“Wisdom begins in wonder.”
I recently spent some time with someone who triggers me, and my motto going in was “flow like water.” Flow like water: it turned stress into enjoyment, annoyance into curiosity. And it neutralized my reactions before they even had a chance to take hold.
And, since I was no longer caught up in my inner ruminations, it brought so much more compassion and understanding to our interactions.
Think about it. What does it mean to flow like water? Water resists nothing. It goes everywhere, embracing everything. It has no opinions or judgments.
It offers a gentle “yes” to everything it touches. Not a passive “yes” or a doormat “yes.” It’s a yes that comes from a loving, empowered choice to open our hearts to things exactly as they are—for peace, calm, and sanity.
Flow or Resist?
I recently received an email from someone desperately wanting her life circumstances to change. You could hear her plea to the universe in her words. “Please improve my health so that l can be happy.”
And here’s the truth: her health is as it is and my friend is sometimes harsh and unkind. We can wish with all our hearts for things to be different, but here we are, right smack in the middle of the life that has been given to us. Situations, people, our own conditioned reactions—this is the reality of what is here.
It’s Your Choice
We’re certainly not required to flow with things as they are. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting things to change.
But it’s important to know that you have a choice: how are you going to meet what appears?
And I choose the simplicity, ease, and inner stillness that come with flowing with things as they are.
How to Flow Like Water
Are you interested in experimenting? Want to experience what it’s like to flow like water? Try these:
- Ignore your own opinions and preferences (I know it’s a lot to ask—just try it).
- Stay open and present by listening deeply.
- Try understanding other people rather than judging them. Be curious. What are they feeling? What is motivating them?
In Life Circumstances You Can’t Change
- Appreciate the power of honesty and authenticity with accepting what is true.
- Tell yourself that this is how things are at the moment.
- Say, “yes” or “okay,” this is what is here right now.
- Stop feeding the wish or hope for the situation to be different.
- From this place of deep acceptance, what is being asked of you?
- Don’t let your opinions and judgments define you.
- Acknowledge difficult feelings when they arise, but don’t let them determine your choices. Instead, let things unfold.
- Put aside your thoughts about things and instead be curious about what’s happening right in front of you.
- Don’t assume anything about who you are or how you’ve responded in the past. Be open, fresh, and fluid.
When you find yourself stuck, caught, or just plain unhappy, consider flowing like water. It might just be the welcome shift that sets you free.
What About You?
What happens when you flow like water? What is it like to resist—and to flow? What do these experiments show you? I’d love to hear. And if you’re reading by email, please click here to visit GailBrenner.com and to comment.
Always in love,