I have a friend whose legs, when he crosses them, drape just so. The fall of his hand is effortless. He holds no unnecessary tension in his body. Yes, there is appropriate contraction and power expended when he is doing something, but he uses the least amount of effort required to act. In repose, he is pure elegance.
This aesthetic of simplicity and grace is different than efficiency. Efficiency has a goal, a mechanistic objective: maximum productivity with minimum waste. Grace has the quality of being plain and natural, goal-less, without guile, at ease.
In art, grace manifests as a single gestural line communicating the very essence of a thing: I recognize this squiggle to be “mountain range” or “woman's face.” In life design, grace lies in the letting go of the things that waste our time or drain our energy. In relationships or in yoga, grace is the easeful transition, or the smoothing out when shifting from one position to another.
Grace in daily life can be making a single trip instead of many; the ability to travel for weeks with a small suitcase; remembering to send a thank you note; holding people softly in your heart and giving them safe passage through your mind. Or, it may simply be NOT gripping, or adding unneeded anxieties to things that are, in truth, simple to do.
Often, we just need to be reminded that we can do the day with simplicity and grace and laughter and connection, no matter how much work is in front of us.