Very few people ever get the chance to totally step out of the life they were born into in order to gain a new perspective or approach to life. Most people live out the same lives as their parents and their grandparents. We are conditioned and programmed into accepting that rushing around in an un-integrated frenzy is normal. Most people habitually rush doing everyday things, and are forced to hurry in their jobs.
Most people live under some kind of pressure to perform or produce. It seems humanity has resigned itself to living a life of stress, incapable of drawing upon the wisdom of the ages. It appears blind to the cultures offering alternative perspectives and approaches. They are often condescendingly classified as primitive and deemed irrelevant to the modern world. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When I was living in the remote ashrams of India in 1991, I completely forgot about life in the West and quickly settled into the new daily routine. I had studied martial arts, yoga and tai chi and found the lifestyle perfect for integrating all the techniques and philosophies. I didn’t need to know what day of the week it was, or even the month of the year. Life was so relaxing and peaceful, and as I went deeper into myself, I connected with what I call, The Pace of Grace.
This is the element within the Universe that determines the speed or rate that something develops or unfolds in your reality. It is one of the Universal forces beyond everyone’s control. I have a saying, “It all unfolds in Divine Time and at the Pace of Grace.” You may work hard for something and have to wait many years for it to unfold in your life, then it may finally happen overnight. Conversely, you may have developed something over many years and lose it in an instant.
You have probably heard someone say, “I work well under pressure.” Many people pride themselves on having this ability, but it may only relate to a specific area of life. Their strength can be either inherent or acquired, but both require being graced with the internal and external resources to develop. Equally, we hear many sayings that reflect how a loss of integration effects our performance, like “The faster I go the more behind I get.”
People having the same experience may feel time passing in completely opposite ways. One person may feel time went exceedingly quickly while another may have felt it was excruciatingly slow. Essentially, we are not empowered unless we can unconditionally embrace the rate at which things come and go in our reality. This principle is central to the information and techniques I share.
It is essential to realise the basis of our stress is that we are trying to function at a level beyond our stage of neurological development and integration. We are forced to compensate and use momentum to maintain our performance - in the same way a hamster runs on a wheel. We tend to develop the habitual reactions, which gain momentum. Someone might say, “That sounds good, but I am a little busy right now, so I will consider it when I finish doing this.” We know that it never ends, so we never get to stop and think of alternative perspectives and approaches.
There are many techniques aimed at reducing the effects of stress in our modern lives. However, most don’t address the core problem - most people are habitually rushing and can’t stop. Therefore, everyone needs to be aware of The Pace of Grace. So exactly how do we do this?
This state can only be achieved through mindfulness of the breath. Our ability to remain consciously aware of the breath determines the level of our mental ability, to inwardly concentrate and outwardly focus our attention. We can only maintain our concentration and attention to the level of strength we have in the relative pathways. If we lack the strength, then we lose co-ordination and our level of performance deteriorates. This is very easy to observe in many physical activities, where the moment you start to fatigue, your ability to concentrate and co-ordinate is immediately effected.
The ability to remain mindful of the breath enables conscious and deliberate action. This means you will be able to maintain the flow in everything you do. Therefore, you will always perform at your best and continue improving your level of performance. Arts like tai chi and yoga focus on mastering the ability to remain internally still while externally being in motion. The intent is to maintain a pure expression of yourself even while living among the haste and chaos of the world.
Your ability to learn ANY activity depends on your ability to find your Pace of Grace. So it goes without saying that your ability to achieve your potential depends on your ability to remain at your Pace of Grace. Regardless of what activities you engage in - yoga, marital arts, athletics, gym, playing music, dancing, surfing, working in a factory, driving a car - your level of performance is directly determined by your awareness of breath.
Mastering The Pace of Grace means you can remain relaxed and alert, which ensures your reflexes and responses are the fastest and most accurate level possible. The best example of this is a martial arts master, who trains to remain aware of all slight sensations in the mind and body. They focus on remaining absolutely still, empty and silent internally, through awareness of the breath. They may explode with lightning speed in response to an external threat, then instantly return to being still, empty and silent.
You need to be mindful of the changes taking place within the body in order to remain at The Pace of Grace. When you are aware of your level of strength, you are able to ensure you perform to your capacity. You can gauge when you are nearing your peak, as well as adapt to internal and external changes. In this state, you automatically know when to rest or recover, and not let your impulses override your body’s needs. You can avoid over extending yourself and prevent the risk of accidents and injuries.
The instant you go too fast, or lose breath awareness, you become stressed. The yogis that taught me how to breath said, “There is no such thing as stress, just an inappropriate breathing pattern given the situation.” So we must know how to adjust your breathing in order to stay mindful. I cover this in detail in my eBook THE NATURE OF LIFE: How to remain at Peace while living in the modern world.
It is also important to note that The Pace of Grace relates not only to individuals, but collectives as well. You may notice the different rates of traffic flow on the roads and footpaths, depending on the time of day, day of the week or season. There are also many instances where a team has to perform at the same speed and intensity in order to succeed. But groups are made up of individuals, so it is important to remember that we can really only work effectively together at the pace of the slowest or weakest person.
Regardless of who you are and where you live, it is possible to quickly and easily develop an awareness of The Pace of Grace. By learning the correct breathing techniques and adopting a conscious awareness of all the Universal forces at work in your reality, you can remain relaxed and calm under all circumstances - and not just when you are chilling out with friends. This makes it possible for you to reach your potential and fulfil your purpose. You can then consciously share your experience with others and empower them to do the same.
Brian Gerard Schaefer :)
If you want to know more about how to live consciously, read my eBook THE NATURE OF LIFE: How to remain at Peace while living in the modern world. Click on the link below to purchase your copy now.
Brian Gerard Schaefer is an author and a self-educated wholistic natural therapist, specialising in kinesiology, myopractic, spiritual counselling, diet and nutrition. He presents seminars and workshops on healing, kinesiology, meditation and personal development.