Go With The Flow
I’ve always loved the idea of flowing with nature. Be it gliding on a breeze, riding the wind, flowing with the water; all those inspirational phrases remind us that when we fight against nature, we’re making things harder on ourselves.
When we can let go of what we’ve already been through, we can stop fighting against the tide and flow with it instead. Like all things in life, we can sometimes simply lay back and float with a calm serenity that gives us time to look around and appreciate the world around us. But sometimes we must get out a paddle and guide our travel through the rocks and avoid the waterfalls that try to cause havoc and set us back to start over again.
Karate Master Bruce Lee has many wonderful insights for moving with the flow, being inspired and living your life to fulfill you spirit within.
Lee was of Chinese decent, but he was born in Chinatown, San Francisco on 27 November 1940. His parents migrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong. But he was raised in Kowloon, an urban area in Hong Kong with his family until his late teens. Though his parents were from Hong Kong, by being born here in the U.S. Bruce Lee carried a dual citizenship. He was born American, even though his parents were not citizens. You can read about his history, up bringing and training at Wikipedia: Bruce Lee.
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
~ Bruce Lee 1971
Going with the flow is a lesson of least resistance. It reminds to not fight against change, to welcome new things and to be one with the world around us in peace and harmony. It’s one of the greatest lessons we can learn to walk forward in life and to appreciate the blessings we have.
Going with the flow doesn’t mean ignoring your responsibilities. It reminds us that even in the positive flow, there’s still work to be done to avoid the obstacles we face and that come our way. To improvise, adapt and overcome those things we cannot get past with ease, but we can with a little work.
When you face struggles in your life, stop for a moment and try to examine your actions. Be honest with yourself and look within. Are you fighting against the tide or trying to hold back the tide? If so, then ascertain what it is that you have already gone through that you’re afraid to let go of. When you can discover what’s back there, then be honest with yourself that you need to let it go. It is no longer serving your path forward. Let it go and allow yourself to look ahead and flow where the river takes you.
Other Quotes To Ponder:
Bruce Lee implemented many of his Karate lessons into his life. Martial Arts is not solely about kicks, punches and amazing feats of strength and endurance. Especially in Asia, it also incorporates lessons of life and philosophies that can and often should be applied to life. Bruce Lee gave us many insights into this balance between the mind, physical and spiritual aspects. Here are a few things he said that share these ideals and can be applied to all our every day lives as inspirational reminders.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
How many people do you know that read a lot of books and spend a lot of time buying courses, but never apply the knowledge they learn?
“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”
It’s important to learn from others as this expands your views and perspectives. But only when you taken in that which rings true to you, what works for you and what doesn’t, can you create your own path that serves your unique mission.
Take in what works for you. Discard what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to expand your knowledge, you may learn something that you don’t agree with, but whose concept opens doors you never thought existed.
“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”
For some reason we humans think life is complex and therefore we make it difficult at every turn. But life is simple, and it’s our actions to hide our feelings, to watch what we say, to edit our voice and emotions that make it complex. When we live with simplicity of thought we are better able to understand and see how we are all connected and intertwined. We can better practice compassion and kindness, be accepting of faults and failures and be tolerant of other ideas and beliefs.
Simplicity also helps us to over come obstacles. When we focus on one thing at a time to complete or correct one task, we realize we can do more. We take care of the next task on the list and then the next and soon we have cleared the table that we never thought would clean up and taken care of.
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
If you are intolerant, inflexible, always have to be right or the one who knows it all, then you are setting yourself up to be broken. Inflexibility keeps you from moving freely. When the wind blows, you maybe able to stand against it for a while. But the more you dig in and push back, the more you’ll lose and the harder the winds will blow. Eventually the flow will become so great that nothing you do can stand against it, and something will break that cannot be put back together.
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
One of my favorites as it goes with something Ted Turner has said that I’ve always followed. Set your goals high and don’t be afraid to dream of the biggest things you want to accomplish. Set them high and work for them, because it always gives you something to work toward. And don’t only set one ultimate goal. Set many. Do you want to have a book published? Or do you want to have many books published. Do you want to be rich? How rich is rich? Do you think Bill Gates thought he would be the richest man on earth? Probably not when he started. But it is something he achieved. So can you. If you’re willing to reach for it.
“As you think, so shall you become.”
If you’ve read any part of my blog, you know I believe that “How we think, creates how we feel” and “What we think, creates what we pull towards us” and “To manifest your life, you must first dream of the life you desire”.
All these phrases are simply alternative ways of saying, what you sow so shall ye reap. It’s a lesson that has been around since the dawn of time. It doesn’t change, it doesn’t go away. Yet it’s something we constantly need to be reminded of.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
Don’t over thing things or over analyze. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll begin to focus on the worry and fear. If I do this, that will happen. If I don’t do that, then this will surely happen. Stop it! You’re allowing self-doubt and fear to control your action. Just get started on it and put your good thoughts and plans into action. It will fall into place as it should along the way. As long as you don’t fight the flow or the changes in direction that may arise.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
Don’t allow others to set your goals and hold you to standards that they themselves don’t meet. But don’t set expectations upon others that they will never live up to either. It’s a two street.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
Too often we hear people making excuses for why they failed or can’t do something. Blaming other people, or places or situations they’re in. Giving up before they even get started. Maybe you’ve failed, because you’re not where you’re supposed to be. Maybe instead of complaining about where you are, you should start working on where you need to be. Nothing and no one controls your actions or your destiny but you. And wallowing in self-pity is not going to change your situation.
“Knowledge will give you power, but character – respect”
It doesn’t matter how much you know if you’re constantly using that knowledge to degrade or put others down. Talking down, or looking down at others who may not be as smart as you doesn’t make you an admirable person. It makes you a smart ass. Respect is not something that is given freely. It’s earned. But that doesn’t mean you need to be disrespectful to those around you or those you’ve recently met.
Your character governs how you present yourself to the world around you. It shows others who you are, in good times and bad times. It’s your trademark for being trusted, liked, counted on and appreciated. How you treat others, dictates how you are treated and that all comes down to one thing. Your character.
None of these concepts are new. But we often need to be reminded of them, so we can use them as inspiration to improve our own life. Go out and be the best that you can be. Be yourself, be true to your beliefs and practices, be respectful and tolerant of others who also have the right to be who they are. Live by the words that hold up the foundation of your beliefs, faith, character and ideal self. Be you and you’ll find happiness and fulfillment within yourself.
© 2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.