I sit and see the skeleton arms of a tree reaching beneath a grey sky. The wind gentle tosses these thin arms to and fro, inviting them to dance.
I've been reflecting on the course of nature lately... on what it means to 'go with the flow'.
I spoke with a friend yesterday about how nature allows what 'is' to be; how a tree does not clammer to re-attach a leaf or branch once it has fallen; how a river does not resist its natural course. Nature allows for death and decay, for the stripping bare and overflow of banks.
Nature does not resist.
I relate this to my life and work, asking myself if I allow for a nature 'death' to my creations and offering. Am I so willing to let go of what the world around me is not receiving? To shelf the ideas that I've been exciting about, but aren't gaining traction or movement?
I ask myself, 'what is alive now'? 'what is'?
I'm seeing how much I resist what is... How I push against without surrendering into acceptance. And often this solely happens in my mind and internal state of being.
Yesterday I drove a friend to the city for her doctor appointment, as she was too unwell to drive herself. I was told the appointment should take about half hour, and then I'd take her straight home before preparing to head to a workshop.
My friend texted me as I was pulling up to pick her up after half hour, and said that it'd actually take another 20 mins. I was a little disappointed, but thought, 'ah well, there's still plenty of time to get her home, go home and eat, then head to the workshop.' It ended up that the appointment took about an hour longer than expected, and I was late for the workshop. A one point while waiting for my friend, I started to get quite annoyed, and asked myself why I even agreed to this in the first place.
Then I stopped. I remembered the trees. The flow.
I decided to not resist, even mentally, what was already happening. I accepted what was in that moment, and breathed. I fully accepted that I might be late for the workshop, and that by the time we were on the drive home, we'd hit peak-hour traffic. I let go of the need to control what was happening, and just let it all unfold, trusting that nothing was 'going wrong'.
We did hit peak-hour traffic, and it took nearly twice as long to return my friend to her home, but I did not experience stress. Instead, I surrendered again, through my breath, allowing what was to just be. I was late for the workshop too, but again, nothing was disastrous.
So often we create attachments to outcomes or ways of being and resist what actually is. We push against the flow, deciding in our minds that we need things to be different than how they are. That reminds me of something I overheard in a shop the other day... while browsing I heard a woman come into the shop I was in and greet the store clerk by saying, 'oh it's just miserable out there.', referring to the cold rain.
It really took me off guard; I was having quite a pleasant day and enjoyed the reflective, inward focus that the rain had brought me. I wasn't miserable, and certainly the rain wasn't inherently miserable. It struck me that this woman had chosen misery over any other state of being.
You see, we do have choice over how we perceive our reality and interact with it. We can resist what is, pushing and pulling for something different, or we can surrender to the inevitable, and ride the waves of life.
Rain will continue to fall, trees will continue to lose their leaves and branches, rivers will continue to carve their way through earth's chest, and the sun and moon will continue to rise and fall.
Sometimes our moments of resistance can also be seen as 'the flow' as well. In animal nature, we see predator and prey fight each other. The gazelle does not lay still and allow the lion to simply devour it; it puts up a fight. And that resistance is also the course of Nature, the rising and fading of the sun, the inhale and exhale of our breath.
In moments of resistance, when we push through things, I think for me, it's about being present to that process. It's not adopting a state of apathy or victimisation, allowing the life to happen to you. No. It's about inviting a state of continued presence into how you live and interact with life - noticing when resistance is futile, and continually coming back to the question of 'what is alive...now?'
This is life. And this is death. Cyclical, patterned. Follow the flow, surrender to what is, and actively participate in a Life guided by Nature.
There is so much to be learned by looking, listening and observing the natural world. And that is one of the reasons, I've chosen to live away from convenience, amongst the flow of Life in nature.
Riding the waves,