“Be like water.”-Bruce Lee
I had an awakening during a chat with one of my dear friends whom I lived with Sophmore year of college.
We had a discussion about how I handled leaving her in my early twenties. I didn’t cope well. Instead of enjoying the little time we had left together I shut down and pulled away from my roommates. I stopped entertaining my presence with them and fell into a complete immersion of self which inevitably created immense suffering.
That day we moved, I cried the whole time. They weren’t nearly as emotional.
I had been bottling all of my feelings up.
If I take a closer look I can see that I was trying to protect myself from the feeling of abandonment.
All and all I was creating my own suffering.
So this time, instead of pulling away from everyone in my present, I want to embrace them with more vigor than ever before.
How will I handle the weather that is to come?
I will do my best to be like water.
Now I don’t think I’m the first person to experience a mental shut down before a big life change.
And because I”m on the brink of a walking down a new course I want to direct my awareness to the mental challenges clouding my emotional state of mind.
“In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.” -Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee struggled too, in fact, his famous metaphor was a result of one of his perceived failures in mastering the art of detachment.
He found himself on a large body of water contemplating his thoughts when he suddenly punched the surface. It didn’t fight back and it wasn’t hurt by his force.
How do you remain humble, curious, and empathetic in times of big change?
I am intrigued.
I came to realize how many times I have turned to places of water when my life has been turbulent.
When I was dealing with my mom’s illness there was this breaking point when my chest felt like it was going to explode. I laced up my tennis shoes and sprinted out of my house straight to the Crow River.
Finally, I collapsed under a large willow tree. No tears were shed, my heart became still, and I felt the weight of the world drip off of me into the ground.
I’ll never ever forget that spot. It is a spot I have traveled to many many times over the course of my years living here in Hutchinson.
After a particularly difficult break up I bought a kayak.
Lifting the larger than me kayak above my head and strapping it down to the hood of my car empowered me with a sense of strength and freedom.
What a gift the Crow River is for this area.
During all of my travels, I have been drawn to water and for good reason.
It represents life.
Water is a symbol of consistency.
Water takes on the form in which it is held and moves in the path of least resistance.
So why do I go to water for healing?
Because it represents something larger than myself.
I smile when I remember what someone once told me before I took a drink of water. They said, “You know miss Lilli, that water you are about to drink could have passed through a dinosaur.”
The thought of sharing this life-giving element with the most bad ass creatures ever to walk on earth is truly exuberating.
Where do you go to heal?
I encourage you to find your place or element of healing.
Go there. Be present there and use that place in times of turbulence.
These places ground and enable us to see clearly.
The place you choose will help you see that in the whole scheme of things, we are so small compared in the web of life.
When we can come down from our intrinsic suffering and see this truth, the problems shrink and solutions will begin to surface.
I’m going to leave you here with this excerpt from a Chinese philosophy about water and a Ted Talk given by Raymond Tang.
In dwelling, it stays grounded.
in being, it flows to depths.
in expression, it is honest.
in confrontation, it stays gentle.
in governance it does not control.
in action, it aligns to timing.”
– Tao Te Ching – Passage #8