I recently had a client reach out to me asking, “Am I going to start feeling joy and contentment in my life? With all the bad things that have been happening, I don’t know how much more of this anxiety I can take.” My heart went out to him because this is something everyone of us can relate to feeling at one time or another.
But honestly, when has life ever been total smooth sailing? If there is one thing life can guarantee, it’s that there will always be change and unexpected turmoil. Even when we have time to prepare for change, like the passing of someone after a long illness; it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the loss.
We have ups and downs, ebbs and flows, chaotic times, periods of bliss, and then once again, times when we feel like the life has literally been sucked out of us. People get ill, we lose jobs, pregnancy’s don’t go as planned, partners leave, parents get dementia, careers stop bringing fulfillment, and sadly, people we love die untimely deaths. This is life as a human being.
It’s not a matter of things going well in life, it has far more to do with how we choose to handle these ups and downs.
When we look at the happiest people we know, it’s not that challenges never arise in their lives, but rather that they accept what’s taking place and roll with it. They do not fight what’s happening, but they know how to “be like water.”
Bruce Lee eloquently states,
“Flow in the living moment. — We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you’ll be flexible to change with the ever changing. Open yourself and flow, my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water.”
When we live our life from a place of acceptance, rather than seeing that the cards have been stacked against us, we allow life to flow. Flowing water can be tremendously strong, for it wears away rocks over time, but it’s not attempting to go against where it is being sent. As individuals we may not see the big picture, but the Universe is working in our favor once we stop trying to fight against it.
As I responded to this client, “We will ALWAYS have stress in our lives, the lesson though is to learn to navigate our way through these challenges with grace, still finding joy in our hearts. So dealing with anxiety is a total inside job, it’s up to us to learn how to navigate, because regardless of what is happening, our PERSPECTIVE is what will cause joy or misery.”
Change your perspective and change your life, and of course, “Be like water.”