The world turns with the winds of change – each day sends new challenge and new opportunity our way. We cannot know what will come with each wind (wouldn’t life be boring and predictable if that were so?). What we can do is try to move with the current at all times, instead of resisting it.
There’s a cool quote attributed to Bruce Lee that embodies this mindset:
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
When we try to bend against the wind (wanting to change other people, places and things, instead of being changed by them), we are the ones who get blown around. But when we stay flexible and allow the wind to bend us, we often find that we have adapted to new conditions better than we thought!
When it comes to personal happiness, there’s another thought (author unknown) that helps us perceive our ideas of life and the possibilities we encounter each day:
The wave is free when it realizes it belongs to the sea.
We often think of ourselves as alone on our quest for happiness, knowledge, and truth. But when we take a moment to meditate and reflect on the nature of life we see that we are not alone, we are part of a greater, positive system – and in that realization we become suddenly free to race in any direction we choose.
There is also a great Japanese story about fully relaxing in order to survive:
An old man fell from a high bridge. The townspeople rushed to the river, sure the man had drowned in the rushing waters. Instead he calmly emerged, walked on ground and began drying his clothes. When asked how he had fought the tremendous tide and lived, the old man’s reply was, “I didn’t fight. I relaxed, and let the water take me to shore.”
We don’t have to change the course of wind and water to live each day happily. All we have to do is be open in mind, heart, and physical self, knowing that greater elements do not exist to break us – they exist to shape us!