Be Like Water
“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Have you ever noticed yourself feeling stuck, unhappy, dissatisfied with the way your life is going? How does it feel when you bump up against those things that touch a nerve and trigger you into knee jerk reactions?
The Taoist principal Wu Wei, translates as “effortless action” - a state of harmonious and free- flowing spontaneity. Wu Wei teaches us to stop pushing and striving and work with the natural laws occurring around us. It is said that the mind of Wu Wei flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo.
Water is one of the most flexible and versatile substances known to man. It has the ability to change form and adapt to its environment. Even though obstacles may block its path, water always finds a way. It can move over, around, it can bubble up from beneath the surface and pour down from the heavens above. It can find its way through cracks and crevices. It can be still or move with fierce velocity. There is so much we can learn from water.
One of my all time favourite quotes is from one of the great pioneers of Mindfulness Jon Kabat Zinn "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf"
I often hear myself say “I’ll just go with the flow”, yet still find myself attached to the need to know where? what? when? how? why? Trapped in a headspace of analysing and planning ahead, instead of accepting things to as there are in the here and now and allowing things to unfold naturally without forcing things.
How would it be if we adopted the same approach and simply allowed life to happen to us?
Ok, so life can be stressful and even though it may sometimes feel as though we are swimming in it up to our necks, it’s important to remember we do have a choice. The surest way to become tense, stressed, and overwhelmed is to develop a mind that pushes too hard, interferes and overthinks everything.
How would it be if we were able to experience without labelling things as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white. Labelling or quantifying things in such a way then invites the question arises good in relation to what? Such comparison is a form of judgement.
A simple formula for happiness is simply to let life happen to us and flow with it, instead of struggling against the tide. So dive in, get wet, swim, ride the waves or simply just stand still and surrender to the cascade of the waterfall. Accept a friendly invitation to be with "what is", allow things to be " just as they are" and trust, trust, trust. There is always a way, even if we cannot see it right in this moment. You never know you might be pleasantly surprised!