have used this method I’m sure.
Here’s how it went. I’m writing it in present tense to put you right there with me. Lucky you!
I place the thesaurus on my desk and put both hands on top of it for a moment to let the good ju-ju vibes soak in and allow the muses to direct me toward the word I’m supposed to get inspiration from.
I lift my head heavenward and close my eyes. I open the book with my left hand and grasp the whole of it—the guts of the book—four fingers on the front, thumb on the back. My left thumb lets the pages go and the pages ruffle, making a thirrr-rrr sound, like a whispery, muffled voice. A slight breeze flows over my right hand. I repeat the process once more.
Finally, I open the book. I point with my right index finger. I lower my head, open my eyes and see this:
When I think of grace, I think smooth, pleasant, and skillful in social situations. Grace is quiet and elegant, sure, serene and always smiling. Grace is lissome and tall with a long neck, ballerina-like movements, and flawless skin. I think of myself as the antithesis of grace, Grace’s black sheep of the family stepsister.
Perception Begins at a Young Age
It could be that I’ve been thinking of this grace thing all wrong. Perhaps I’m just not the average definition of the word, grace. The one that most perceive as grace or graceful.
When I was in the fourth grade, the entire class was lined up against the wall having an impromptu spelling bee. I was a spelling nerd. When it wasn’t my turn, I’d fidget. This particular day I had on brand new white boots. They were slick soled. My feet flew out from beneath me and I landed with a hard thud on the floor. Everyone, including the teacher (who really shouldn’t have been teaching children) turned and looked at me. The flame of embarrassment crept up from inside those boots all the way up to my freckled face. The teacher gave me the most hateful hairy eyeball and didn’t say a word. The class snickered. She looked back at the student who had been spelling. She acted as if I wasn’t there, as if I didn’t matter.
Now I could have cried or thrown a tantrum. Instead I rose to my feet, stuck out my chin and pushed up my glasses. I blinked a lot to keep the tears at bay. That’s a kind of grace, right? Rising above it all, as it were.
There’s been several other instances when grace was elusive in my life. Getting up in front of a group and trying to make a speech while what I really wanted to do was hurl into a paper bag. Instead, I got through it and got on with it.
Perhaps grace is just that—rising above fears, embarrassments and other life hurdles with the most dignity you can muster. Maybe grace is letting go of things that don’t serve you despite how scary or uncomfortable it may be and embracing the unknown with open and sometimes clumsy arms.
If that’s the case, I think I got it down. And I think I’ll end this post now while I’m hopefully still in your good graces.
Happy Monday everyone and I hope as you move through your week you do so with your own unique sense of grace.
How do you get inspiration? Do you have you own method(s)? How do you define grace?