In a strong storm, even the trees eventually give up and come crashing down.
But if they were more nimble—if they could uproot themselves and lay down or if they could flex like a blade of grass—they'd live forever.
When your patience is tested and you feel ready to break, stubbornly challenging your adversary is rarely the solution.
Instead of being a victim, embrace the winds of change as an observer, as a blade of grass dancing with the wind.
Lynn Fang explores the intersection of science and spirituality and in her latest letter, The Living Universe, she writes about her experience discovering a connection to the universe.
For all the observing we have to do, we are quite limited by our 5 senses. These detect only a limited range within the wide spectrum of electromagnetic frequencies. Even if we create devices to detect other frequencies, they are limited by our own consciousness. It's true that no human being has had an experience outside his or her own consciousness, her own mental, intuitive experience. The only objectivity we know is that of our mental perception.
I've begun to see the world around me as totally alive and interconnected. I am related to the trees, the grass, the birds, the rocks, minerals, mountains, and water. We are all made of the same things and we come from the same source. We have evolved to this degree of complexity.
If everything is alive, then the Earth has a sentient voice. The oceans are conscious, the forests are aware, the grass is listening, the flowers are smiling, the animals are playing. My thoughts are alive, as are those of the trees, birds, bugs, and shrubs.
Everything is energy, all information is energy. I open myself to the energy around me, and I sense that when I send love and gratitude to the trees, they light up ever so slightly and send it back to me. The birds are aware of my presence, the dogs respond to the energy I offer.
When I look up at the night sky, I feel as though I am seen. I remember that even though I see darkness, beyond my visual perception there are stars that fill every pocket of darkness. If we could exist on this little blue marble planet, then what life might be possible out there in other star systems? The ones we can't see? The ones on the other side of the Universe? How can this Universe not be alive?
I can relate with Lynn's words on so many levels. Just earlier this evening I was walking on the beach in Florida during sunset, feeling intricately connected to the pink clouds in the distance, the endless ocean, the birds riding the wind above me.
When the sun disappeared behind the horizon and the stars emerged, I spent nearly an hour just gazing at them, allowing myself to feel the sense of scale and the sense of absolute oneness with everything my eyes soaked in. We are one with everything.
On a bed in the middle of an emergency room, a small boy sits. Around him is total chaos: people yelling, nurses running around, trauma to the left and to the right. Everyone is moving with urgency while the boy sits motionless and watches it all unfold. A nurse notices and assumes he must be terrified. "Don't be afraid," she reassures him. The boy looks at her calmly and replies, "Oh I'm not afraid."
If we're not participating in the chaos -- if we're not being wrapped up and swept away by the current along with everyone else -- that doesn't mean we're inadequate, missing out, or living in fear. But in the busyness of life, that's easy to forget. It's easy to unconsciously allow our lives to be written by the currents. It's easy to assume that if everyone is riding them, they must lead us in the right direction.
Those assumptions allow the currents to affect our energy levels and our work schedules, our eating habits and our career tactics. They influence our skills, the possessions we own, and the actions we condone. They cause us to assume that life is chaotic, a competition, a race against time, and a mad dash to the finish line.
Let go of the expectation that life is an endless chaotic current. Give yourself permission to be still. Walk through your day observing the currents of life, holding your ground and allowing those currents to sweep past you like the wind sweeps around a tree. Be like the boy in the hospital quietly observing the chaos. You are not helpless and adrift. You are conscious, strong, and fully capable of directing your life.
The past few weeks have been quite unusual, to say the least. Things around me seem to be happening so fast that all I can do is sit back and watch in awe and wonder. It seems pretty amazing to me that just two months ago, given as many tries as I wanted, I wouldn't have been able to guess that my life would be where it is now.
I've always felt as though everything around me wasn't real, as if my entire life was just a big elaborate dream. (If you've ever had a dream that you knew was a dream, you know how I feel while awake.) I still feel that way, only now I feel like I'm having a dream inside a dream, where in that dream I'm floating in a bubble not sure where I'm going to float to next.
This feeling of the unknown is not something I'm usually comfortable with, but the more time I spent wondering what I should do about it, the more I realized I was missing out on the moment. I am very happy and grateful for where I am now and wasting the moment seems like a horrible thing to do. As I pondered these new events in my life, a little voice in my head began whispering to me, "just run with it and see where it takes you".
We're all living in bubbles. We might have an blurry idea of the direction the wind is blowing us, but we really have no clue how we're going to end up getting there. Each one of us lives a life that we cannot fully predict. We meet people we didn't know we'd meet; we do things we didn't think we'd do; we go places that we previously couldn't have imagined a reason for going. Our bubble floats and bounces around throughout life, eventually bumping into something that makes our physical existence no more. Pop!
But this doesn't mean we should give up all control and just blow wherever the wind takes us. We should be mindful of the present and humbled by the unpredictability of life. Our ambitions, dreams, and purpose should guide us along the way but not create roadblocks. Our life shouldn't be rigid and easily upset by unexpected events. Instead, we should allow our life to flow like water.
Embrace unexpected events in life the same way water embraces an obstacle.