This post originally appeared here on Illumination's Mirror.

If You Feel Stuck, Learn To Flow Freely Like Water

We’re constantly bombarded with the stress of needing to make things happen. We planned ahead for life’s unexpected events. The thought of being in the unknown can be paralyzing. Our minds are not ready to deal with the anxiety, so we do everything we can to avoid or eliminate any cause of uncertainty.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting things to change, but one has to weigh the effort involved — will you be swimming against the currents of the universe? Life is perpetual motion. Nothing is ever permanent therefore it would be wise to go with the flow. Each of us has the unique capacity to choose our response to any set of circumstances.

To live our best life means to engage in it moment by moment. If you spend a lot of time thinking about life, you’re missing out on the adventure. The more you’re engaged in your mind, the less you are actually doing things in the physical environment. You’ll miss out on the simplicity, ease, and inner stillness that comes when you go with the flow.

There is freedom when you’re open to taking risks, failing, and having unlimited joy. You can bend and recover no matter what happens if you’re malleable.

Manipulation and control is the ultimate joy killer of life. When we’re wrapped in the idea and security that we’re free, we’re living in the memory of something that’s in the past because freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness.

If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.

— Lao Tzu


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels


Let go of the image we hold so tightly

Free yourself from any fixed mindset. Instead, learn to adapt, grow, and change. To be like water is to be mindful and ready for any opportunities as they present themselves while taking proactive measures to solve existing problems. This does not mean we should sit idly by and allow the stream to take us where it might without having to worry about anything — far from it!

To be like water is to be flexible. Adopt an agile mindset when approaching every circumstance that arises in our lives. Water can adapt to every form. We become rigid in our form when we allow the past to control who we are, fitting only into certain situations while cracking under pressure from others.

The formless nature of water does not make it any less powerful. It possesses a unique strength on its own.

Water can wrap itself smoothly around your hands, but hitting the water at high speeds is like hitting concrete. When we break the surface, the pressure will make water act more solid. When water crashes against an object, it disperses, but when a solid item crashes against another object, it shatters into pieces.

We will face problems of all sorts as we go through life. To be like water means we must let go of the image we hold so tightly. When we complain and often even blame life’s inconveniences, we are not adapting. Instead of slipping through cracks, we keep our rigid shape, smashing into the problems until either side breaks.

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

— Bruce Lee


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels


There isn't one fixed successful method

Methods and techniques only restrict our freedom, growth, and adaptability. Be unpredictable. Yes, study all you can but don’t get attached to the system. This includes changes to beliefs, practices, and whatever that has conditioned us to think is the only way, and let go of it based on our circumstances for survival. Adapt and use what is most practical at the moment when dealing with challenges.

If you’re looking for that one specific technique that guarantees success every time, it does not exist.

That does not mean you should wear yourself down with every single method that’s available out there. No one knows for sure what will happen, therefore we can only make the best out of every situation.

When life circumstances force us to think outside our boxes, break away from the traditional modes of thinking and discard established patterns and preconceived notions. The best way to escape the constraints of the logical mind is to become fluid.

What can we do next? Mental blocks will always exist. There will always be the ‘I can’t do it’ moments. That’s when life tests you and forces you to give up on your way to success. It will say you don’t have what it takes or that you might be at the right place, but at the wrong time. It’s normal to experience fear at this point — fear of the unknown, fear of success, or fear of failure.

It’s an uneasy feeling when you’re challenged to leave your comfort zone. It racks and ruins your brain, and you have to deal with the constant pressure inside your body that keeps you totally head-in-the-sand inaction.

Original Photo by Daniel Eliashevsky from Pexels

Notice that these are just activities inside the head. That’s the harsh inner critic who can only take control when we are not ready. We get caught up in all forms of worry, stress, anxiety, depression and wrestle with low self-worth.

Despite not knowing, we must come to a place where we have total trust and confidence in ourselves. We have to be intentional to focus on the goal even if it appears unreachable and then step-by-step try to move towards it. Break off all forms of rigidity and embrace change.

Be ready for what the future holds

Become formless and attempt something out of the ordinary or find another approach. You don’t always have to go in a straight line because things do not always work out according to plan.

The universal truth about life is that obstacles exist no matter where we are or what we do. To do more in life, the trick is not to quit just because we’ve come up against a brick wall. We must maintain an open mind, to find a crack in those barriers and squeeze our way through. Possibilities and options are always available if we look closely. Water is without form therefore it will flow in any direction. A shapeless mind is not rigid but open to possibilities.

Whenever my back is against the wall, it is because I am usually too rigid or have closed myself to further prospects. I’m slowly learning. Water is always changing form. Let’s learn to take charge of our lives, moving through those cracks and crevices, and always be ready for whatever the future holds.

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