I briefly talked about “will” as it pertains to the Water Element in a previous post, however lets now take a closer look. Of the Five Elements, Water is the most powerful. Let’s look at it from Nature’s point of view. On the one hand, we are well aware of its destructive capacity when the oceans are stirred… it simply cannot be stopped. On the other end of the spectrum, look at how water can wear away at rock faces over years and years of rubbing up against each other. I really appreciate this aspect – it is quiet, still, patient… yet unyielding, determined, and again, unstoppable. Its qualities of fluidity and adaptability result in a type of sheer will that should be respected.
So now here’s the really wild part. Since we, as humans, are also a part of Nature and made of the Five Elements. All the qualities of Water I was just talking about also flow within us. When it is bogged down and swampy or choppy and turbulent, then that aspect of will and motivation can look something more like mental confusion/stuckness or fear-driven paranoia or even an unhealthy lack-of-fear rage (like doing dare-devil stunts). HOWEVER, if the Water flowing within us is calm, clear, and settled… then there is a tremendous ability to literally overcome all that is put in our way. What once seemed deep, dark, unknown, and scary is seamlessly navigated and taken head-on… only to come out the other side in the light and having cultivated wisdom.
What can you do to ensure a clear, vast ocean of clarity and movement? This is the time of year where we need to be expending less energy… that of introspection, reflection, and stillness. Meditation is one of the greatest activities to take up during this time of year to connect with these aspects of self (sure, I’m a little biased). Other slow-moving meditative activities as well… such as yoga, tai-qi, qi gong… really any of the more ‘internal’ martial arts. If you are currently a martial artist, consider focusing more of your attention to your forms or katas over the next few months. In truth, no one practice is better than another for everybody… it is an individual resonance, an individual choice.
See the “Resources” page for some great referrals to some of these services.