Since I began writing about Inner Beauty on Saturdays, I’ve been mulling over what inner beauty looks like on the outside. But I’ve also been thinking about the heart qualities that translate into gracious behavior that then manifest into physical beauty. I guess I really want to get to the root of what makes a woman beautiful from the inside out.
I’ve become a student of other women. And one common denominator that I notice in so many truly beautiful women is that they move gracefully. Today let’s talk about how to move gracefully, what that looks like and why that one lovely attribute really begins on the inside.
What does moving gracefully look like?
While there’s much more to moving gracefully than just moving slowly, I’ve noticed that graceful women do not rush. And I think that’s a good place for us to start. At least, it’s a good place for me to start.
I tend to do everything fast. I walk fast, eat fast, talk fast. No wonder I also have bruises on my legs from bumping into my bed’s footboard at least once a week.
But a woman appears more graceful and beautiful when she moves a little more slowly. Have you noticed that? I’m not talking about dawdling or being pokey. And I’m not talking about being hesitant, unsure of yourself or invisible. There’s nothing beautiful about a lack of confidence that translates into hesitance.
I first noticed slow, graceful movements observing our country’s First Ladies. In fact, most of the First Ladies I can recall have carried themselves gracefully, walking slowly with good posture, eye contact and lovely carriage. But Melania Trump, a former model, epitomizes gracefulness to me. I don’t know much about what she’s like personally, but she carries herself and moves through situations with such poise.
And that slow, graceful movement speaks to me.
How I’m Trying to Move More Gracefully
I’ve decided to develop more graceful behaviors. So I’m working diligently on simply slowing down. I think the other elements of graceful movement will follow naturally if I slow the pace a little.
If you want to join me, here’s what I’m trying to do consistently, intentionally:
- walk slower – Whether I’m going from one room in my house to another or through the mall or across the parking lot, I’m slowing my pace considerably.
- eat slower – Even if I’m eating by myself, I’m teaching myself to put my fork down, chew more, pause frequently and take my time.
- talk slower – Even when I’m talking to my husband over coffee, I’m trying to slow down. I’m trying to listen more, think before I speak and string my words together more thoughtfully.
- do things slower – I’m trying to “take care” when I wash the dishes, fold clothes, get dressed or take out my dog.
- linger with people – When I get in hurry mode, I cut conversations short and rush by people. I’m trying to slow down, look people in the eyes and really listen attentively.
But moving gracefully really starts from within
I’ve made some headway this week with my attempt to slow down. (If you see me speedily crossing the parking lot, please don’t rain on my sense of accomplishment and call me out on it! Ha! I’m making imperfect but steady progress.)
But as I’ve tried to put these physical constraints into place, I’ve realized that slowing down physically really begins with a mental shift.
Think of it this way. When you see a lady moving gracefully, slowly across the room, why do her movements appeal to you? I think her slow, poised saunter piques our curiosity because it seemingly indicates something about her attitude.
Slow, graceful behaviors are physical manifestations of a mind and heart that are at rest. When a woman appears to be in no rush, we perceive that she is prepared, on time, confident, settled, happy, peaceful.
But when a woman scurries and rushes she appears to be restless, behind, unprepared, nervous and/or fearful. Her hasty actions indicate she’s got much to do or far to go before she can be at ease. She appears fretful, not gracious.
Yes, we can teach ourselves to move, eat, talk and walk more slowly. But there’s no substitute for first settling our hearts and minds. That, among other things, is why it’s important to me to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer each morning. That time of meditation and prayer floods my mind with truth and settles my heart.
In Psalm 27, David calms his anxious, fretful heart by reminding himself that God is his “light and salvation.” Even when being pursued by a hungry enemy, David determines to slow his pace and linger in the presence of the Lord.
“Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident. One thing I have asked from the Lord, that shall I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple.” ~ Psalm 27:3-4 (Psalm 27)
David said he would dwell in God’s presence, behold His beauty and meditate. All three of those actions require time, slow diligence, focus.
After lingering in God’s presence, I can walk away from my quiet time with confidence that
- God is walking with me through the day. I need not hurry.
- God is providing for my every need. I need not scurry.
- God is at work all around me. I need not rush.
- God cares for me. I need not restlessly fidget.
- God has something to say to me. I need not speak so fast!
- God listens to me. I can take time with other people.
What are your thoughts?
When you see a woman who appears to be especially graceful, what is it about her that draws you in?
Look, I realize there are women who strike us as graceful who still move at a lightning pace. We’re all unique and certainly do not have to slow our pace to match each others. But would you agree with me about the general premise? That a slower pace communicates an enviable peace and inner confidence?
I’d love to hear from you today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
23 thoughts on “How to Move Gracefully & Why It Starts Within”
I love this and do admire graceful women. I will be trying to practice this along with you. I see Melania and immediately think “graceful ” too. I notice how she notices things around her, especially people, she takes the time to look them in the eye and speak. To me, that is a big aspect of grace. God made us feminine for a reason, and I picture some ladies of the Bible as having a graceful manner also. Taking our time to slow down a little, enjoy what He’s given us, and give time to others really appeals to me. If we notice even small things, like a clean sink, we will slow down naturally and regard our surroundings. I think as you point out, it’s a learned behavior, but I’m with you on this, starting today!
Hi Karen. Well I’m glad to hear I’m not out in left field with this! I love what you’ve said here. Yes, it’s really about slowing down so we can engage more with people. Thanks for sharing!
Kay — this is another wonderful piece that really spoke to me. “Scurry” is a word that I want no one to associate with me. My journal is filling up with “Kay-isms” and all of your words of wisdom on fashion and faith. You do a marvelous job here; my very favorite blog! Have a great Saturday!
Love this! As I am pondering over what you wrote, I started thinking about how I drive. Does the speed I’m driving say that I am graceful? What about my driving skills! Since moving to the country three years ago this Fall, I have slowed down a lot, and I’ve loosened up a lot, in the sense that I am more relaxed. Around here, if a neighbor drives by, sees our door open (which means we are home and moving about) they pull in our driveway to visit. Yesterday one of the widowers came to chat. Three hours later he left. When we lived in metro Atlanta, I freaked out if someone stopped by unannounced. And if they stayed more than 30 minutes, I became very fidgety. Not letting surprise visits get under my skin now, is one way I have become more graceful. I do need to slow down when I walk in a store or thru a parking lot. And I know there are many other ways I can improve my gracefulness. I am a work in progress! Enjoy the Reds game! GO DAWGS and GO JACKETS!
What a great post and wonderful reminder to slow down! For me personally starting yoga classes a few years ago has helped me a lot with posture and gracefulness, I definitely still have my moments of where I need to remind myself to slow down and not rush.
Ahh, yes. I can see how yoga would help with this, too. Thanks for the input. And thanks for reading and sharing!
I agree with this. I try to think of how I feel and move after a yoga session. I would like to feel and move that way all the time. I once wrote to myself to attempt to live a yoga life – yoga eating, yoga talking, yoga walking- but I am still a work in progress. ?
Gracefully written Kay!!! I too need to slow down a little. Great suggestions and I really like your Saturday posts. I truly think Grace comes with age and experience. Enjoy your weekend. We have had some early Autumn weather here in NC that I have thoroughly enjoyed. However, it is going to get hot again soon. ~Lisa~
This is so very good Kay! I feel like sometimes we think rushing is a good thing because we are accomplishing so much but really probably not so true! Slow down and be intentional. It is a great reminder! Thanks Kay ?
I love this, Kay! It’s such a good reminder to me, both in terms of the physical impression made by a woman who moves too quickly (which I’m frequently guilty of), as well as the heart state it can reveal. I also think that having a graceful demeanor blesses others, as it brings a sense of calmness to even challenging situations.
Yes! I completely agree Lauren. When we appear calm and at peace, it lowers the temperature in the room, so to speak. That’s especially important with our children and grandchildren and other children we may have time with. Thanks for that added perspective.
I had not thought of it in terms of graceful. I have recently tried to slow down and enjoy myself whether its errands or chores. I’m no longer having to rush so I should relax and take my time. I do everything with a purpose and usually swiftly. Yoga and meditation have taught me to breathe. This is great food for thought.
Beautiful reminders of how to live more graciously. You have such a way with words. I’ve been working on slowing down! It’s hard for me and my husband does everything quickly, so slowing down with him around is difficult! Live the tips you’ve provided! I’ll be working on this!!! Have a blessed day!
Thank you Kay. Love this. I never really thought about being consciously graceful and how attractive this is. I will be practicing this week too. Another thing that helps when I do it is to breath more deeply from my diaphragm.. It relives anxiousness and helps me slow down to be more present and graceful each moment!
Hi Robin! Yes, that’s a great tip. I find myself taking deeper breaths as I attempt to slow down. So maybe deep breathing is actually even a good place to start. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you Kay!
I love this post! It really resonates and speaks to me.
I feel like I am in a hurry all the time, often overwhelmed with too much to do in too little time. It doesn’t feel like me to live that way. I like how your words make it ok to slow down and be who I really am in everyday life. More is not better. I’m naturally more of a Mary than a Martha and yet I deny that part of myself to try to keep up in a too busy and ever changing world.
I am certainly one who is guilty of this—hurried moments. Thank you Kay for this gentle reminder of what others might see when we rush moments that could have great opportunity had we slowed down.
Wow! I love this! I’m terrible about always being in a hurry. This is a great reminder. We also notice more things to appreciate and be grateful for when we move
Lee slowly. Mrs. Trump is a great example of grace…she
Is not only beautiful but she carries herself beautifully. Thanks for this remkmder!
Autocorrect fail…”move more slowly”! Argh!
I have a picture memory of women, in my family, of potioning themselves to shell peas, on our big ole front porch. It was fluid and graceful. they all did it the same way… they were settling in for a long peaceful sit. It had a slow country grace to it. And I agree with you on Melania.
I love this. It is just about the best presentation on the subject ever. Thank you so much.
I absolutely agree! I like being around someone who is calm, it shows confidence and maturity within. Maybe I can be that also. Thanks
Thank you so much for this post! I really needed this reminder to slow down. This time of year gets so busy with back to school and after school activities and I start rushing through everything. I never stopped to think how it appears to others watching me. I want to represent my Heavenly Father in a positive light! Thank you for all you do! You are such a blessing!