In Japan, いただきます (itadakimasu) is said before every meal. “I humbly receive.” This epitomizes grace: intentionally vague and in honorific form.

There is an unfolding in everything we receive. This can be quite difficult to see when our stomachs are in knots and we have no clue what tomorrow will bring. Yet, it is essential to lose our judgement over what-is and instead, receive the moment with grace. For what appears from our limited view to be a storm cloud is actually the beginning of a rainbow. The most beautiful things come out of destruction. So, welcome the destruction and unveil the beauty. The key to surviving the destruction then is to operate with grace.

Blessings are a birthright. There is no deserving or worthiness inherent. It’s a manner of receiving that draws them to you.

What we receive is sometimes beyond our earthly understanding, which is why it’s important to express our grace honorifically. We acknowledge that even tragedy has universal perfection. Hard to see and feel when we are wrapped up in the emotion of it, but eventually, we may see it…if we open our eyes. Yes, it’s easy to misunderstand the divine order, so we must practice grace:

Eat with GRACE.
What does that mean for you? Do you take a moment to honor the meal before eating. Do you eat more delicately, deliberately, or slowly.

Move with GRACE.
Lighten your step, soften your eye gaze. Experience tranquility in your daily movement. Notice how it feels and changes the rest of your day.

Work out with GRACE.
Ahh my favorite. We might think in terms of getting the workout in and going through the motions. But when we workout with grace…real change occurs because we start from within. We connect the physical to the spiritual, which energizes and lifts. Lose the pre-workout chemical supplement. Find inner energy instead.

Share space with GRACE.
Whether it’s on the subway or in line at your grocery store, lose the aggravation of inconvenience, and recognize the freedom in it.

Respond with GRACE.
Know the difference between reacting and responding. Take however many moments you need. Lose the self-imposed pressure to be immediate. What is technologically feasible is not necessarily in your best interest.

Speak with GRACE.
Pause and be thoughtful. Not everything needs to be said right now. In fact, most things do not…especially on Facebook!

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” ~ Mark Twain

Listen with GRACE.
How are you connecting in your conversations? How can you connect one level deeper? Notice your eye contact, your body language, and your intention. With an intention to serve, does your listening change?

Visualize GRACE.
Close your eyes and see it. Linger there as long as you like. What images comes to your mind? How does it make you feel?

Write with GRACE.
Preserve the art of writing with a handwritten Christmas card, a simple thank-you note, or even just a post-it left out for yourself or loved one.

Above all, invite GRACE in whenever and wherever…

All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.” ~Simone Weil

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit