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.



Confessions of a non-cook

Sometimes we aren’t who we see ourselves to be, and it takes a long time to realize. I’ve always wanted to be THAT girl who could walk into a kitchen and work marvels delighting family and friends with my culinary skills. Trying over the years to get cooking in my blood, to learn how to do it, to feel it, get it in my bones. Even going so far as to tell people that I could cook. Guys mainly.

Well, here goes… my confession, right now. Not only can I NOT cook, but I most often don’t even WANT to cook. (Exhale) There. I’ve said it.

Now I love good food, and will follow the heck out of a recipe to create a spread. I will also join others in the kitchen for hours to prepare a feast. Yet, to create complete meals that make sense and ensure my proper nutrition on a daily basis has never been something I could do with consistency. I didn’t grow up in the kitchen, and as the youngest child only had to worry about getting to the table within moments of being called. As an adult, I habitually prepare incomplete meals that I often find perfectly satisfying – think an entrée no sides or sides no entrée. Oh, and there is that pizza recipe I’ve perfected and can intuitively prepare that contains all of the major food groups.

But I digress. Coming up with a meal requires buying ingredients I usually don’t already have on hand and then throwing the unused amounts away – SIN! Worse yet, I often don’t finish what I’ve cooked because I’ve either cooked too much or it just didn’t turn out right. Freezing has never been an option. I have no idea why.

Over the years friends have offered to help me and some have. Nonetheless, when standing in my kitchen alone, I often make a bee-line to the phone or just grab my keys and head out. Then there’s the last option of eating an entrée with no sides, or sides with no entrée.

My confession is deeper than just saying that I can’t cook and when given the choice won’t cook, but in a recent 7 week challenge at my yoga studio I committed to learning how to cook better for myself. I did for 7 weeks in earnest try to become THAT girl, but I’m finding that SHE would rather fess up to who she really is. A non-cook.

There’s freedom in revelation and in confession. And as I wrap up this blog, I am going to pull out the rest of the corn on the cob, steamed kale and baked sweet potato for dinner. Later I’ll incorporate dairy with a bowl of ice cream. Tomorrow, I’ll eat out.