Impeccability Invites GraceWhat a surprise to find that out, and actually experience for myself, that Impeccability invites Grace.  Doing some deep work with my Diamond Approach community recently, I first experienced massive resistance when I heard our clean, clear, definitely impeccable teacher, John Davis, urging us/me to invite more Impeccability into our lives.

I ranted and raged, cursed and swore, as I discovered a deep core part of me that was tired of efforting, working to improve myself, clean up my act.  Impeccability felt hard, harsh, demanding.  A lot like a basket of “shoulds” —  definitely not what I need at this point on my journey, especially since I feel like I am finally at a point where I am relaxing, letting myself be, slowing down, trusting that what’s needed will arise….  a very different flavor, a radical contrast to the drivenness I have experienced for much of my life.

Well, it turns out that my resistance was, as I expected, based on some assumptions, andImpeccability Invites Grace deep patterns of my inner critic.  The Impeccability here is not about a Super Ego attack, not about being told what to do, no finger wagging!, not about perfection.  Rather it is the kind that Don Miguel Ruiz describes in The Four Agreements, a wonderful wisdom book, reported to be in the Toltec tradition, and this book has actually been very helpful to me.  This kind of Impeccability invites Grace indeed!

The agreements are about being impeccable with our word, making no assumptions, not taking things personally, and doing our best…with kindness and compassion toward self and other.  This is a very different flavor.  No attacks, no harshness, blaming.  Just showing up and being present.  Doing what we can.

Not easy, for sure.  But perfection is not expected, or even possible, let alone required.  A turning toward crisp presence, allowing, observing, showing up… This really feels clean, good, even kind.  And the moments of sweetness, the insights along the way, the connections, the openness… these moments can’t be earned, planned, forced, but they do arise, as examples of Grace, as unbidden experiences of mysterious benevolence.

Impeccability Invites GraceWhat wonder, what gifts, these moments of Grace.  A sensitive heart helps me open to the wisp, or breath, or breeze of Grace as it enters my soul.  The smile on the street, feeling Spring, a soft touch, an insight that transforms, the compassion that needed to soothe… the list is endless.

We also talked about how Indulgence, doing what we know is not in our interest and going ahead, factors in (can block, distort, dampen).  It was the insight of the retreat when I realized that while slacking off, lazing around might be an indulgence for some people, for me, the drivenness, the sense I have to do it all, the busy-ness, multi-tasking… is what stands in the way of being present and in the moment, able to be open, available for whatever might arise.  To see how this form of impeccability invites grace for me was wholly unexpected, and a great gift!  Yes to relaxing and being!

And it was not a big surprise to see how Gratitude helps, wherever we are.

It was fascinating to explore the interplay, the contrast and dialect between Impeccability and Grace… feel and see it in my life.  How Impeccability invites Grace, and also how Grace encourages Impeccability.  The insights are many, the learning deep.  You might also be interested in the book, The Grace in Aging, a Buddhist take on how we can use the process of aging, Impeccability Invites Gracewith its losses and challenges, as an invitation to wake up.

I’d love to hear your experience, your questions.  How does impeccability feel to you?  What about Grace?  What are your indulgences, how do they show up?  And how does Gratitude play in to the balance?

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-) 
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