Over the past couple of weeks my thoughts and actions have taken a more spiritual path.
This has had a profound impact on my life, and my health, because every time I apply an aggressive attitude towards life, I find myself living from a giant to do list that restricts my creativity, freedom and passion.
The trapping, regimented nature of “getting s*#t done,” makes me feel like I’m suffocating.
Whenever I become more spiritual, life seems to flow, and I feel at ease.
Before I continue, I am not condemning action, it’s just the action I take is inspired!
Everything I do is in accordance with how I feel, how I want to feel and “the flow.”
Instead of trying to paddle up stream, I’ve simply turned my canoe around.
By blowing into my low burning flame, I have managed to make it stronger.
I’m now taking inspired action from a guiding inner voice. A feeling that is inexplainable but just feels right.
Why be soft, isn’t hard stronger?
If you think about Western boxing, it’s basically two people standing toe-to-toe, punching each other until one person gets knocked out. A great show of mental strength, skill and athleticism but brain damage is not something I want in my old age!
Now think about some of the Eastern martial arts that are “softer,” and use less strength and aggression; along with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Russian Systema.
These martial arts don’t involve busting a gut! They’re better applied in a state of flow. If you apply good technique and operate with a softer mental and physical attitude, you will become shapeless and formless but still extremely powerful – like water!
A combination of reading about spirituality and partaking in some of these arts, has made me think more “softly.” I have been in, what seems to be, a constant state of flow.
One of my main inspirations for this was reading the Tao Te Ching.
Although I am still learning from it, I have become softer in my thinking.
I now act more like water.
Isn’t thinking softly weak?
Verse number 76 of the Tao Te Ching says this:
When a man is alive, he is soft and supple.
When he dies, the body becomes hard and stiff.
When a plant is alive, it is soft and flexible.
When it is dead, it becomes dry and brittle.
Therefore, hard and rigid shall lead to death.
Soft and gentle shall lead to life.
Thus, a strong army with rigid force shall not win.
A thick and big tree will be cut down for its use.
The big and the strong will take inferior position.
The soft and gentle will take superior position.
I hope you can understand what Laozi was saying over 2,500 years ago!
Being softer gives you an inner receptivity that helps you accept all of life’s ups and downs.
When you take everything in your stride, and maintain inner strength and calmness, everyone around you feels at ease.
If you are a friend, parent, teacher, soldier, leader or employee, ask yourself…
Would you follow the individual that loses their head and runs anxiously into disaster? Or, would rather follow the individual that remains calm and coolly manoeuvres through tough situations?
I know my answer!
Until next time, be like water, Gareth.