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making space for grace

by | Jan 21, 2024 | Uncategorized

Hold space and invite grace is the opening passage of Chip Conley’s A Year of Wisdom. He speaks of creating spaces of time and environment in your life for magic to happen.

For me, my best time to achieve glimmers of grace is in the early morning. This is why silence upon waking is so important for me. Quiet time to observe and reflect upon my slowly awakening thoughts, and the slowly awakening world around me. Some mornings grace comes to me from the printed page. Other times grace alights when I watch birds at the feeders outside my window (always the Canyon Towhees are the first to arrive, usually followed by a Dark-eyed Junco or two). And inevitably grace accompanies me on my early morning walks (literally my Dawn walks), when it always feels like a little moment of magic when I notice some small beauty in the world, like frost etched on the veins of a brown leaf… leaf shadows on sidewalks… tiny tracks in snow….

Frost patterns on a sidewalk in Santa Fe. Noticed and photographed by Dawn Chandler.
Raven tracks  in the snow in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo by Dawn Chandler

I have the luxury of a great deal of solitude; in many ways I’ve designed my life around my need for solitude. So it’s easy for me to find long passages of silence each day for welcoming in grace. Others have far more frenetic lives, and are unable to soak in even a few minutes of silence each morning, let alone an hour or two.

Noticing circles in Dawn Chandler's Santa Fe studio. Photo by Dawn Chandler.

But you can find a single breath, can’t you? Just one simple inhale and exhale?

Do that — then open your eyes and look around. Settle your eyes on something — something you’ve never considered before. Or maybe something you’ve looked at often but have never really seen. What do you notice about it?

In this moment just as I wrote this, I took three deep breaths and then looked over to where my studio sink and washing machine are, the most humble and cluttered corner of my home…. and I noticed several circles: The end of a roll of paper towels… rolls of paper… a couple of wool clothes dryer balls… a can turned on its side ⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️

A few moments later I found myself looking around noticing other circles in the room….

I am sitting among a chorus of circles!

And as I stepped into my kitchen and other rooms, I noticed yet more. What delight!

Noticing the colorful circles of a gift of bath-bombs in Dawn Chandler's Santa Fe home. Photo by Dawn Chandler.

These are hardly life-changing observations. Yet they pull me for a few moments into the now, into delight. I am dwelling neither in the past nor the future, but rather in this moment.

Anytime that happens I’ve made space for grace. Do that enough times, and maybe it is life-changing.

Join me here and notice the circles. Only please be silent when you do.

⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️ ⭕️

Noticing the circle of a round patio table with snow and bird tracks at Dawn Chandler's Santa Fe home. Photo by Dawn Chandler.

Artist Dawn Chandler pausing during a sunrise hike at the Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Thanks for finding your way here and for reading my musings. If you think others might appreciate them, feel free to share this post. And if you’d like to read more of my musings please consider subscribing to this, my blog.

Meanwhile, find more of my stories, insights and art here on my website Shop my art via my Etsy shop. And please consider joining me for Tuesday Dawnings, my weekly deep breath of uplift, insight, contemplation & creativity. Find other ways to keep tabs on me via my connect page.

Stay safe. Be kind.

~ Dawn Chandler

Santa Fe , New Mexico
Free from social media since 2020