The goal of the Art of Grace is to help you create a life of spiritual freedom, emotional strength and the power to create the life of your dreams.
The Art of Grace is about creating spiritual freedom. This freedom in turn creates emotional strength and the power to create the life of one’s dreams. This freedom feels like blissful communion with one’s deepest self, with others and with the Whole “Kit and Caboodle,” what some call Nature, some call God, some call Source, and others call The Way. Most people experience occasional and accidental moments of grace when they see a sunset, look into the eyes of a lover, or experience a moment of victory. The purpose of the Art of Grace is to learn the art of creating Spiritual Freedom so that these moments of grace are more frequent and do not depend upon external events.
Why this site?
The original purpose of this web site was to explore grace. Over the years, I had experienced some accidental moments of the most beautiful, inspiring, joyful, alive feeling. For lack of a better term, I called this feeling “grace” because it was a feeling of profound gratitude for the gift of all existence, all life and all feelings of joy. I continue to be amazed and astonished by this experience. The more I explored this concept of grace, the more convinced I become of the wonderful healing power of grace.
I was eager to experience more grace in my life and began to learn about other people’s grace experiences. Over the years, I have gradually learned that I do not have to wait around for grace to accidentally find me. Instead, I can create grace at any moment! Wow! I learned that grace did not depend on any external events or circumstances. This is the ultimate liberation. Like a kid who has discovered a wonderful and endlessly fascinating toy, I want to share what I have learned with others so that we may play together.
Now, my goal is to figure out how to be an artist of grace and how to create more gratitude, joy and love in my life.
It is my hope that this site might help others tap into the power of grace to thrive with abundance, love and nurturing relationships.
Harnessing the Power of Grace
Like electricity, grace has power in it. Unlike electricity, grace remains a mystery. The better we understand electricity the better we are able to harness its powers. Grace is a poorly understood power, and we cannot always reliably tap into it. This is why this site is called the Art of Grace and not the Science of Grace. Humans now have the tools, such as MRIs and biofeedback, to investigate the physiological effects of meditation, of friendship and of grace, just as in the past century we explored electricity. Soon, we will better understand the power of grace so that we might harness its power to transform hearts, communities and the world in unimaginable ways.
“We cannot save our planet unless humankind undergoes
a widespread spiritual and religious awakening.”
~ Paul Hawken in Blessed Unrest
Today, humanity faces many threats to survival. Like Paul Hawken, I share the belief that most of the problems facing humanity are, at their core, spiritual problems, and the way to solve them is for people to awaken spiritually and religiously.
But what exactly is a spiritual awakening? For me, this is to experience grace. It is for each person to know that they are loved, that they are among the many victors of billions of years of evolution, and that they are part of the universe flowing toward more luminous light, more abundant life, and more joyful love.
Hope Through Grace
In the past, people who have experienced grace have led great advances in human culture. Experiencing grace, Moses led his people to freedom from bondage under Egyptian rule. Experiencing grace, Buddha led his followers to enlightenment. Experiencing grace, Jesus led his people to the experience of unconditional love. Experiencing grace, Martin Luther led the reformation and led people to directly experience the divine. Experiencing grace, Gandhi led his people to non-violent independence. Experiencing grace, Dr. Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights movement. Today, experiencing grace, millions of people are transforming society yet again, in millions of ways. Some, like Paul Hawken, lead people in the transformation of business, government, and other institutions into forces for social justice, environmental sustainability and spiritual growth.
Innovation Through Grace
In recent years, people may not call it grace, but rather appreciation for the universe. Some call it “Awe and Wonder” at how the universe emerges from a tiny speck to fill the cosmos.
Flourishing Through Grace
Today, the limits to growth and consumption are becoming more and more apparent. Everyone, whether conservative or liberal, agrees that there are not enough resources for everyone to live as the top five percent of the world’s consumers live. By seeking happiness where it can NEVER be found, in the pursuit of ever greater material wealth, people paradoxically create a greater sense of isolation and need for more happiness, creating a spiral of material wants and never ending desire for more stuff.
Instead of finding happiness in material wealth, we now have the opportunity to seek happiness where it can ALWAYS be found, in our spiritual freedom. True wealth is not in having more stuff, but rather in freedom to enjoy that which you already have.
And more important to each individual is the transformation of each soul.
Love is the alpha and omega. Grace is the experience of this love.
The web weaver for this site is Cathy, a scientist, teacher, wife, and mother. Trained as a scientist (Ph.D. in microbiology), I learned to be skeptical of everything, including grace. For years, grace was a manner of movement or courgage under pressure. a religious term that had no relevance to me other than as some arcane religious concept.
Now, I discover that grace fascinates me more than ever. I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for it. My life feels so much more joyous. Now, in the light of grace, even the rough patches don’t seem so rough.
Many years ago, while hiking in the mountains of southern Colorado, I experienced a profound and magical sense of oneness and bliss. For a long time, I thought that this event was nothing more than some weird, although pleasant, brain glitch. Years later, while nursing my baby, I felt an exquisite sense of gratitude, bliss and deep connection to my baby and to the entire cosmos. This profound sense of ecstasy happened again years later while I danced alone in a church sanctuary in preparation for a sacred dance class I was about to give.
The overwhelming intensity of ecstasy I felt during these experiences led me to question my sanity. To discover if these feelings of ecstasy were normal, I began to pay attention to the extraordinary experiences of other people.
I found I was not alone.
Now, after what I have learned, I look back at my experiences and know that they were not brain glitches, but rather, moments of grace where I experienced a deep connection to myself, to others and to the creative process of the cosmos.
Later, I realized that people of all faiths and philosophies have reported similar experiences. For example, Buddhists refer to it as Enlightenment, athletes as being in the “Zone,” artists as being in “Flow”, Hindus as feeling “Oneness” or Samadhi. Others call it attunement or integration. I realized that my experiences were what some people call the state of grace. I like this term because it is related to the term “gratitude,” which, to me, seems integral to this experience. I began to read about this phenomenon and to listen to other people’s stories of grace. Soon after the dancing experience, similar episodes of feeling deep connection and bliss became more frequent. Some have been as intense, although none as startling because I have now become familiar with the experience of profound bliss.
The feelings of grace include a sensation of unconditional love, as if the power that creates the universe loves me and everyone else. This used to be an odd sensation for me, given that my old understanding of science had made the concept of God and Divine Love seem improbable.
It has become more apparent to me that the feeling of grace is not a delusion, (i.e. a perception that is not based on reality.) To me, the only delusion is thinking that I am separate, unloved or that the power that creates the universe does not support me.
For me, doubt has been the doorway to discovery and my skepticism has led me to realize the power of grace. The more I learn about it, the more wonderfully grace transforms my life. Grace is a truth that goes beyond any single religion or philosophy. What I call grace (and what is known to others by various other names) is universal to all cultures and spiritual traditions, whether they practice religion or not. My goal is to continue exploring grace and to share what I learn with others.
As I create this site, I am sharply aware of the limitations of language. I know that some of the words I use will turn some people off. I know that if I try to be more precise in meaning, my language will become cumbersome. Alas. I also know that I cannot convey the experience of grace to anyone. It must be a personal experience. If you have not experienced grace, all my words about grace probably sound like the ramblings of a mad woman. If you’ve experienced it, YEAH!
While I was having these grace experiences, I was exploring another seemingly unrelated idea, that of evolution. At first, the science of evolution seemed to suggest that grace was a delusional state of mind since evolution “proved” that there is no God and that everything is the result of a random accident. However, the more I explored the science of evolution, the more apparent it became to me of what I now call the “Divine Direction” and “Survival of the Most Harmonious.” I don’t know if it’s “chance” or “purpose”, but growing mountains of evidence show that the universe, (at least in our galaxy) has a direction toward greater cooperation, greater consciousness and greater compassion. It’s also apparent that evolution is about survival of those entities that harmonize best with the laws of the universe. These revelations are awesome to me! I cannot convey the sense of serenity it gives me to know that the power that creates the universe conspires on our behalf. Whenever I feel glum, if I can manage to remember the Divine Direction, I immediately realize that “This too will pass.” More than this, I realize that “This particular obstacle may be an opportunity” and “if I align with the divine I’ll feel fine.”
I have heard many, many stories of people who “had it all” including wealth, friends and health, yet they still felt unhappy, unconnected and spiritually impoverished. Then, through an accident they “lost it all”: health, friends, and/or wealth. Those who sought answers, for the first time in their lives, found what truly made them happy. It was grace, the experience of divine love and harmony with the whole.
The more stories I hear about grace, the more enthusiastic I become to learn about this magical state of awareness. If you have a story you would like to share with me, I would love to hear from you. My email address is cat23 @ me . com. (no spaces)