Enter Into The Flow of An Ever Changing Life
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like” – Lao Tzu
Every year in January the majority of us will set goals for the new year. You may call them New Years Resolutions or goals. They can be personal goals such as your weight or physical fitness goals, or business/financial goals. What ever they are they generally designed to enhance your life in some way.
“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” – Rumi
One thing that I have discovered about myself is realizing when I am pushing a goal to happen in a certain way or time frame, life gets frustrating and hard. But if I step back and look at my goal from the aspect of divine timing, I can usually see that the reason why the goal isn’t progressing. There is something that I am missing, something vital to make it happen. When the progress towards the goal starts to become pushing a boulder uphill, I know now to walk it backward down the hill until the pressure is released.
“When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called awakening…, Another word for that is freedom – freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human” – Pema Chadron
I step back and re-look at what I am doing. Re-look at the time table. Re-examine the reasons behind the goal to see if I need to adjust what the goal is trying to accomplish. I love the analogy of flowing downstream in a river. There are these little bays or inlets, eddies in the river where you can float in stillness. In these places, you acquire knowledge, skills, make partnerships, etc.., things that will be needed later down river. You have a chance to examine and revise your goals based on new knowledge. Then when the timing is right, you re-enter into the river and flow further downstream.
“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed” – Peter M Senge
When you step out of the river of change, you are trying to keep your comfort zone in place. Change threatens your comfort zone. In the process of trying to keep a stable, balanced comfort zone you step out of the river. You damn up the divine flow of your life.
- What if . . , instead of using the word “change” which might be threatening, you substituted the word “becoming”. You are not changing, you are becoming?
- What if . . , instead of thinking that your life is falling apart from the transitions that are happening, you instead saw your life falling together, falling into place?
- What if . . , instead of feeling like you are a puzzle with pieces falling to the ground, you saw yourself as letting go of what no longer belongs in your life?
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it” – Lena Horne
Stop struggling against the load, Instead, relax and float. You can float for hours. It is the struggle that makes you exhausted, wastes all of your energy and breaks you down, so that you give up. The struggle and the pushing come from trying to force things to happen a certain way. You can force your foot into a shoe one size too small, but you will only cause blisters and pain for yourself. Drop the expectations,, stop pushing for change, and let it unfold with divine timing.
“Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful” – Gautama Buddha
Go within, where the wisdom and clarity reside. Instead of having to defend yourself, or prove something, you discover the compassion to simply let life flow forward and outward in simplicity.
“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is the key.” Buddha
The way you meet an ending impacts the new beginning. Or to put another way, the way you meet change impacts who you are becoming. When a door opens for you, it’s not just something new entering into your life. It’s your life becoming something new.
Change happens whether you want it to or not. So stop fighting change. Stop striving for perfection. Trying to manage change only slows it down, and your experience of change will be impacted by negative emotions. Instead embrace change. Lean into it. Discover what lessons it has to teach you. Take a moment to become curious. Trust that it is leading you into a better tomorrow.
Ending with my two favorite Bruce Lee quotes:
“Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend” – Bruce Lee
And the second one is:
“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them. I wish you success in growing beyond any plateaus that you are currently experiencing in your life. Be water and flow” – Bruce Lee