By Teresa Dornellas

I have always loved the word grace. In Yoga, I was taught to “gracefully come out of the pose”, especially when doing a balance pose and holding it for a while.

One of my beloved teachers used to say that how you come out of a pose is as important as how you get into it.

That’s a good reflection on life: sometimes we get into situations or relationships with so much joy and enthusiasm, only to leave them stomping our feet in disappointment and cursing our decision to have started it in the first place.

What about the lessons learned along the way? Are they to be dismissed?

I can’t say I navigate life as gracefully as I’d like. Some challenges I can face like a pro. Others, not so much. I may kick and scream my way through them.

Sometimes I start well. Then, somewhere along the way, I lose my cool. But there’s always hope to find it again… if I use grace.

The last few weeks have been incredibly challenging for us all. For me, the hardest part is the uncertainty. How long will it last? Will we ever go back to normal? What will normal look like?

I am usually good at keeping busy and looking ahead in a positive way and I do what I can to avoid overwhelm – practicing Yoga regularly and meditating daily has helped a lot. But from time to time, fear bears its head, and it’s hard to ignore. And maybe we shouldn’t ignore it. Denial has never been a good answer to any challenge.

What will our lives and personal relationships become? What about our livelihoods, our jobs, our businesses? What shape will everything take and can we survive all the changes?

All these questions have been surfacing a lot lately, brought on by the possibility of the reopening of businesses within the next couple of…? weeks? months?

I haven’t been facing my fears with a whole lot of grace, I must confess. I find myself impatient and restless, even angry.

Back to the word grace… I love the name Grace too. And that’s what I named my youngest cat, but she was so tiny when I adopted her, that I started calling her Gracie and it stuck. But Grace is her name.

Gracie is praying that we stay on our path with grace

Just before I started to write this, she was on my lap, and I was telling her how much I love her. Her fur is the softest thing I’ve ever touched, and petting her really calms me when my nerves are frazzled (like now).

If you’ve ever taken a restorative yoga class, you know how much the teachers instruct us to really smooth out our blankets so there’s no bumps and to use materials that are soft and comfortable against our skin. Touching something soft and smooth helps to sooth our central nervous system.

So petting Gracie soothes me. And having her on my lap reminded me to navigate this current reality with a little more grace, and to do what I can to reset my system. This too shall pass. Let’s breathe through this… and keep showing up to our practice.

I will be taking a restorative yoga this evening, because my nervous system needs some support. When we are deeply supported by props, comfortable and warm, that feeling of safety seeps through our entire being like a salve. And we can all use some healing right now.

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