This article on Water is the fourth in the series of Natural Elements and follows the same principle of displaying the use of natural elements of fire, earth, wind and water terminologies in our everyday language.
The elements are also used to promote personal thought whilst proposing an alternative philosophical viewpoint to display the relationship between natural elements and human behaviour.
From the language perspective, we use phrases such as ‘it rolls like water off the ducks back’, ‘still waters run deep’, ‘being as calm as the ice on a frozen pond’, ‘rolling with the flow’ or, ‘being weak as water’. However I believe the analogies drawn below can be used for empowerment.
Throughout our lives we may strive to survive, or achieve and tackle obstacles head on.
This can become a rather exhausting and sometimes fruitless.
No matter how hard we battle through, becoming exhausted with the effort, we sometimes get nowhere.
To go from nowhere to nowhere, with force, what is that about?
Can we achieve better outcomes by focussing on the path rather than forcing a path?
Equally important, why does everything have to be done now, immediately?
What would happen if we paused and waited?
Is it a matter of timing that dictates whether or not we are successful?
Constant striving and achieving can be a battle unless we change our ways of being.
Why not naturally follow the nature of water?
Whilst standing at the edge of the river, we debate whether and when to cross and what route to take.
The river is more of a stream about twenty feet across, shallow with some rocks.
Do we use the rocks as stepping stones, or is it be better to simply walk through the water after pulling up our trouser legs.
Perhaps we should take off our shoes? If we do, our feet could be cut on the sharpness of the rocks, stones and pebbles. Then again, if we keep our shoes on, the rest of the walk will be with soggy shoes and feet.
Perhaps we should wait til the water level drops, then again, it could rise instead.
Perhaps we could progress up or downstream where the water may be more shallow and flowing less rapidly.
Regardless, whether we proceed we still have to be careful as flash floods can occur at any time even if we are half across standing on a rock.
This is life. No matter how well prepared we are we remain subject to the whim of nature and natural elements. We are also subject to other variables whether they be people, money, laws and regulations, friends and relatives, personal preferences and responsibilities to ourselves and others.
“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men oft go astray” Robert Burns (1795)
From the poem ‘To a Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With the Plough’.
The key to handling the variables of life lay in nature and this particular example is the nature of water.
Water is life, water is the life of life.
Water has it’s own flow and finds it’s own level. Rain falls onto plants and the water rivulets makes its own way via the easiest path. Water does not stop to think and decide which way to go, whether down this leaf of that. Water simply does what water does, it flows down and along the easiest and most natural path finally to or forming a puddle or pool that gives life to plant or animal organisms.
The puddle or pool may turn into or flow to a river. The river water flows along naturally doing what water does, simply being what it is and what nature intended. It flows deep, shallow, by the riverbank or mid-stream, over, around, through or under soil, sand, sticks, logs, pebbles or rocks.
Water continues the flow regardless whilst paying no heed to any forces placed upon it.
People and other animals swim in the river, buckets of water taken out, the hole formed by the bucket is immediately replaced by more water, animals and organisms imbibe the water, yet the water still remains and continues to flow.
Is it not easier to continue through our lives and our never ending events if we followed the nature of water? There is no obstacle that water is unable to overcome, and all with it’s natural flow.
Our human drama, troubles, sadness, are easier to handle if we follow the nature of water.
Instead of finding obstacles to achieve what you want in your life, be like water, simply follow your own personal flow.
It is unwise to accept others’ opinion or negative comments and thoughts, they are the same obstacle as a rock in the river, and guess what? The river water simply flows around the rock. The rock, the obstacle is of no consequence to the water. Water simply keeps on flowing it’s natural course regardless.
Be like the river water, follow your dream, tackle your life issues and problems like water.
Simply flow. Because if the nature of water is followed your human life issues and problems are indeed the rock. What happens to the rock after you (being the water) has transversed over, around or under the rock and solved your problems and achieved your dreams?
That same old rock in many centuries will still be sitting there (like your old problems and life issues), for a very very long time. Leave it all behind, be as the water, and flow.
Conduct your life fluidly and calmly whilst allowing your inner being to guide your path of the flow be it stepping stones, rivers, floods, beach sand and waves, rain, mist, fog, waterfalls. Let nature be your guide.
Extract from Robert Burns poem extracted from http://www.robertburns.org/works/75.shtml <Viewed 31st December 2013>.