It seems that all my bridges have been burned,
But, you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works

I have been pondering this Mumford and Sons lyric recently. What is grace?

Imagine a new mom with a 7-week-old baby. Terrified. Hormones raging. Living in a third-world country. She is scared to be alone, but her husband has to travel. She has few close friends, no family around. Just some acquaintances. One of these comes to her house with her two daughters, fixes meals and spends the nights with this scared new mom, carrying her through with no regard for what she might get in return. There could be no expectations for in a couple of months both moms would be moving on to yet another country. Was she paying it forward? Maybe, but I call it grace.

Her name was Marlena and I have not seen her in almost ten years. I cannot even remember her last name. But her grace moves through me frequently, whether it’s an overwhelmed friend trying to arrange carpools or a stranger in a parking lot struggling with a newborn and a stroller for her toddler all at the same time. I’m no always perfect and the strangers probably think I am weird, but I have this thing in my gut that drives me to help. It could just be empathy for other moms, but I think it’s Marlena’s grace! And now it ripples through the universe. For I know the grace I have afforded some moves through them too.

Sometimes I practice with the intention of grace and it does wonders for my attitude throughout the day. Recently, I had an injury to my left shoulder. For more than a week, I set my intention to practice with grace toward my shoulder. I took my knees in side plank. I took my knees in chaturanga. I gently tested with no expectations. My injury has healed and my shoulder now is returning the grace I have afforded it.

And like Marlena’s grace, this can be taken off of the mat and sent into the universe for grace starts from within. For some it comes naturally; for others, it is prompted by grace that was afforded in a time of need. And for some of us we set the intention on the mat and are able to bring it into our lives from there. And if we lose our ability for grace, it can always be brought forth again on the mat.