“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them-that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
Likely you’ve had the opportunity to encounter ice in your lifetime (if not you are lucky and I want to live where you do!). The first time you walked on ice probably was an exercise in futility or an opportunity for an Americas Funniest Home Video segment. But over time, you learned that by changing your approach and being more natural, that you could navigate your path even if it had ice across it. You quickly realized that the more you tensed up, and altered your normal walking gait in an attempt to NOT fall, the more likely it is that you WOULD fall. Tensing up makes it that much harder because you are holding your body in an unnatural state and focused on resisting what your body would adapt to naturally.
The quote from Lao Tzu is a perfect example of how we can apply this winter lesson to our own lives on a regular basis. Think about what you do when you make a mistake? If you’re like me, you immediately tense up and evaluate how you could be so careless as to make a mistake. You start searching for ways to remedy the mistake in an effort to undo what you already did, all the while replaying the mistake and beating yourself up. But instead of trying to resist the situation, why not try something radical and run with it. Why not accept the situation and stop trying to fight it? Why not look for opportunities to capitalize on the path that the mistake opened up that you never would have seen?
When you go on vacation and it’s raining, do you curse the weather, complain about the bad luck and ruin an otherwise relaxing time? Or do you recognize it as an opportunity to do something spontaneous like walking in the rain or listening to the sound of each drop as it beats a steady rhythm on the ground? Try to be present in the moment and let things flow where they will flow. Whether you are struggling to get a difficult to fill rescue relay transport leg covered, or frustrated with the lack of compassion you received from a recent phone call, let the moment flow where it will. If you made a mistake, do not berate yourself but rather let that moment guide you like all of the other ones wherever it might lead.
Be present without resistance.