How to Be Graceful
My grandmother was the classiest lady I knew. I learned a lot of my “how to be chic” lessons from watching my grandmother as a little girl. When she passed away last week those who spoke of her kept referencing her poise, style and her grace. It became evident that she wasn’t only my How To Be Chic and Graceful role model, but she was that for everyone who knew her. Here are 5 Lessons from my grandmother on how to be graceful:
Stand Tall (even if you are sitting down)-Your body language should say here I am. So many times as women we want to make ourselves small. We try not to take up too much space, or draw too much attention to our presence. We think being noticed means being judged. My grandmother was a tiny woman standing barely 5′ tall but I never realized that growing up. She always had a commanding presence because she was self-assured and actually filled the space she was in. You knew you were in the presensence of greatness because her body language told you so. Make sure that you stand or sit with purpose. People will believe what you tell them. If you are fidgety or withdrawn your body language says I don’t belong. And guess what? You won’t. Practice good posture, positive self-talk and mindfulness. Remember that you do belong.
Speak softly but suredly-there isn’t anything graceful about letting whatever pops into your head pop right out of your mouth, or about being rash, rude or profane, no matter how many Real Housewives of Wherever say so. However, there isn’t anything wrong with speaking your mind either. My grandmother definitely spoke her truth but she did so without yelling, cursing or hurling insults (or wine glasses and restaraunt tables). She spoke softly but with assurance. She chose her words carefully and she made her remarks thoughtfully. I believe that people don’t really hear you if your aren’t speaking calmly. What they focus on is your behavior, not your words. So if you want to be heard and respected you have to speak respectfully. Now I completely understand that this isn’t always possible. We all have areas where passion overtakes our purpose but try to proactively focus on your intention. What are you trying to convey? There is a huge difference between the two big A’s that rule communication- Are you being assertive or aggressive? If you are feeling yourself getting worked up do a quick check in and see which A you are practicing. Remember that there is a difference.
Remain Humble- there is nothing wrong with sharing good news. In the real world as well as the social media world there’s a delicate balance in announcing your accomplishments and bragging. I struggle with this too because I always want to come from a humble and grateful place but as an influencer and blogger its also important for me to share parts of my life with all of you. I try to focus on my intentions when sharing good news. My rule of thumb is to ask myself if my share is coming from a place of gratitude. If it is then I share away. If not I keep it to myself. Being humble doesn’t mean that you never share good news, it just means that you remember to ask yourself the why.
Dress well-I heard someone say once that Tom Ford believed that dressing well was a form of good manners. Exactly! This is what I have been trying to say for years. Now, I have no idea if he really said that, but I sincerely believe that statement to be true. Dressing well tells whomever you happen to be with that you cared enough to show up as the best version of yourself. This by the way , has nothing to do with brands or the cost of what you wear. A wrinkled shirt is still a wrinkled shirt no matter how much you paid for it. That might be fine if what you’re conveying is grunge(think the the Olson Twins).. but not grace (think Kate Middleton) Remember to dress neatly and appropriately for your environment.
Compliment others-my grandmother was a very beautiful woman. But what I loved about her was that she never waited for someone to tell her how pretty she looked (although they always did), she was always quick to offer someone else a kind and sincere word. Remember that there is beauty everywhere and there really is no excuse for not recognizing it in others. Giving sincere compliments to others not only fills them up but it fills you up as well. Remember that complimenting others makes you more aware of the beauty and goodness in the world.
So those are my (well really my grandmother’s) lessons on how to be graceful. My last piece of advice is that if all else fails just remember to act like a duck. You know… calm and collected on the surface while paddling madly below.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how you practice being graceful.
Until Next Post,