GRACE, MEET GRATITUDE

GRACE, MEET GRATITUDE

During the holidays, emotions can run high. Having a greater sense of grace might just be the answer for year ‘round peace of mind, according to our own Resonance Repatterning expert based in Austin, Mary Schneider, who shares her insightful perspective.

ETERNALLY GRATEFUL

In the east, it is said that gratitude opens the gates to divine grace. When we feel gratitude, no matter our life circumstances, our pain and stress can be diminished. Among other similar characteristics, grace, and gratitude have one very important trait in common…both are qualities of the heart.

 

What is grace? It is a virtue we bestow upon another. Grace is a gift available to us whenever we choose. Either way, the feelings involved are often difficult to articulate. Although it might not actually be the case, both gratitude and grace seem to be in abundance during this time of year…at least on the surface. Of course, we all recognize the holiday season can be difficult for some individuals. Grief and loss can be amplified when a holiday connection or lack thereof is central. If we haven’t experienced this phenomenon, we all know someone who has, right? And in concert with the retail trade, therapists are busy this time of year: I haven’t seen my sister in a year. You might think, I must get into his life again because of the holidays.

 

What is tricky here is to be able to find gratitude in what looks to be worry or pain. Grace allows this through acceptance, a highly spiritual concept that cannot be underestimated. Taught in numerous recovery programs, what it underscores in addiction is the inability to accept whatever circumstances we’ve been given. To be sure, the first requirement of healing addiction is to accept we are an addict. Grace is also the gift we receive in true acceptance. To contact gratitude inside of this acceptance accelerates the healing process.

 

GRACE’S LAND

Whenever we encounter grace, there is a deep connection to and within ourselves, whether we are aware of it or not. Like the consciousness underlying everything, grace is always available for us to access from within. Grace can appear in a challenging situation, and it can alter the outcome in powerful, sometimes dramatic ways. What appears to be unresolvable is no longer. Sometimes it may take us by surprise when we recognize a shift weeks after it occurred.

 

Over the centuries, much has been written about grace in all faiths and spiritual paths. In the Christian tradition, grace is benignly and generously given by God meritoriously: it is earned. In other writings, it is seen as a state, as in, “She has been observed to be living in a state of grace.” There has historically been a disagreement between the concepts of grace and free will. This was resolved for me when I heard a speaker report, “The aborigines believe we were given free will in order to choose not to use it.” Grace enables forgiveness. When we forgive completely, the love unearthed beneath our lack of forgiveness is revealed. I recently came across this elegant quote in the newsletter of Brian Seth Hurst’s The Opportunity Management Company, “Love reveals anything unlike itself.” Therefore, we can free up space for the forgiveness of ourselves, and grace is the wind beneath our wings. Awareness of this engenders gratitude, and gratitude begets appreciation.

 

When we have appreciation, a cascade of neurotransmitters is activated that creates feelings of warmth, love, pleasure, and joy in the appreciative person, and the one being appreciated. This cascade can benefit the immune system and every organ of the body. With this heightened neurotransmission, our pain and depression are diminished. It is impossible to be depressed and grateful at the same time. Gratitude enhances our well-being–mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

 

HOLIDAYS ON NICE

A great deal of what we experience around the holidays is rooted in the spirit of giving. True giving is without any concern for acknowledgment or reciprocity. Although our acquisitive culture might take issue here, when gratitude is offered in response, it is a gift. It is enough. And grace is what we receive when we give without expecting anything in return.

Grace is a quality of the divine. Much of what we do encompassing kindness and mercy engenders grace. Grace is in the natural flow of all things. It is omnipresent and infinite–the frequency of the heart. We are not talking merely of the physical heart–it’s also the spiritual heart, which is the frequency of love.

 

In her book, Transforming Primary Patterns, Chloe Wordsworth reveals, “When we remember the Divine with gratitude, we will be content no matter how difficult our life circumstances may be.” If we do an online search for gratitude journals, there are hundreds of diaries available to chronicle daily gratitude. There are even gratitude journals for kids. Whatever we choose to avail ourselves of during this happy holiday season, may we all experience an abundance of grace and gratitude.

ICE, ICE BABY

ICE, ICE BABY

Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Central Texas Hosts 18th Annual Ice Ball

By Rob Giardinelli         Photography by Chris Caselli and Gypc Girl Photography

THE SETTING: The JW Marriott in Austin was the recent setting of an event that kicked off the fall social season in grand style. Over 750 of the Capital City’s charitable philanthropists turned out for the 18th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Ice Ball. It was an evening that dazzled its guests and will be well remembered, and spoken fondly of, for a long time.

 

THE STYLE: The black tie crowd began the evening in the ballroom foyer of the JW Marriott for cocktail hour. As revelers sipped cocktails, they had the opportunity to peruse silent auction items, participate in a game of Buried Treasure, where the winner received a pave diamond circle necklace, and pose for photos in front of the event’s grand signature ice sculpture.

 

The festivities then moved to the ballroom for the main program. Emcee, KVUE-TV’s Quita Culpepper effortlessly kept the evening moving at a fun, brisk pace. While partygoers dined on a multi-course meal, they were treated to a series of heartwarming testimonials on how Big Brothers Big Sisters has positively impacted the Central Texas community. The evening was capped off by a round of live fundraising, which included a head or tails auction, Fund-A-Friendship paddles up, and the spirited live auction with a host of experiences such as a tour of Sonoma wineries, a skiing adventure in Park City, and an Italian getaway on the Amalfi coast.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Albert and Sarah Swantner, raised over $930,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. Funds from the event will go toward programs that help create life-changing relationships between adult mentors and at-risk youth between the ages of six and 16, which allows them to reach their full potential.

RED, BLANC & NOIR

RED, BLANC & NOIR

ZACH Scott Theatre’s Red Hot & Soul Gala Features Black And White Theme

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Charles Quinn Photography

THE SETTING: The Zachary Scott Theatre was the recent setting for one of the city’s most anticipated fundraisers. Over 400 philanthropists, art lovers, and VIPs turned out for the theatre’s annual Red, Hot & Soul event, an evening of fun, camaraderie, and showstopping performances those fortunate enough to attend will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: The curtains rose on the black tie affair in the lobby of ZACH’s Topfer Theatre for cocktails. Patrons of the event embraced the black and white theme, a nod to Truman Capote’s 1966 Party of the Century…with many spectacular black and white ensembles spotted among the dashing crowd. During the cocktail hour, partygoers reacquainted with old friends and made new ones while sipping on their favorite cocktails in anticipation of the fun ahead.

 

The festivities then moved to the al fresco Bobbi Pavilion on the ZACH Theatre grounds for the main program. As revelers dined on the multi-course meal, they were treated to dazzling performances by several of ZACH’s most beloved performers, as well as performances from ZACH’s Children’s Academy. Additionally, Austin philanthropists Eric and Maria Groten were honored for their tireless work and support of the beloved theatre that has been a part of the Austin community fabric for over a century.

 

Next came a spirited live auction with a host of dazzling packages. Highlights of the auction included a Pick Your Paradise package where the winner got the pick of a breathtaking getaway to one of three different continents, another was dinner on the theatre stage, and a mountain escape to Park City were among the most popular. The evening’s finale was a spectacular after party where guests danced the night away on the Topfer Theatre stage. Encore!

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Cindy Greenwood and Kathy Taylor, raised over $600,000 for ZACH Scott Theatre. Each year, ZACH Scott’s community programs provide outreach and educational opportunities and offer access to theatrical performances to over 125,000 Central Texans, 55,000 of whom are children and youth.

 

GRAND DAME

GRAND DAME

The legendary Adolphus Hotel is celebrating a momentous milestone and here, our Dallas gal- on-the-go Cynthia Smoot shares the timeless appeal of the revered landmark. 

LADY DAY

The Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas celebrates its 110 anniversary this year and the old dame is just as grand today as the day she was created. Anheuser-Busch beer fortune co-founder, Adolphus Busch, built his namesake hotel as a passion project. Even though he was a German immigrant had made his brewing fortune in St. Louis throughout the late 1800s, he saw Dallas as the city of the future. In 1912, he debuted the city’s first true luxury hotel, modeling the building on a Germanic castle, only taller (because we all know everything is bigger and better in Texas). The 22-story tower remained the state’s tallest building for a decade in the booming metropolis of the future.

 

Since opening its doors in 1912, the luxury property has served as an icon of Dallas, an integral part of the city’s history and culture, and entertained celebrities and dignitaries such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rudolph Valentino, Babe Ruth, Bob Hope, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George HW and Barbara Bush, as well as British royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

 

According to many, the hotel is not only one of the most beautiful hotels in the city but also the most haunted. There are whispers that the hotel is reportedly visited by the distraught ghost of a bride left at the altar, along with a few unlucky souls who met their untimely deaths in the hotel’s cavernous elevator shaft. The mystery of it all adds to the allure of the historic property.

 

IRONIC AND ICONIC

Located inside the property is the storied French Room, which has remained an icon of Dallas’ highest standard of fine dining for over a century, seamlessly blending the extravagance of classic French cuisine with cutting-edge culinary techniques to create sublime dining experiences. The tradition of Tea at The Adolphus is an event enjoyed by many generations of fans. During the tea sitting, guests enjoy a three-course menu of tea sandwiches, scones, and pastries paired with loose-leaf teas and champagne.

 

The iconic luxury property completed an extensive two-year renovation and restoration in the spring of 2018 and today features three room types, luxury suites, a rooftop pool, a full fitness center, Spa Adolphus, and award-winning on-site dining options, including The French Room and City Hall Bistro. Shop the Commerce Retail Store, which has a one-of-a-kind partnership with Stetson, Barber Shop (via Brass Tracks), and enjoy Viennese-inspired Otto’s Coffee and Fine Foods. In 2022, The Adolphus reopened a refreshed version of Rodeo Bar, the quintessential Texas tavern. Today, The Adolphus is a part of Marriott’s luxurious Autograph Collection portfolio of highly distinct properties.

HOLIDAY’S TOPS

HOLIDAY’S TOPS

The best plays, musical performances, and exhibits in Texas are enjoyed by record-breaking crowds, according to our cultural arts arbiter Leanne Raesener, who shares our favorite recommendations for what to enjoy this holiday season across the state.

AUSTIN

AUS Courtesy of The Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas Austin, Hollywood, The Prodigal Son

HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH

The Austin Symphony Orchestra presents its Christmas holiday tradition, Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by Chorus Austin. A holiday classic and a city favorite, this night of musical magic will fill the audience with the season’s joy. December 6. At AustinSymphony.org.

 

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Austin Symphony

AUS Torbjørn Rødland, Eggs, 2019. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper. Artwork © Torbjørn Rødland.Courtesy the artist and NILS STÆRK, Copenhagen

MUY BONITO

Hilos de Tradición (Threads of Tradition) Dresses of Mexico is a collaborative exhibition with the Brownsville Historical Association. Featuring 37 traditional outfits representing each state in Mexico, they have been selected to showcase the traditional textiles, art, and dances of each region. Through February 26. At TheStoryofTexas.com.

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy Brownsville Historical Association, Brownsville, TX.

Texas Gold Changed the World

AND ALL THAT PIZAZZ

There’s never been a better time to ramp up the razzle-dazzle this holiday season than by (re)experiencing Broadway’s smash hit and longest-running American Musical, CHICAGO. This triumphant show received six Tony® Awards, two Olivier® Awards, a Grammy®, and thousands of standing ovations. Bring your jazz hands. November 1 ̶ 6. At TexasPerformingArts.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Photo©Jeremy Daniel

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

DAL Anna, Paris 2017, Photo by Paolo Roversi_Courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary.

MIRROR, MIRROR

The Meadows Museum, SMU, will present Dalí/Vermeer: A Dialogue. Vermeer’s painting Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (c. 1663) is reinterpreted by Spanish Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí’s painting The Image Disappears (1938) in his appreciation of the 17th-century Dutch master. These paintings will appear side-by-side for the first time in history. Through January 15. At the MeadowsMuseumDallas.org. 

ON IMAGE: Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, c. 1663. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest).

 

ON IMAGE: Salvador Dalí, The Image Disappears, 1938. Work loaned by the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí.© 2022 Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society.Image

DAL Photography is Art exhibition, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum_ Alfred Stieglitz, A Wet Day on the Boulevard, Paris, Photogravure, 2013

MASTERFUL DISPLAY

Modern Masters: A Tribute to Anne Windfohr Marion highlights the contributions of one of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s most significant patron, tracing her support over nearly a half-century with an exhibition of 80 works by 47 artists. Through January 8. At TheModern.org.

ON IMAGE: Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum III, 1967. Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Gift of Anne Windfohr Marion

DAL Photo by Andy Nguyen. Courtesy of Galleria Dallas

POPS GOES THE MUSIC

The beloved tradition of the Christmas Pops continues with the Dallas Symphony Chorus performing transcendental anthems, classical holiday favorites, and sing-along carols. Santa might even delight. With snow sprinkled in and joyous music, it’s a night to be remembered.  December 2 ̶ 11. At DallasSymphony.org.

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Dallas Symphony Orchestra

HOUSTON

HOUS Moooi Works, manufactured by Moooi, Mega Chandelier, 2018, mixed media and bulbs. © Moooi, New York

IT’S JUST LIKE THE ENGLISH

From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the six wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st-century girl power. Six has won 23 awards, including the Tony® Award for Best Original Score and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. It’s worth losing your head over. November 8–20. At HoustonBroadway.com.

ON IMAGE: Photo by Joan Marcus

HOUS David Novros, Detail of right wall from Untitled, 1973–75. The Menil Collection, Houston jpg

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Golden Worlds: The Portable Universe of Indigenous Colombia showcases the diversity and brilliance of ancient Colombian cultures. Around 400 works spanning all the major Pre-Columbian cultures are displayed from intricately cast gold to ceramics and rare ancient textiles. Through April 16. At MFAH.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Calima, Colombia, Circular House Model, 200 BC–800 AD, gold, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr.

HOUS Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston

SET YOUR SIGHTS HIGH

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the stage in this popular and dazzling family holiday spectacular. This annual tradition wraps a whimsical, Broadway-style musical infused with contemporary circus artistry into the ultimate holiday gift for the entire family. December 23-24. At Houston-Theater.com.

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Cirque Dreams Holidaze

SAN ANTONIO

SA Brenda Rae, Metropolitan Opera, Courtesy of Opera San Antonio

LASTING IMPRESSION

Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche examines the enslaved Indigenous girl who served Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in many roles. Her image and historical and cultural legacy remain relevant to female empowerment five hundred years after her death. Through January 8. At SAMuseum.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Jesús Helguera (Mexican, 1910–71), La Malinche, 1941. Courtesy of Calendarios Landin

SA Martine Gutierrez, Still from Clubbing, 2012. HD video. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, © Martine Gutierrez.

HAPPINESS & CHEER

Doc Watkins and His Orchestra will present The Music of a Charlie Brown Christmas. New arrangements of Big Band holiday favorites, along with classic selections from A Charlie Brown Christmas will delight. December 14. At TobinCenter.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Doc Watkins

SA Gladys Roldan-De-Moras Memories From My Home, oil on linen

MAGICAL…ENCHANTING…UNFORGETTABLE

Lighthouse Immersive presents Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle, featuring whimsical animated characters alongside footage of professional ballet dancers. The joyful 30-minute experience is set to the sweeping music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, curating a grand immersive display. November 19–January 2. At Immersive-Nutcracker.com/San-Antonio.

 

ON IMAGE: Photo by Vladimir Kevorkov