People have sought wisdom by going to nature since the dawn of time, nature and the human search for wisdom.
Over the July fourth holiday weekend, the opportunity to be in nature and with family presented itself. And though I wasn’t seeking anything other than a good time, the one day I was able to go to the river changed my life.
A realization dawned as I sat in the middle of the river, on a rock, watching the water flow around me.
Water flows around rocks, like song. Even though the rock appears to be an obstacle, the river always found a way. The water does not focus on the rock and is instead always fluid and in motion. The rock remains what it is, and the water is continuously fluid, full of song.
The rock is like a problem or obstacle presented in life.
Even though there appears to be an obstacle, there is always a way around. The water does not focus on the problem, the rock is not an issue. Instead, it flows around the rock, and continues journeying onwards.
When considering my life and approach to problem solving, I have had the tendency to focus more on the rock than any possible way around it.
Focusing on an obstacle creates an obstruction that otherwise does not exist. If we instead focus on the way, we can remain fluid and full of song.
There is no problem until making it a problem. Then the barrier isn’t the perceived problem, the real obstacle is in believing that a problem exists in the first place. And once that belief takes hold, all the efforts, struggle and time invested into fixing the so-called problem takes energy. It’s a real drain on the limited time given to us in life.
Since humans have free will, it is within our power to choose where to focus attention.
To focus on the stuck rock, and become stagnant and stuck on the rock.
Or to focus on the way, and remain responsive and agile, moving onwards.
Water does not judge the rock for being in its way. It simply adjusts, and moves on.
And in doing so, is full of song.
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Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Nicholas Tonelli at Flickr