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Hu Pryor

Graceful Living? See Sailing.
by Hubert Pryor

The art of living gracefully can be compared to catching the wind and sailing to your destination whichever way it blows.

If the wind's astern, you're shooting forward. If it's abeam, you set your sails to skim leaningly to your destination. Even if you're heading into the wind, you can tack this way and that and get where you're going.

Stormy weather? You trim your sails or just luff into the wind till it's over. No wind? Call it a rest stop.

Graceful living? It's all a matter of attitude. You believe, you just know, that there's a force for good at work, yours and everyone else's. And you know how to go with that flow, trimming your sails and steering as events demand. Your destination remains constant.

In the everyday journey of life, dictionaries tells us, graceful means displaying elegance and beauty—the word "elegance" meaning skillful ease. To put it another way, it means not showing awkwardness, shabbiness or ugliness. And in case we need to define living, we can say it's the state of animated being between our entrance into this world and our exit. But the key word in today's topic is "graceful."

In practical terms, perhaps we can agree that it means rising above earthly matters. And in a spiritual sense, that it depicts a Godly quality, or generosity of spirit.

Now to some people, graceful living comes naturally. They are a joy to their fellows--and to themselves. Some would say they have God's gift. But don't we all? Is it that we need more readily to claim it?

Perhaps some of us have been conditioned by difficult experiences. Our turn of mind may have led a few to complain too often, "They done me wrong." But there's hope for all who might tend to hamper their own happiness. Instead, whatever their complaint, they can turn their heads to life, not to grievance.

Which comes down to the ages-old advice to all of us to give thanks. However much blame we might feel entitled to cast--on people or circumstances--we are, at least alive. And even if deprived in some areas of our earthly ways, our inner being or soul can always assure us of our serenity. We may not give it its due, but it is there for all, given as life itself by whatever is the cause of all.

So graceful living comes as a gift, so natural we really don't have to think about it. All we need do is let it take us by the hand.

Who can forget Helen Keller, who was one of the most serene people in the world in recent times? Blind as well as deaf and dumb from birth, she exulted in life. It's even recorded that she was a great fan of popular music. Once, at a gathering in Palm Beach where a band was playing "Old Black Joe," she reached for her handkerchief, saying, "That tune always makes me cry." Then she went over to the bandstand, placing one hand on the piano, to "conduct" the band with the other. Even when the bandleader changed the tempo, playfully trying to fool her, she did too, staying right on beat. Through her sensitive touch, she demonstrated a sixth and subtle sense of grace that charged her life and that of those around her.

Another state of grace comes to mind, too, in one whose name it was--Grace Kelly, the modern image, one might say, of a Mona Lisa. It seems apt that from that presence she projected on the movie screen, she went on to be called Her Serene Highness.

We ourselves need not stretch to such fame, of course, to achieve graceful living. Heart-felt thanks for joys large or small puts us on the graceful living track. And that can lead us to wonderful horizons.

©Copyright 2003 Hubert Pryor. All Rights Reserved.

Hubert Pryor
Hubert Pryor
is a retired editor of national magazines--Modern Maturity and Science Digest among others--Hubert Pryor is the author of SOUL TALK: Positive Mind Treatments to Turn Your Life Around (available through DeVorss & Co., 553 Constitution Ave., Camarillo, CA 93012, 800-843-5743, www.devorss.com) and a forthcoming book, SERENITY 101: Spiritual Wisdom, Ancient and Modern, for Peace of Mind Today.



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