What Does Grace Sound Like to You?

While packing for 2022’s last business trip this week, I went into my closet to get a tee shirt. As I yanked one out – clearly not embodying my slow is fast mantra – the other tightly packed shirts gracelessly fell to the ground. 

If you’ve listened to one of my metta mediations, you’ve heard me say, “May you allow your days to unfold with grace.” I love the quality of grace – as the song goes, it has a sweet sound, and for me, it’s the sound of sitting in silence with someone you love. But we need space to hear it. 

What does grace sound like to you? 

My trip took me to Dallas, where I supported leaders working on their presentation and storytelling skills. They shared stories about barbeque, car rentals, and resilience and crafted a catalog of beautiful metaphors and analogies they can use to create a more connected culture. 

Coming into the meeting, a few of them struggled to come up with stories, but with space to breathe, their creativity emerged, and more stories bubbled up. One of them said, “Most of the time, I rush from one thing to the next and never have time to do this type of work.” 

Companies today spend considerable time and money working on their culture, but the focus is too far downstream. Yes, we should speak about qualities like vulnerability, courage, trust, and collaboration, but, like grace, they need room to breathe.

Where’s the space when we rush from one Zoom to the next while emailing, DMing and texting? 

We are drowning in communication while we thirst for connection. 

Too many of us are constantly in fight/flight survival mode. When we don’t feel safe, we can’t feel like we belong. And when we don’t feel like we belong, being vulnerable is a non-starter. 

The way to build cultures of belonging is to go upstream and create space for creativity, empathy, and appreciation and encourage it to ripple out. 

If we don’t change our urge to fill every minute with something, we will get more of the same. We must rely on more than our morning shower or bathroom breaks to catch our breath. If we don’t, we’ll be stuck refolding t-shirts, and there’s nothing graceful about that unless you work at The Gap. 

For those celebrating this week, I hope you have a graceful and grateful Thanksgiving. 

And remember to download our Pause Breathe Reflect Stress-Less App to weave a little more G.R.A.C.E. into your life. 

Until next week, ripple something worth rippling.