Be like water

I emailed my long time yoga teacher Amba Stapleton a few weeks back and mentioned to her that I was in cancer treatment. Her response was ” I didn’t know you were having a momentary health crisis. I don’t like to name things. As you know the body is constantly in a fluid state, in balance , off balance, it’s a constant dance.

Those words resonated with me on a deep level and got me thinking. We so often push or pull against what we want to move  towards. We force what we want to have, be it health, love, money, happiness – the list in endless. What if we slow down and remember that we are all made  mostly of water – so our natural state is fluid – like water.  Water moves, sometimes in waves, sometimes in ripples. Even when it seems perfectly still there is always a tiny minutia of movement as the water breathes and holds life within it.

I have been playing with that idea for the past few weeks. When I feel anxious or tight I think ” be like water” and I breathe into it. Its softens me, lets go of the edges. To increase my connection with water I made sure I was around water a lot this summer. Lakes, rivers, ponds whatever I could get near. Even just putting my feet in and feeling the calming energy of the water was enough. Listening to the waves and staring out as far as I could along the edge of the horizon seemed to create a feeling of ease within.  I feel that something has shifted in me since I’ve been consciously incorporating water energy  into all that I do.

Since surgery my spine had been tight and sore and it affected my entire body. I stayed stiff to protect my spine for fear it would fracture again – but I have let go of that fear a little bit . Wow what a difference. I can feel my strength returning just by softening and allowing my body to find it’s fluidity and it’s own organic movement. The “constant dance” as Amba put it.

This idea of being open to movement and change and being fluid applies not only to our physical bodies but to our thoughts and emotions as well. Sometimes we get fixated on things, ideas or ways we want something to be. We get so wrapped up that it’s hard to unravel even it we want to. That is where you can apply the idea of being like water again and finding a flow. Try letting things move and transition in a softer way in your mind and in your daily life. Allow a sense of wonder and possibility, a grey area instead of just black and white. The qualities of water are seamless, flexible, continuous, variable, open and of course life giving.

A few ways to play with the concept of discovering a softer more fluid side of yourself in the everyday:

  • Allow  your breathing be fluid and not sharp, notice when it is getting stuck and give yourself a few moments to just breathe.
  • Allow your movements be fluid – notice it you are grasping your hands, your neck or your jaw.
  • Try and let  your thoughts be fluid and not fixed – discover mindfulness, be in the moment without resisting.
  • Let your meditation and yoga practice not be rigid but instead let it flow in a way that feels good for you.
  • Allow your health goals to  be open to change,movement and all possibility.
  • Allow  your career path to  be open to change and  transformation – even thrive in it!
  • Be near water as often as you can. Lakes, rivers the ocean – they each have their own healing energy.

…….and of course drink water – hydrate your vessel from within.

 “Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”  – Margaret Atwood from the Penelopiad






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