ELEGANCE is usually confused with superficiality, fashion, lack of depth. This is a serious mistake : Human beings need to have elegance in their actions and in their posture, because this word is synonymous with good taste, amiability, equilibrium and harmony.
One needs serenity and elegance to take the most important steps in life. Of course, let us not go crazy worrying all the time about how we move our hands, sit down, smile and look around us. But it is good to know that our body speaks a language, and other people — even unconsciously — understand what we are saying beyond the words. Serenity comes from the heart.
Though often tortured by feelings of insecurity, we know that through correct posture we can become balanced again. Physical elegance comes from the body. This is no superficial matter, but rather the way that man found to honour the way he places his two feet on the ground. That is why, when sometimes you feel that the posture is bothering you, don’t think that it is false or artificial, it is true because it is difficult. It makes the path feel honoured by the dignity of the pilgrim. Don’t confuse it with arrogance or snobbery. Elegance is the most appropriate posture to make the gesture perfect, to make the step firm, to make your neighbour respected.
Elegance is achieved when all the superfluous is discarded and the human being discovers simplicity and concentration : the simpler and more sober the posture, the more beautiful it will be. The snow is beautiful because it has only one colour, the sea is beautiful because it seems like a flat surface —- yet both the sea and the snow are deep and know their qualities.
Walk with firmness and happiness, without fear of stumbling. All the movements are being accompanied by your allies, who will help you with whatever is necessary. But don’t forget that the adversary is also watching and knows the difference between a hand that is firm and one that shakes, so if you are tense, breathe deep, believe that you are calm, and by one of those miracles that we cannot explain, tranquillity soon sets in.
The moment that you take a decision and put it into action, try to mentally review each stage that led you to prepare your step. But do this without any tension, because it is impossible to keep all the rules in your head, and with your spirit free, as you review each stage you will recall the most difficult moments and how you overcame them. This will be reflected in your body, so pay attention.
To make an analogy with archer, many archers complain that although they have practised the art of archery for years, they still feel their heart race with anxiety, their hand tremble, their aim fail. The art of archery makes our mistakes all the more evident.
The day that you have no love for life, your shooting will be confused and complicated. You will see that you do not have enough strength to stretch the string to the limit, that you cannot make the bow curve as it should. And when you see that your shooting is confused that morning, you will try to discover what has caused such imprecision. This will make you face a problem that is bothering you but that has been hidden up to then.
You discovered that problem because your body was aged and less elegant. Change your posture, relax your forehead, stretch your spine and face the world with full confidence. When you think about your body you are also thinking about your soul, and one thing will help the other.
————– Paulo Coelho.