One of my yoga teachers often uses the phrase- “with Grace and Ease”. He’s passionate about guiding his students to add this phrase whenever they speak about something they want. For instance, someone can wish for a certain amount of money but if they don’t add- “with Grace and Ease”, they could be involved in an accident and be awarded a large sum of money but be disabled for life.
I’ve listened to him speak about this with stars in my eyes. Yes! I want that! I want more Grace and Ease in my life! IF ONLY– I knew how to get it.
I’m happy to say that in the last month I’ve seen Grace and Ease in action. However, it didn’t look at all like I thought it would. Let me explain.
I was in a small car accident about a month ago. I pulled out into the street in front of my house and ran right into another car. I just didn’t see them. It was loud. It was disruptive. It was shocking and unnatural and upsetting. Immediately after our cars settled I ran over to the couple in the other car and started apologizing profusely.
They were calm. They wanted to be sure that I was OK. They were OK. We were all OK.
They had just bought a new car. They had much more damage than I had. They could have been furious. They could have screamed and yelled and waved their hands around in the air. They didn’t do any of that. Their main concern is that I wasn’t injured. Most of the cars that drove by stopped to make sure that we were all OK. People walking down the street stopped to check on us. I realized that I have an entire community in my own neighborhood, in the neighborhood I drive in and out of without stopping to talk to anyone expect the occasional next-door neighbor. As surreal and uncomfortable as the situation was, it was eye opening for me to see the opportunity I have for connection in my own backyard.
More than anything, I was blown away by the incredible kindness and generosity of the couple in the car I hit. A situation that had the potential for ugliness was filled with Grace and Ease because of the way they reacted.
We both called our insurance companies, mine sent a tow truck and arranged a rental car and promised me that they would take good care of the people in the other car. I was overwhelmed with gratitude when they said that, I chose wisely, my insurance company is honorable and the people who had been so nice to me would be treated in kind.
When their tow truck came we all said an awkward farewell in the middle of the street. I wanted more than anything to hug both of them, to make sure they knew that I was truly sorry and that their kindness had touched me in a profound and beautiful way. I didn’t hug them, we waved and they were gone.
It took a month for the body shop to fix my car. Every couple of days they would call and promise to be done by that afternoon but something would come up and they would need to fix something else. Eventually I was turned over to the manager of the shop because he felt so terrible that they couldn’t manage to finish my car. I went in last week to pick it up and waited for an hour before they told me they needed more time and put me back in a rental for the weekend.
The manager of the body shop was astounded that I didn’t have a fit. He praised me over and over again for my patience. He offered to waive the majority of my deductible. He offered to rent a Mercedes for me for the weekend. He insisted that I give him a hug before I left. He couldn’t believe that I was not upset.
I thought about this, I know that most people would have yelled and screamed and made demands. Certainly it was inconvenient for me to not know day by day when my car would be done. I live in South Pasadena, where I had to go every couple of days and pay $2.00 a night to park in front of my house. I spent an inordinate amount of time at gas stations doing the math to determine how much gas I needed to put in the car to make it a few more days so I wouldn’t be charged refueling charges by the rental company. But none of it was terrible. Certainly it was inconvenient but terrible? No.
I finally picked up my car yesterday. Unfortunately it’s not as glamorous and new as the cars I’ve been driving for the last month, but it’s mine and it’s fixed and I only had to pay a little portion of my deductible.
So, what’s this all about, this sudden influx of Grace and Ease that I’m witnessing in my life? Should I attribute it to the fact that I’ve recommitted myself to my morning yoga and meditation? Or is this the way the universe is rewarding me for all the good things I’ve done, is this karma coming back to me?
Or is it about something else entirely? I realize that I didn’t play the victim in either circumstance. Did the car accident HAPPEN TO ME? Was the body shop delaying my car because these kinds of things always HAPPEN TO ME?
I immediately saw my role and responsibility in the car accident. I accepted that I made a mistake and was grateful for the kindness and compassion I received from the couple in the other car. I understood that the people at the body shop were doing the best they could do. I, in turn, treated them with the kindness and respect that I have been shown in so many instances in my life. I didn’t give my power away by attributing any of these situations to an outside force manipulating my life. I saw my role in both situations and reacted in a way that was honest and true for me in both cases.
My reward has been to dance with my new best friends Grace and Ease. I welcome my new friends. Take your shoes off, Grace and Ease. Stay awhile.