Frequently, your path in life is spoken of as a road. But much more realistically it’s a river.
The flow of a river can be made of many twists and turns. Obstacles like rocks, garbage, and trees can get in the way of the flow. Dams and other stoppages can be created.
What’s more, the path of a river can be changed and diverted.
Most paths people choose in life are more akin to rivers than roads. Whether you travel them by choice and mindfulness or not — they still flow.
While this analogy is useful to understanding the philosophy of Pathwalking and choosing a life path, there is a far greater depth to it.
However you move through life, whatever you do, flowing through like water is an excellent mindset to create for the best outcomes and experiences of the process.
What does that even mean?
Movement is life
While there are times of stillness both chosen and otherwise throughout your life, movement is a constant.
As my fingers dance across the keys of my keyboard, the movement is part of my creation. Whenever I leave my desk to stretch, refill my water, take some steps, or go to the bathroom — there is movement.
These are simple matters. In general, getting from one place to another — spiritually, mentally, emotionally, or physically — involves movement.
Certain movements are simple and take little to no effort. Others require more intention and can happen in a variety of ways. How you perceive the way you move is as important as the motion itself.
This tends to be best visualized in athletics. The most skilled gymnasts and dancers, for example, move as if they have no bones in their bodies and flow from position to position. They appear to use little or no effort as they flow through the actions they are participating in.
I have used the analogy for fencing more than one. The best fencers seem to gracefully flow from defense to attack to defense to counter-attack with grace and ease. New fencers — as they learn how to move and use the sword — tend to be stiff, locked-up, and prone to unnecessary soreness as such.
Water will flow unless you stop it. You can flow similarly — unless stopped. This applies to both the tangible and intangible.
When you flow like water you are equally able to adapt to obstacles, twists, turns, and other matters you encounter along the way.
Life is never simple
No matter how much you practice mindfulness, work on building/finding/creating positivity, apply consciousness to create reality, and work to steer your life — the unexpected can and will occur.
Did you expect a global pandemic this year? With very few exceptions the answer is no. Life has thrown all of us a pretty massive curveball.
What’s more, this curveball is fraught with uncertainty, confusion, and fear. The world has been forever changed by this. The end result of that change remains a mystery thus far.
If the government would stop being selfish and stupid in the name of Trump’s attempts to get re-elected, the United States might get this under control. Thus far that’s not looking too realistic. But I digress.
The point here is that, in all likelihood, that which you may have been plotting and planning for your life experience got derailed.
This is where the ability to think of flowing like water comes in handy. Because like a river someone tossed a huge boulder into, you have to divert your course around it. In time, it will get worn away or swept downstream — but odds are it will need to be dealt with more by flowing around it.
Visualizing your mindset/headspace/psyche and intent as being able to flow like water makes it easier to react to change. Flow through, past, and around it as needs be.
Choose to flow like water
Why make that choice? Because being rigid and unbending leads to breaking.
When you are unable to shift, flow, and change because you are too rigid — in time you will break.
Even the tallest skyscrapers in the word do not just stand against the winds. They lean, they shift, they bend so as not to be broken.
Human beings are the same. How many people, when they fall, stiffen up? Try to catch yourself on a stiff arm and the odds of you breaking a bone are pretty high. Roll with the fall, be loose and flexible, and though you might still get bruised — chances are you won’t break anything.
Water only breaks when it becomes rigid — as ice. Otherwise, it is easily set in motion, redirected, and capable of flow.
You, your headspace/mindset/psyche — and your approach to life, the Universe, and everything — can be rigid and breakable or flow like water and adaptable. This is why to flow like water keeps you better able to handle any changes along your life’s path.
No matter how much you plan, life is unpredictable. Things will happen that you neither expect nor desire. What you do when that occurs — be rigid and risk breaking or flow like water and make your way through — will ultimately impact your experience.
Do you stay on a path unyielding and risk being broken — or flow like water to adapt to change?
Know that you are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done our thoughts, feelings, and actions matter, as does whether you flow like water or stand rigid and risk being broken.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on July 15, 2020.