What does it mean to live with grace and ease?
A question I keep asking myself is, what do I do with Grace and Ease? Where do I take it?
The thing that keeps popping up is I need to keep sharing where I am right now. How I’m evolving from a cancer patient to a cancer survivor? Ultimately, how do I continue to evolve what is means to live with grace and ease?
Grace and Ease Sidebar
In my head which can be a very crowed space, I keep asking myself is it “living WITH grace and Ease” or “living IN grace and ease?”
Living with grace and ease feels active. In my imagination I can conjure up two female characters. One is Grace. One is Ease. I live with them. They sit with me. They walk with me. Sometimes I need one more than the other. Sometimes I’m holding both of their hands. It feels comforting here. Supported.
Living IN grace and ease feels more like a state of being. If I’m living IN something, I’m a part of it.
I live IN my house. I live WITH my husband. I live IN grace and ease. I live WITH grace and ease.
I like WITH.
It means it’s not a complete constant. I can’t completely, consistently do anything. Everything waxes and wanes like the moon. So, living IN grace and ease feels like too much pressure for me. I don’t need more pressure. Living WITH grace and ease means they’re my companions to discover. To explore. To experiment with. Really, isn’t that all life is? One big human experiment?
Living with Grace and Ease. Now that’s out of the way, moving on.
Living with grace and ease in 2018
Let’s start here. What does it mean to live with Grace and Ease? Starting 2018, I hear this question over and over in my head. I feel now this blog can serve me and hopefully you if I share HOW I’m uncovering this. How am I living with grace and ease?
Before looking forward to this year and what I’d like to manifest, I feel I must look back at 2016 and 2017. Why 2016? Because it was such a comet of year blowing through my life, I’m still assessing what happened.
If I represented each year with a visual which is how my mind works (I think in pictures when I pay attention), 2016 would be a jet-black paint splat on a stark white canvas. No uniformity. No steadiness. Just random black paint engulfing the pure white. 2016 was breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, and chemo.
2017 active treatment finished in April. Exactly a year after my first biopsy. Then, I went crazy planning to get out. Anywhere. 2016 felt like a cage to escape. 2017 was my not-well-thought-out escape. If 2017 was an image, it would be verdant spring mountains. They are coming alive, but there’s extreme high peaks and deeply dark canyons. 2017 I slipped into old patterns of wanting freedom and traveling to find it.
Grace and Ease Sidebar
From all the self-help gurus I’ve read and religions I’ve studied, Freedom is not something that can be caught or uncovered. I must find it within to be felt. But because I’m human and deeply flawed I must keep learning this lesson. 😉
In 2017, I went to California for a retreat. Someday I’ll write about this unbelievably moving experience. The cliff notes, I cried for two hours and laid down the pain of treatment letting it go. I also went to Chicago, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boston, Maine, D.C. and Baltimore. Nothing for work. All for me. Moving as much as I could. Pushing my health boundaries every step.
What does 2018 have in store? Better yet, how can I come into the year embodying living with grace and ease?
I called a friend for help. Well, we FaceTimed. From South Africa. How cool is that? Sometimes I’m grateful for technology. She’s an expert in all things self-help and manifesting a vision. You can visit my friend Christa here.
“What’s your process for doing a vision board?” I asked her.
I knew she regularly used this process to manifest what she needed and wanted. She previously lived in D.C. Now she’s splitting time between a game reserve and the Indian Ocean in Africa.
She said she could send me resources, but it basically boils down to one question, “How do you want to feel in 2018?” She said pick three feelings at most. Then, find images that represent those feelings to me.
Grace and Ease Sidebar
One time I went to a Vision Board day retreat with a big group of ladies in Marin County. They said decide what you want in love, in finances, in work, in fitness and health… blah, blah, blah… the list was endless. It was too overwhelming for me. I left early.
So, I’ve been asking myself since the last week of 2017 before I go to bed and am quiet, how do I want to feel? I tired to find three feelings, but one kept insisting to be heard. Only one.
I want to feel grounded.
It’s that simple and that difficult. That is my ultimate feeling state for living with grace and ease in 2018. Feeling grounded. Next steps for me are to explore what images bring about or support this feeling. I like this experiment.
The next embodiment of living with grace and ease came from a new friend. She created and runs the Cancer Survivorship program at UNC. We met before Christmas as I explore new job opportunities. As we were leaving she said something like…
“You know you’re one of the lucky ones.”
My internal rebuke was, “Huh? Come again?” My facial expression must have given away my thought because she immediately added…
“Most everyone wakes up and takes their day for granted, but not you. You know how fragile life is. How it can change on a dime. You can look at life now and say, how do I live with no regrets?”
A zing of energy whizzed through my body. Do you get those? Her question played again and again. How do I live with no regrets? If god forbid, my cancer comes back, can I look at my life and say, “I have no regrets?”
Not right now. I can’t say that honestly in integrity to myself. I’ve got to heal some old regrets while living day to day in this new state of being.
What would, wait, what will it be like to live 2018 with no regrets? Whoa, that feels big. Like I may face down some fears this year.
My Grace and Ease Mantras for 2018
Here is how I’m thinking about all this for 2018. Oh, And, I’m putting this all on bulletin boards in my office, so I can see it. Be reminded.
- How do I LIVE with grace and ease vs. being TREATED and needing grace and ease?
- My feeling state for living this way is to feel grounded in 2018.
- My new filter for making decisions is asking myself…
Will I regret doing this?
Will I regret not doing this?
This is where I am right now in my breast cancer survivorship journey. Right where I need to be.
Hope this helps you or someone you love. If you’d like a little grace and ease delivered to your inbox, sign-up below.
[All images sourced at Pixbay if not my own.]