Gifts from GRACE

As I stand on my carpet ready to do the Kata, I can feel myself starting to relax. Layers of tension are melting, and little by little I begin to shed the busy-ness and concerns of my day. My mind is whirling, though. There’s no particular reason why I should feel tired, and yet, I do. 

I begin. G … GROUND. I find my feet, stretch them, wiggle them, notice the contact with the carpet, try to even out the weight of my body pressing on the earth underneath my floor. I am on the ground. Gravity, the so-called weak force, holds me there. And yet I can lift my feet, I can jump up in the air, too. And I take it for granted that I’ll reach the apex and come down with no effort. 

R … RELAX. I take a deep breath, lift my shoulders tightly up to my ears, hold it, and let out the air, dropping my shoulders at the same time. I imagine a wave of relaxation traveling from the crown of my head down my body, down my legs, into my feet, and continuing through my house into the earth. I relax, the house relaxes, the earth relaxes. We’re all three whirling through space at thousands of miles per hour, and still, we’re relaxed together. 

A … AWARE. Am I aware of the present moment? I’m aware of my body standing up on the floor. I bring my clothes to my attention, a little tight here, a little loose there. The temperature in the room, patterns of light and darkness, sounds coming from the city streets out the window, the feeling of my neighborhood … all these come to my awareness. I review the strongest emotions of the day, see the scenes where they occurred. And I become aware of myself just being myself. Like the trees and the stars, I am. 

C … CENTER. I become aware of my center line first. I gently turn around this center line and move different parts of my body until this line is straight and vertical. Then I take my awareness to my center point, a couple inches below my belly button. I imagine the solidness of my center. I know it’s somewhere within the gelatinous coils of my small intestine, and, yet it's in a place of solid balance between the states of right and left, up and down, back and forth. It’s all of them and none of them. It’s Rumi’s field beyond good and evil … and I meet myself there. 

E … ENERGIZE. I revisit my tiredness. Which parts of me are tired? Behind my eyes? My neck? My lower back? My legs? I move gently each part and try to release the tension that’s damming up my energy flow. I take deep breaths, feeling the oxygen filling my lungs. I imagine it flowing into my cells, making it possible for me to move, to generate warmth, to radiate my me-ness into the world. I do have energy, lots of it!! And I begin to drill for water.

After I finish the Kata, after the meditation period, I think back on how GRACE has affected me. I DID GRACE. What I want is to BE GRACE. How can I live this balanced, relaxed, aware, centered and energized state, moving through my life?

GRACE-FUL-LY? I’ve heard that practice makes a difference. I’m trusting that’s true.