How do you know when you’re in a ‘gracious career’? How does it feel? Is it the feeling you get when you’ve experienced totally strings-free love? Or: Is it like receiving a gift for no other reason than you happen to exist?
It is our right as humans to live grace-filled lives. The highest goal we can achieve is to live a gracious, or grace-filled life, engage in gracious relationships, work in a gracious career.
By gracious or grace filled, I mean we experience unconditional love and appreciation for who we are as unique individuals. In turn we are more able to give back that love and appreciation we’ve received.
This is vital in careers, companies, organizations, and business of every sort, even though it may not always be evident. It’s a perspective worth fostering, a goal worth achieving. It is the driving force of productivity and of adding value to stake holders, employees, and management.
Grace is what’s left after all form, all words, all materiality is taken away. It is not a package to be unwrapped, like the holiday bonus. Rather it is our ability to look beyond the material and realize the gift of love and appreciation when we receive it gratuitously.
But what does grace feel like so that it can be identified? I can only offer my own experiences:
I recall times when I had shivers up my spine when I accomplished a complicated task. This often happened when I was a parish priest and offered a total-body experience through ritual that moved people’s hearts and minds. I sensed extending myself beyond the confines of my body. It felt like heat rising through my head. I received a sense of peace and unity with something beyond me.
I felt grace during various kinds of meditation. Sometimes it was as I worked in the garden, weeding, feeding, rearranging plant material. It’s always in my spouse’s embrace.
I felt it when the boundary between my conscious and subconscious seemed to disappear in intense intuitive and empathic focus on a life coaching client.
Most often I experience grace as awe and wonder, looking at the beauty, complexity, and order of nature. This is when grace feels most like pure gift as I recognize the intelligence of creation. It allows me to transcend time and place and to enter into the vastness of the eternal Now.
So how does grace show up for you? Might grace be:
- the human intelligence residing in well-written software?
- the generosity in helping a new colleague learn the ropes?
- the gratitude when you’ve been helped by a busy team member?
- the power of a promotion to transform your life?
- the release of resentment, shame, guilt, and fear in forgiveness?
- the joy of unbounded freedom and justice?
- the gift of the peace and contentment of knowing your family is okay.
- the sense of oneness with nature during that walk or bike ride?
- the ‘aha’ moment when learning something new?
- The gift of being served, of having your real needs met by your beloved?
- the experience of life and love when your kids are excited to see you?
All grace ultimately wants to be transformed into love and service, at work and at home. How do your gracious experiences translate into action that shift your intentions and goals and make are real difference?
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