When we allow ourselves to be open to the gift of divine grace, goodness comes into our lives. Actually, I would define grace as the goodness in life that flows to us unbidden. We don't need to ask for grace; nor can we reach out for it and draw it to us. When we receive the gift of grace, we owe nothing in return. Grace is everything in our lives that supports, sustains and nurtures us. To receive this gift, all we need do is align with the flow, and open up to it.
When we open to grace, we experience joy. And, since all of the five gifts come to us from the same divine source, we can experience the joy of divine grace in each gift. Within the gift of the physical body, joy is experienced as comfort and ease. This gift is essentially matter (ana in Sanskrit) arranged in complex structures. Consciousness is expressed as structure. Opening to grace in the gift of the physical body means aligning the structures with the way they are designed. When we are in alignment, the body functions at its peak. There is comfort and a sense of ease within the body. Misalignment is a block to experiencing joy in the physical body leading to discomfort, even pain.
Joy is experienced within the gift of life as flow, pleasure and happiness. The gift of life animates the body. This gift compels us to remain alive, to survive. Consciousness is expressed in this gift as motion and emotion. When we open to grace, our movements flow with grace, we feel the pleasure of being alive, and we experience positive, happy emotions. All of this is joy.
Many of us have difficulty finding joy in the gift of thought. With this gift, like the others, we experience joy by opening to grace and using the gift as it is designed. Joy in the gift of thought comes to us in two ways. The first is when we use thought effectively as a tool for awareness. The "4 Ds", as I describe them in The Five Gifts, are effective uses of thought: discern, describe, design, decide. The second way we experience joy in thought is by putting the tool down when we don't need it. Peace of mind and contentment are expressions of joy, and these joys only come when we clear the mind and quiet the gift of thought. When our thoughts separate us from grace, we experience stress. We experience stress when we judge and define things and other people (judgment and definition are ineffective uses of the gift of thought), or when we dwell in our minds on thoughts that don't serve us in the present moment. A noisy mind is stressful; a quiet, focussed mind is joyful.
The gift of awareness allows us to experience joy in all that we think, experience and do. Within this gift we experience the simple joy of being, in the moment, uncluttered by thought, emotion or doing. And through this gift, we are able to guide the gift of thought so our thinking brings us joy; we are axle to guide the gift of life so our experience brings us joy; and we are able to guide our use of the gift of the physical body so our doing brings us joy.
The gift of awareness is also the gateway to an even greater source of joy - divine grace. The gift of divine grace comes to us lovingly from the divine source. This is the source of joy. When we open to this gift, we are flooded with grace, flooded with joy. We know ourselves to be one with the divine and inseparable from each other. We delight in being here. And we use all of the gifts we've received with joy.
Here's wishing you an abundance of grace and joy.