Ranjana TN

Week #4: Grace

It’s been a week of highs and lows. Periods of calm interspersed between periods of emotional chaos. I felt the calmest when I was out on long walks. The weather continues to be sunny, so I’ve stepped outside for walks every day. I’ve been listening to Susan Piver’s book The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. Though the title sounds a bit cheesy, the book is great and is anything but cheesy. It focuses on mindfulness and meditation to heal oneself in a way that feels grounded, loving, and non-preachy. I’ve been listening to it slowly, favouring how deeply I can take the material in over how quickly I can finish the book. It’s been helpful. At the very least, I’ve been taking meditation more seriously. Instead of squeezing in one to 10 minutes of meditation every day, I’ve been intentionally setting aside 20 to 45 minutes. I’ve appreciated the tiny bit of serenity this has given me.

I’m glad that I chose grace as my value for the week. My emotions were all over the place ranging from deep despair and intense sorrow to anger and frustration. But reminding myself to have grace for myself and others, and that I would be shown grace by something larger than myself, kept me grounded. I found myself meditating on the word several times a day; it almost became a mantra I was saying over and over.

Curiously enough, I found out that it was possible to feel sadness, grief, anger, frustration, and a host of other emotions and also feel goodwill toward myself and others. Sometimes, I asked myself, “what would grace say?” Sometimes, showing myself grace meant slowing down and giving myself space. Other times, it meant forgiving myself for negative albeit human feelings I was experiencing and for the hurt I had caused others.

Showing others grace meant holding space for them to be human. Every person is a shade of grey; no one is black or white. So when I felt hurt by someone’s actions or words, I’d remind myself that this wasn’t the whole of them and their intention wasn’t to hurt me. To show grace sometimes means to have perspective.

Overall, my life was much better for wearing the lens of this value for a week.

Value for week #5

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough. Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving—even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it. Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives.”

― Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”

― Brené Brown

I’d like to deeply embrace authenticity this week. I will tune into my own feelings, thoughts, wants, and needs consciously and act in alignment with them. I’d like to spend some time daily raising my awareness of my inner voice either while meditating, journaling, going on walks, or the like. I’d also like to check in with myself multiple times a day, to see if what I’m thinking or doing (or about to do) is in alignment with my authenticity. This is important because usually there’s so much going on and other people’s voices are so loud (and often compelling) that I have a tendency to not even be aware of the voice of the authentic me.

And when there’s awareness and clarity, it’s easier to take aligned action.