Grace always meets us in the present moment, where we are and just as we are. It is the nature of grace to transform. None of us is the same person we were a moment, minute, day, week or year ago. Whether we are conscious of it or not, grace has been present. Grace has supported whatever healing has happened. The recognition of grace as a constant in our lives is especially important as we age. Habit patterns (reactive patterns) that took root in our twenties, thirties, and forties will show up in our sixties, seventies and eighties unless we intend otherwise. Habit patterns continue to block the experience of grace unless we commit to a daily spiritual practice that supports our awakening. I recently recognized grace in a "do-over" moment when, after a power outage my computer would not download my emails. Two previous experiences of calls to my email provider, Joe answered; in both instances Joe was neither helpful nor polite. And on one of those calls, Joe hooked some of my old habit patterns and I reacted with anger. I made the call, and who answered? Yes, of course, Joe. I explained the situation and was aware in my intention to be patient and kind and to do everything Joe suggested as a solution to the problem. (None of them seemed to work.) Each suggestion required between two and five minutes of waiting time for the computer to do its task. During those lulls I engaged Joe in conversation, asking him a question about his day or sharing a fun experience I had with my family. It made an otherwise tedious time much more interesting and enjoyable. I kept bringing back my intention to be patient and kind and to follow directions. Forty-five minutes later, we found a solution. I expressed a sincere thank you to Joe and told him he deserved a gold medal for his patience and for not giving up. There was a pause before Joe said, "Thank you for not getting frustrated." I felt happy and very grateful. Grace did not leave me where it found me. We are living in a "do-over" time. Today's aging population has the possibility to age in a new way; that is, to live consciously instead of remaining trapped in old beliefs and habit patterns. We have choices and opportunities that our parents did not have. Old beliefs and habit patterns keep us separate from the truth of who we are, which, in turn, keeps us separate from others and from a Higher Power. Step Eleven of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous states: "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious [emphasis mine] contact with God as we understood Him (God) praying only for knowledge of His (God's) will for us and the power to carry that out." Conscious contact means that we are present and awake. The object of Step Eleven is "always the same; to improve our conscious contact with God, with God's grace, wisdom and love" (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions , 101). The promise of improved conscious contact is movement from separation based on false beliefs and habit patterns to a sense of belonging and connection which then leads to the promise of Step Twelve —a spiritual awakening. These older years are all we have left to commit to a saner, more peaceful, kind and compassionate life. Aging offers the opportunity to give priority to the inner life, lightening the attachment to self which will get us through experiences of an unpredictable body, illness and loss that we will inevitably experience. Aging brings many opportunities to "accept life on life's terms." Each situation is an invitation to be open to receiving the grace inherent in the event. This is our spiritual task: to age consciously with intention, skill, choice, and awareness of the power of grace. This is the richest time of our lives, filled with possibilities. Life is not necessarily easier, but our relationship to it changes. Each day brings opportunities for responding to life's experiences wherein we can consciously choose to see the grace of the moment rather than be caught in old habit patterns and beliefs. How do you intend to direct your attention and energy in the years remaining to you? …To take one step is courageous; to stay on the path day after day, chasing the unknown, and facing yet another fear, that is nothing short of grace. —Danna Faulds Join Elene in her retreat, The Grace of Aging September 12-14, 2017 at the Dan Anderson Renewal Center.