The Importance of Grace and Mindfulness

Like many people today, I’m always on. With my smartphone by my side, I can be reached at almost any moment by email, text message, instant message, or an old-fashioned phone call. With that level of accessibility, I feel the need to constantly be present, aware, and conscious of all the tasks before me.

Where am I at on a certain project? Did this errand get completed? What time is that upcoming meeting? My all-consuming type A personality is fabulous for getting things done and staying organized, but it’s a major hindrance when it comes time to simply chill out.

I’m hard on myself. I’m never satisfied with how much I complete on my to-do list. I overschedule and overstretch myself. Rather than celebrating the day’s accomplishments, I lament the tasks that flow on to tomorrow’s agenda.

Learning to Unplug

Every once in a while, however, I simply mute the phone, tuck away the lists, and remember to be present in the moment before me. I practice being mindful and allow myself to simply be. I focus on my senses. I usually head outdoors and take note of the warm sun on my skin, the fresh country air, the sounds in the distance, and how the grass feels under my toes. These moments make me feel grounded and graceful. Tension melts away, and I’m instantly a better person. I listen more deeply, focus on feelings, and take in the whole picture, rather than pushing through the task that’s consuming me.

We all need to have these moments more often. Letting yourself simply live and experience what’s going to play out, without planning, can lead you in a direction you never expected. You end up taking chances. You learn.

I’m discovering that every moment of every day doesn’t need to be filled. Instead, they should be experienced. I need to have more grace and love for myself. It’s really not a selfish thought — it’s a way to become more present, kind, flexible, and alive.

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