BodyLogos Blog

Accepting Help with Grace

We live in a culture that shuns vulnerability. We cheer for the scrappy underdog who finds a way to pull herself up by her bootstraps. We value mind over matter and adulate those who can push their bodies through anything to reach their goals.

Don’t get me wrong—self-care and self-sufficiency are vital and admirable traits! But this notion that we must do it all by ourselves in order to be strong weakens us all. In fact, the idea that we are somehow capable of thriving in isolation runs counter to all of the principles that govern the universe. There is a yin and yang, a push and a pull, to every force in the universe. And if we don’t know how to receive, we waste vital energy on resistance instead of being in flow.

Your very bones are designed to work most optimally when they work with gravity, instead of resisting it. Your posture is a reflection of that relationship. When we marvel at the grace of a dancer or martial artist, we’re really marvelling at their relationship with gravity. They’re not fighting its pull. They’re not thrown off balance by its constant tug. Their grace doesn’t come fromoverpowering—it comes from accepting gravity and other universal forces’ help.

They have acknowledged gravity’s pull and are using it to power their motions. They have transformed a feeling of weight into a sense of groundedness in their bodies and a connection to the earth. They have learned to step into sync with the universe by aligning their bodies with the gravity and the unexpected tug of the world around them. They trust gravity to keep them rooted, their bones to hold them up, and the stretch of their posture toward the sky to keep them moving forward.

       Are you asking your muscles to do your bones work in holding you up?
      Are you resisting and fighting gravity, rather than working with it?
      Are you literally trying to carry the world on your shoulders?
      Are you tensing out of fear of collapse?

When we align ourselves with gravity, we learn to accept its support instead of seeing it as a burden. When we stop fighting the natural ebbs and flows of the world—and start learning to move with them—we stop experiencing life as tumultuous and step into an ease of being. And that state of grace observed in our postural relationship with gravity teaches us to work with life, instead of resisting its ups and downs.

If you think about it, grace in the face of tragedy does not come from trying to overpower the reality of the situation through sheer power of positivity—in fact, if you’ve ever seen that reaction, it’s probably made you cringe with fear that a hard fall is headed that person’s way. When we say someone has responded with grace, intuitively what we mean is, “That person has found a way to work with the fall, and as a result, will probably experience less damage.” We worry less about them, and we usually admire them all the more for it. This way of meeting challenge is what we are practicing when we meet gravity. Good posture carries an internal and external grace.
What we practice in our bodies becomes our practice in every aspect of our lives.

There is no escaping life’s pull. We can either exhaust ourselves over a lifetime by trying to change the very nature of the universe—or we can befriend it and ask it for help.

Where in your life could you use a little more grace?
How is your body asking you for help?
What would it feel like to experience true ease?

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Redefining Strength

I want to change our perception of strength. Strength is the ability to meet resistance and influence an outcome without compromising ourselves. And we already have it.

Strength is not an attribute; it’s a state of being. Gladiators, bodybuilders, and football players demonstrate strength through brute force, sheer willpower, muscle mass, and relentless pursuit. But we’re also quick to identify dancers and martial artists as strong. Their medium taps into a sense of vulnerability, balance, alignment, controlled power, and grace—but no one can deny their strength. Strength may look different on each of us, but it is an inherent part of who we are.

You are not weak by nature; you are stronger than you think. Your strength is not something you need to kill yourself to gain—it is already within you, waiting to be excavated. The key is to stop chasing something you already have and tap into it, so you can manifest that strength in your everyday life.

Because we don’t think we’re strong, we approach resistance with the idea that we’re not enough. We throw everything we have at it and push past our physical, mental, and emotional limitations. We see strength as domination, but it’s not.

When you learn to listen to your body’s divine wisdom, you cultivate a sense of where your body is developing tension instead of standing in its strength. You end the vicious cycle of unrealistic expectations, injury, and self-criticism and learn how to consciously embrace responsible growth. You stop compartmentalizing your strength into emotional, physical, and mental pieces and operate from the strength of your being at all times.

You learn how to align yourself with gravity—instead of working against it—so you can channel your strength to meet life’s resistance. As you meet resistance with equal parts power and alignment, you transform tension into strength

As in the sword dance above, the power lies in bringing just the right amount of force—not too little and not too much. By meeting the sword’s weight, I meet gravity. I am tapped into a larger source of energy, free of tension, and discover a strength that is wholly and uniquely mine.

About Tammy Wise

Tammy Wise is a widely respected mind-body fitness expert based out of New York City, owner of BodyLogos, Inc. author of The Art of Strength: Sculpt the Body ~ Train the Mind. A former Broadway dancer turned Tao minister, Tammy was voted the Best of Fitness by Time Out New York and has appeared in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine, New York Magazine, Natural Health, Shape, and Thrive Global. She’s a Transformational Authors Contest Winner and regular contributor to Honeysuckle magazine and Medium. Visit her at bodylogos.com.