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How to Live a Graceful, Happy Life

Can we be the artists of our own lives? I think so.

Last week, we asked readers to share advice from mom on how to get things done right. Reader Christina commented, "If I want to get ANYTHING worthwhile done, I have to ask for the grace to do it."

A quick Google search defines grace as "simple elegance or refinement of movement," or to "do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence." While grace seems to come naturally to some women (think Grace Kelly), the truth is, we choose grace in the same way we choose our schedules, our dinners, our conversations with colleagues and friends.

Gracefulness emerges in the raw moments of our daily lives. It's as simple as refraining from snapping at a rude stranger; or as complex as opening oneself up to hope that, if we persevere with good intent, we will be able to endure great hardship, like transitioning between jobs, surviving a bad breakup or caring for an ill family member.  It's not easy to live gracefully; we often fail when we're feeling impatient or overwhelmed.

I'm convinced that some of us are walking around with presuppositions about how to live a 'happy life' that are just plain wrong. Think about it. You're a smart, educated and well-intentioned woman. You work hard and try to keep an open mind throughout your life. But have you ever noticed that how you choose to spend your free time sometimes ends up chipping away at your happiness?

Can we be the artists of our own lives? If the answer is yes, then how we live our lives defines who we are. Even if we're tied to our desks or an unfortunate situation, all our time is free for us to do with it how we wish; hopefully, for the betterment of the world.

How do you move through your life with grace as "simple elegance or refinement" even when it's tough to do?

(image via Today is a good day)