Friday, January 23, 2009

State of Grace

For years I have been helping people with stress management. A lot of the tools that I use have been ways that I have helped myself through life’s challenges. I began my career as a science teacher in the inner city of Detroit and the first tool I added to my stress management toolbox was a sketch of a tornado that I kept in my desk drawer. It symbolized to me that if I stayed in the center, I had sanctuary in the midst of the turbulence around me and from that place I could center the chaos.

About four months ago, I began to develop thoughts around “Fear Management” as I feel fear management is at the root of stress management. Giving thought to this I began to see that a significant antidote to fear is what I would call a “state of grace”. Einstein was once asked what he thought the most important question was that you could ask another person and his response was, “Do we live in a friendly universe?” In other words is the universe or Life conspiring to support you.

I just spent a month in Jerusalem along with my sister supporting our 85 year old mother as she was combating a dreadful, rare auto immune disease. My sister had a month in the hospital with our mother before I arrived and when the doctor described the treatment which was massive doses of steroids, she asked if our mother could survive the cure. As it turns out she was unable to and recently passed away. I flew back to Jerusalem for the traditional week long period of mourning called “Shiva” in the Jewish religion and just got back home.

Throughout this whole ordeal (as it was very challenging on every level) I was able to see the “state of grace” playing out against the backdrop of the medical challenges. I would define the "state of grace" as a synchronous event or circumstance that is very comforting and can support you in a breakthrough.

Sometimes you have to dig below the surface to see it. As an example, on the way home from the airport, my wife was driving through a construction zone and, in the dark of night, did not notice the reduced speed signs. This resulted in a speeding ticket and a 15 minute delay. This certainly did not look like the state of grace. Our next stop however was the grocery store. The parking spot was congested and the spot she found was right next to very kind friends of ours who were just about to pull out. If we had not been delayed we would have missed them and their compassion was very useful for me to transition back to my life here at home.

Perhaps as you face your current challenges, looking for the state of grace may be helpful to you. I am finding that it can help me be empowered instead of victimized and can help me replace resentment with gratitude. All the best, David

Copyright © David Pasikov 2009