I remember hearing this for the first time in 1971. For a year, I practiced Kung Fu and learned even my diminutive 100lbs could be a force to be reckoned with…. Most important in my development was going with my nature – choosing goals that I was likely to do. Example: It does not matter how good for me tofu may be, or how many times it got to my refrigerator, if I could not get it down my mouth, trying to make myself eat it was a useless goal. Now when choosing changes to eating, exercise, etc, I start with what am I likely to actually do.
Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience
“In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.”
With his singular blend of physical prowess and metaphysical wisdom, coupled with his tragic untimely death, legendary Chinese- martial artist, philosopher, and filmmaker Bruce Lee (1940-1973) is one of those rare cultural icons whose ethos and appeal remain timeless, attracting generation after generation of devotees. Inspired by the core principles of Wing Chun, the ancient Chinese conceptual martial art, which he learned from his only formal martial arts teacher, Yip Man, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. When he left Hong Kong in 1959, Lee adapted Wing Chun into his own version, Jun Fan Gung Fu – literal translation: Bruce Lee’s Kung Fu – and popularized it in America. (I bought his book this morning.)
The main themes in my life recently have been the understanding and letting go (or not) of attachments, mostly to things. Three years ago, I inherited the house my parents had lived in and loved for the last 35 years. It needed a lot of work, particularly dealing with water. If you dam water up it find another way to flow- emotions work the same way I think. Recently with the news in Sandy’s wake, we are well aware of what water can do!
I believe the house issues are in a stable state now but this exercise has showen me that taking care of the house and yard really is more than I can physically (and financially) support. I have loved this house and all the happy and trying times spent here. My parents loved it and the 1/2 acre yard. Dad had fabulous plantings of organic vegtables and beautiful flowers. His beds were never straight but a labryinth of circles and curves. I have noted before that I believe my Father’s approach to rolling with life was “When in doubt, turn the compost.” The rabbits now have a warren where his compost used to be. Ten years ago when he passed, his friends planted a Magnolia tree in his memory because he always wanted one. Now it towers high, producing those creamy white fragrant blossoms. How do I leave Dad’s tree? Mom and I put his ashes around it The reality of how little humans leave behind when they pass away- except stuff. Things my Mother treasured are of no real value or meaning to me- so do we continue to carry this stuff just because?
I have taken the path of sending the majority of belongings on to others through sale or donation. I have gotten to help some local charities I believe in which feels good. Like many of you I have seen my collection of books as friends that have been with me for years for reference or just seeing them reminds me of a lesson or event. My Father also collected books but his are cloth bond , old and fragile. Most I can’t sell for the price it would take to ship them. Again something treasured for years which has no tangible value. So far I have invited friends to come and take books that interest them – about 15 boxes gone so far. Books have been the hardest so far.
Getting the house ready to show is an odd experience because I removed all the personal pictures and nick-nacks that litter my life. It looks like my house but different. well folks ending for today. I am glad to blog again. I have not even had time to read blogs and I miss the snapshots of other lives from the blogosphere.
“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” - Edwin Way Teale
Time now to harvest the thoughts and actions we planted in spring. To rejoice with gratefulness for the harvest and turn inward as the nights get longer and the days shorter. To acknowledge what came to fruition and what died on the vine. We preserve what we can for the cold months ahead, fruit, produce and dreams.
“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world and today I am wise so I am changing myself.” Zahid Iqbal Khan
If your returns this season are not what you hoped, now is the time to reflect, find your balance and look for what within you must change to assure greater success in the coming year. If nothing WITHIN you CHANGES, then your past will be your future. You could always gaze at the full harvest moon for inspiration.