SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What do small graces mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time you felt complete with the small graces in your life? What helps you value the small just as well as the great?
BELOVEDS,HOLIDAYS ARE VERY HARD FOR MANY PEOPLE.
Every day I wake up giving thanks for waking up. I have learned to accept things as they come, not question but confront, with faith and patience, with courage and hope. And also to enjoy and be happy with the little things, with the "Instants" that we sometimes go unnoticed! The day is full of those moments, moments that can take us through infinite paths of well-being and Light.
Small graces means to do mundane things in life , like picking up trash from the foot path and throwing it in the garbage bin , hearing the birds singing as I go for my morning walk in the early hours of the dawn and connect with my inner self . Small graces mean visiting my ex wife's mother who was sick in the hospital as I wanted to connect with her and find out how she was . Small graces means being and doing things for others however trival it may be which would bring a smile on their faces and would make me happy .
Less is more in my little world. I am gifted the grace (by God) to love and serve my husband, parents, mother in law, aunt, grandson, immediate family and whom ever else I come in contact with (having a need). I do NOT strive for perfection...(I simply cling to His). I find myself "wanting" less (STUFF) ... Rather, wanting more and more "special moments". (Like this evening, I observed the moon, rapid movement of clouds, the wind, rain and the sound of a train outside my open window. Later ... Hanging out with my husband and then, going on a "silent retreat", walking my dog by the light of the moon, wind whipping around us ... And a slight baptism from Heaven in the form of precipitation). Full of Grace (Jesus) are these moments. There is ALOT of GREAT in the small! BIG is just an illusion.
Small graces to me are: the ability to pause and soak in the song of birds in trees outside my window, to savor the flavor of the soup I am eating slowly, to be witness for a friend simply sitting conversing or even in silence. Recently, I was home for Thanksgiving, it was a challenging week trying to serve my mother to see she is in need of assistance and she is not doing well mentally. The two small grace moments that stand out are: sitting with my friend Mary in a cafe and sharing appreciations of each other without any pressure, simply sharing softly while holding hands what we admired about the other, that spark we saw in each other that perhaps we couldn't see in ourselves. Another was watching my cousin's 2 dogs play together, the miracle here is both are rescues, one badly abused and I'd never seen her play like this. It was a reminder of the healing that can happen through love.
Thank you for this post I needed the reminder of the impact we each make simply by being who we are. I've felt pressure (some my own, some from others) to reach more people with my healing Storytelling workshops. I've felt less than and not enough through some of the expansion process. I am reminded that what I am doing right now is enough. <3
All that is, living and not living, is God incarnate, and is a gift and a grace. The gifts or graces are everything, including this day, my every breath, my every heart beat, my hand, the ability to move and think and feel, the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch, other people, a glass of water, a butterfly, my cat, a tree, a rock, a lifetime, the entire world in which I live. It is difficult for me to differentiate between small and great graces. I think all graces are both small and great. What helps me value and treasure the graces in my life is knowing how precarious and temporary they are and how little control I have. What helps me feel complete with the graces in my life is being aware of and grateful for them.
I love reading weekly Awakin Readings. I love reflecting on them. I am grateful for this precious gift. This reading is another lovely gift.
I love to do both, big and small things.There are times when I get caught up in living in the big dream world missing the small graces right in front of me. This morning, my daughter was lovingly offering me a cup of tea. She cherishes time spending with me I missed seeing her right in front of me. I was with her physically but not really with her. I was in my dream world of designing a great and grand project. I missed the small offeringby being mentally occupied with the big thing.. I remember reading Rabindranath Tagore's poem. While the poet is looking for majestic beauty on the far away Himalayan peaks, the little flower smiling in front him says to the poet, " O great poet! Can't you see the the tiny beauty right in front of you?"
Her question, "Dad, where are you?" wakes me up to taste the tea-her warm, affectionate presence. It is a small graceful act radiating heartfelt loving energy. This Saturday morning, she woke up early to make khichadi for my lunch before she took off for her work. Watching her making food for me joyfully was a blessing to me.Such small acts of kindness are indeed a great source of joy and contentment.
I fondly remember my mom singing a lullaby before I would go to sleep.Her lullaby still resonates in my heart. Such a small gracious gift! And that's the way she lived her life.. She exemplified the wise saying of St Francis of Assisi: " We cannot do great things. We can do little things with great love." I find the words of Kent Neburn very appealing: " The world we shape is the world we touch with our words, our actions, our dreams."
Let us make everyday a good day by doing small good things for us and for others and be grateful for small graces we give and receive!
Jagdish P Dave
Enoughness of small graces is a paradox, akin to the concept of human perfection. Shunryu Suzuki summed it up perfectly when he said, "Each of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement." When we consider human evolution, paying attention to all the little things that are not quite right is what allowed our ancestors to survive on the savannah, whereas basking in the gratitude and sufficiency of small graces might lead to inattention toward fundamental survival threats. In the modern world, we must balance the ever-rising tide of hedonic adapation-- where we get so used to every new comfort and advantage that it ceases to bring us joy-- with gratitude for both the blessings and challenges we encounter. In my personal experience, this is very difficult to do without both a meditation and a gratitude practice. Meditation is what trains and restrains the momentum of the powerful subconscious mind that operates wildly like our ancestors from the savannah. Gratitude is the precious food that puts a higher clarity and perspective in charge.[Hide Full Comment]