As strong as the oak and as supple as the reed. Many believe that in order to get where they want to go they must go forward with full throttle all the way, with a single minded focus. This is true some of the time, especially for short straightforward journeys – the home stretch. Life is always more varied and complex than we can imagine. Though wishing to march 50 miles in a day, every day, nature will throw in days of stormy weather making progress difficult. Some days we are ill and must rest. And while we are journeying forth into new territory we discover wonderful gems, people and places, which are offered like gifts to us. Not to stop and appreciate these gifts would be just as wasteful as driving through a raging storm can be dangerous. Appreciating the nature and needs of the moment is essential. Vigilant awareness of the present makes this possible.
Without awareness of the moment, we are living outside of ourselves and the present situation, Of course, we are not really outside of the moment, but we are so caught up in the mind, that our consciousness is not here. It is in an illusory space. Living in this space for long periods as many do, leads to illness, unhappiness, and suffering to you and your world.
What stops us from adapting effortlessly to change? It is different for everyone, but often the clues are to be found in the beliefs and fears we hold. Many see illness as a sign of weakness and refuse to rest or listen to the signals their body is sending them until it gives them no choice. People with tremendous focus, can be afraid to take even a moment to appreciate the beauty of the heavens, being afraid that they will lose sight of what they are working to achieve. Some see their success rooted in things like routines and systems. Focus, systems, and routines are all great but they must be able to bend a little.
So adapting to the moment can mean slowing down or even stopping completely. It also means recognising when we are approaching a rapid, and being ready to work harder, more focused, and efficiently than ever before. Of course, we can’t maintain this the whole time. People who create will be especially familiar with the changing energy in the creative cycle, the periods of inspired creative fever when huge amounts are accomplished added by an extraordinary degree of energy, focus, and determination. These periods, like the rapids in a river, are brief though compared with the long periods of slowly gathering ideas and inspiration.
So look around you, and sitting quietly, listen to the needs of your deepest self. Listen to your heart. What do you need to do for your heart right now? Are you trying to hold on the banks of a rushing river, or are you just floating along with the current? What are you afraid will happen if you let go and drop into the rapids? If the river is moving at a snail’s pace, and you want to move faster just use those oars and start to gently push them back through the water. Whatever you do, use the energy of the river. Don’t against it’s nature. If you are not even in the river, what are you waiting for? Jump in!