Be Water My Friend


There is something timeless and wonderful about how one human being can support and love another by simply serving them by listening and helping them a new perspective on life. Or by sharing knowledge and wisdom passed down to them or learned through experience. This is a natural process that repeats itself automatically in all cultures all over the world and transcends generations.

The way I think of this transfer of wisdom and love working is like an abundant waterfall as it passes down from person to person. It doesn’t stop there either because it’s recycled from great lakes and rivers of learning and experience back to the source in a beautiful unbroken cycle. Like the rain and water that sustains us.

But here’s the thing, it can only happen if we are open to receive and give.

The one thing that can stop us from embracing this or being part of it is resistance. This can show up in many forms but it can always be traced back to the same basic route. At times in our lives it is even possible to put ourselves inside a heavily fortified castle surrounded by a moat. In other words being surrounded by the same stale water that simply sits there supposedly protecting us from the world but never offering further nourishment because it is not open to receive it. This can initially give us a feeling of security and familiarity but over time this container that gave us a sense of safety can start to feel suffocating and limiting. Our ego is cleverly protected from anything harmful but at the great expense of experiencing many wonderful new people, places and things.

I have built many castles like this in the landscape of my life and have eventually forced myself to venture out again from all of them on a new journey, a quest for knowledge and experience, to rejoin the stream and let things flow again like water.

Even our most treasured thought leaders however respected and influential they may be are still open to learning from the people they serve. They are open to receive and appreciate the resulting ripple effect of the limitless ways the people they serve have taken knowledge and wisdom and amplified it with their own creativity and power. I believe this truly is a powerful and beautiful cycle of love in motion. It is one of the most precious gifts we are all born with and keep in our hearts as we travel our own journeys both separately but also intimately connected in universal harmony. But only if we are open to receive and give.

Gratitude gives us the ability to allow our vulnerability to open our hearts to this harmony and to be a living part of its energy. When we are grateful then this flow is effortless because we act, speak and live from our hearts not from the stories of our egos.

I constantly work to remind myself of this truth so that I can be like water like the famously cited philosophy of Bruce Lee and his words and thoughts on being formless like water.

You could apply this principle to your own life through the practice of wei wuwei (爲無爲) or action without action also sometimes referred to as effortless action. The idea of wei wuwei is central to Taoism and is characterized by releasing conscious control of your actions over to the flow of the infinite Tao.  In Bruce Lee’s words “to accept myself by going with and not against my nature.”

So adopting the properties of water has many benefits in my own life, I can let myself flow around resistance and adapt when I need to, I can receive and give to others and be part of a powerful cycle of nature.

“In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.” – Bruce Lee

Be like water my friend!