Open to Grace

 

Making choices to thrive and grow in times of hardship

Like all humans, I find it easier to feel like myself when I am in a familiar place, interacting with people I am comfortable with, doing things I love. In times like these, when our normal lives aren’t functioning normally and our world feels upside down, it is easy to feel lost and unsure about who we are, how we got here, and what to do about it.

Fear may be creeping into your life. And to each of you reading, I say “I am SO SORRY that you are having to feel this anxiety invade your life.” I know you may be afraid, and feel a sense of doubt creeping in. What will this COVID-19 journey look like for ourselves, as well as those we love and cherish? What is next for our country? How will we weather this storm? But as I wrote yesterday in my post about HOPE; we can do this. We just need to be open to grace. Open to the possibility that we have everything we need right inside of us. We just have to open our hearts and listen. Then, bloom where we are planted.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” — Nelson Mandela

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Where to go in times of stress

My go-to places for comfort and centering have always been art, yoga and writing. In pretty much that order. I throw in a little music and nature and I am good. Some of these activities are done individually and some as a group, depending on the circumstance, but consistency in my life has always been born within these passions. Now that we are all dealing with some form of social-distancing, I have been re-thinking my needs and daily routines, just as all of you are.

My favorite yoga studio, Montana Om is temporarily closed due to the pandemic. So we are doing classes on Zoom.us. We are thinking outside the box, but still on the mat! My favorite drive-thru coffee shop, Copper Mountain Coffee still has a safe drive-thru option. My favorite meeting places, Good Coffee Roasting Company and Blodgett Creamery are providing safe serving options or delivering. My friends and neighbors are walking their dogs and waving or popping into my porch for a minute, but practicing social distancing. And my kids and family outside the area are sending the funniest texts, memes, photos and videos ever! They all continue to be there for me, and I for them during this crazy time. Open to grace is about asking for nothing, but being open to everything. It just is.

I am not the only one looking for spaces to go that feel safe and comforting, whether it be outside our homes when we still can do so safely, or a place of comfort inside. So today, I am sharing my favorite space in my house. Not the kitchen (even though i do like to cook), not my studio (although the best art and messiness happen there) but my beloved front porch.

In the dead of winter I had a space heater out here, but from early March through the end of October, or on the sunniest days, even in the winter it is my go to. I have had many lovely hours reading here. Writing here. Journaling here. Visiting with my friends here. Talking about big plans with my husband here. And nurturing plants through each season.

But my favorite pastime out here is definitely journaling.

IMG_4302 Just being one with my thoughts. Open to whatever my Mind, Body and Soul want to think, feel, or hold. Today I hold all of you in my heart. In my most precious place – my front porch. The place of love, light and hope. The place of contemplation and struggle. The place of nuance and subtly. The place where my best (and worst) ideas thrive. The place where I bloom and grow. The place where I am sitting right now, typing away, where I spent the day creating visual journaling pages, writing blog and Instagram posts, soaking up the first day of Spring and rejoicing in being a healthy, happy human being for one more day.

Each day is a gift. One which we must celebrate even if we are afraid. Because it is all we have. This moment. This one day. Tomorrow will come. And it will bring the latest news. But for now, we battle what we battle. We love and appreciate what we can. And we stay open to grace. Because it is the only option we have – the only one that allows us to maintain control. The only place of peace.

 

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