When the going gets tough may I have faith that things are unfolding as they are meant to. May I remember that my life is what it is, not what I ask for. May I find the strength to bear it, the grace to accept it, the faith to embrace it. – Katrina Kenison

 I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little beaten of late, pushed down, spun round too fast to get my footing.  There’s no major crisis – it’s just one of those times when the things of life leave us whirling. . . . know what I mean?

Buddhist Monks Working on a Sand Mandala

For When The World Whips Us Round

In these times, I’m learning a few things:

1. I can’t just soldier on.  Sure, I have to do some things – work, bathe, eat.  But I don’t try to power through things and fill my day with as many activities as possible.  I give myself some breathing room.

2. I don’t make big decisions. This morning, I got a bit of disturbing news – nothing really major – and I was ready to quit my job and go back to bookselling (which truthfully is the job I would do for the rest of my life if I could afford to do so.)  In these jagged times, I’m wisest to just stay the course.

3. I eat good food.  I’m going decadent this morning with my cream of wheat and adding dried apricots and walnuts.  Tonight, P and I will hit Chipotle (my favorite), and I will savor every bite.

4. I think of colorful things. In these times, most of life can feel like one of those anti-depressant commercials, everything grayed off, and here in Virginia, the view out the window actually looks a bit like that. So I think about colorful things – I spin through Pinterest looking at tulips and vivid sand mandalas.

5. I remember that, no matter what, I am loved. Even when I screw up. Even when I can’t get ahead. Even when the grayness feels like it’s leeching into my skin.  I remember.

6. I listen for the good. It’s easy – in these times – for me to look for what isn’t going right, to see only mistakes and problems.  But now, more than any other time, I need to listen for what is beautiful – the cardinal song of goodness that echoes, even when we don’t hear it.

I feel it – the whipping wind of life with its corsets of obligations and barbed tongues of criticism – but today, today, I am letting myself feel the grace that is a quiet day, where I can take a deep breath and listen to the breeze that whispers my name with love.

When life whips you round, what do you do to give yourself grace?