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Be More Like Water, my friend

I have been thinking about super heroes, warriors, scientists and adventurers who can go beyond our current understanding into unknowns. This quote from Bruce Lee, legendary martial arts expert allows one way to think about a path of mindfulness which expands our consciousness and ability to see new paths. How will we ever get through these difficult times of Covid, community unrest, political instability, and growing anxiety about our future world and planet. Being able to "go with the flow", and nourish ourselves during difficult times takes practice. Sometimes we may be stuck in a thought pattern which is not benefitting our current situation. For example, I regularly enjoyed going to the local gym to work out. During Covid lockdown, the desire to go to the gym was there, but I was not able to easily translate a new work out in my basement. How does one Be Like Water when my mind is whirling with reasons why things seem impossible? With mindful attention, I was able to take a few minutes to really sit with myself and feel my bodies yearning for exercise. How do I do this? There are several tools which I consider when trying to create a new behavior. One is to really visualize what the wish is that I am trying to make happen. I sat quietly and imagined me working out and getting strong and feeling like I just worked out. I literally tried to imagine that feeling I used to have after a good workout and this was very powerful. I turned to the problem and realized that I had a ritual of getting to the gym before work and with Covid, I was not getting up quite as early. I also felt like my basement was dreary and not pleasant. My major obstacle was not making a morning plan. Waking up at a regular time, I decided for now to take my work outs outside and "be like water" with what I have. The weather in Michigan is still nice enough to walk and run. The gym will be there waiting for me. Taking a few deep breaths. Visualizing your wish, its outcome and your obstacle can help provide you steps toward a plan to get out of your rut. The breath is the first step to becoming like water. Paying attention to your breath and the thoughts which appear will be a good way to begin this process for yourself.

"Empty your mind, be formless.

Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes a 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."


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