“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” Sarah Ban Breathnach
Receiving with grace is beautiful. It allows an opportunity to someone who wants to give, and it blesses both the giver and receiver, and in some small way it beautifies the world. Alan Lewis
Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good. Petrarch
What does GRACE mean to you? In Greek mythology, the three graces (charities) were known as Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”) and some scholars argued that there were others that spoke to the qualities of festivity and joy: Antheia (“Blossoms”), Eudaimonia (“Happiness”), Paidia (“Play”), Pandaisia (“Banquet”), Pannychis (“Night Festivities”). What we do know of GRACE – and its many definitions of giving/receiving blessings, beauty, and good cheer is that we all need it in our lives. Grace, like gratitude, multiplies as we spread goodwill to others. When we are motivated to perform actions with the intention to help others, the grace that comes with it spreads like a sweet, fragrant flower showering all in its path with good fortune.
A great master teacher I studied with, years back, once said that we should always seek grace in all we do; God’s grace and people’s grace. Every day we get up and go to work, take care of loved ones, and perform our tasks, there is grace that comes with our actions. It is like the wheel of life that spins daily, spreading everything we add to it; good and bad. We must make sure that our actions are beneficial to others and not just for our gratification because grace lives in our actions. Every moment or exchange we have with others can include a measure of grace; the generosity we show strangers, the goodwill that comes from people we know and those we don’t, the food we share and eat and, even, every life affirming breath we take … all come from grace. Be mindful of your daily actions.
A Story: The Village Weaver
Eons ago, in a small village there lived a weaver who was a pious man. Everyone trusted and loved him because he sold his goods in the marketplace at a fair price. When a customer inquired about the price of a piece of cloth, the weaver would give them an honest answer: “By the will of the Creator, the price is $1, the labor is 25 cents and my profit is 25 cents.” The villagers had great faith in his honesty and were happy to pay him whatever he asked. In the evenings, when he returned to his hut in the quiet of the banyan trees, he sat for long hour singing, weaving and in deep contemplation. He was a simple decent man who gave to others with a cheerful spirit.
One night, a band of robbers passed by his home, and seeing him sitting and singing away on his porch, they caught hold of him and made him carry their stolen goods. Suddenly, the police arrived and the robbers ran off abandoning their stolen goods and the poor weaver. The police seized the weaver and the goods and threw him in jail.
The next day, the weaver was hauled into court and put on trial for theft. When the villagers walked in to sign up as jurors, they recognized the hard-working, honest weaver and were alarmed. Several of them went up to the judge and said: “Your Honor, this man could never have committed the robbery. He is an innocent man caught in terrible mistake.” With so many villagers coming forward in his defense, the Judge decided to ask the weaver what happened and why he ended up in jail. He repeated the story we all now know… that he was seized by the thieves and forced to carry their stolen goods. The Judge soon realized that the weaver was innocent and let him go… As we give, so we receive. We need People’s grace in our lives too. Story adapted from Matruvani
“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” John Updike
Sometimes we may ask for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. David A. Bednar
Why is GRACE vital to each of us? Just like the rain falls on earth and nourishes all forms of life; watering our farms, filling our streams and providing us with sustenance, we need to recognize that grace falls on everything around us. We must be receptive to receive it and eager to share it. When we become cognizant of the presence of grace in all forms of life, we are more mindful of how we treat each other and how we use our natural resources. When grace visits the landscape of our hearts, we experience a sense of gratitude. We might not always be conscious of the things that bring grace into our lives, but, as we become attentive to our surroundings and grateful for all in it, we will be more apt to share our gratitude by comforting and helping others.
In the poem below, Forrest reminisces about the grace-filled times he spent with his mother when she was alive and expresses gratitude for her life. I believe that as we become more grateful for all that happens in our lives, we become open to receiving and enjoying more abundant grace. The Water Bearer story is a classic lesson in learning to see the grace in things that might seem of little use. If we see every encounter with others as an opportunity for grace, we will see the flowers of good fortune blooming around us … even in the littlest things. Try it!
Grace by Forrest Hamer via Famouspoetsandpoems
This air is flooded with her. I am a boy again, and my mother
and I lie on wet grass, laughing. She startles, turns to
marigolds at my side, saying beautiful, and I can see the red
there is in them.
When she would fall into her thoughts, we’d look for what
distracted her from us.
My mother’s gone again as suddenly as ever and, seven months
after the funeral, I go dancing. I am becoming grateful.
Breathing, thinking, marigolds.
A Story: Grace and The Water Bearer
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer’s heart went out to the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt sad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The water bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.” This & Stories below via: GoodWeb
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for July and August are:
07/06 – FREEDOM
07/13 – WORRY
07/20 – WEALTH
07/27 – GRACE
08/03 – TIME
08/10 – CONTROL
08/17 – PURPOSE
08/24 – FAILURE
08/31 – HOPE
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. Bradley Whitford
How can we infuse our lives with GRACE? I love Bradley’s suggestions above. Why wait? Do your work with joy and a spirit of service. Do your work with gratitude and a desire to improve the lot of your fellow-man. Do your work with grace and see it fill everything you touch. I think sometimes we believe we have to make our lives complicated by over-reaching in our effort to prove a point… but grace resides in the practical efforts we make to fill our surroundings with positive vibes and good will. The Water Bearer planted seeds and watched them grow. In all of the stories shared, there are lessons on being open to the grace around us.
In We are All Channels of Grace below, the Rabbi reminded his students that each of us can make the effort to “see your brother or sister in the face of a stranger.” We have the capacity to be kinder to one another. The Zen students, with laughter, reminded their teacher that Grace has less to do with attitude and more to do with gratitude. We can learn from these stories and from each other… Grace lives in us. I would love to walk in a state of constant gratitude so grace can meet me daily at my door… and I wish same for each of you: Remember to embrace your grace, be grateful and share your delight with others. How does grace motivate your actions? What does grace look like to you?
A Story: We are All Channels of Grace
Rabbi Isadore was a wise teacher. A student asked, “How is one to know the precise time when night
ends and day begins?” One student volunteered, “It is when one can distinguish between a dog and a sheep in the far distance,
that is when day begins.” Another said, “It is when you can tell the difference between a fig tree and a date tree, then night is fully gone.”
“No, it is neither of those things,” said the Rabbi. “It is when you can see your brother or sister in the face of a stranger. Until then, night is still with us.”
A Story: Grace In Action
One day there was an earthquake that shook the entire Zen temple. Parts of it even collapsed! Many of the monks were terrified.
When the earthquake stopped the teacher said, “Now you have had the opportunity to see how a Zen man behaves in a crisis situation. You may have noticed that I did not panic. I was quite aware of what was happening and what to do. I led you all to the kitchen, the strongest part of the temple. It was a good decision, because you see we have all survived without any injuries. However, despite my self-control and composure, I did feel a little bit tense – which you may have deduced from the fact that I drank a large glass of water, something I never do under ordinary circumstances.” One of the monks smiled, but didn’t say anything. “What are you laughing at? asked the teacher. “That wasn’t water,” the monk replied, “it was a large glass of soy sauce.”
Positive Motivation Tip: View each moment of life as filled with grace, and use every opportunity to be a ray of sunshine in someone’s life.
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
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Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
- Motivation Mondays: WEALTH (mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspired Quotes(mirthandmotivation)
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- Motivation Mondays: The Busy Busy Trap (mirthandmotivation)
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- RIP Zig Ziglar: King of Motivation… (mirthandmotivation)
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