- in Unite
Mind Like Water is a state in which your mind is at peace--yet full of potential. You aren't churning and thinking and calculating and worrying. You are just there, confident that you are finding and will find your way ahead.
You have the strength a river, the power of an ocean swell, the peace of a bubbling brook, the depth of ocean mysteries, and the potential of thunderclouds on the horizon.
A Mind Like Water recognizes that each moment has an optimal configuration and response. This ideal configuration is (generally) not created through force, but something you slide into--gentle, effortless, and invisible in your response.
"Be Water, My Friend"
Here's Bruce Lee In His Legendary Way, Urging You To "Be Water, My Friend."
(BTW, did you see the part at the 54 second mark where he is playing pingpong with nunchuck sticks? Woah.)
Steps Toward Mind Like Water
Mind Like Water is achievable, but it's also a process. A learned skill. Here are some hints.
- Your first step is to recognize that your mind is full of tension, and that that tension may not be necessary. Indeed, that tension may be keeping you from optimum health, optimum joy, and optimum contribution. It often takes years of living in "Mind Like Jack Hammer" (just kidding) before you realize that your obsessive tension is not a function of the specific situation (relationship, professional, or whatever drama), but instead stems from your approach to life--the mental posture you adopt as circumstances arise.
- A second step is to write down everything that is on your mind and bothering you. Write it out. Externalizing your worries gives you mind some peace and space to rest. (I picked up this technique from the Getting Things Done framework created by David Allen. He talks about Mind Like Water in his book, Getting Things Done.
- The third step is to cultivate peace of mind. Meditation helps. Another is simply to be confident that your life will turn out ok. If you don't feel confident, then imagine what it would be like if you were. You can even write out what your life would look like if you were quietly confident. Being confident does not replace pragmatic action, but confidence allows your mind to rest and recover and use its natural resources to develop solutions rather than being wrung dry by worry.
- A fourth step is to recognize in each moment and each day the potential for a perfection configuration. This doesn't mean your life is perfect, but it means that you recognize that your "Mind Like Water" can react (as water does) ideally in response to whatever configuration life brings your way. There is an ideal response. You just flow into it. This requires less analysis and more quiet flexibility.
Let Yourself Flow - Into Mind Like Water
Mind like water is a lovely, achievable goal. I encourage you to gently lean in that direction, recognizing that attaining Mind Like Water is a process that ebbs and flows and eventually becomes more and more your natural experience of life.