I had an experience recently where time seemed to stop and I was overwhelmed by a calm emotion that I could not at first name. Then someone gave me the word: GRACE. It was as if in that moment I was lifted up to a state of grace that I had never known before. There was indeed a calm to it. And a knowing. All is well. Life is extraordinary.

The idea of being graceful has certainly been appealing to me since I started this journey almost a year ago. That is how I want to feel in my body: graceful. Whatever size or shape my body is, I want to feel strong, confident, and yes … graceful.

But there are many meanings to this beautiful word.

Today I was reminded again of this word, grace. Not the kind of grace that has to do with smooth and pleasing movement, but the kind of grace that elevates one to a divine place. (I will note that I am not a religious person, but I do see myself as a spiritual person.) And I wondered, what is the word for grace in German (my second language)? The word is Grazie. And then I realized, this is the same word that in Italian means thank you! So I looked it up. And sure enough, the etymology of the word grace comes from “Latin gratia favor, charm, thanks” and from “gratus pleasing, grateful”. It is also “akin to Sanskrit gṛṇāti he praises” (

This connection was a revelation for me. One of the things I have been trying to focus on lately is being grateful. It is an essential tool for me in moving forward. If I cannot appreciate all the work that I have done, if I cannot appreciate my body and all the extraordinary things it is capable of, if I cannot appreciate the wonderful life I have created for myself, I will never be able to move forward or even to hold on to all that I have accomplished.

And so I go forth, trying to hold on to this exquisite state of grace … and gratitude.