While traveling a few weeks ago, instead of taking my usual nap, I decided to watch a movie. It was called “Be Water.” I was never a Bruce Lee fan but I was totally fascinated by this story. After learning about Bruce Lee’s career and personal life I headed straight into fandom. Bruce Lee was all that! He was a man of confidence, quietness, humility and perseverance. The total package!
One part that resonates the most is the quote “Be Like Water” where Bruce Lee says, “Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Can I just share how right before I started watching the movie, I had been going through my “to do” list? My list contained a bunch of tasks, followed by deadlines. They were numbered, according to order of importance, prioritized by me. Redundant? So was my list. I’m not sure if I ever tried functioning without a to-do list and a calendar.
At this age, I realize there are things in my life that have happened for me upon which I had no control over. And yet, I still believed that my scheduling, ordering, numbering, and prioritizing still made most things happen in my time.
After “Be Water” I was reminded of the beach. I love the beach (I would drag out the word love if we were chatting face to face). I love it that much. While I love the beach, the water scares the daylights out of me. Not all water. I like showers, brushing my teeth, etc. but the beach water (rather the ocean) scares me.The water seems fast and endless. It’s powerful.
Even though it scares me, I’ll be damned if it doesn’t fascinate me. I never understood why. Until now.
Be water. In his statement Bruce Lee says, “Empty your mind, be formless. Be shapeless, like water.” Within that statement, I realized why I had been afraid of water for so long.
In water, that huge ocean of water, I saw total surrender. In all of my priorities, to do lists, organizing and numbering, I had to surrender to the outcome. Surrender to what is. In surrendering, that’s faith. That’s still-ness. Serenity. Calmness.
Not aggravation or anxiety.
I am now learning to plan and still embrace what is. I am learning to just be. Like water.